My supervisor has been coming in early at seven for the past few mornings. Seven is about the time I get caught up from the previous night’s shopping cart shenanigans. The first thing I usually do when I get caught up is to head back to electronics to have a gander at anything new or exciting. My supervisor caught me this morning in the parking lot with the last long string of carts hooked up to the mechanical pusher to be brought inside.
“You’re not going to leave me are you?” she asked me surprising me.
“Why?” I asked dumbfounded at such a question.
“Well, it is so nice to arrive at work and the job is done – all the carts are ready for the start of another day. You don’t know how much I appreciate the lack of drama you are giving my job.”
I smiled vigorously as I began to push the carts and she walked along side of me.
“What makes you think I would leave?” I then asked her over the electric whir of the pusher.
“You’re just too good to be true and you are entirely overqualified for this job. A former research technician in forestry doesn’t end up pushing carts at Walmart for a living. I keep thinking you are going to get a better job any day now and it worries me.”
“I love my job,” I told her. “My job at Auburn University sucked frankly. I also can’t make much money or handle a lot of stress so this job is just perfect for me. I find bringing in the carts cathartic and serenity inducing.”
“I was telling my husband last night at supper what a joy it has been to have you working for me and it’s true. You have been a godsend. Just don’t take too many smoke breaks, okay? It will get me in trouble with my big boss. And don’t smoke in front of the store with your Walmart attire on like you did yesterday before you left. Those are my only problems with you,” she said with a warm smile. “You’re doing great!”
I laughed at my foibles and indiscretions. “Yes ma’am,” I said astutely with a glimmer of joy in my eye.
It is moments like this that make returning to work the best thing I ever did. Just think of the recommendation she is going to give me in a year or two when I move on and get off disability. I am building bridges folks, and it feels good!