I’ve always loved the song “9 to 5”. Even before I saw the movie and before I starting seeing the world through a liberal feminist lens (yes there are conservative women who also label themselves feminists. I don’t get it either). I’ve loved the movie, too. Dolly Parton is my favorite, there, but I identify more with Lily Tomlin. Jane Fonda’s character reminds me greatly of one of my associates….
Anyhow, lets bring this back around.
This week, I returned to work.
I posted this pic on Twitter and someone asked if I work in a broom closet.
A broom closet would be luxurious compared to our combined janitor closet/storage room/loading dock/breakroom/manager’s office I think. But it’s home. I shan’t complain too much.
Unless a big earthquake hits. Because I know those plywood shelves are coming down, and bringing heavy mannequins and boxes of hangers with them…
Let’s not think about that.
Just for reference, I work in what is often called in polite company a somewhat rundown neighborhood. Frequently, people who visit from other stores hear our neighborhood is a little out there, but don’t get the full impact of it until they actually work a full shift and enjoy some of our local color…
Arriving at work early for my shift Monday, I stopped at Starbucks to do some writing and ease into my day.
There was a crazy guy lifting up garbage can lids and screaming at the contents of the bins.
“It’s good to be back,” I thought as I sipped my Americano.
I think someone put out the word that I was back. Nearly every one of my regular customers came in and gave me a big hug.
I’ve laughed and smiled so much, my face hurt by the end of my shift Saturday.
One of my associates said “Chief,” she calls me Chief. It’s adorable. “Chief, it was so good to walk into the store today and hear your laugh. I’ve missed you so!”
Another said, “When I called for my schedule, I was so happy to hear you answer the phone.”
The one who bought me the fruit cup said it was good to see my car back in its usual spot.
And my store manager is ecstatic to have me back. The rest of the team said she was practically in mourning the past 2 months.
It’s so good to be back to myself again. I love my customers and my store and my associates and the challenges of a retail management job. I love feeling productive and creating a shop where all women of size feel beautiful and comfortable shopping.
And I’m not saying this week hasn’t been rough. My body hurts. A lot. And even though I give the speech several times a year about how “if you’ve been out of the business for any length of time, it takes a few weeks for your body to adjust. retail is a physically strenuous job and blah blah blah…” I still had to have someone tell me the same thing when I got frustrated that everything hurt by mid week and all I wanted to do was sleep. My schedule changed twice in five days and I worked one unplanned open-to-close shift. Someone yelled at me because our racks were too full and it hurt her arms to look through all the clothing.
In other words, I’m back.
And it’s so good.