Friday 23 September 2016

How to (almost) lose a good shop girl part 2: in five weeks

Photo: Schuldnerhilfe: Pixabay
I was having a lovely holiday. I was feeling happy and relaxed……and then I got a text from The Boss Erratic (aka TBE). (A quick word about TBE: she always texts. She never calls. It’s a way of keeping those annoying people who want your time and attention at arms length – like employees).

The text said:

“Hello. (Colleague Cockney) has gone, and I am taking the opportunity to refurbish the (Out Of Favour) shop; would you mind coming back to work two days later than planned. i.e. on the Friday instead of the Wednesday?”

I was kind of astounded that Colleague Cockney had gone. As far as I knew she was getting along perfectly well. The fact that I was losing two days work seemed insignificant in comparison. Yay! Two more days holiday!

Then, as Friday approached, I got another text:

“Hello. The refurbishment is taking a little longer than I expected, the shop will not be open until Monday, so you can have the weekend off.”


I should point out at this stage that this is not a proper job. There is no sickness pay, no holiday pay, no pension scheme and most certainly no pay for days I do not work, even if I was originally scheduled to do so.

Towards the end of the weekend I got another text:

“Hello. Can you come back next Monday, not this coming Monday? The refurbishment is still ongoing. Thanks.”

Right. So over a week’s worth of wages lost. That’s not particularly great. Plus, I heard on the small-town-grapevine (every small town and village has got one, they’re great!) that TBE’s New Best Friend, Colleague Craft, who, unlike me, works in the New Favourite Shop, which was still trading as normal, had been helping with the redecoration - and presumably, getting paid for her time.

I got the next text about a week later:

“Hello. I’m really sorry about this but the shop will be closed for another two weeks. You are welcome to go and find another job if you want.”

WTF?! ANOTHER two weeks? What is she doing? Painting the walls with a toothbrush? It’s a box! A tiny, poky little box. I could decorate my whole street in less time! And thanks for valuing my contribution to the shop; it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (although, come to think of it, that might have been bile).

I did attempt to get another job, but, quite frankly, I’m lazy and I don’t like stress, and as truly awful as my job seemed at that very moment, it really is money for old rope normally.

At some point during my unplanned ‘sabbatical’ another text came in:

“Hello. I am sorry, but I am currently too busy moving house to finalise the refurbishment of the shop. I will let you know when the shop is opening again.”

No joke. That is exactly what she said. Professional, eh?

In the end the Out Of Favour shop was shut for a total of five weeks. By the time it reopened. I was skint, furious and determined to be totally curmudgeonly about everything to do with the refurbishment.

As it turned out, that was pretty easy to pull off, because:

a) Five weeks-worth of ‘refurbishment’ turned out to be nothing more than a lick of paint on the walls, a small bit of re-papering, and a re-organisation of the fittings.
b) TBE texted me in the morning and stated that, should I need anything or have any queries about the refurb, she couldn’t be contacted because she was going to spend the day in a spa………

A spa?! A sodding spa?! I’ve not been paid for five weeks, and on my first day back, you’re at a spa?!!!  Talk about rubbing my nose in it!

In the end the day wasn’t so bad; I scowled at every customer who said anything nearing a complement about the refurbishment, and picked at the corners of the new wallpaper all day. 

Simple pleasures.

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