As many of you are already aware today marks my six year anniversary at Big Why. I thought it would be nice to commemorate this day with a reflection on the last six years, highlighting the best and worst things that have happened to or around me. I’m sure I’ve forgotten quite a few and with more time I’ll want to add more, but I think this list is a solid foundation. Enjoy!
1. The time I got called a racist and screamed at because I couldn’t cash a check for someone who happened to be black…before I walked away from her while she was still yelling.
2. The time I was openly mocked and made fun of for my tattoos at the service desk on Christmas Eve by a woman who goes by “Mother Divine,” while wanting me to send her Western Union. Guess who has two thumbs and told her she was being rude and wouldn’t have her money sent without a change of attitude…this guy.
3. The time I followed a cake order specifically and was told it was hideous, despite the fact that it matched the paragraph of instructions on the order form.
4. The time I watched a woman pick her nose before combing through the grapes and eating them.
5. The time I was assaulted with the sound of an older man moaning in pleasure at the urinal while I was on break.
6. The time a coworker of mine put a singing customer on speakerphone at the service desk as she sang the songs that the company “should be” playing while customers shop.
7. The time a black man was offended by me asking him if he’d like to donate a dollar to breast cancer research. He then told me that it was sexist and racist. Little did he know/realize: the woman behind him was black, knowledgeable about breast cancer, and also a survivor. Things got ugly fast.
8. The time I got asked by a regular customer if I was new…three years after I had first started waiting on her.
9. The time I was invited to a hayride for middle school kids…at the age of twenty.
10. The time a rotund, middle-aged man saw my pride bracelet, asked for my phone number, and was met with my laughter.
11. The time I was sworn at by a customer repeatedly for absolutely no reason and the night manager allowed it.
12. The time I had to scold two middle aged people in my line for acting like children before giving them the ultimatum of being civil or leaving my register.
13. The time someone argued with me about the validity of a paper license as identification to buy cigarettes and had the words “not valid for identification” held an inch away from his face.
14. The time I was told by a store manager that I “lack the maturity” for a human resource position, despite my supervisor training at eighteen and my management training at twenty-two.
15. The time I was attacked on a personal level by a store manager with comments that were mean enough to nearly make me cry at work.
16. The time I had to show one of my front end managers how to do something basic on a register.
17. The time that I was witness to someone altering an employee’s worked hours to avoid paying the employee overtime.
18. The time I was told not to tell my customers when items are free with the purchase of other items because it costs the company money. Guess who does it all the time now to make a point.
19. The time a group of college girls came to my register with cucumbers and condoms, asking me if I thought the condoms were big enough for the cucumbers.
20. The time a customer at my register corrected my grammar only to have his correction corrected. Owned.
21. The time I got passed up for rising star (employee of the month) by someone who had only been with the company for two months.
22. The time I made a Christmas display that the district manager took a picture of and sent to all the stores.
23. The time I watched as one by one a chunk of my coworkers were laid off.
24. The time I worked nearly sixty hours in one week and was only paid for forty because “overtime isn’t allowed.”
25. The time a woman adjusted her “pants” (if that’s what you can call them) and I saw her vagina.
26. The time an Indian man called me a liar and accused me of changing a sign for something even though I never left his side.
27. The time a coworker who I wasn’t very close to hugged me when she found out my friend had just passed away. I needed that hug.
28. The time a customer couldn’t understand why knowing nothing about his wife’s cake order (including the name it was under) presented a problem when picking it up.
29. The time the night manager gave my customer a free pizza because he said I burned it, despite the fact that I undercooked it like he had asked me to.
30. The time I watched a customer pay for the groceries of the woman in front of him because she couldn’t afford all of them. It amounted to more than thirty dollars.
Until next time…stay classy.
– C.M. Berry