I had never wished death upon others before working retail. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it could be that I have some type of character flaw… possibly a kindness chromosome that I’m missing, but I’d like to the think that working at Urban Outfitters has been the catalyst in making me despise people. All people.
Prior to my employment, I never found it pleasurable to envision the brutal stabbing of young, pretty girls shopping with their mothers. I never purposely bumped into people, jabbing them with my elbows. I never came close to homicide or suicide, but in the past year and a half working in the retail environment this overflow of anger has completely taken over my life.
It’s not just a mental thing that I can coax with a couple of “count to tens” or any other anger management exercises. Lately it has become a physical thing as well. My heart immediately starts racing at the sight of someone dropping off unwanted clothing where it does not belong. I start sweating and feel my entire body go tense while witnessing customers destroy perfectly manicured stacks of t-shirts. If some bratty teenager leaves piles of unwanted clothing in the fitting room- I literally begin to shake, and after a busy Friday or Saturday night, the sale section gives me a full-fledged panic attack.
It’s gotten so bad recently that I don’t even allow myself to speak while at work. I’m afraid that if I open my mouth an entire boatload of profanity will vomit all over anyone in close proximity. I’d really like to see the fake smile I plaster on my face for myself. I’m pretty certain others aren’t being fooled by my false sincerity either.
And I’m sick of my coworkers trying to guilt me into things. I don’t care that it’s your best friend’s brother’s going away party, or that your sister is having a baby, or that your band is playing- I really don’t want to switch shifts with you. It really just involves too much effort- for what? Your happiness? Well, not to be terrible or anything, but that’s just not a huge concern of mine. And also quit asking me for rides to and from work! In my mind, you shouldn’t have been hired to begin with if you didn’t have transportation. It stresses me out having to come up with good excuses to not take you home. Sorry, I have no gas… sorry, I have to meet my friend at my apartment right after work, sorry, I have a pap smear three seconds after my shift ends. I’m running out of things and ailments to lie about. What I’m afraid I’m going to start saying instead is “Get a fucking car why don’t you?” or “Call a taxi cab you motherfucker!”
I’m fairly certain that I will not be able to survive working at the retail level for very much longer. I have plans of eventually working my way up to Urban’s corporate headquarters- that is if I can endure those years in between. But even then- will I grow to hate my job? Instead of getting hysterical over jeans not being sized and tags not being tucked, will I have a mental breakdown if the copy machine breaks or if our buying department is accidentally over budget? Most every adult that I know or am acquainted with hates their job. My dad tells me all the time that if he were to ever win the lottery, the following day he would waltz into work and take a shit on his desk… a literal shit right on top of a stack of important documents. He would then walk out- never returning or speaking to his coworkers again.
And doesn’t everyone feel the same way, at least sometimes?
And is this really the fucking meaning of life? Are we to all work endlessly despising the people we are forced to spend the majority of our time with while getting pissy about policies and procedures? So we can aspire to get promotions… so that our pay will increase… so that we can buy more shit then we already have… so we can get tired of that shit and want more? Gah!!!!
And, yet there’s just no other foreseeable way. Because at the end of the day, the food still needs to be planted and picked and cleaned and delivered, and the garbage needs to get disposed of, and the water needs to get purified, and the roads need to get paved, and the oil refined. And there’s just nothing we can fucking do about it.
-The Urban Housewife