aka The Frazzled Mom
I’d been working at a computer software retail company in 1996-7. Unfortunately, shortly after I’d been given the assistant manager position, the company announced the closing of all stores and moving to more online sales. Needless to say, a lot of employees weren’t happy about it and tended to show how they felt by the way they treated work. That side of it seemed tempting, but growing up, my dad taught me a lot. By the time I reach retail, I had a strong work ethic. If I gave my word, I followed through or died trying. I couldn’t slack off just because the company was closing. Every day, I came to work and completed my duties as expected, often going above and beyond for the customer. That’s just me. Anything less and I’d be extremely bored.
Keep in mind, not only had I found out my job would be ending in three months, but one employee wanted to go out with me. Frankly he was a little overbearing. I don’t do well with that. I like my personal space and lots of it. I’d gone out on a date with another guy, who brought his mother along. All I could think was, “That’s it? That’s what’s out there? Forget it. I’m done with dating.”
Back to work! Because of this change in our futures, the manager often would decide not to show up for work. Or an employee would call in sick. Which meant I was responsible for the store, opening and closing, stocking of shelves, register sales, answering phone inquiries and so on. There were times that a product wouldn’t be priced. In order to look up the SKU number, I’d have to leave the front of the store for the back office. But if I was alone, I couldn’t very well leave the store unmanned with customers. My solution: call a sister store in a neighboring city in the hopes of recruiting some help.
These calls happened on a daily basis, because often we’d receive products from the warehouse that weren’t properly labelled. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I got to know at least two of the employees from the other store quite well. In fact, I can now safely admit that I remained on the phone with them in causal conversation, especially when there was a lull in business. Yeah, yeah, I was goofing off a tad, but I was also working. I can multitask! You might say it was a waste of time and that I should have been looking for another job, since this one was ending in a few months.
This was where I met my husband! My husband is sweet to tell me know that of course he and the other employee were paying so much attention to me on the phone. It was a rarity to find a smart girl that was interested in computers, science fiction and other geek related subjects. Awww, so sweet.
The funny thing was, when I was talking to him, I had actually asked about the other guy. “Oh, you wouldn’t like him…” and he proceeded to list reasons why I wouldn’t want to date the other guy. I have no idea why, but I took him at his word. We continued our phone calls. Sometimes they’d last for hours. Then, one day, his manager grabbed the phone and said to me, “Honey, what’s your number? He’s gonna hafta call you back after we close the store. I’d like to go home.” That’s when it officially started I think, the courting. Our first date was February 10th. Being that we were both fans of the Pendergast novel, we saw the movie Relic.
The next day, he wanted to plan something for Valentine’s day. I cringed. I don’t like that holiday. It’s forced. It’s often fake. So I declined. Instead, I waited until later to go out with him again. Our dates varied from hanging out at the park, hanging out at the bookstore or walking through the mall. Each time, I’d keep my hands in my pocket. I wasn’t easily won.
It look at least five months until I admitted how much I liked him. Three months later, he proposed.