The Retirement J.O.B.

beer shirt
Soon, I Shall Have This –
the beer, not the shirt.
So I went broke. Again. My retirement was short, but worth it. I got to go back to The Toy Store again, too.

Now, I work both locations – the one on the hill, which was the second location I ever worked at. Louie ran it then, before HE had a melt-down and quit (I don’t think he cried in the back room when he did it though, the way I did). His retirement lasted a little longer than mine did — before he came back to manage the location he’s in now.

The new manager at The Hill Top Toy Store is an old landlord of mine. I didn’t have a pseudonym for him here, so I used this Random Name Generator to get one. It gave me “Leroy”. I don’t know why I find that so funny, but I’m still laughing.

I get one shift a week at Leroy’s store. Here’s why it’s only one:

When I realized I had to go back to work, or starve, I went to talk with Louie about coming back to the Toy Store; with one caveat. I didn’t want to deal with cellphones or home entertainment services.

He laughed and told me exactly what I already knew – that there’s no way H.R. would go for that. It would bring everybody else’s numbers down, for one thing.

I went up to Leroy’s store to chat, and mentioned what I’d said to Louie. Leroy told me he thought there was a good case to having a “shit-work” associate; one who doesn’t sell anything, just puts up and takes down sale tags, cleans, plays stock-boy. He said he was going to fight to hire me for that as yet non-existent position.

Whad’ya know, but Leroy convinced the higher-ups to start a new pilot program, and I’m it.

For three months, I work a 5 hour shift each week, just doing the store’s “shit-work” (I love that title: “Shit Worker”). If H.R. considers the position to be worth keeping (ie; the store’s numbers go up, since my shift apparently saves everybody else time), then I’ll will keep the position, possibly with more hours available, and H.R. will consider implementing the position around the district.

The Hill Top location is also due for a reno, so if that proceeds, Leroy thinks he can get me extra hours to move the store. Under no circumstances do I make sales at this location. Zero stress. Next-to-zero income. 🙁

I had worked two shifts for Leroy, and was sitting at Ruby’s kitchen table around 10 o’clock one evening, when my cell rang. It was Louie.

“Hey. I need you to come in Saturday.”

Me: “What time?”

He: “I dunno yet. Just come in for 9:30.” I knew that would be a full shift.

Then he says, “I’m sorry – I didn’t even ask you if you’re available…”

I said, “That’s okay – I want the shift.”

Louie laughs and says, “Good. ‘Cuz I need you to come in on Monday, too.”

From there, I nabbed the following Thursday and Friday evening shifts, from 4-9, as well as Saturday and Sunday. On Thursday, I also worked the Hill Top location from 10-3, so I was doing pretty good, considering I had been hired to work one 5-hour shift a week.

The following week, Louie had scheduled me for 31 hours, with a shift every day but Thursday, which was my regular 10-3 at Leroy’s location. Leroy called to tell me he saw that and decided not to schedule me because otherwise I’d have no day off. I was sincerely disappointed.

This week, Louie gave me Tuesday off, scheduling me for 5-9 Thursday, and Leroy gave me the 10-3 anyway, so I guess it all works out the same.

I’m really enjoying it, too. This is good, because it’s going to take at least until July of 2015, before I will be back on track to plan my next “retirement”.

Yes, I’m going to do it all again, but without the melt-down, the tears or the sitting on my ass in the garden and watching Netflix for 10 straight months and not working on my stories.

And then we shall see miracles – 😀

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Thinking Out Loud” – Ed Sheeran

2 Replies to “The Retirement J.O.B.”

  1. Les, you are the only official shit work associate I know of. You created a new and useful job classification that even the big box stores can appreciate. Copywrite the term and you’ll be depositing royalty checks from Walmart in 6 months! And both Louie and Leroy will be looking for a new SWA.

  2. LOL! There’s actually a Walmart in the mall I work at – I believe I will go down there tomorrow and talk to the manager. Maybe I can get a one-shift-a-week Shit-Worker schedule from them too!

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