I was reminded of something funny from long ago. I used to work in retail at Longs Drugs, a regional drugstore chain formerly found all over the American west but now only existing in Hawaii since being bought out by CVS. They were usually medium sized stores that had a pharmacy, cosmetics, gifts, small appliances, hard liquor, a large variety of household items, and non-perishable food and drinks. I worked in five different locations during high school and college. At the time, my income wasn’t great but it was almost enough to make it through college. I had full-time hours and benefits – where can you get that anymore in retail?
I had untreated bipolar at the time, so I was rapidly alternating between depressed, a depressed/angry mixed mood, and manic. You never knew which version of me was going to show up for work on a given day. There were good and bad memories, and occasional conflicts with coworkers, but we had a little fun whenever possible. Sometimes when customers were waiting for additional cashiers, we younger employees were in the back playing music, building forts using cases of toilet paper, throwing Frisbees or footballs, or riding the pallet jack like a skateboard through the receiving area.
Anyway, a Twitter thread about Longs reminded me of one slow evening when Christine, the new assistant manager was micro-managing. She was a little uptight and controlling, so several of us decided to tease her a little bit. One of the guys laid down under a case of paper towels, and we placed additional boxes around him to look like a tall stack of merchandise had fallen on him. Another guy went running out to the floor to get Christine, telling her “a bunch of stuff fell on Adam and he’s hurt!” She came running to the back, where we were pretending to dig Adam out of the boxes. When she got there, the boxes were moving because Adam was laughing uncontrollably. The only thing hurt was Christine’s pride; she was really pissed off and told the store manager the next day, but eventually she saw the humor and relaxed a little.