I heard the wind pick up and the light tapping of what I assumed was frozen precipitation in my window. A dim light was cast through the gap between the blanket I was using as a makeshift curtain and the window pane. I quick checked my phone for the time. It was 5:57am. Too early.
I got up anyway.
Set up my coffee to be made. Took my thyroid pill and looked at my face in the mirror. Seeing what could be salvaged from the night before, since I notoriously never removed my makeup like I ought to. I did my touch up and went to put on my clothes as I heard my Keurig announce with that harsh spitting noise that my instant coffee was brewed and ready.
I doctored my coffee as I always did. Milk and two spoonfuls of sugar. Then, as it warmed my cold hands I opened the blinds in my living room to take in the weather. Snow. Practically a white out. My car almost visible in the parking lot, but nearly just another pile of snow. Typical Midwest winter. Lake effect I was certain by the kind of snowflakes. Not that I knew for sure. I still refused to get a tv and my data was running so slowly that I didn’t want to even try to look up the weather reports anymore.
I had hoped the snow would keep things quiet at the store today. I had a lot of work to get done on the floor and didn’t want the customers to get in my way…I mean…to be in the way of the customers. Corporate flows were out for the season. I had to go from department to department and reorganize the vendors to the best of my ability. I had started and ended in intimates. My smallest department. Which had taken me all day, and that was with my Selling Supervisor helping me. Today I’d be on my own. I had half a mind to call in sick and ask someone else to do it. Too bad Im not sleazy like that. Some days I hate having work ethic and morals.
I sat on my couch to relax for a bit. I watched the time. Calculating what the last second would be that I could reasonably leave. I looked at my cat, who had curled up and flattened herself on the ottoman. “Have you melted?” I asked her when she opened her eyes. She looked as if she had. Pressed flatly against the surface curled up in a tight little ball. Paw and tail tip only just resting over her nose. Her extra skin and slight chub spreading over the surface like a liquid. I watched her fur move as she breathed. How I had wished to be a cat. To not have to go to work. To just lay and nap in a warm and tight ball, completely unconcerned about the world around me…unless there was some kind of loud noise. To which I’d simply relocate to the nearest small space underneath a piece of furniture I could find.
The clock reached 7:40am. I decided I had waited long enough. Putting my coat on and mittens I snuggled in and braced myself. Put my lunch in my bag. Grabbed my keys and opened the door letting the cold air hit me harshly. The cat didn’t even stir as I closed my apartment door and locked up.
“Has anyone been able to work on the bra wall in intimates?”
“Nope.” She fidgeted nervously with the fringe of her scarf as she read an e-mail on her screen. Probably another reprimand from corporate.
“No one touched it?”
Typical. I thought to myself as I put on my wire and got my key lanyard out of my file drawer. It was supposed to be finished weeks ago but one of the Selling Supervisors positions in our location had been eliminated. She had one day’s notice. Her departments distributed to three of the four other Selling Supervisors after she was gone. Intimates was left a mess when I had clocked out the day prior, and I imagined it would have been untouched without my intense coercing and coaching. Trying to get the new Intimates Selling Supervisor to care. That was the hard part.
The store was quiet. The whiteout conditions made the shopping ideal, but also not ideal. Bad weather never brings people in…unless they’re physically disabled in some way, which was just our luck. More often than not the ones with canes, walkers, crutches, and wheelchairs were the ones who ventured out to shop in the snow. They always seemed to be ornery too. Unable to be pleased even with the best customer service. Thankfully this wasn’t one of those days. Nobody was venturing out with the exception of two women. If others had come it went unnoticed by me. I had work to do, and that didn’t involve assisting customers. In fact my position as Visual didn’t allow it.
Once I filled in an empty pajama wall (which took two hours of my life not including my half hour lunch break), left bare from mark downs and the relocation of product, I started my next priority of the bra wall.
You would think that pegging a wall and putting bras on the pegs would be an easy task. It’s not. First you have to place them by vendor…in the order that the vendors agreed via contract and the positions they paid for. I hate my life. Then by style, with the most recent taking first position priority. I wish they’d fire me. Or if the vendor had a planogram you would set the styles to those specifications. They never do though. That would be too easy. Then you have to colorize them within vendors. Seasonal colors first running warm colors to cool colors and then lightest to darkest in neutral colors. Wait! Damn…in intimates it runs colors then black, nudes/beiges, and then whites. The rest of the store is the other way. How many times will I have to reorganize this wall? Then, within each style and color…you have to size them, smallest to largest. Kill me.
By the three hour mark of working on the bra wall I was ready to gouge out my eyes. I wondered if workman’s comp would cover that? Maybe if I ran my face into a peg in the wall. I could claim it was an accident. I thought to myself as I organized the last arm of bras. I stepped back and looked at my handiwork. Damn, I do a good job…now I’ll never get fired.
Just as I thought those words to myself, my watch alarm beeped announcing the end of my day. I was glad to see it come. I was so over all this underwear.