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Don’t Let This Manager Drown You

, , , , | Working | August 26, 2020

While studying for three years, I try to “earn a few coins” between semesters via small job opportunities. One of these jobs is supposed to be helping at a public swimming pool: getting out food to customers at the shop, helping to keep the area clean, etc.

Arriving at the entrance, I can see that the place looks… run-down. It isn’t filthy or dirty, just old and boring. Despite the appearance of the surroundings, the other three workers I meet up with look quite happy and are all around a friendly bunch.

And then, the manager enters the stage.

Our “workwear” is supposed to be orange and yellow, with only the colors being a necessity; as long as you get the colors correct, you can wear orange shorts, a yellow shirt, vice versa, and so on.

The woman appears in orange high heels, a plain, yellow dress… and an orange bra ON TOP of the dress. The swimming pool and its surroundings have a tang of grey and boring colors to them, so she stands out like a supernova — an icy, mind-melting supernova, which I would probably prefer in itself, just for the situation to be over as soon as possible.

The smiles of my coworkers turn upside down and her stare feels like a cold wind down my neck. She looks at me, smiles — or attempts to — and shows me around. After a brief introduction:

Manager: “So, since you wrote that you worked at a cafe before, why not show me how to mix a piña colada?”

Me: *Dumbstruck* “Yes, I worked at a coffee shop where I served coffee, snacks, and ice cream.”

She gives me a look as if debating whether I am worth the effort to be put into a meat grinder, and even then worth feeding to the homeless. Luckily, I think she decides against ending me right then and there.

Manager: “Aaaaaall right. You’ll be restocking wares and keeping the area clean for today. I’ll let you know if we need further assistance.”

Translation: “Please get out of my sight since you talked back to me.”

After I spend two hours standing around restocked fridges and freezers, she sends me home with a frown and says that she’ll keep in touch for further instructions.

As I am leaving, I see her berating one of the other workers, who already looks like she’s on the verge of tears.

Manager: “…and be sure to offer every guest a glass of wine. Better if they buy the whole bottle. I can’t believe how many we have left.”

In her defense, she did pay me for the two hours I worked there. But without further messages from her, I had the feeling that I barely escaped with my life.

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