You know those days when you just laugh and laugh and laugh until eventually your mind snaps and those gleeful outbursts change to whimpers and sobbing? Well that was me yesterday. As far as I could tell I wasn’t happy (or later sad) about anything in particular. There wasn’t any blatant catalyst. I wasn’t hungry, tired or sexually frustrated; it was just another fun ride on the roller-coaster of emotions.

I think maybe I was just over-stimulated. Or that the medication hasn’t made its mind up what it wants to do with me yet. Maybe both. Maybe neither. I’m thinking too much. Working in retail can be overwhelming when you suffer from depression, particularly if you’re on the front line and face-to-face with flocks of screeching customers, all demanding equal measurements of your time. Swamped with the continuous cacophony of needy-bitch chit-chat I could hear the voice inside my head screaming with anguish at the sheer prospect of having to deal with another moaning mother, moody teenage boy or anyone with a pulse. Please, make it stop.

Working in retail I’m no stranger to rudeness. In fact, it’s something I’m subjected to daily. Of course there are different degrees of rudeness to battle with; some remarks you can merely shrug off, but sometimes there’s remarks that are just so unnecessary you wonder why God let such a horridly rude creature hatch into the world. As an adult I need to find socially acceptable ways of expressing my anger, so I resist the urge to fling people across the floor, which I feel deserves endless kudos.

I never understand why people are so rude to shop workers. Were you dragged up? Do you feel you’re above me simply because I’m selling moderately priced clothing? Because you’re not. Perhaps you should put down that top and maybe use the money to buy yourself some manners or, you know, or a book on not to act like a total douche?

You can always tell when someone is going to be a challenge. I feel maybe that if I was doing over the phone customer service it wouldn’t be as bad. No such holding back is required over the phone; you could just click mute and scream for six months straight and you’d not be accused of fucking up. Sadly, real people are filled with a kind of haunted meat which you’re unable to scream at. The customers that demand ridiculous things off you are the same people that will likely make you dance at weddings. Those people need to be avoided.

So the internal shout trombones in my head whilst my actual gob remains shut. Smile plastered across my face, pretending I’m not praying for a cataclysmic event to reduce the world to a simmering pile of ashes. People say I’m miserable because I’m not continuously cheery. I’m not miserable, I work in retail. I’m a survivor.


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