Retail’s A Pain And So Are Your Bosses

, , , , , , | Working | July 17, 2020

I was a seventeen-year-old who was three months into my first real job. It was December, and I was working when I got my period out of nowhere. Embarrassed, I spoke in confidence to my manager and she said I could change into clothes from the store and pay later.

Solid. I did. I went to pay but my card was declined. It turns out, I’d brought the wrong one with me this time and had left the other one at home — irresponsible on my part.

I told my manager that I worked the next day and would be able to pay with the store credit card then. I’d even put the tags of the clothes in my locker to remember to pay. I’d only been working two and a half months and if I left early, I would be fired.

Hesitant, she said okay and let me finish my shift.

Not even an hour later, I got called back to the office and another manager was standing there, smug, and the original manager was with her. They explained that I couldn’t leave until I found a way to pay for the clothes I was wearing. I told them I’d figure it out and headed out to finish my shift.

By the time my shift ended, I was practically crying to my coworker about how embarrassed I was that I was dirty and tired, sitting and waiting for my mom to show up and pay for my clothes.

My mom showed up and went off, while I insisted she let it go. The smug manager said that I had the option to go home and change without penalty. I said that I wasn’t given that option and she didn’t respond. I couldn’t take her up on that offer, anyway, since I live over half an hour away.

I explained that I didn’t want to get fired for leaving my shift two hours early and she understood. I told her I planned on paying for it and she claimed it was stealing if I left, something they can call the cops for.

I guess it hurt my mom when another woman implied I was a thief, and she quit for me out of anger.

I finally cried, and the next day, I called the store leader and she had heard what happened. I quit for myself and said it would be my last day and that the low wage just wasn’t worth it.

I feel like it was a big deal for nothing, but I don’t think I would want my own daughter to feel disgusting while waiting for me to arrive to pay, and then be told she’s stealing and have the fear of the cops being called on her. It was a very mixed-feelings type of thing, and I still feel bad about it.

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