This story was originally posted on: November 16, 2012
I feel that the grieving period for Hoarders can at least be marked as near its end. Out of respect for those who loved the bookstore, I have waited to share this little bit of 'blarg' toward a Hoarder's Manager.
I was in the habit of arriving early for my shift; a ritual that maintained my sanity from the troubles with Custies and Crusties alike. Arriving half an hour early with some edibles purchased from a nearby Albertsons, I would partake in glorious munchings and crunchings (grats to any who gets the reference) and read a book to settle my thoughts and put myself in a positive frame of mind. This was my ritual. Every. Day. That I worked. The managers knew this, as did coworkers who saw me as a bit of a staple of the back room at the appointed time.
Then, on time, I would sign in and head out on the floor. A manager, who knew better, tried to make me go out on the floor early for my shift. It was at the very beginning of the holiday crowds, so nobody was truly swamped, and I knew she would do this again if I gave way this time.
Manager: Hey Ilia, we're getting busy out there. You can clock in early.
Thanks soooo terribly much for the permission to do so, precious.
Me: Oh. Do I get to go home early?
Manager: No, you can sign out at your usual time.
Right, because even though I'm already booked for a solid 8 hours a day all week already, but you won't authorize half an hour overtime, that sounds so delightfully appealing.
Me: Do I get a longer break?
Manager: No, your breaks will happen at the scheduled time.
Have you ever experienced that heavy silence? You know, the kind where someone goes quiet and just looks at you because they feel that you said the wrong thing and they think an awkward, heavy silence can guilt or intimidate you into conceding to their wishes? Yeah, one of those fell in the back room with her staring at me.
Me: [Manager], I am at 40 hours exactly this week. You have already refused us overtime pay, and told us not to work over our limit in last week's meeting. I am eating. (As I say this I pick up an apple and bite into it. I chew leisurely, not hurrying for her sake.) And I will not get to eat for another five hours. This is the first time at all today that I am getting a chance to eat due to school.
The manager lets heavy silence reign for a moment longer and I look her in the eyes.
Me: I'm more than happy to to call corporate and ask them about their Labor Law Compliancy if you'd like.
She finally huffs in defeat.
Manager: Oh fine, just come out when you can.
She storms off. I signed in at exactly my scheduled time and no one tried to bully me into signing in early again.
May all your customers be nice,