The next day I came in and walked directly to the back room without being told. L was waiting for me with two write ups – one for not completing my task and the other for leaving the store a mess.

“I’m disappointed.” L said as I walked in.

“Me too.” I said and told her everything that had happened the day before.

“You have to sign these two write ups since you did not complete your job yesterday.”

“Are you serious?” I asked her incredulously.

“Yes and I think you deserve to be written up.”

“For what? For being asked to choose between getting written up one way or another? I was screwed either way yesterday and it’s illegal to have an employee work without pay. It’s either slavery or volunteer work and I don’t associate Discount Store with either.”

“If you had helped New Girl and gotten the store clean at the end of the night, I wouldn’t have written you up for not completing your task. But you did neither, showing that you don’t care about this job.”

“Are you really saying that if I had abandoned my project and made sure the store was perfectly clean, that you would have ‘forgiven’ me for not completeing my task and I wouldn’t be standing here waiting for that write up?” She didn’t answer. “That’s what I thought, I’d still be written up but Rosa wouldn’t be in trouble at all. I know she’s the one who accused me.”

“Rosa is not your concern. What should be your concern is your own job, which you failed to do.”

“We had a record breaking day. If I hadn’t been unfairly accused and put on a punishment duty, I would have been available to help New Girl.”

“If you want to be management, you have to think of more than just yourself. You didn’t show good time management or good team spirit. You ignored your other responsibilities and your coworkers to try to save yourself.”

“L, I may be a Key Holder, but that does not make me management. I may do the books and the schedule, but that doesn’t mean I’m supposed to be held to a different standard than everyone else. You’re salary, so if the store isn’t clean you can stay all night and clean it. I’m hourly and I won’t work for free. Management is not just about making sure the schedule works, it’s about motivating workers. When you chose to ‘punish’ me for something I didn’t do and then do it on a shift with the person who accused me, did you think that would promote good team spirit? When I called you during the shift and explained about the huge amount of people in the store and you said I had to finish the shirts and pants despite that – that was me trying to manage my time. You ignored my warning that we were slammed and that I wouldn’t finish. That’s not good management.” I waited for her to at least look sympathetic or sorry. Her disapproving face didn’t change, so I continued: “You can throw those away, I won’t sign them. I also won’t be working here anymore, I’ve had it with this shit and I don’t plan on sticking around to see what else I’ll be accused of.”

“So you’re leaving without notice?” She said in a heavy but unsurprised voice.

Then I acted like the teenager I was: “Duh” was my reply.

My only regret from that day was when I filled out the form explaining why I was leaving. Rather than being circumspect and saying “personal reasons” or something professional, I wrote down that my manager was a jerk, customers didn’t respect workers and I couldn’t stand Discount Store a day more.

It felt great to leave without a care in the world. Suddenly, I was jobless and on the hunt for something new….

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