It is a nice feeling to be writing and believe me, I would have started a long time ago but I was always way too tired.
I am finally able to look out the window of my apartment and see the light that somehow I thought was gone. Maybe it was the hours I was being forced to work. As a matter of fact, yes, it was the incredibly insane, not necessary hours that were hindering the very existence of my life.
You may say, when you work retail, you should know that you are going to work long crazy hours. What I did not know is that they would be beyond crazy and yes, way more than 45 hours a week. I love to work hard, see my accomplishments, see the satisfying smile on a customers face after helping them find something they really want or need. That feeling was waning when I almost ran into a guard rail coming home from work late one night after pulling a 14 hour day for the 4th day in a row.
Here’s the Thing…..Our unbelievable desire to get a bargain, to somehow feel like we are getting a bargain totally obstructs all logical thoughts on what is truly important…..family and friends.
Wake up everybody! We all complain about how companies are using people to gain profits and with no benefits to the family. We even complain how family values are slipping thru our fingers. Want to know why? Because you are making people work insane hours to satisfy some consumption need for the Holidays.
Really, what do you need? Please ask yourself, What do I REALLY NEED? What or why do you need to go out at midnight to buy something you would on any other day wait till 10am to get? I ask because THAT person behind the counter, in the stock room or on the register has given up their family time to be there FOR YOU. To give you, the customer, the best experience. Frankly, IT SUCKS to be the person working retail. It does not matter if you are just an employee or the management…IT SUCKS!
Store level, the ones you run into, give up so much so YOU can “appear” to have it all. Please take a look around your home, do you have it all? I do not know many people who, when dying, say that they wish they had gotten that new TV or gadget on Black Friday or Thanksgiving night. I think they wish that they had spent more time with the family, smiling, hugging or talking.
Okay, family can be tough. Sitting with them in a make shift Norman Rockwell painting seems painful to some. We all should be able to try to find time with family. Everybody, even those who are trying to just make it by on a minimum wage retail job need to take the time to be with family.
Being realistic though, you can not stop the turning wheels of capitalism. They will keep going but that does not mean that you have to participate in the mayhem. You do not have to join in on the consumption frenzy that has been created to fill some void that will never be filled….except the pockets of companies.
On this day after Thanksgiving it can only be asked that you stop and question,
“What are you truly grateful for?”
“Who are you grateful for?”
Cause that retail cashier who is smiling at you, is grateful for the job they have but wish that they could be you…leaving the store.
You: (pointing at me and making a face) “She is exaggerating about how long it has been since the sun has shown its face in Germany.”
Me: (defiant) “No, it has been clearly 6 weeks since I saw the sun shine on my pale face.”
You: (correcting me) “No way, you saw it for ten minutes on Thanksgiving.”
Me: (with conviction) “Yep! And that is why I leaped from the dinner table to just run outside and feel its warmth upon my face.”
You: (a confession) “That’s when I ate some of your turkey off your plate.”
Me: (desperate) “When will the sun shine again?”
You: “Told you we need to move back to Florida!”
Florida…..I can feel the warmth of the breeze, hear the birds sing, watch the alligator meander in the lake, feel the sun glisten upon the water. Oh, the sparkles that it makes upon the water….but then I am quickly back to reality, pop open the vitamin D bottle and run to the window for a small glimpse of sunshine.