On working* at one of the world’s largest malls during the Christmas/Boxing Week season:
You will NEVER find a parking spot, so be prepared for a daily anxiety attack. One day, I arrived at The Mall 25 minutes before my shift, and I was searching for a parking spot until I was 35 – that’s THIRTY FIVE – minutes late for work. That means I was looking for a parking spot for an hour, people. AN HOUR.** When I did find one, it was waaaay on the other side of The Mall, so I had to park, run through the parking lot to The Mall, and then run through The Mall to the shop I worked at. Oh, and did I mention we were having a theme party and that I was dressed up in a top hat (and other wonderful costume pieces) and that people kept yelling/pointing at me? Fan-fucking-tastic.
On that note, PEOPLE. People are everywhere. And for some odd reason, the majority of them think it’s cool and acceptable to walk around in pyjamas. ‘Nuff said.
The shop I worked at was a fishbowl – that is, it was a small shop in the middle of one of The Mall’s many wide hallways, and it had all glass walls. That means we had no break room, nowhere to sit down, and no bathroom. So any time any of us had to pee, we had to trek through The Mall to one of its many public washrooms. Which are disgusting when they are experiencing such high traffic. Oh, and don’t forget the line-ups! One day I went to pee and didn’t get back to work for over 20 minutes. I loved every second of the free break; my boss did not.
Speaking of glass walls, it’s really awesome (see: fucking annoying and kind of scary) how many dudes will attempt to either
(A) Flirt with you
(B) Creep on you
(C) Scare the shit out of you
through the walls. In less than a year working in the fishbowl, I experienced the following:
- Guys trying to look down my shirt
- Guys trying to make sexy eyes at me
- Guys just staring at me, emotionless (which is almost worse than ogling, because it’s like, are you planning my murder or are you just stupid?)
- Guys trying to see into the cash drawer
- Guys banging on the glass right next to me to freak me out
- And so much more…
This one day, I was walking from my fishbowl to the food court for my lunch break, and these three late teens/20-something dudes who were walking in the opposite direction actually stopped next to me to yell “FAT!” and laugh.
And I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me?”
(In my head.)
You don’t really notice when you’re in The Mall just how loud The Mall is. You don’t notice until you have a headache and you realize that the white noise never, ever stops. And you try to find a quiet place for a break, but with hundreds of people around you having normal conversations, it sounds like everyone’s screaming just to hurt you.
Then you leave The Mall and you realize you’re talking really loudly because you’re still partially deafened from your work day.
Lesson learned: NEVER AGAIN.
P.S. HAPPY BOXING WEEK! I hope you’re having SO MUCH FUN shopping!****
P.P.S. I’m sure there were some positives to working at The Mall, but I sure can’t think of any right now.
P.P.P.S. I have agreed to join my brother and sister-in-law at The Mall this afternoon. If I don’t post by 1pm tomorrow, I’ve either gone AWOL or I’m curled up in a ball playing dead in some corner or alcove at The Mall.
P.P.P.P.S. Or I lost my shit at somebody at The Mall and I got arrested for disturbing the peace.*****
*Thank god this was a couple years ago, so I’m not currently living through this hell.
**I had to ask my mom what that math was.
***The Positive Peepers were the little kids, who liked to wave at us through the glass in hopes that we would wave back, which I always would, obviously.
****The scariest part of this statement is that some people would respond, “I SURE AM!” and they would be being earnest.
*****That’s a thing, right? I’m Canadian. We don’t get arrested.