So yesterday afternoon, I walked over to my local Rite Aid to fill The Husband’s prescription for pain medication (he just had minor surgery—he’s fine now). I stood around near the pharmacy area, trying not to be too intrusive, while I waited. I examined all the various items stacked neatly around, such as do-it-yourself blood pressure kits, diabetes tests, and hair removal devices. After a few more minutes, the pharmacist called my name; I paid and gratefully took the small bag and headed to the front of the store.
That’s when it happened. A customer walking in the main door said, “Excuse me, ma’am, can you please tell me where the greeting cards are?”
I froze. I did not know how to respond. The lady stood there, waiting for her answer. What kind of rude employee was I, ignoring customers? A non-employed employee, that’s what kind.
I was outraged. Do I look like I work at a drug store? I went to school for architecture! I spent a decade as a flight attendant for an international carrier! I don’t work at a drug store! I wasn’t even wearing polyester today, for goshsakes.
My brain flashed around like a camera at the Oscars. Rite Aid! Me! An employee! No!
With a mixture of sympathy, kindness, confusion, and a dash of indignation, I said to the woman, “I don’t work here.”
She looked at my outfit (my wardrobe selection of the day consisted of gray pants, a black print top, and a black wool cardigan sweater) and said, “Oh, I’m sorry, you just looked so … official.”
I tried not to be too insulted. Official was good, wasn’t it?
As she turned around to find a “real” employee (not just some pill-grabbing impostor), I said, “Uh, ma’am? I think I did see greeting cards on Aisle 16.”
Now I was really troubled. I didn’t work here, and yet I knew exactly where greeting cards were kept. I was like one of those tour guides in Hollywood who knows where all the stars live. How pathetic! How did I know where everything was located? Was this a covert Mom Skill?
Bleh. Rite Aid. For a moment, I fantasized about places I could work where I really would fit in, places like: Target. I already owned khaki pants and a red polo shirt (their understated yet endearing uniform). And not only did I know where things were located at Target, I had literally give directions to their employees.
Target Employee #1: Regina, where should I stock these paper towels?
Target Employee #2: Let me radio to Mario, and I’ll let you know.
Me: Excuse me? I just overheard your conversation and, uh, I saw the paper towel feature on Aisle #2 by the front door, right next to the seasonal candy on that endcap.
Employee #1 and #2: (in unison) Thank you!
So you see, Target would be a good fit for me. There is one near my house, only a 10-minute drive away.
I walked up to the Rite Aid cashier to ask a quick question. I noticed she was wearing a blue polyester vest and a florescent yellow name tag.
“Excuse me,” I began, “may I please have a job application?”
I realized I might as well get paid for my expertise. Plus I’d be able to walk to work.