I quit my job last Saturday giving the store manager one week’s written notice as a courtesy per New Brunswick labor laws. My last day will be this coming Saturday.
I feel thwarted of success there. This will be my only vent, rant and annoying post regarding this decision. I am fully aware that my writing negatively only perpetuates any negativity surrounding my aura. We all need to let go of it somehow for without doing so will surely lead us down that lonely road of past coping skills and delusions.
There is no truth in staying somewhere when you are not happy. No happiness in trudging through the motions with no reward. And certainly no reward earning one dollar over minimum wage with 17 years arts related experience.
I feel the calm of solitude ebb around me and it feels soft and nice, not fearful and anxious. Surprisingly, this afterthought, well may it last beyond tomorrow.
When you work at a job there are things that make it feel worthwhile, worth getting up in the morning to go to work for. A happy customer is always nice, especially one that has been wowed by a molding you chose to frame their painting in. Another is knowing you do a good job and actually enjoy doing custom picture framing. Another is having great co-workers to work with. But none of these things mean anything when you are not rewarded financially for your efforts put forth and will only be given another 29¢ per hour at your year end review, if that.
I’ve been rewarded in many ways at my job. One being that I get to scrub public toilets every night that I am scheduled to work. And only custom picture framers get to scrub the john. We are a special lot of picture framers you see. Another is not being able to eat my lunch at lunch time because there are too many customers and only one custom picture framer. There is a difference between choosing to not eat lunch because you are not hungry and customers asking why your hands are shaking.
Do you know what it is like to be doing backbreaking labour unpacking box after dirty box from China stocking shelves upon endless shelves? …and then throwing the cardboard into a cardboard compactor that smells like rotting vomit.
This store will hire a person to mop and POLISH the floors but not the toilets and sinks. They tell you, you need to earn your hours to work in the frame shop but then they tell you to stop production at 8:00 and go and scrub the toilets until 9:00. How is scrubbing toilets earning valuable time custom picture framing time? Fuck.
They have the audacity to schedule you from 9:00 to 5:00. Great. That is fine. I have always believed in a full days work. Honestly. You get an unpaid half hour lunch and one paid five minute break when scheduled to work that shift. But then they schedule you from 9:00 to 5:30 and you get another break on top of the lunch and initial break. I always had a hard time with this one. It’s like schedule me the extra half hour you twit! A worker is much more productive when she can step away from her work every two to three hours.
I threw up twice at work last Thursday and continued to work. I had been going to work feeling sick to my stomach for weeks, months? I couldn’t keep up with what was expected of me. Each week a new task, a new paperwork assignment, a new toilet to be cleaned was being added to my task list of things to do. My wage was not being increased to meet these new demands even though I was required to do “it” all in the same amount of time.
You know, close to THIRTY or more employees have quit working where I work since mid-December. The store itself employs thirty people. I have been through six managers, four of which were the Store manager.
I asked for a raise three times only to be met with “Well, we would all be living a better life wouldn’t we if we all made a little more money.” Fuck. More than a raise I wanted a standard schedule. A reliable schedule where I knew the days and hours I was expected to be at work. I can be scheduled to work anytime between 9AM to 9PM, seven days per week. All I wanted was a set three or four days that I was scheduled to work. I didn’t even care if it was night shift or day shift. Just the same god damn shifts week in week out so I could plan my life accordingly.
I am good at what I do. I proved it. I won the framing contest. I sold close to $200 an hour during the contest week. When you finally realize that regardless of how hard you work, good you are at what you do and how happy your customers are at the end of the day you still need to pay your bills.
And I’m worth more than minimum wage.
When I was hired I was not told I would be cleaning toilets nor was I told I would be cleaning the staffroom, stocking shelves or throwing away ungodly amounts of recyclable material. Janitors earn more than minimum wage where I live. I have a skilled trade. Sadly 10 years ago when I emplyed at this same trade I earned only $1.25 less than what I am earning where I work now. I don’t understand it and I’m done beating my head against a brick wall trying to make sense of corporate garbage.
My last day to work is this coming Saturday. Tomorrow I will write about the positive. Yes, my friends there is a positive to working where I have worked and it will be written and saved in pixels for generations to read!