"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What Have I Gotten Myself Into Now?

I've already written (multiple times) that I have to keep a day job besides writing in order to pay my bills. For nearly two years I've been working at a Home Decor store, but in April I started looking for a new job. I wasn't making enough money working there, I needed to upgrade. It didn't take me long to realize there wasn't much out there. For someone like me, a woman whose only secondary education was in massage therapy, there wasn't a lot of options. Every job I looked at paid just as terribly as my current job. So, I reached out to friends and family, asking them to brainstorm ideas of where I might be able to make a better wage. The only feasible idea they came up with was at a department store make up counter. Those girls were supposed to get paid much better, as well as earn commission - meaning I could have a little more control over my income. Excited, I set off to apply. Two months later, after four excruciating interviews (yes, four!), I had my first day.
Never in my life have I felt more defeated, deflated and depressed. When I signed the paperwork, I finally saw what they would be paying me. And I wanted to throw up. Ten dollars an hour and only 3% commission. Parking alone was $2.00 an hour to work there, so my wage was really only eight dollars an hour, and 3% commission meant that with every hundred dollars of product I sold, I would be paid only three dollars. Three dollars. Three f*cking dollars. I wanted to quit that day, but  friends convinced me not to.
"You don't know how much they sell in a day, it still might be worth it."
So, I decided to give the job another day to prove itself. Sadly, the outlook was horrible at best. The daily sales targets for my counter were two hundred dollars. That meant six dollars in commission, not even enough to cover parking. Determined to quit, I marched over to the manager and explained that I was actually making less money at this new job than at my old one, a feat I didn't think was possible. She convinced me to give it some time, explaining that the sales targets were so unbelievably low because no one had been manning the counter for such a long time. Frankly, I wasn't convinced, but I'd already booked the time off my old job, so I figured I might as well be earning something.
It's been two days now with me on the sales floor, attempting to sell my wares and I've only sold three hundred and seventeen dollars worth of product. The forecast for this job isn't bright. I'm waiting until after the weekend to give my pronouncement, but barring a miracle, I will be quitting soon.
I honestly don't know where this particular department store gets off offering such a shitty wage when the parking is so expensive. And offering 3% commission? Why not just be brave and slap me in the face? What a sneaky, underhanded way to insult someone. I don't know if I can stay, just from sheer disgust with the department store.
It's too bad, really. I actually really like the product. But I started looking for a new job to make more money, not less. And it's not as though working there is a carnival of ice cream and candy. It's work. It's long hour after long hour of work. If they aren't going to pay me properly for it, why would I stay? They need to realize this is why they're so understaffed. No one can afford to work there. You couldn't possibly live off the wage they're giving you.
We'll see what happens after this weekend, but stay tuned for the 'I quit my job' announcement. Because I don't think this place has a hope in hell.

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