I am a full-time HR blogger and full-time kitty mom. It’s obvious that I live a peaceful and charmed life.
- I blog about workforce issues without having a real job.
- I spend more money on catnip than I do on regular food.
- I can’t remember the last time I got truly angry about something in my life.
I keep things pretty chill around here because there’s no reason to get excited. When I am really upset, I eat ice cream. When I want to punch someone in the face, I take a nap with my kittehs. I don’t allow math, science, or interpersonal conflict to complicate my life.
Unfortunately, I had a craptacular encounter at a local fabric store, this week. You may wonder, “What the hell is a punk rock HR blogger doing at a fabric store?”
Let me tell you:
- I needed new patio furniture cushions. It’s not a very punk rock story, but I picked out a bolt of fabric that didn’t look too grandmotherly and I asked the girl at the fabric store to estimate how much it would cost to buy the fabric and to assemble eight cushions and one footrest.
You would have thought that I took a crap in a bucket, put the bucket on the counter, and asked the store clerk to weave a rug of gold from my feces.
“We. Don’t. Make. Anything.” she said to me. “We are a fabric store.”
Oh, you’re a fabric store? What am I thinking? Obviously, it’s my fault. I’m the idiot who assumed that someone around here could sew.
I asked, “Can you recommend a vendor who can sew my cushions together?”
My mistake was asking for a vendor. The girl rolled her eyes and said, “There’s a phone book at the front of the store.”
Oh snap. So that’s how you’re going to play it? Well I’m certainly smart enough to learn how to sew. There are eight-year-old kids in China who make these cushions. If they can do it, I can do it.
I walked to the front of the store and caught sight of the store manager — an older woman who was trying to fix a broken cash register. I asked, “Do you have a list of sewing classes?”
Again, it must be me, but the manager rolled her eyes.
“We don’t offer sewing classes.”
Oh, my bad. You’re only a national chain that advertises classes on its website. Let me apologize profusely for wasting your time. You obviously don’t want my money or my patronage.
I have nothing but empathy for employees who work in low-wage, high-stress environments. I worked at a unionized candy factory, a shampoo factory, and I once had an office in the same factory that stored the highly flammable chemicals for a hair restoration product (rhymes with ROW-GAYN). I know what it’s like to work hard, tolerate mediocrity from co-workers, and still need a second job.
Your job at the fabric store? It’s not that bad.
What’s worse is that I am the nicest customer and probably the best HR practitioner you’ll ever meet. I’m smiley, perky, and I’m not asking for spectacular customer service at a fabric store — especially from slow-witted employees who earn less than what I spend on cat toys.
What am I asking for? Very simply, I am asking for people to stop rolling their eyes at me. Oy. I still need patio furniture cusions, too. Do you know how to sew? Seriously, I pay more than the sweatshops.