Thursday, June 8, 2006

Coworkers: Part 74 - The Lies We Tell

   We tell each other lies. We listen to each others' lies. We pretend to believe those lies.
   Otherwise, this world could not function.

   After Tarryton was fired there was a manager gap. Moreover, this vacancy happened during a critical period. Thanksgiving was two weeks away. Afterward, holiday shopping madness would explode.
   Ours was a seasoned crew. Nobody wanted that manager slot. Before Tarryton, the last manager who had accepted keys was Joe. He'd received a whopping 25¢ raise. Ten bucks a week for more responsibility, more headaches, angry customers, closer proximity to Blockbuster bobble-heads, and in-house bickering.
   I declined, pleading daily shipments and increasing inventory management. Sarah was buried with classes. Mandy had been manager, gave it up to have her baby, voiced no interest in returning to full time status. Sonya was swamped, sculpting constantly and preparing a wedding.
   That fourth manager was a necessity, especially during Christmas.
   An inter store transfer was suggested and promptly vetoed by all. Other stores had been Blockbuster indoctrinated. Ours, because of so many senior employees, had reverted to the Sound Warehouse style. In all likelihood, any brainwashed newcomer would only question, meddle, squawk, snitch or whine.
   Eventually a council was convened to coerce Tarryton's replacement.
   Pat, Mandy, Sonya, and several other females held a pow wow in the Backroom before issuing a summons. The request was brief.
   "We decided you should be the manager," Sonya said flatly.
   "Not remotely interested," I shook my head.
   "What if this is only temporary?" she suggested.
   "Until Christmas is over," Pat added.
   "I'll be stuck there forever."
   "You could be Greg!" Pat said, cheerfully. "You know, door keys and manager over ride authority."
   I rolled my eyes.
   "Worthy, no one else can do this," Mandy spoke. "I have a baby. Every one else is too busy or they can't work full time."
   "Besides, we know you," Sonya noted. "Someone else will be a stranger. None of us wants to train them or figure them out."
   "Or wait for them to give themselves refunds," Mandy said bluntly.
   Pat giggled. Everyone caught Mandy's reference.
   "Look. I can't close - - "
   "You won't have to."
   "No. You'll only open. Is that fair?"

   I was weakening. They sensed blood.
   "And this is only temporary, correct?" I made another quick proviso.
   Glances swept like cloud lightning.
   "Of course."
   "Trust us."

   Lies. All lies. There was no such thing as temporary. I understood that. I adored all the girls, however, and I did want to help them. So I pretended to believe the half truths, smiles, and self deceptions. And they followed suit.
   I took the keys, became morning opener. My next paycheck was the same as the one before.
   Didn't even get that 25¢ raise.

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