A few days ago, I wrote lamenting on how sometimes we, the humble retail assistant, can feel taken for granted by their employer and at this time of year, even unappreciated.
Yesterday was my birthday. I was at work. The National Operations Manager was doing his regular rounds. Somehow he found out it was my birthday. Next thing I knew, there he was, on the floor – cake and candles lit, rousing my colleagues in a hearty rendition of “Happy Birthday”, to which, all the customers stopped and joined in. I was a little speechless (only a little, it takes a LOT to make me completely speechless. Consider this a challenge). It was great fun. And right now, I don’t feel taken for granted. Just wanted to let you all know. My National Operations Manager has restored my faith that there is a skeric of humanity left in retail after all. Here is a chap who is working around the clock to manage a national retail chain, travelling between stores, not afraid of serving a customer or 10, yet still made the time to run out to the bakery at the end of the mall to buy me a cake. What more can I say? It would be a little peevish not to respond with a post to let you all know that it may be crazy out there, but we are all still human beings. With hearts.
And some people felt sad for me, having to work on my birthday. In truth, I was with the girls I love, my ‘work family’, who over the years, have been there through sadness, loss, happiness, graduations and all the seasons that pass through a life. They may not be my ‘chosen’ friends, but they were chosen for me, by the Universe, to be with right now. And I love them. I do. At times, they drive me nuts, at times, they bitch, at times, they whinge. At times, I’m glad we keep the sharp knives in a locked cabinet. But that is exactly how families behave too. I can tell you that through some very difficult times over the last couple of years, work has been a haven of sorts, a solace. It has been a familiar place to go, where I put on my professional face, and put aside whatever is happening in my private life for a few hours and focus on other things. A kind of ‘diversional therapy’ if you will.
So, being at work for my birthday? Just being with my girls. And a cake and a song from the Big Guy and the customers? Priceless. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
And, what did I get for my birthday? A small piece of style.