I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Good benefits, sucky discount

Between my freshman and sophomore years of college I got a temporary job in retail, forty-five years later it still is my temporary job.

Working retail this time of year is like shoveling snow in a blizzard; too much to deal with, not enough shovels and people are cranky and hardly ever satisfied with your efforts, until the sun shines and the Christmas Music stops.

I’ve ridden the retail wave for most of my working life, from behind the register, working the sales floor and from the confines of the store manager’s office. I’ve owned my own stores and I can honestly say the only time I really enjoyed this time of year is during the six years I stayed home to raise my daughters. I was actually able to enter a store and enjoy the music, the displays and the shopping, probably because I could leave whenever I wanted to.

Where I work, we’ve been living with Christmas since before Halloween. You think the Christmas music started early this year, try listening to it eight hours a day for three months. I shall dismiss all my comments regarding my feelings as related to today’s American buying public, suffice to say I’ve been dealing with them far too long.  Time to get out but I can’t because the benefits are great, even if the discount sux.

For almost as long as I’ve been kissing the public’s ass, I have been writing. Man, could I write a book about what I’ve seen, heard and experienced behind the counter, in the stockroom and back offices of retail. But I can’t, because the benefits are great, even if the discount sux - I would lose my job.

I could share the poop stories: in a sock of a dressing room, four feet up the wall in the ladies room, and on the floor in the foyer of the manager’s office. I could relate about the temper tantrums, usually perpetrated by grown men, when they don’t get what they want. How women ignore their children in a store, and how they treat their children in public when they are not ignoring them, and how they thrust upon shoppers their tired, miserable, booger popping little ones is unconscionable. The arrogance and entitlement of the American buying public today, is staggering. I could quit, but I can’t, the benefits are great even if the discount sux.

Store managers, District managers and crooked CEO’s, plus employees pulling up to the back door and filling their cars full of merchandise, yes it would be a tell-all. It is the book I am meant to write but if I did I’d be out on the street, depending on Medicare, gap insurance and fuck the 10 percent.

What are you meant to write, but don’t, because the benefits are great even if the discount sux?


  1. I'm actually in a really positive work environment, so I can't say I have a stack of horror stories that I could share if it weren't for the benefits. There are some interesting characters at work that may or may not find their way into future stories. Changing the names to protect the somewhat innocent, of course. :)

    From what you say here, Carolynn, I completely understand your temptation to share stories. I bet you have some doozies to pass on. Maybe you could put them into a novel and hope no-one at work ever reads it. :)

    1. Hey Colin, I have actually tried (seriously) novelizing my experiences. But every time I immerse myself in the story I get so pissed it ends up being a rant. I need to keep it funny, and that my friend, would be the biggest joke of all.
      The people I work with now are great, (we all hate our jobs), very supportive and a lot of fun but like I say at the end of work every-single-day, "stick a fork in me, I'm done".