My Past Jobs - Part One: Homeplace

So I'm coming up on five years working for Fairview. I feel very proud of the fact that I've stuck with one company this long and God willing, hope to stay with them for some time to come yet. Sure I've had some rocky moments off and on, but right now, it's good, so I'm good where I am at.

However, I find myself reflecting on the past a bit. Especially with it being summer, because I had some interesting summer jobs back in the day. I wrote a couple of years ago about my very first job at Summer Academy. If you never read that post you can go here and read all about it. It was...an experience, that's for sure.

So the following summer, I was between my junior and senior years of high school and I was driving and dating Nate and finding I needed to have an income for myself. Even though that was the days of 99 cent per gallon gas (oh how I miss thee!!) and it cost next to nothing to fill up my Neon and Nate had a job at Frank's Nursery and Craft and could pay for stuff when we went out, I wanted to be able to pay for stuff too. And I wanted some mad money for shopping and what not. So, in the middle of May I applied a bunch of places. Many of these were at the Northtown Mall, which was only about 15 minutes from my parents house and well, it was the mall. What teenager who loved clothes and shopping didn't want to work at the mall?

Of course, none of the places I actually wanted to work at ever called me. A friend of mine from church told me that Homeplace, one of the anchors at the mall was hiring. She had a job there and said it was awesome, they were really flexible and it was a cool place to work. Well, it wasn't the kind of retail I had in mind, but I figured, why not, it would still be AT the mall. So I applied there for the heck of it too. And they were the ones that actually called me. I interviewed and they offered me the job on the spot.

It sounded perfect - school wasn't quite out yet, but they were willing to work around that until it was. They were willing to not schedule me for any Friday or Saturday nights (still don't know how I worked that out!) I was hired to be kind of a secondary cashier. I trained with a nice older lady and then I was on my own.

Right within the first week was the first problem. When you worked until close, they had all the cashiers stay until everyone's tills were more or less "correct". So that could take some time sometimes. But one night, one employee's purse went missing. And no one was allowed to leave until it was found - I guess we were all "suspects". The store closed at 10 - so it was already late. This was also before the days of cell phones, or at least before everyone had one. And they wouldn't let me call my parents. We didn't get out of there until almost 11, when the purse was finally found. My parents were beside themselves with worry, this was mere weeks after Katie Poirier was kidnapped, so you can imagine why.

We talked to my manager who assured me and my parents that would never happen again. But the job didn't get any better. It only got worse.

Once school was out I asked to be put on as many days as they were willing to give me. And they did, which was great. But, I often got stuck working with cranky people who were maybe ten years older than me and I'm sure were bitter about life in general as this was probably not their true ambition in the world. For whatever reason this one woman really had it out for me, she was super mean and would give me horrible mundane tasks to do and was nothing but rude. I was young and naive, never thought to bring it up with my manager. She'd laugh and talk with some of the floor staff who were friends of hers. If I tried to get in on the conversation she'd tell me to go clean or something. Yeah, that wasn't fun.

My friend who told me about the job in the first place did still work there that summer too, but she was on the floor staff and we were rarely scheduled at the same time.

There was one cash register at the front of the store where I started getting assigned - which was a relief, I didn't mind working alone. Sometimes they had me fold towels and things up there because it could be slower at that register. I was able to people watch out the mall entrance. I kind of liked those days.

Eventually though, I got tired of being treated like dirt by the cranky employees who hated life, I got tired of having to spend way too much time at the end of my shift reconciling the till. I was going to Music Ministry Alive for a week in late July and then on a week long vacation to Maine with Nate's family in the beginning of August and so right before I was leaving on those two weeks - I put in my two week notice. Yes folks that's right, I didn't even finish the summer.

Honestly though, I was happy I did quit when I did, I was able to enjoy the rest of my summer as a carefree teenager. I took on a couple of babysitting gigs to fill in my income and was always good at saving, so I was pretty well set heading into the school year. But, if I knew what I was in for with the job I took the following summer, maybe I wouldn't have been so quick to give this one up! More on that in the next installment.

Oh side note - Homeplace went out of business about a year or two later. I'm not surprised, there were never more than a handful of people in the store and all the stuff was wayyyy over priced for what it was!


Jes said...

Wow! What a way to start off the summer!

simplicity said...

Fun post Beth! Fun to look back at past jobs and why we put up with the things we put up with! Good luck to Nate today!