Wednesday, January 4, 2012

620. My Last Day at The High-End Kitchen Store

If you’ve followed this blog for longer than 30 seconds, you know that I work at a high-end kitchen store. Correction: worked. That’s right—I quit.

I love the high-end kitchen store, and the high-end kitchen store loves me. Why, oh why, you ask, would I quit?

Well, way back in September, I celebrated my birthday. Birthdays are usually a time of reflection and contemplation, a time to take stock of your life and focus on the year ahead. It got me thinking about why I work. Here’s the list I came up with:
  1. I get to dress up
  2. I get to leave the house and have The Husband watch the kids
  3. I like my co-workers and we get to gossip about the customers after they leave
  4. I get to walk around the museum of pretty things that must not be used (e.g. “merchandise”)
  5. I get a HUUUUUUGE discount on all the pretty things, plus a discount on all the pretty things at the high-end kitchen store’s sister brand, the fabulous furniture place
  6. Every once in a while (about twice a month), The Boss at the high-end kitchen store will hand me a blue envelope and inside that envelope is a little piece of paper with magical numbers on it, numbers like “$25.13”
  7. That is exactly the amount (after discount) of the new blue-striped oven mitts I want to buy
Even though it was not his birthday, I asked The Husband what his list was for why he worked. He thought about it for a while, then gave me some gobbledygook about making a difference and new challenges and respect and engineering-type stuff and using his mind (I was starting to yawn at this point) and then an hour into his spiel, my beleaguered ears signaled to my overloaded brain that he was now talking about money:

   471. And I like to get a nice paycheck

I agreed with him that paychecks are a pleasant little side effect of working. But THEN (wait for it) he had the audacity to say that that should be one of the reasons I work, too!!!!!!!!!!!!

As you can imagine, that kind of ruined the rest of my day. Happy Birthday to me!

The next morning, I thought about it some more. I realized he was right after all. A paycheck (for more than $25.13) would be a nice benefit of having a regular-type job. I gave The Boss my final notice (a four-month notice, we Virgos are nothing if not polite and very good planners).

My last day was December 24th. It snuck up on me. I saw it on the calendar, but it seemed so far away, like the apocalypse, until it was right there. The Boss said, “We’ll miss you!” to which I replied, “Do you need someone to work on January 1?” (The high-end kitchen store pays overtime on holidays.)

So on December 24th, all the employees gave me hugs and said they enjoyed working with me and have a nice life and see you around.

And then I boomeranged back on January 1, like an envelope that your forgot to put the stamp on.

“What are you doing here?” queried my (former, well she thought she was former) co-worker. “I thought you quit?”

“I did, yes. I quit. Today is my last day.” I smiled enigmatically.

“But The Boss said December 24th was your last day?”

“No, ha ha ha, that was my first last day. This is my real last day.”

I brought my camera in so I could take pictures of my co-workers and someone could take pictures of all of us standing together pretending to sell things. I forgot to get my camera out of my purse all day so the pictures are in my head instead of on a digital memory card.

It was 7 PM and the store was closed. This was for real. I had been at the high-end kitchen store for four years, it was the end of an era. I thought I might cry.

As The Boss locked the door, she turned to me.

“Do you want to work one more day on January 30th for Inventory?” she asked.


That will be my last last day.



  1. Ha ha ha - I love the way you write. I could really relate to the pictures in the head thing too, lucky you've got another last day to take some...

  2. I wonder if they get really busy for Valentine's Day...or February break?

  3. You are fortunate. I had my job taken away from me. A job I loved but didn't love the circus-dances circumstances. Almost 29 years, just missed my normal eXpected retirement date by 4 years, 4 months and 4 days eXactly.

  4. Oh, MOV. You know how I feel....I would never, ever leave the high-end kitchen store. It supplies a trove of literary inspiration. But you got to do what you got to do.

  5. Let me guess. "Do you want to work Valentine's Day for a bonus?" "Do you want to work Easter for a bonus?" "Do you want to work......... Cinco de Mayo for a bonus?" "Do you want to work Taki's birthday for a bonus?" "Do you want to work Independence Day for a bonus?" "Do you want to work Brother's Day for a bonus?" "Do you want to work 9/11 for a bonus?" "Do you want to work Halloween for a bonus?" "Wanna work the deer hunting season (all fourteen days of it!) for a bonus?" "Wanna work Christmas for a bonus?"

    Dear Jesus. RUN AWAY.
    -Motaki, Aspiring Falconer
    (Postscipt: My birthday is on June 13th. I couldn't come up with anything for June so I pulled that. And April is a dud- only month without representation.)
    (Post-Postscipt: The deer season in MN is actually monthlong, depending on where and what with you hunt. If you whore yourself out to the license lotteries and own a muzzleloader, a shotgun, and a rifle, then you can go from the fifth to the twenty-eighth.)
    (Post-Post-Postscript: A bowhunter gets to go from 9/15 to 12/31. BOOM.)

  6. julie--the camera thing: why is that all too familiar? oh, the good intentions....... I worked for United Airlines for a decade, and the ONLY photos I have are about a dozen taken on my graduation day from the training. I have friends who talked the pilot into letting them pose for a pic inside the rim of the jet engine on a 747 or triple 7 (on a regular flight day, not at the training center), but I never did. This I regret.

    andrea-- I could use the discount again to buy all the cute heart-themed kitchen things!

    esbboston-- I am so sorry about your job. I study numerology, and the number 4 means "hard work." It also means routine, patience, and building the foundation of something. Interesting that it was 4 yrs, 4 months, and 4 days away from your retirement.


    taki--if you saw the high-end kitchen store where I work(ed), you could understand how easy it is to be sucked in.



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