Today one of my co-workers was fired. Although I was surprised and disappointed, I cannot say that I was completely shocked. She was a good worker, but the higher-ups didn't like her and although there are reasons you cannot fire someone, the small business is not a democracy. Sometimes, if you get yourself disliked, you can never redeem yourself and it is just a matter of time before you get canned.
Jaded clerk that I am, I just kept on working. I am ashamed to admit that there is a part of my brain thinking "better her than me." I must survive. I have no savings, insurance, or support network. If I don't have my job, all I have is debt and destitution. At previous jobs, I have seen awesome co-workers disposed of for the sketchiest reasons, reasons worse than the ones used today. All I can hope is that in the long run, this will be better for her; she will find a better job, more related to her educational field, with better pay, and satisfaction at the end of the day.
What bothers me most about this event is that supposedly it was set off by a customer complaint, by phone, against my co-worker because she had "attitude." I realize many customers think that when they walk into the store, the service and endless attention we provide are because they are SUCH GREAT PEOPLE! We are there to work. We are paid to be nice. We are usually genuine, but we are still hired to act perky, happy, and helpful. I act only to save my life, to keep a job that pays for my shelter, credit card bills, and food.
If you have a bad, yet non-threatening, experience with a clerk, sac up and tell them to their face you have a problem with them. It's not pleasant for either party, but at least you can work it out right there and catch them off guard. Going home, practicing your "I'll have you fired!" speech in the mirror, and calling the manager from the safety of your sofa is the most pathetic way out.
This is why I must never have sad days. To most customers, I am not human. Emotions are dangerous. Do not have them.