Perhaps a month ago now, my store had a meeting. Now, it’s important to note here that we never have meetings. Once a year in the weeks leading up to Black Friday we have the annual Holiday Meeting, basically establishing that the holiday season will be a clusterfuck and we will be pushing the sweaters, but that’s it. So a meeting in April was a bit of an (unwelcome) surprise.
We all dragged ourselves in and sat eye-rolling and under-breath-muttering as the managers read aloud to us from company invoices dictating the buzzwords for mannequins: “smart” for men and “polished” for women (“Women shouldn’t be smart,” I summarized.) There were godawful team-building exercises. And above all else, there was the concept of “brand ambassadors”, which would have been the drinking game word if we’d had booze.
A week or so later, I was working one night with our store manager and a girl named Gi. In a conversational lull, Jeff began quizzing us: “So what did you guys take away from the meeting? What did you learn?” I promptly adopted an affectation of busy deafness. Poor Gi answered, pain in every word, “Well, I learned about being a brand ambassador.” “Uh-huh, and what does that mean?” Poor Gi: “Well, it’s about customer service, and dressing to dress code… [trailing off as appeal for conclusion]” Jeff continued on about how important being brand ambassadors is.
Then he threw out another question, and at this point I truly couldn’t even listen for purposes of self-preservation. But Gi, unwilling to bear the brunt alone, said, “Umm… Kristi?” and Jeff piped up, “Yeah, you can answer too!”
By now you can probably write the ends of these types of stories yourself, but it wound up with me saying, “No. I’m not getting quizzed right now.” And that stopped that crazy train.