I honestly didn’t plan on having a summer job this year, but I got one. I imagined that I’d spend the hot days locked away in the house, writing and creating, and I had The Captain’s blessing to do that. However, I got asked back to an old sales associate position at the thrift store I’d worked at in 2013. I accepted for several reasons: a) the extra money would help out around the house b) The Captain was hefting most of our bills and I could tell this was stressing him out c) my best friend works there so we could work together again and d) I like buying things like books and makeup with money. So I accepted the job offer and started back up into the not-so-luxurious life of retail.
After last summer’s fiasco at Target, I didn’t think I’d go back into retail ever again, but money changes things and living on my own does too. Of course, my first week back was right before a big sale day (and if you think people like saving money at thrift stores then imagine how much they love it when it’s 50% off) and I definitely had a hard time getting back into the swing of things. My feet were sore all the time, aching and painful and peeling, and I was tired.
The timing of things didn’t work out well either. I was coming off of some medication and having stomach issues at the same time. I ended up having to call in a lot because of my health, and it made me feel terrible for letting everyone down. Especially my best friend who, at the same time I was hired, was promoted to supervisor—thus making her my boss. So every time I called in, I knew that I was making her new job more of a chore. The first few months of her promotion should’ve been fun for her, but I’m pretty sure I made it harder than it should’ve been and I’m sorry for that.
So I called in sick because of my stomach and painful cramps and horrible migraines, and then in July I called in to spend time with my family who were visiting from New Zealand. I also called in after The Captain’s great-grandma died, and I was still depressed at my first shift after. It seemed like my attendance became a joke among my co-workers. And the part-time hours I was promised when I was hired were cut because I was always calling in. So I went from working four or three days a week to two—which you would think would be a good thing. But because I was only working two days while everyone worked more I was constantly being put on the busiest registers.
Trust me when I say that I was not made to only be a cashier. It’s not fun to have the same conversation on repeat for eight straight hours. Most of the time when I said I was ‘good’ I wasn’t. Most of the customers were average and normal, but there were a lot of bad ones too. There were moments when I felt invisible or stupid, and I hated those. It made coming to work a chore, because I knew I was going to be stuck on a register all day and not out on the floor doing the ‘fun’ work.
This, in addition to a lot of policy and company changes, made me unhappy. They changed the hours, seemed more like a company devoted to making money than one dedicated to helping the community. It made me bitter and jaded about what I thought I was working for. It also seemed like a lot of my co-workers were there for a job, just to make money to live their lives, and it didn’t seem like anyone actually loved going into work.
So, after thinking on it, I decided that I couldn’t stay at Saver’s. It wasn’t fair to my supervisors that I was constantly calling in and they were having to deal with one less person, or to my co-workers for making up for me not being there, and it wasn’t fair to me that because of my health I was being ‘punished’. I gave my two weeks so that it will look like a summer job, and I’m looking for somewhere to work on campus while I write and get educated.
Am I a spoiled baby for wanting to work somewhere where people love what they do? Am I such a millennial that I want to dedicate my life to a career that I want instead of something just to pay the bills? I know that there are bigger issues in the world than one girl making money writing, but I can’t live my life unhappily. I won’t roll over and just let life walk all over me just so I can survive. I want every day to bring me happiness, and I want to be able to respect myself doing it.
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. ~Margaret Young