I was hired by the Salvation Army. A retail soldier I would be! I would defeat the ails of poverty by reselling the things people couldn’t sell at their garage sale, didn’t have time to e-bay, or maybe it had more value as a tax write-off. Whatever the reason, it would be my new career focus to Manage it.

I was a Manager In Training. Army Training. Profits that I helped generate would do good for a change. I couldn’t get that feeling working for BP Petroleum. I dressed in the appropriate colors. I was professional. I was trainable. I was also in charge of everyone who was showing me how to do their job. Awkward, but I was going to work in every position in the store for a week until I got all the way up to Assistant Manager.

The store I worked in needed to process 4,400 pieces of clothing every day. That means in an 8 hour shift. The donated clothes needed to be sorted, hung, tagged and priced before they could be counted and then sent out onto the floor.The first 400 pieces of clothes were automatically sent to another store. That is so much clothing. The goal was never really accomplished as far as anyone knew. Apparently, it had happened a few times a long time ago, but not consistently. It was a really stressful process. I could see all the many ways that the clothes processing department was unable to reach the 4,400 goal. The new Store Manager said, “Those are just excuses.” I thought they were perfectly valid reasons. So I busted my hump to reach this unattainable 4,400 mark.

After three weeks I had worked my way up to Line Supervisor. By the end of that week I was a pricing Goddess. People were singing and happy. We had mantra’s and catch phrases. Everyone worked together as a team, and everyone gave their best. At the end of the week I was pulled into the office. The Store Manager and District Manager wanted to let me know I shouldn’t be working so much. I was not hired to be a hard worker. It was my job to make other people to do that.

So the next week I became more strict. I had people report their every move to me, even bathroom breaks. I had control over everything. Most of the time we worked up to the goal, but as soon as we got close, another department would fall behind and they would take people from my department (of course the best ones) to work somewhere else. It was rigged. If we worked hard, the clothes racks would be filled up and the floor didn’t have enough people to put them away. Hence, no racks, no clothes can be hung, tagged, or priced= no numbers. This went on for the whole week. By the end of the second week, I was pulled into the office again by the Store Manager and District Manager again. I was told that I wasn’t able to get the numbers up to where they should be, so I was being let go of the Manager In Training Program. Again with the head down, and not being able to look me in the eyes routine. As an afterthought, the Store Manager offered me a position in another department (where I would have been placed anyway next week) for $2.00 less an hour. Because that wouldn’t have been humiliating.

This all happened on a Good Friday, so I wished them Happy Easter before being escorted out of the store.

It is now 6 days later and I already have an interview. How can it be that I’m so able to be hired, and not employable? This Welfare has to end. If I don’t give up, They can’t win. Right?

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