It ended before it even began.
After my exciting interview last Monday, my adorable, perky department manager said she would call on Wednesday to tell me about the training schedule. I should have known something was wrong when she called at 4pm on Wednesday and said that HR had not yet gotten back to her; could I possibly wait until Friday to know my schedule? Well...okay. Sure, sure, no problem. I am a happy team member and willing to do whatever you ask of me. (You also have to know that since the whole idea of working for The Store came into play, I've been coaching myself to be nothing but positive, friendly, and willing. I decided my usual "rebellion against authority" attitude needed to be shelved and I was going to force myself into becoming a nodding, smiling bobble-head of a person. My constant mantra was, "Nod and say yes. Nod and say yes. Don't argue. Nod and say yes.")
I got a chance to practice the mantra again on Friday. Department Manager called again, but sounded little bit more reluctant to give me the news: Yes, I had been hired, but since my schedule was a little inflexible (what??), how do I feel about temporary employment? My performance would be reviewed on January 1st.
Okay, I said, I can do that. Nod and say yes. Nod and say yes.
And then she dropped the bomb.
My per-hour wage would drop two dollars, and my commission rate also went down.
This information, combined with the fact I had not yet been able to line up adequate childcare made me spend one sleepless night thinking about my motivation for getting this job in the first place, and what I was willing to sacrifice. Really, was I willing to justify actually losing money (at the rate of $3/hr), putting my child in the hands of a yet-to-be-known entity, and do all of this during the holiday season with no guarantee this would even extend past Jan 1? This could become the greatest exercise in futility known to Man.
Um...no. Couldn't justify it.
So on Saturday, I drove to the mall with Scotty in tow (I figured his presence would soften any weirdness that might result from my quitting) and broke the news in person to Department Manager. To my horror, I actually choked up as I told her the news. Tears popped to my eyes, but thankfully, I was able to hold them back (though my voice came out all strange and strained). Ever the professional, she extended a warm hand on my shoulder, nodded understandingly, and purred, "Maybe when he's in school?"
I nodded and said yes. But I'll be honest...I was (and still am) really bummed.
Brian, ever the realistic one, offered that maybe I had glamorized this position in my head, and was fearful that it wouldn't have turned out the way I imagined. Maybe this was for the best.
(Glamorize? Who, me? Mind you, after my interview with HR, after she turned me over to Department Manager, we were walking down the hall when a group of three women stopped to chat with my new boss. It was a blur of belts, sweater dresses, Vamp polish, over-the-knee boots, and shiny hair as they air-kissed and asked each other about their Thanksgivings. "What's different about you?" gushed one of the sweater-wearers to my manager. "Bangs," she said knowingly, pointing to her forehead. My mouth was gaping open as I watched this exchange thinking, "Which one of these women is going to pity on me, take me under their wing, and give me a makeover?" And in my little fantasy, we were dancing in the dressing rooms, through the makeup aisles, and trying on hats (with feathers) while a snappy Katy Perry song played in the background.)
(I think I've seen too many movies.)
So, who knows. Maybe I would have really hated the job. Maybe I wasn't physically ready to be on my feet for eight hours a day or maybe I am a really terrible salesperson. But the fact is, if it's not good for the family budget or Scotty's well-being, than I guess I have to bite the bullet and say no. Right?
Nod and say yes.