Dead end retail job made me look and feel stupid…esp to creditors when I couldn’t make the bills

I was a 22-year-old loser working in retail. Macys to be specifically. The reason this made me a loser was because I was in fact a very intellectual wannabe-college graduate who would have been able to finish her last college semester and graduate with the rest of her friends, if it hadn’t been for not having enough money and/or financial aide. This retail job paid terrible and made me look like an embarassment to all my college(and even high school) friends. It started out badly, and ended horribly. My bad luck started with a flat tire the night before my first day of Macys orientation…this resulted in overpaying for a new tire at my small town’s only available mechanic shop, which STILL wasn’t able to get the tire fixed in time to get to orientation less than an hour late, which meant having to reschedule orientation at days/times that were very inconvenient for me and resulted in more driving/mileage. There was also the older women who consistently mistaked me for being “dumb”(since I was one of the only Macys employees without a second “agenda”–e.g., a second “real” job, children, retirement, current college courses, etc) and falsely accused me of things. There was also the time the management obligated me to stay late on a day I was overly exhausted, which did nothing to help my paycheck when I was so tired, that I accidentally misjudged distance and scratched one of my co-worker’s new car’s bumper later that night in the parking lot, and had to pay for the repair. Guys didn’t desire to date the girl with “so much going for her”(yeah, right!) in a barely-above-min-wage retail job so similar to what I’d worked all through high school.

The reason I got fired? They had a punctuality requirement, where if you clocked in more than 5mins late, you were marked “late” in their computer system. E.g., if your shift began at 9:30am and you clocked in at 9:35, you were fine; clock in at 9:36, you were late. I already had two call-outs, one due to illness and another due to family problems. So I made certain that I arrived on a timely basis from then on until one day when I didn’t have my car, and was dependent on my friend to drive an hour round-trip to get me to work. Of course he arrived about 15mins later than we’d planned, and despite my yelling and crying the whole way down to work that I was gonna get fired, I clocked in at 9:36 SO I BASICALLY GOT FIRED FOR BEING SIX MINUTES LATE ON A DAY THAT WAS BEYOND MY CONTROL.

What’s worse is, they didn’t just let me go that day. No, they decided to be deceitful assholes by not notifying me of the lateness until over a week later, which in turn made me think that perhaps they let it go, considering how I was only one minute past timely. No, they just wanted to “use” me to work the 5:30am Black Friday shift for them before getting rid of me. Basically this 5:30am Black Friday shift not only interfered with Thanksgiving dinner plans, but also resulted in my driving two hours from where Thanksgiving dinner was held to work, bringing along three teenage kids with me to sit in the car/play at the mall while I was at work, not showering the night before, and working on, oh only about 40mins of sleep. Then after my hellhole Black Friday shift was over, I had to drive the 10mpg gas-guzzler pick-up truck with the teenagers a 4hr roundtrip to their home and back, then get back to work the next day for a SECOND 5:30am shift, this time on 4hrs of sleep–just to be snootily told two hours into this shift that I was fired and could “go home now.” If I knew I was going to get fired, I sure as hell would not have showed up to work on Black Friday or the day afterwards. And even if they desperately needed to “use” me for Black Friday, they could have had the decency to notify me not to show up the next day, to avoid me having to drive another 4hr round-trip in order to get to work the next day?? It was very rude of them, and to make matters worse, if they hadn’t waited until after Thanksgiving to tell me I was fired, I would have had a “fighting chance” to at least go get a job at the Strawbridges, or Sears, or JC Penneys…but after Thanksgiving, all those stores already had their full holiday staff and were no longer hiring.

I am now an exotic dancer at a “top 3″ gentlemens club in my city…I make 50% more money in one night, than Macys paid me in an entire workweek! At least now I can actually afford to pay my bills, and talking to high-profile career clientele gives me the chance to tell them about my college ambitions and surprisingly have much better job/credit networking…so that I’m no longer the “ditzy underpaid cashier” as many people wrongly assumed me to be.

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