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Growing up I used to wonder why my mother cried at things that weren't even sad. Now that I'm approximately the same age my mother was when her children were young and she worked full time I'm starting to understand why she would cry for no reason. For whatever reason I've been having a very difficult time transitioning from the mall I used to work at to the mall I'm at now. I realize it takes time to adjust to a new location. You meet different people, the stores around me are not the same, before I could walk around the mall and chat with people I knew. Recently I've ventured into some other stores but I'm having a hard time connecting with the people who work there.

From the way I've been crying you'd think I was performing poorly but actually the opposite is true. For the month of March I was the top sales associate. Supposedly my boss likes having me at his store, I've kept in touch with the people I used to work with, they've said they miss me and the last time I was at the mall I used to work at I almost started crying when I found out that the Stride Rite store was closing. My sister watched my kids while I stopped in to a store I love. I went back the next night after I realized I wanted more of what I had bought the day before. Chatting with my friends was just like old times. Now I realize that a good shopper is going to be popular with the sales staff but I work in retail and I know that even if customers are good in terms of dollars spent at your store you don't always like them very much.

The mall I work at now is very snobby. A lot of our customers come from old German money. People are tight with it, much more so than the customer base where I previously worked so it's really to my credit that my numbers are as good as they are. Probably the main reason I don't like the new mall is the people I have to work with on a daily basis. This is a little sad to me but I would rather work with all the teenage boys I used to manage at the smoothie shop than the grown women I work with now. One woman in particular is tough for me to deal with. I can work with people who want to grow but I can't do much with people who aren't open to coaching.

Another thing that frustrates me is I feel I'm not getting the training I need. This week my boss is on vacation. Typically we have three people on per day during the week. Currently most of Milwaukee and the surrounding area has off for Spring Break. My children are off which means I don't get to see much of them and what really frustrates me is I'm supposed to run the store I'm at with two people per day. The company I work for has set a very aggressive goal for the month of April. Since Easter fell on the first Sunday of the month I lost that as a sales day. My manager is gone, in terms of volume he's our biggest producer, my paycheck depends on how my store performs and it really makes me mad when people expect me to meet or beat their expectations without support staff in place to make it happen.

Yesterday the woman who was scheduled to work at 5:30 didn't come in until twenty after six. She never called to let me know she was running late. Working twenty hours in two days isn't going to break any records but as the day goes on so do I and it's very hard to be upbeat and positive when it's just you and a store full of people who deserve your help. The other day I had a mini breakdown at work. Monday morning there is a mandatory manager's meeting. We all got yelled at for having such a crappy March and even though I personally had a good month our store was down and as a member of management that makes me responsible for our performance.

When I first started at the new store my boss told me he wasn't going to coddle people. I believed him but now that I've been there for a while I can see that he is more lenient than he makes himself out to be. He lets things slide because he knows that certain people are going to be lazy. Instead of dealing with poor attitudes and non-compliance he tries to work harder himself. That frustrates him, it annoys me and it really ticks me off when I get into trouble for things that are not my fault that I can't control. The other day my district manager told me she was thinking about moving me back to the store I was at formerly. I started crying and when she asked what was wrong I tried to explain that I needed some help, support and training and I haven't been getting it from either of the managers who should have been teaching me how to do my job the way it's supposed to be done.

Personally I've been through a lot lately. Jobs are work, they're going to be stressful and I get that. What people decide to do is up to them. I have been working on a more proactive approach because I've seen first hand what happens when managers don't deal with problems that seem small and then rapidly escalate. Working hard is part of who I am. I take my job fairly seriously and part of the reason my sales volume is lower than some of my coworkers is because I would rather see a customer leave empty handed than with shoes that I know won't work.

I do need to figure out what it is I want to do for the rest of my life. Part of me can't believe I'm so good at sales but my sister says it's because I believe in what I'm selling and I know what I'm doing. Monday and Tuesday I was ready to walk off the job but for now I'm going to stay where I'm at not because I love shoes and being taken advantage of but because for the first time in years my family is going to qualify for group health insurance. My best guess is that the cold I had turned into a sinus infection. It's not going to level me but it makes it hard to sleep because of the constant pain and pressure inside of my head. This decreases my tolerance for bullshit and makes everything I do harder than it has to be.

To end this on a positive note I've lost weight, my car has been getting even better mileage than it had been and I'm still glad I made the decision to spend some extra money because that enabled me to get what I want. It hasn't changed everything but when I leave work I have my car, I can play whatever music I want to and as the miles trail behind me so do the worries of my day. The open road has always been a friend to me. I still have quite a bit of weight to lose but I've been going to the gym and that's helped immensely. I've gotten some new clothes, people at the mall I work at notice me even if they don't really know me.

Part of my job is trying to recruit talent, I'm good at spotting that. I'm exceptionally good at what I do, I look better than I have in years and I feel better about myself even if it's not always a consistent theme. I have beautiful children, a supportive spouse, a loving family and a place on the internet where I can post what I want without fearing more than a couple of anonymous downvotes. I have loads of personality, I'm easy to talk to, I make things fun and if it's not a fun time I can be empathetic. Leaving the mall I used to work at was hard but I have customers coming from the other store just to see me and sometimes they even buy things. I can bring smiles to people's faces just by being who I am. I have that and for now that's what I'm going to focus on and attach to.

I fall apart a little bit every fucking day. A winter leaf still attached to a bare tree. Clinging, not by will, but just by the simple force of being unable to let go. But the wind comes, and the rain, then the snow. And my once green flesh fades to red, to orange, to yellow, to brown. I thin, I wither, and I curl, but still I hold fast to that twig. Soon I begin to crumble, a flake here, and a small puncture there. My once strong edges which are now frayed and feathered begin to disintegrate inward. I fall apart a little bit more every day, but I am still attached. I am coming apart from the inside, and being blown to bits from the outside. Soon there will be nothing left of me. If not from the brutality of winter, the new growth of spring will push me away. Once on the ground I will compost, and deteriorate until I am indistinguishable from the dirt. There I am, once a thriving, life-giving organism reduced to soft earth. And Every day, I fall apart a little bit.

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