Why Not?

People say, “I’ll try anything once.” A few mean it – eating the hottest habañera pepper, jumping out of a helicopter to ski down a glacier – but most speak glibly. I try not to say it at all, in case someone is of a mind to dare me.

No one dared me to apply for a job at Target. In fact most people I told looked at me like, “What the heck were you thinking?” For a few the words fell right out of their mouths.
I was thinking I needed a job, and being a Human Resources manager didn’t sound so bad, what with the job being a mile from home and I’d get to wear khakis every day. Why the heck not?

So there I was on orientation day, being given the store tour by the bright and perky 22-year-old Chrissy. I’ve been shopping at this store longer than this girl has been alive – and she was going to be my boss.

She led her band of merry tagalongs past the freezer section, through electronics – I didn’t know Target sold iPads – around the toys section that ranged from pale pink baby dolls to green and black camouflaged ground pounders, and by the fitting rooms where Chrissy offhandedly said, “Jane, you’ll fill in here for breaks and lunch.”

My brain was processing this slowly: Jane – You’ll – Fill – In – What?! Did she say ‘Jane’? I’m covering the dressing room? I’m re-hanging women’s bras and re-boxing men’s jockey shorts and folding shirts the teenage girl dropped on the floor as I count hangers and hand out little plastic numbers?

This shock was just making an impression on me as we reached check-out, and this time I distinctly heard Chrissy mention, “Jane, you’ll cover here.”

I made it through class without babbling or breaking down in sobs. The next day I called and told Miss Not-Going-To-Be-My-Boss the job just wasn’t right for me…no matter how short the drive.

I’ve had a few more goofy job misses since then, such as the man who didn’t want to pay me. He liked my work – he just, really, didn’t want to pay me.

So there’s this job interview on Tuesday. In D.C. If I get the job either I’ll have to move or commute two hours each way.

I’ll try anything once.


© 2012 Jane Harkins. All rights reserved.

4 responses to “Why Not?

  1. I always thought it would be fun to show up at a random Target (preferably not one just a mile from home) wearing a khakis and red Izod shirt, so shoppers would confuse you for an employee. I would truly enjoy giving out totally-false-but-oh-so-helpful assistance.

    “I’m sorry, young lady, but we’ve sold out of all three of the Hunger Games books. However, if you would like to volunteer as a tribute, go the the Sporting Goods counter and ask for Mr. Heavensbee…”


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