Blargh, RHU. I kind of hate the 4th of July. I always get sunburned through an inch of SPF 50. My idiot neighbors like to set off illegal aerial fireworks until buttfuck o'clock in the morning, scaring the crap out of my cats and blasting me awake. And there are no cool costumes to wear.
2/5. Would not celebrate.
Then there's the worst 4th of July EVER: three years ago, while working in Department Store Hell. I worked on-call at that store, and this time I was working in the Teen Girl section. I was happy about this because my then best friend worked in that section as well, and even though her coworkers were airheads, we were having a good time. A funny thing about working the 4th of July at that store - we were always open and having a good holiday sale, but it varied wildly how many customers we got during the day. Some years, it was dead all day. Others, we were swamped. This particular year, we had custys wall-to-wall. And the Teen Girl section was popular because it attracted a wide range of custies looking for less-expensive denim and tops that could be worn by older females as well as the younger ones. The music was pumping, custies were in good moods because they got an extra day off, and we were actually meeting our sales goals easily.
It was with a light heart that I skipped off to lunch. However, when I came back from lunch, it was to find one lone girl running the registers, and a huge line. I asked her where my best friend Hermana had gone.
"Upstairs, talking to LP," she said as I took half of the line. Okay, no biggie. LP would pull slaves upstairs to talk to them about NATs all the time. But Teen Slave 1 had also gone upstairs, to talk to HR. Weird, but whatever. I was mostly focused on that line. When it was under control, Teen Slave 2 asked if she could run to the Little Slave's Room because she really had to go at this point. I told her that was fine, and I watched her walk across the store to the bathroom. Last time I saw her. Ever.
Hermana came downstairs after another 20 minutes or so. She gathered her bag and left without saying a thing to me. I guessed that she went to lunch, but it was weird for her to not mention it. A few minutes after that, TS1 came back, also gathered her things and left. I knew that the Teen Slaves liked to take their lunches together, but it seemed like poor planning on their part not to lunch separately on a super-busy day like that.
And then there was One. Teen Slave Manager came over to my register to find that it was just me running the department, now with another outrageous line, and one poor Fitting Room Slave. (FRS was not trained on register, so she couldn't help me ring.) I told TSM that I thought TS1 and Hermana had gone to lunch, and she hopped on another register and rang for a bit until that wave of custies subsided, then went off in search of the missing bathroom-bound coworker.
When Hermana and TS1 did not come back after an hour, I called TSM again. She had not located TS2. HR and LP seemed to know what was up, but were refusing to tell TSM anything. She came back downstairs to help me ring again, as calls to other managers had gotten me no help on registers.
"Sorry," they had told me. "Busy everywhere. Can't spare other slaves." Yeah, thanks. Teen Girl department is one of the busiest in the store, and one lone chick was running it. Screw you, too.
At last, TSM got a call... from TS1's cell phone. Hermana was with her. They wouldn't talk to her over the phone, but could she meet them at the Starschmucks on the other side of the mall? TSM disappeared into the ether of the mall, looking for her lost slaves, and I... continued to chip away at the line.
It was 30 minutes until the end of my shift. I had no coverage and couldn't stick it out until closing. I was supposed to meet my new boyfriend's parents that night. The line appeared to have no end. To say that I was stressed out at this point was a fucking understatement.
And then, thank Thognar, two new slaves appeared at my elbow: my replacements. Unfortunately, they were noobs. This was their second day on the job. I got lucky in that one had previous POS experience, but the other was as green as Elphaba. I showed him how to close a register, and left almost 30 minutes late. The rest of my evening was tainted by the stress of the day.
I came in on the fifth pissed off and needing to know why I had been ditched high and dry on a busy sale day in Teen Girls. TSM quietly pulled me aside to tell me that they had fired every other girl on the floor that day. Hermana, TS1, and TS2 had all been canned, leaving me to fend for myself.
Hermana's story was the worst, in my opinion. She had transferred into the Teen Girl section with a thorough dislike of the girls there, and their lax attitudes. Hermana had sought to prove herself to management, and had done so with strong sales numbers and a can-do attitude. She had gotten her kid back from foster care, and the store was thinking of training her for management. But Hermana was easily influenced, and had become friends with the Teen Girl Slaves... why should she care about sales when she could slack off with them and go out drinking after work? The night was young and so was she... and they all got caught in a sales-fraud ring.
The store had a price adjustment policy of 10 days: if you bought something and it went on sale within that period, you could have the price adjusted. In those days, it was done by hand in the register. One of the Teen Slaves would buy something, and another would adjust it for her. The problem was, they would adjust it multiple times, far beyond the limit of once, over the course of months. They would buy something full price and have it adjusted over time until eventually, they ended up with the item at clearance price. There were four of them in all, the three who got the ax on the 4th of July, and another who escaped being fired, though I never did find out why.
I was pissed about that for a long time. Pissed about Hermana following those dumb Teen Slaves and ruining a possible career, pissed that none of the managers would send me help, pissed that fucking LP chose to fire all of them on a busy sale day and leave me in the lurch.
Fuck you very much, 4th of July,