All this week I had been trying to figure out a way of getting out of the corporate re-education program for the ‘epsilon’ class of employees they hire at minimum wage but there was no way out of it. Nearly 150 idiots had been bullied into completing the corporate ‘I Love My Job’ survey the way the ‘great leader’ would like for us to feel about your employment. Class after class would return after their ‘session’ full of cheap fried chicken and a shiny new name badge that did not look tacky. When I asked them what it was like they talked about how great it was to work in retail and that sent chills down my spine. The later it got into the week the fewer of us were left with the old name tags with the sticker on it displaying our real names.
Today at 5:30pm I was eyeing the exit and hoping to feign illness or simply fall to the floor in a seizure. That is when the store manager but his hand on my shoulder and ask, “are you ready to come upstairs, this should be fun.” Like all men who have to face a firing squad I gathered the courage from a place I did not know I had and followed my co-workers up the stairs to the conference room. My only goal was to block out all the propaganda and eat as much as humanly possible of the free food. After a brief recorded speech from the ‘great leader’ on a tiny television screen in the corner, two of the senior managers started into long winded speeches on how we should answer our store evaluation surveys and reassuring us that this had nothing to do with the new union contract coming out this fall. They talked for a very long time and many times it was said, “we know that bagging groceries is not your dream job but it does pay for those fancy smart phones you are all carrying around.” Towards the end of the speeches one of the managers stopped everything and pointed at me, “here we have an example of a person that has fallen on hard times, a man with vast resume and years of experience as a computer analyst but he is still here working among you because like you he needs the money.” Most of the people in the conference room at one point or another have come up to me asked why I work there. I usually tell them that I am a ‘functional idiot’ and I am at the very limits of my mental capacities. People who have never really worked outside of a grocery store don’t read newspapers or watch political, economical, or business news. Their worlds’ revolve around popular culture and dating co-workers. They don’t need much to be happy because with what minimum budgets they afford the lifestyle they have now and its nearly impossible for a person like myself to relate to them.
I really would like to have gone into much greater detail on this issue and I will revisit it soon. I got home from work tonight tired and annoyed. I woke up at noon today and had to be at work by 2pm. I left work a little while ago and had to come home and cook my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow and start getting ready for sleep. I have an early morning shift tomorrow and most likely will not be home till the evening, too tired to write again. A few people have asked me if I am not talking to them, its not that, I simply have no life anymore. I work at the salt ‘mines’ tirelessly and still cannot make enough money to cover the rent or pay for food all week. Today I was lucky to win a raffle for 10 dollars of in store credit, which should provide me with enough food so I don’t starve.