Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My First Job...

...after I got married was...

Well, this little item that Jeff found today while sorting through a box of stuff in our garage will tell you:

Yes, I worked for a quaint little Hallmark shop in a gorgeous southern California town.  The Hallmark store was across the street from the barber shop where Jeff worked, and we could sometimes ride to work together if our schedules meshed or take a break at the same time and get some ice cream at the Baskin Robbins a few doors down from the barber shop.  In the middle of the street that separated my workplace from his, there is a lovely grassy median with beautiful, well-tended flowerbeds.  Sometimes we would sit there and enjoy the glorious California sunshine.  It was idyllic.

I had graduated from college a few months previously with a degree in music, and I was planning to teach private lessons; but while I waited for word-of-mouth advertising to spread and bring me students, I enjoyed the chance to work at a low-stress, mostly carefree job--a welcome change of pace from my stressful final year of college.  Plus, there is so much pretty stuff to look at in a Hallmark shop!  It was a challenge to not spend my whole paycheck on items from the store.  :)

Wanna know why I quit?  I guess there are three main reasons.  First, I was acquiring more piano students, and my teaching schedule was getting fuller.  Second, I was sometimes scheduled to work on Sundays; and by this time, we had committed to a congregation for which I wanted to be free to participate in Sunday activities.  Third--this was a big one--I found myself in a tough ethical situation.  This is silly, and you can laugh, but here was the problem:  in essence, I was being asked to lie.  About what?  Beanie Babies.  

How ridiculous is that!  Little balls of fluff and fabric that sold for only a few dollars, and I was throwing away my soul for them!  OK, I'm being a little dramatic, but I truly was uncomfortable with how the management of the shop expected us to deal with those troublesome little Beanie Babies.  If you recall, they were HOT items back in the day; and customers would stalk us (well, sort of) to find out when a shipment was coming and which Beanie Babies would be in it.  We were not allowed to keep an official waiting list of which customers wanted which Beanie Baby; but oh!--here's the rub--the unofficial preferred customers, the people who were personal friends of the owner/manager/employees, were known to desire certain Beanie Babies, so we would conveniently set those aside in the back room as soon as a shipment came in.  And then when Sue or Marjorie or Eleanor or whoever would come in, "Why, yes, we have that Cinderella the Centipede Beanie Baby you've been waiting for!"  But if Nancy No-Name walked in and inquired, "No, I'm sorry, we don't have any of those."

I hated it.  This was a small town, remember, and there was most certainly an In Crowd and an Out Crowd, the Power People and the Powerless Ones; and absurdly, that differentiation showed up in the back room of a Hallmark shop over a box of Beanie Babies.

So I quit.

But even now, as I see that old name tag, a wave of nostalgia rolls over me and I remember the many pleasant times spent there.  

You know what I liked best about that name tag?  It said Davene Fisher; and for a newlywed who was still getting used to the sound of that new name and who still practiced saying it to see how it felt rolling off the tongue and who still wrote it more than necessary just for the pleasure of seeing that wonderful last name and who still forgot to answer if someone said "Mrs. Fisher" because it sounded like they were referring to her mother-in-law, that was thrilling.

4 comments:

Christie said...

As hard as it is, God calls us to stand up for what's good, honest, and true in this world. Quitting over beanie babies may seem foolish to some, but in the eyes of God, you stood up for what was right.

That will impact eternity!

Sally said...

This is an encouraging post. I too have a very high standard when it comes to honesty. For many years this verse has stuck with me; "No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence." Ps. 101: 7. It is extremely rare that I come across someone else who strives to maintain this same level of honesty that God requires. Do I always succeed? No, and it bothers me greatly when I let some deceit creep into my conversation, or worse, tell an out-right "harmless" lie. And then I wonder why in the world I say did such a thing when it would have been just as easy not to say anything about Mrs. Smith's casserole than to say it was good when really I would never recommend it.

Anyway, thanks for reminding me of the need for honesty in all levels of my life.

bekahcubed said...

What a sweet little reminisce--particularly the bit about your last name on the name tag!

kmcaffee said...

You are just lovely! Way to stand by your values!! It's soooo not silly! :)