One the second day of my second internship I left the office early to go to my job at the department store that I had way across town. I had to leave about an hour and half or so before my shift began to get there on time and so I raced out of the office, paid for my insanely expensive parking spot and drove like a bat out of hell to work.
It was hot, and I was sweaty because I couldn’t really afford to tack on air conditioning prices on to my already crazy high weekly gas bill, and all I had was the toasty shift of wind that whipped my face with the stench of highway pollution.
When I got to work, I rushed through the back doors and clocked into my scheduled shift. I threw my badge on and walked to the section of the store where I was assigned to. We did our start of the shift meeting and I started grabbing go-backs to squeeze on the clothing racks.
“Hey you guys, what’s up?” I said to the girls when our shift manager walked away.
“I’m going to need you to start working on all of these go-backs over here while I get these,” said one of my coworkers who believes she’s in charge of everything I do.
“And I don’t want you to do anything else okay? I’m working on these. Ask me if you need any help.”
“Alright.” She kept rambling on and telling me what to do, and so I decided to just walk away while she was expelling her diarrhea-of-the-mouth all over my already stressed out mood. I hid in the clothes racks and goofed off for a while thinking to myself how I really never liked this job.
I wandered back to where my group of coworkers were gathered after a while and grabbed a few more items of clothes to stuff in random sections of the store.
“Hey. I never seen you here before. What’s your name?” The annoying girl said to this new coworker.
She told us her name and introduced herself before the annoying girl started spilling out orders again. The new girl and I were left to ourselves when the annoying girl realized that her friend just started on her shift. The girl barked out a few more orders and then wandered off to fold already folded clothes over again with her bff.
I overheard the new girl mention something about a lunch break that evening and was curious to see how many hours she was scheduled to work that day. I myself have only ever had four hour shifts that required no lunch breaks and couldn’t get more than a shift a week if I sold my soul to the department store devil.
“So how long have you been working here?” I asked the new girl.
“Oh just about a week or so.”
“Really, and how many times have they scheduled you to work?”
“About five different eight-hour shifts actually.”
I was livid. I had worked there well over a month and couldn’t even cover gas with the measly shifts that they assigned me.
“Wow. Umm, yeah, I’m quitting.”
“I haven’t gotten any shifts and here you go taking all of the Goddamn shifts.”
I left the conversation and walked over to the store manager who had led the shift meeting.
“I need to put in my resignation letter please.”
“Yeah, it’s as if I’m paying you guys to work here.” I explained my situation about how I was driving nearly two hours to get to this job that didn’t give me any shifts and I signed all of the papers that would give me back my freedom. I set up my departure on the spot so that I didn’t have to come back and work for a place that wasn’t really going to let me work there. I grabbed my last check and told the manager to send me the check for today in the mail and I was out of there.
I didn’t really think about it till later that I was jobless and without any income with a weekly gas bill to pay until I was inside my car looking at a tank that was lower than half empty and a nearly two hour drive back to my blow-up mattress on my uncle’s floor.
Maybe I should have found another job first.