Rena’s First Job
by Mike Dooley
When I was sixteen years old my first job was at a $10 clothing store. I only worked there temporarily because it was a summer job. When I started the people were okay but after a period of time they became hateful towards each other.
My boss would yell at us if we stopped to talk. He sometimes sent other girls home if they spoke back to him. They would yell at us if a customer came in and walked out without purchasing any items. He would yell and say, “Why didn’t you make them buy something.” as if they were forced to buy any items they were not interested in.
My coworkers were not so happy; specifically the young girls who made this job a career. Most of them worked here for years supporting their families. I, on the other hand, had no children, was not married and didn’t have to pay a large amount of bills. I worked from 10 AM to 8:30 PM 6 days a week with one half hour lunch break and never a chance to sit down.
We had to stand up all these hours straight. We would have to fix every rack of clothing that was never touched. I also had to deal with my boss’ coffee breath and cravings for cinnamon rolls.
My boss’ name was Doran. He became nice to me after a period of time. I think it was because I was very conscious of what was going on. I mostly paid attention to my surroundings. Doran expected me to be weak like the others but I was not having that. I knew what I was doing.
I made two good friends: one was Bibi and the other was Gayatrise. They both were from Trinidad. Bibi was married and had a son with her husband. Gayatrise was also married with two sons but her story was different. Her husband was very abusive to her. She never had a normal life. She was always running from her own fears. The day she told me that he was abusive I was surprised by this bad news. He never worked. He was an alcoholic and never helped with anything around the house. She worked all day everyday just like the rest of us. I felt very bad for her, but all I could do was just be a friend and hear her out. This is the story about my first job. I do not regret working there, but I can say that it was a big experience for me.