Walkie-Talkie strapped on and here we go…I’m walkin’ and talkin’ out onto the retail floor.
“H2 (that’s a fancy boss name) this is Theresa checking in – where would you like me tonight?”
“You are in children’s tonight.”
“Where would you like me to start to zone?”
“Theresa, start your zone in little boys and work your way through toys – then move into infants and toddlers.”
People ‘zone in’, ‘zone out’, they’re ‘in the zone’ but in retail lingo to ‘zone’ means picking up after customers, hanging things back up, folding clothes for 4 hours of your shift and checking the fitting rooms. Gotta keep the store looking good. That’s why I get paid the big bucks.
Keep in mind, in between little boys and infants/toddlers there is a big boys section, a big girls section, and a little girls section. All located in the children’s department…you feeling my pain here?
My first thought…I never work children’s – who called off? Ugg!
What I really wanted to say…Please, for the love of God tell me someone else will be ‘zoning’ the back 40 acres of the store with me tonight. I’m kind of ‘zoned’ out.
But, my filter goes on and in my most professional retail worker voice I say, “Is there another employee I should meet up within the department?”
Dead silence. “Walkie check? Can anyone hear me?” Then, I hear…
“It’s just you alone tonight. We’ll be sending help at the end of the night.”
Totally makes sense because every other employee will be done ‘zoning’ their department before I round the corner of mine. Don’t get me wrong I’m a superstar employee – superfast and modest. I can zone like no other! But, the infants and toddlers section alone has about 50,000 pieces of teeny, tiny, really hard to fold clothing. Even harder to fold after working plus sizes or big and tall for a few nights. It’s a challenge. Not sure there is a worse department – in my expert professional opinion. Kudos to all the employees who do it night after night.
Let’s get back on track…
So, I am alone ‘zoning’ away but you are NEVER really alone in the children’s department. Honestly, it can be a little like babysitting at times. My mom guard stays up. Maternal instinct kicks in. Here’s why…
Oh, look at that poor little guy wandering around toys alone. Who am I kidding – the kid is ripping through everything like a Tasmanian Devil and momma is nowhere in sight?
Yo Momma, Where is She? A question I frequently have to ask – gently…very gently.
His face is staring back at me with a blank look, then a scared look. It’s almost always the same but sometimes there are tears – that might be from the guilt of unwrapping toy surprise balls by the dozen…that can no longer be sold as surprise balls.
Now, I could have asked, “Honey where is your Momma?” But then how would Yo Momma jokes fit in? Come on – you had to have read into that a tiny bit.
Yo Momma – she so ugly, how you so damn cute?
Yo Momma – loves you, but is ‘sucky’ parent.
Yo Momma – be mad at you when she actually looks for you and finds you or we make the lost child announcement to pull her back into the reality that the toy department is not a daycare facility while she shops. (Whoa – that has to be a run-on sentence)
As you can tell, I’ll never make it in comedy. That’s why I’m keeping my retail side hustle.
Eventually, the child and parent are always reunited. True funny story – no lie – a parent had me frantically searching for a child and guess where we found her? In the bedding department – taking a nap on one of the display beds.
My shift is over. Hope to have you back next Wednesday. We’ll be in the women’s department.
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Theresa Dodge Multi-Tasker Extraordinaire