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A Hard Time For Everyone On The Books

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 21, 2022

I was working at a mall-based bookstore as an assistant manager. About a year and a half into my time there, my manager decided to quit. We all could see it coming, and there were no hard feelings. We wished her well and anticipated her replacement, who was coming to us from another store in the chain.

He was easy enough to get along with but seemed a little aloof. Regardless, he seemed to know his stuff, and we continued along with no disruptions.

At this point, Amazon was a long way off, and the larger chain bookstores weren’t as prevalent, so we maintained a pretty brisk business all year round, and it got hectic over the holidays.

As we got closer to the holidays, our manager started coming in later each day, changing the schedule last minute, and just not keeping up with any of the standards of the store. I tried my best to pick up the slack, but there were certain things that had to be done by him. And he was still aloof and just didn’t want to explain what was going on, even when I confronted him about how this is affecting everyone.

Then, one December day, he just didn’t show up.

Nobody could reach him at all. I called our district manager to advise him, and he wasn’t able to find the manager, either. So, we muddled through the holidays as best as we could. Other assistant managers came over to help with closing and opening, I put in extra hours, and we managed to get through it.

After everything had calmed down, I did find out from some of the manager’s old coworkers what had happened to him. His changing of the schedule and coming in late were all part of him trying to live a lifestyle on the down-low. And the day he didn’t show up was right after he came out to his wife as gay and she kicked him out.

Not that there’s a great time to come out for anyone, but that sure was the worst time for our store.

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