Kith & Kin

Prestige Versus Comfort

Amber quit her job as a store manager at Showcase in Richmond Centre, and accepted a job as a production worker at Value Village. She will be making the same yearly income as she did as a store manager, except with infinitely less stress and abuse from unreasonable customers.

In the past, I was critical of her decisions of choosing a job that did not boost her, and instead, lowered her position. However, the last year has gradually changed the way I looked at things in the bigger picture. Amber told me she’s super happy that I support her decision in choosing to work with a company that gives her a lot less stress. I told her that at the end of the day, being mentally fit and healthy is better than retain a position for a company, that gives you so much grief. Basically, as a store manager, she deals with a lot of bullshit with very unruly, very unreasonable customers that have a hard time accepting store policies on refunds. So about two or three times a week, she has to deal with these loud, obnoxious, angry people who try to get their way, even though at the point of sales, it was made clear with them about the store’s refund policies. Amber isn’t a robot that can just grow a thick skin towards very angry obnoxious assholes, who believe they have a right to be angry obnoxious assholes. Furthermore, she has worked as a store manager at that busy location for almost four years. She has asked for a raise, especially after working full time through Covid-19, and still, her requests were declined. So not only was she getting abuse from angry obnoxious customers, but clearly, the company doesn’t actually care about their own store managers.

It’s also very hectic with the shipment of inventory every week, the runs to the bank for deposits every week, dealing with employee schedules, labeling, pricing, tagging, formatting items around the store, training employees knowledge of new products, dealing with shoplifters, people with hostile mental problems, and the list goes on. At Value Village however, the only stress she will be dealing with is standing on her feet all day, sorting and tagging things. She’s in the back doing the sorting work.

Earlier, she messaged Uncle Dick and spoke with her mom about her new job. Uncle Dick responded in a less-than positive way. His short response was something along the lines of, “Yeah… Great…” Her mom was confused as to why she isn’t getting another job as a manager. Basically, both of them seem to put more emphasize on the prestige of one’s position in a company, than accept that whatever position a person wants that makes them happy, is something to celebrate. How both of them responded bothered me, because it shows how low they see people that aren’t in prestigious positions. I have the utmost respect for Uncle Dick, but there are a few things that have irked me about the way he sees things, over the years. On the other hand, Amber’s older sister was super happy for Amber’s decision. I made a simplistic remark on that, saying Jessica is quite a lot younger and she has her own issues. So she can understand wanting to work for a company that is more attuned with Amber’s beliefs, as well as working in an environment that works for her, instead of against her. Where as Uncle Dick and her mom are of the older generation, where they can’t grasp that a prestigious title doesn’t mean very much, if the pay and work is shit.

Indeed, I am not saying a store manager is something incredible, but in the social circles of gossip, a “store manager” for a large chain company sounds better than “back room production worker”. For me, a job is a job. If it’s something that you like doing, and it pays relatively well, then good for you.

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