Wednesday, November 12, 2008

day of indentured servitude.


Crazy idea. I saw an ad in Sunday's employment section of the paper, calling for applicants to work at a Hobby Lobby being built in the area. Oh, what a fantastic opportunity! To work in the fabric department and make a little side money...great idea! Off I went to the cattle call, spending 3 hours in line for a second interview. Red flag #1. I was told that there would be some lifting and that I was needed to start the next day at 7AM, "are you OK with that?" Red flag #2. I dragged myself out of bed early Tuesday morning and fought the morning traffic in order to arrive promptly at 7 o'clock. The manager greeted me with, "Oh, I'm sorry. I don't need you until 10. Is that a problem?" Scarlet flag #3. I drove all the way home, very annoyed at the whole situation, thinking that maybe this wasn't the job for me. But being raised to never shy away from work, I headed back for my 10 AM start. Signing in and not seeing my name tag in the pile on the table, the Human Resource Hitler informed me that she couldn't find my employment folder. Blazing Red flag #4. "Go stand over there," Barbie Hitler barked. I clicked my heels in the proper Nazi fashion and did as I was told. Commandant eventually found my folder and I completed the assigned paperwork. At this point, I really should have sprinted for the door, into the comfort of my lovely 4-Runner. But no, I had to see this work fiasco through.

We started off with building these crazy round roll-around units with glass shelving and polished brass hardware. I guess they're attractive enough, but what a pain to put together. And who, I wondered, is going to have to clean this glass? Duh. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to build another unit rather quickly. I finished my second unit and went over to help a lady finish her first unit. Upon completion, we were instructed on how to build another shelving unit. This was twice as big, twice as much glass and hardware and was rectangular in shape. In order to construct these monstrosities, we had to sit on the floor or kneel at the beginning and contort our old, tired bodies to tighten up the screws under the glass shelves. These suckers are five units high, crazy heavy glass, not to mention that we had to unpack, unload, ...oh, what's the use? It was hard! Have I mentioned that it was HOT in that store, no air, no open doors...hello, this is FLORIDA!

Lunch time. Hitler informs us that we have an hour, but we shouldn't expect an hour's lunch every day. Scorched flag #5. Hmm. Off to my car I went, blasting the airconditioning to cool my tired, aching body. Why I didn't just drive home at this point is a mystery to me. But no, I went back to East Germany for another round of body-breaking torture. That's what happens in fascist societies, I was an indoctrinated worker and was worried about my older, heavier partner Sally. Who would help her finish the stupid shelving unit?

By now, you're all bored with my story. But I returned and the work became more physical and back-breaking. We were given one 15-minute break in a ten-hour day. I really felt sorry for some of the women there who were very heavy and plum worn-out. The managers were seldom to be seen, except for the last half-hour as they stood watching us lift heavy peg-board and assembling these crazy aisle-units they use in the stores. We'd been at this for hours, very physical and tiring. At exactly 8 PM, little Hitler called us to the front of the store for a short meeting. What?! Couldn't this have been called at 7:50? All that was left of Red flag #6 were the grey ashes on the floor. Our Comrade informed us that tomorrow, if we were caught "not busy," we would be told to leave. "There are 100 other people who are waiting for your job, so if you can't follow the rules, you're out." She then read from a list the names and the times that her soldiers were to report for work the following day.

I left that hot-box, the nice hard-working friends I'd made and flew to the comfort of my family. I dragged my tired, old aching body out of the car and into the strong arms of my husband. To the loving hug of my son. Even the dog was thrilled to see me. There was a 7/7 on the counter and the aroma of dinner on the stove. A hot shower awaited and then into the comfort of my cozy chair. Jason brought me my dinner and drink that he had prepared for me and honestly, it was the most delicious dinner I've had in a long time. I didn't move until bedtime and needless to say, I slept like the dead.

The end of my story is this: my name was on the list to report for work at 7 AM. As I was leaving the communist block of Hobby Lobby, I thought of those Red warning flags that God had been waving at me throughout the day. Driving home, I realized that I could never keep up this pace for a whole month until the store opens (Dec. 26th). I thanked God for the warning flags, for getting me through the day, and for the comfort of my home and family.

I didn't report for duty this morning. I'll never see the Little Fuhrer and her Gestapo again, but I am going to pray for those women who desperately need those jobs. I honestly don't know how they'll do it, but perhaps with a little prayer from me, Eva Braun will lighten up.

2 comments:

Jenny said...

I have a second interview today with a University for a position, and hope that it goes better than your day! Say a little prayer for me too, because like those other women I do need a job!

Maybe you could apply to work there after the store has been opened for awhile. I doubt they will have kept your brief employment record. I know the Hobby Lobby in our area is always hiring at least once a quarter.

Ashley said...

Thank you so much! I haven't laughed that hard in a longggg time! I had an experience like that too (not that bad but still bad!) and I totally understand!

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