It turns out being a Key Holder was not all about doing reports and working the cash register. Everyone was required to open at least once a week which involved taking cash to the bank (using our car and gas which that $.50 per hour raise really didn’t cover) and receiving shipments. I excelled at keeping the books so L had me doing that and working on the schedule. Since I’m the type that has lists for my lists and I have a love affair with Excel, the schedule was no problem. However, it should have been the job of L the manager or Rosa, the assistant manager.

L hated the schedule but Rosa was upset she wasn’t the one doing it. Most days I was able to avoid her, but not Sundays. On Sundays we worked together the entire day and since she was the Assistant Manager she stayed on register while I worked the floor with the New Girl, who just couldn’t seem to pick up our alignment for the clothes. One Saturday during the closing shift L called me into the back room.

“Zoogie2, how do you arrange the pants during closing shifts?” L asked me slowly.

“Uh, by style and size…?” I trailed off, unsure what she was asking me.

“Someone reported that you were throwing pants into the middle of the racks to save time. I-”

“What!? I don’t do that!”

“It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t do it, I found a lot of pants under the racks and you are the only person reported as doing it. You could get a write up for this, but I’ll give you one chance. You need to completely clean and align all racks of junior pants and shirts tomorrow by the end of the day or you’ll be written up.”

“Tomorrow is Sunday – we’re only open a half of a day. Aligning pants and shirts is a multi-person job that takes a day or two!”

“All I can offer is for you to do it tomorrow since Sundays are quieter and you’ll have an additional person on the shift.”

The additional person would be New Girl, so it was like having no extra person at all. I knew it was either Ana or Rosa that claimed I threw those pants under the rack and when I breezed in on Sunday, I knew it was Rosa.

“Just because you have to align doesn’t mean you can neglect your other duties.” She said with a mean girl grin. The New Girl assured me she could handle cleaning the store since Sundays are slower.

I thanked New Girl for the support and turned to Rosa, nastily saying: “Actually, I won’t be doing anything except aligning. If it’s slow, you can handle the front, Rosa. I don’t intend on dividing my time and if you have a problem with that you can complain to L. But remember that special assignments from the Manager supersede regular duties, so your complaints won’t mean much.” Without another word I started in on the pants.

Unlike every other Sunday of the year, this one was filled with demanding people. I managed to complete all of the jeans, but since so many people were interested in trying things on that day  it seemed like every time I completed a section another person would mess it up. We actually made record profits that day and I will give New Girl credit, she tried really hard to keep up with the rest of the store. The fact that she hadn’t quite learned everything yet mixed with the rush of people and Rosa being too busy to help meant that by the end of the evening the place was trashed and I hadn’t quite finished the shirts.

While I should have been helping New Girl clean up the racks, I was still doing shirts. Rosa yelled at us that we had five minutes to finish the floor before she shut down the computers.

“Impossible! Zoogie2 is still doing shirts and I’ve only finished a few racks.” New Girl exclaimed. Rosa’s face fell as she surveyed the store.

“Zoogie2 stop doing shirts and help out with the rest of the store.”

“Fuck no.”

“We’re going to get in trouble!” Rosa exclaimed, grabbing a few items desperately.

“We’re screwed either way. We can’t clean this mess unless we stay for at least an hour, all three of us working. If we stay that late we’ll be written up AND I’ll get a write up for not finishing the shirts. If we don’t clean the floor we’ll get a write up and I’ll get one for shirts. I know you lied about me Puta, and I’m not going down for the pants when it wasn’t me. If I get written up, we’re all getting written up.”

Rosa didn’t deny it and walked over to the computer. “I’m clocking us out.” Both New Girl and I protested.

“This is both of your faults. You didn’t help clean, Zoogie2, even though you know New Girl is still learning. New Girl, you should have been trying harder. We’ll stay an hour late unpaid to finish.” New Girl looked like she was going to go along with it for a few seconds, but no fucking way was I going to work for free after all of this crap.

I’d stayed in a job that I didn’t really need that constantly passed me over because I didn’t speak Spanish. Then when they did finally promote me, I was blamed without evidence for something I didn’t do. And punished despite the fact that it wasn’t my fault. I didn’t need this crap, I wasn’t going to do any more. So I asked Rosa when she was going to clock me out.

“I just did.”

“Fine, I’m leaving. I’m not working for free.” I said, planning on making a sweeping exit. Until I realized the door was locked and I had to wait for Rosa to open it. New Girl followed me out into the night…