A couple of days ago, I renamed my blog tag “Mild-Mannered Retailer”, with which I collected my stories of work-related folly, chicanery, and bullshit, to “Mild-Mannered Laborer“.
I did this because I’m not a retailer any more.
I’d like to write about how I lost that job, because I’ve had some long thoughts about it and I think it might be interesting… but I’d also like to avoid publishing that post, because it’d be far too identifying. So for now, let’s just say I was fired.
Then I spent about a year unemployed. My savings carried me through most of that time, but eventually I was faced with a choice: return to the world of economic exploitation and wage slavery, or spend, potentially, years on welfare.
I didn’t have to think about it for very long. From the victim’s perspective, the greatest advantage employment has over welfare is that it’s a lot easier to quit a horrible boss or a shitty job – even if the next one is also horrible and shitty – than it is to quit an insufferable caseworker or degrading bureaucracy.
So I got another job, mostly by luck. The standard hiring practice is no fun for someone who’s been fired for a bad reason, because employers hear “I was fired” and immediately assume the worst.
The lucky part was that I found an employer that didn’t use the standard hiring practice: instead, I booked an appointment with a chatbot and spent a few minutes talking to an assistant manager, and all I really had to do was act like a decent human being for a few minutes. (It probably didn’t hurt that “being able to act like a decent human being” is one of the new job’s primary skills.)
The job isn’t in the retail industry. It’s in the fast-food industry. And even though most of my job description boils down to “retailer of food,” with only a smattering of very light prep work, I am no longer a retailer. Ask Reddit.
“Retailer” isn’t exactly a badge of honor, anyway, so I don’t miss the title. But I did have to rename the tag, for accuracy’s sake.
And if the new job keeps going the way it’s been going so far, I may have to use that tag a few more times, because goddamn.