The Penitent Retailer

At last I am employed. Employed somewhere where I didn’t get the job defaulted to me because of kin. I am now… in retail. The commercial world. And in an office supply chain, capitalism is definitely the motto.

I will, eventually, be working in the desktop publishing center where my skills can finally be realized and honed to their full potential. However, first I must train normally in all areas of the store. Day one – I trained on register… and learned the true meaning of karma.

For years I carried little to no change. I could not be bothered where a bill will do the same task. Now I know what hell I put cashiers through… having them sling the change after my 10s and 20s for a $2.34 item. It’s rough what with a backed up horde of consumers chomping at the bit over the newbie at the wheel.

Not only did I do them a disservice all those years but to myself as well. Year of not bothering with coin has left me a mathematical cripple unable to count out the simplest of change. To those of you not yet employed I say, “Use exact change only.” Else it will bite you in the ass later!

And on day two I was let loose on the aisles and at the counters to learn how to help wayward customers… And again I learned the true meaning of karma. I am now the dear in the headlights associate I once cursed because they did not know what I was talking about… I am now that which drove me up the wall – a man paid a good wage to act dim.

In my Maintenance days, I could spot an M&M in a grassy field 30 yards away… now I can’t find a printer staring me in the face. I am humbled.

If I failed to clean that candy, at least there would be a ton more garbage to conceal it the next day. Now there is no such leeway as every sale counts – quotas to be met and an image to maintain.

When I began Maintenance I was trained in the downtimes at a pace I could stand at an age where skill came with ease. I am older now and trained in live combat – real customers, real documents – do it and don’t mess it up ’cause there is no do over.

I am intimidated.

Will I prevail…? most assuredly so. It is my nature. But now, as day three looms, I repent all the bad things I said about retail drones, all the items I left out of place, and all the exact change I could have counted but didn’t. I feel your pain and I am sorry.

(Now maybe this karma crap will go away and I can get on with my life!!!)

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Written by

Ryan Livingston

Ryan Livingston

Artist / Writer / internet disk jockey / retail wage slave / carbon based lifeform. Founder of the New World Otter and RML Studios