Card Store Capers

When I was 17, I started working at a popular card store. The pay wasn’t great but it was enough to live off of and the people I worked with were fantastic.

In short, I loved the job. I worked full time and would always go above and beyond to prove that I was loyal and to advance within the company. I was there for a few years and would often take on “acting manager” roles when my manager was unavailable or when other stores in the area needed a hand.

Our district manager, however, was a total bitch and everyone would refer to her as “Dragon Lady” when she wasn’t around. She never had anything nice to say and was constantly passing judgment, not just on the condition of the store but also on us personally. (She would often tell my manager that she needed to lose weight etc.)

One of the stores had an incredibly high turnover rate as it was a clearance store and hard to manage. I was sent there temporarily until they could find a new manager and a solid staff. I was there for about four months and they had no luck hiring anyone on to fill the position. Thinking this was my chance to prove my worth, I applied for the position as I was already managing the place anyway. Over the next few months, the Dragon Lady hired me a less that prominent staff (two part-time single moms on welfare with scheduling issues, a pregnant diabetic who loved to call in tired and a 16-year-old kid who enjoyed skimming the tills). She was constantly observing my every move and had zero positive feedback. It was not long before none of my staff were showing up to work and I was working around the clock. I very seldom took any breaks and would often come in three hours early and stay long after closing to finish up paperwork and do any cleaning or organizing that needed to get done (keep in mind that I was on a salary and was not allowed to bank my overtime).

Christmas came around and my youngest cousin was sadly diagnosed with leukemia. I told my boss quite proudly that I was planning to shave my head in support of my family. To my complete disgust, she replied by telling me to buy a wig because she didn’t think I could work there if I was bald. Though offended greatly I brushed it off and continued putting everything I had into the store. I even worked the holidays with bronchial pneumonia. I went on working like this until April when I finally decided to takes a week of vacation. Everything seemed fine, I had an assistant from another location and my staff assured me that everything would be taken care of.

On my first day off, I got a call from mall security informing that my store wasn’t yet open. It was noon. Reluctantly I went in to find that the who was supposed to open the store had locked her keys inside the day before. I didn’t hear anything for the remainder of the week and assumed that everything was okay. When I returned the following week I came in the find the store in the most disgusting state I’ve ever seen. Food and garbage littered the aisles and the cash desk was covered in paperwork and left behind items. Nothing had been done while I was away and there was $100 missing from my float.

I finally had enough. I stood at that cash desk and scanned over the store in complete silence. The girl who was working with me at the time just stared at me and looked concerned. The anger in my face must have been apparent because when I turned to her she moved back a bit. I pulled my keys out of my pocket and took them off my lanyard. She asked what I was doing and I looked at her and said “Did you guys do anything while I was gone?” She responded with a resounding, “No, not really. Sorry about that…”

I slammed my keys down on the counter and collected my things. I explained to her that I was tired of living at the store for next to no money and this was the last straw. She looked genuinely sad and agreed. I received a call later that day from Dragon Lady who said nothing to me except: “I knew you couldn’t do it. Hard work just isn’t in some people’s blood I guess.” I laughed and hung up.

I recently went for coffee with my old manager from when I first started working there. I guess Dragon Lady’s husband left her and took their kids because she spends more time howling about and hounding her “stupid staff” than she did paying attention her family. Love and compassion just isn’t in some people’s blood I guess.

Comments (7)

TheRestOfTheStoryJune 25th, 2010 at 10:11 am

Did you take the tape from the security cameras as a souvenir from your vacation?

TMSJune 25th, 2010 at 6:49 pm

I’ve heard of some District Managers who were real assholes, and worked with one company that had one, but the Dragon Lady goes far and above all the horrible DM’s I’ve heard about. I think after the ““I knew you couldn’t do it. Hard work just isn’t in some people’s blood I guess.” comment, I would have ripped into her. Just the kinda guy I am. Especially if I was no longer working for the company I would have read the the riot act. But then again, that’s just me.

Frau BlucherJune 25th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

she really is a witch…I feel sorry for her kids and husband.

AndrewJune 27th, 2010 at 6:01 am

That was a really well-written story. I’m glad you were able to take a stand for yourself. It sucks when it seems like nothing you do is good enough & it isn’t recognized.

But I would have loved ripping into the Dragon Lady.

MMMichelleJune 28th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Ripping Dragon Lady would have done what? You guys think no one has ever told that old bitch off? Words from you mean nothing. Her husband taking her kids? Now that is sweet.

JessykesJune 30th, 2010 at 10:05 am

Actually, the only time anyone told her off is when they we’re walking out the door for good.
I’d like to say that this women had a few nice qualities about her but that would be a horrible lie. She was just an all around bitch.
Ripping into her would have just fueled her bitchiness and made it worse for other people.
Looking back on it, if I had the confidence back then that I have now, I would have reported her for the comment made about my head-shaving for my cousin and would have quit right there.

JessieFebruary 10th, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Karmas a witch with a b serving up just desserts

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