Thursday, December 15, 2011

Stories of a Holiday Sales Associate: The Needy

I work at a department store part-time. It's December, 'nuff said. As a Holiday Sales Associate, I want to say please don't be that shopper.

Today, I am on a mission. I've finally gotten a break, my sweet 15 minutes! I'm making a beeline for the back of the store, for the Employee Only door.

"Excuse me, miss!" 

If I'm walking with such force, such pointed determination, it means I am on an urgent mission. One that does not involve you. One where there is another, a higher priority.

"MISS!" She grabs my arm. Three feet away from the break room door. "Can you help me?"

I'm not allowed to turn her away, but I will also get in trouble if I do not take my break. I'm the one that needs help. She looks at me with old lady, pleading eyes. "I need to find something for my grandson for Christmas."

I definitely don't have the time to be her personal shopper. Suddenly, a wild manager appears, exiting the break room door at lightening speed!

"Help!" I yell to him.

He looks at me with crazed eyes and a fifty dollar bill in his hand. Now I've interrupted his mission.

"What?" he asks in that disoriented tone that mission-blown associates have.

I motion to the lady. He shakes his head. "I can't."

The lady releases my arm. "I can find someone else I guess. It's just that I've been here five minutes and I can't find anybody to help me."

She's not going anywhere except the guilt trip forest. I ignore her. "But my break," I say to the manager and he it is as if a cloud has been lifted. 

He blinks and I can see his brain rapidly processes his next moves as he speaks. "Oh...uh...uh...Yeah, go. I got this."

I bolt the last three feet through the break room door. Safe! As the door closes, I hear my manager pass the fifty dollar bill off to another manager, who was probably interrupted from their own mission.

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