Crystal swore as she walked from the outer limits of the parking lot to begin her shift at Big Box Store. It had been raining for five solid days and ankle-deep puddles made the crossing more like an obstacle course. She could feel the grimy water seeping into her galoshes, soaking her socks. That’s just one more thing to hate about this day, she thought.
The automatic doors at the grocery entrance of the store were notorious for not opening quickly. Crystal, her head down, rain pouring off her slicker hood, didn’t notice the lag in whoosh time and head butted the glass. Letting loose a loud stream of obscenities, Raymond, the morning greeter moved toward her wagging a critical finger.
When Crystal turned her anger toward him, he stopped mid-stride at the look on her face, silently backing away. Good thing he’s wearing an orange vest, she thought, otherwise, she couldn’t be held responsible for mistaking him for a deer and shooting him.
Standing on the rubber mat at the entrance, she removed her dripping slicker and shook the offending jacket with such force it looked like it was raining inside the store. Crystal held off any further complaint from Raymond with a withering stare.
As she made her way passed the food aisles on her way to the employee locker room, Crystal left wet footprints behind her. Early morning shelf stockers looked up as she passed, snickering at the tiny squeaking noises her soaked socks and boots made when she walked.
She slid to a stop at the cereal aisle. The new guy was putting the wrong brand in the bull’s-eye zone. The sugary kids’ stuff went on the second tier, not at adult eye-level, and the “sticks and twigs” junk didn’t go on the bottom shelf. Cereal wasn’t her department. If she tried to correct him, Crystal knew she’d make him cry. She didn’t need that headache on top of everything else.
Finally in the safety of the employees’ lounge, Crystal hung her still wet slicker in the one shower stall. No one actually took showers, so it had been relegated to being used as a waterproof closet. Her purse went into her locker basket, and her dry sneakers came out. She was still aggravated that there was no way to secure their belongings. Upper management claimed they had the right to do spot checks for employee theft. Crystal was sure it was to find loose change and single bills.
Crystal sat in one of the mismatched chairs around the dining table, taking deep breaths. It had been only a week, and she was done. She wasn’t going to even finish out her shift. Before she left, she found a scrap of paper and a stubby, dull pencil and scribbled out a few notes.
She grabbed her slicker but left her defective rain boots. On her way out the front entrance, she gave Raymond a one-fingered wave good-bye. She couldn’t wait until the big reveal. Undercover Boss had taken names, now it was time to kick some ass.