A lesson on why walking away is sometimes the best thing to do.
Back in the day, when I was in sixth form, I had a part-time job at a local supermarket. Pretty standard, right? Except, I genuinely hated it. I only worked there for six and a half months because it made me so miserable. I spent eight and a half hours each week serving customers at peak times, most of the time on the tills.
Why did I hate it so much? Rude customers. A supervisor who HATED me with a passion for no apparent reason. (To be fair, she hated most of the other women, but was all over the men and teenage boys.) Managers who expected me to make a part-time job my main priority instead of my A-Level exams. Oh, and getting paid less than £5 an hour.
Honestly, some of the customers were so rude. Some people really look down their noses at you if you work in retail, even though I wasn’t there full-time. One day, I had one woman pointing in my face telling me I’d sinned and I was going to Hell that night, and then she went into a rant about how gay people were to blame for flooding… What did the managers do? Stood at a distance laughing at me struggling to deal with this tricky customer. Don’t get me wrong, there were some lovely customers too, it’s just that, sadly, the nasty ones are much more memorable.
I worked there before I passed my driving test, so my Dad would have to give me a lift there and back. He used to have to sit beside me, trying to calm me down before I started every shift, because I used to get really anxious about even going inside the store. Anxious about whether that supervisor would be there. What she’d say, or do that’d make me feel bad. How many rude customers I’d get, having a go at me because they’d had to stand in a queue for two minutes. (That’s the only problem when you go shopping at the same time as everyone else – You have to queue. Not my fault, customers.)
After six months there, that supervisor had a go at me for something that someone else had done and blamed on me. They also wouldn’t give me time off for an essential school trip. And that was the last straw. I went home, really upset and told my parents about it. And they told me I could just quit if I wasn’t happy. And that had genuinely never occurred to me before. I didn’t need to work there, so if I didn’t like it, I could just quit. It suddenly seemed to easy. So, there and then, I started writing my letter of resignation.
It was a huge relief to stop working there. Even now, on the odd occasion I pop in, I keep my eyes peeled for that supervisor and try and avoid her like the plague. And just hearing the beeping of the tills causes me break out into a cold sweat. (I honestly used to hear the beeping in my sleep when I worked there!)
What’s the point of this post? Basically, I’m saying: If you’re not happy with something, change it. You don’t have to do anything you’re not happy with. Not really. Don’t stick at something that makes you desperately miserable, unless you really have to. It’s not worth making yourself unhappy. It’s okay to be a hedonistic at times, y’know?
Have you got any first job horror stories? If so, comment below and tell me!