“I DON’T WANT TO GO!”
“Erin… you have to go…”
“Nope. Not going. I hate people and I hate work and I hate..”
“Stop saying hate.”
“Now you’re just being immature… go to work, Erin, you’re almost done with Kohl’s!”
NO! I’d rather wallow in self-pity. While I was wallowing, I said some things that I didn’t mean. I don’t haaate work. I don’t hate people. But man working in retail can make it really difficult sometimes to want to go there. The worst part about going in on this particular night was that I was working in the kids section! Two fitting rooms, boys clothes, girls clothes, toys, and baby clothes are all my responsibility. Um okay, you try to clean all of that up in 4 hours with little children running around you when you’re used to folding towels and rugs peacefully back in the home department. Working kids was not my cup of tea.
As a begrudgingly walked in, I scanned the children’s department on my way. I stopped a coworker who was on her way out and asked what the hurricane that came through was called, and why Red Cross hadn’t arrived yet. I slowly checked out my electronics that keep me connected to everyone on the floor. I clocked in and got to work. A child’s shirt here, boys jeans there. A constant beeping toy in the girls underwear. I’d never seen it like this before.
As the clock slowly creeped towards closing time, my tireless efforts didn’t seem to make an indent in hurricane recovery. The manager on floor sent over Matt, the boy who was working my department – he finished his peaceful towel folds early and needed work. She must’ve heard my secret pleas as I drowned in AA bras and milk bottles, because she asked him to come help me in kids.
PRAISE THE LORD! I’d never met Matt, but he is a physically able human being that can make my life easier, so I automatically liked him for that reason and that reason alone. As he came over to help me fold boys graphic t’s (sidenote: if you’re one of those people who unfolds every single tee to see what it looks like… you aren’t my friend), we made awkward small talk, typical of two strangers.
“Kids are so messy sometimes” I said with an I-feel-uncomfortable giggle.
“Yeah so are their parents..” Matt said, with the same giggle.
“Hah yeah..” was my witty and conversational comeback.
“Okay.” was his.
In an attempt to start a real conversation, I asked, “Are you into college football?”
“Not really… *3 second pause* Are you into college football?”
“Uh.. not really.”
“Well anyways… if you were… you’d know who my friend Conner is! He just came out as bisexual and is kind of a really big deal in college football right now. You look a lot like him! …But, uhm, not that you look bisexual or anything..”
“I’m going to go fold clothes over here….”
And on that note, Matt and I parted ways. Of course people don’t look bisexual, that comment didn’t even make sense! Why did I have to do that? Ugh…
In a few moments our new conversation was beautifully normal. We got to know each other a little better. He’s a really cool kid and pretty smart too! Eventually we both went home and will probably never see each other again, because I am no longer a sales associate at Kohl’s. I am finished with that chapter in my life, and this story is a good example of why that chapter should be over…