“The unexamined life is not worth living.
                                                                    - Socrates

I recently gave notice at the upscale, corporate clothing store I’ve been working at the past few months in Beverly Hills, but not without doing my best to make the higher-up’s know exactly why.

 

Dear -----,

It is with a heavy heart that I state this as my two-week notice to leave my employment with you and the team of -----.

I was truly hoping this job would become an anchor in my life, inspiring me to remain tied to and settled in my hometown – but instead I have found my time in this store to be a (sometimes painful) drain on my energy, positivity and inspiration. I was happy to take a hit in my income for the enjoyment of a job situation where my creative side could play as a stylist and I could be a part of a light, high-end and respectful workplace filled with uplifting fashion talk between both co-workers and clients, but the truth that I have found is much the opposite. I have noticed that whoever creates the biggest drama – no matter how negative or self-involved/self-focused – gets the attention and somehow the cookie crumbles to their benefit, while those who quietly show up and complete their role to the best of their ability are not rewarded, let alone mentioned. This is not a mentality, nor a workplace that I want to be a part of.

The hourly pay is not nearly enough for the A. sales goal pressures that are applied to associates here – especially without the opportunities or resources to build a proper clientele book, B. negative and/or patronizing attitudes amongst employees of all levels, and the almost class-structured and separated duties of a group supposedly under the same umbrella, C. the massive lack of basic genuineness, and D. the numerous miscommunications... All of these I believe are very unnecessary, but very real stressors.

I wish for you and your team all the best in success, and happiness.

Best regards,

Billie Proffitt, part-time stylist
 

Surrounding my choice to leave half a dozen others have as well, including the GM, so I agreed to stay a little longer while he sorted out so many new hires. Yesterday we finally set my last day on the books, and ironically everyone happened to be up in a tizzy.

“The CEO is arriving this afternoon! Why do you think I bought this annoyingly expensive shirt from our new collection?” the assistant manager – whom I adore – told me. “And look, doesn’t ----- look great too?” she signaled toward the other manager, “We have to be on top of details today!”

“Don’t worry,” I calmly stated. “I’m sure the CEO isn’t going to show up... And who cares if he does? It’s not like we ever do anything wrong - we show up, we do our jobs, we go home. Pretty simple.” I had been through this corporate bullshit so many times before where they throw everyone into high alert as if doing our jobs every day isn’t a good enough representation for viewing the business they oversee.

All day the entire staff waited and fretted – changing misaligned sensors, sweeping the floors, moving the furniture, clothes and things around while anyone with a title slightly higher than someone else’s dictated their importance with cold and flakey harshness; nothing new, but certainly in more quantity than usual. I wondered to myself if the visit was sparked by the exodus of staff... And just as the saying goes: ask and you shall receive, because as I went to pull out the driveway after clocking out, I was forced to abruptly hit my brakes when a man walked straight across the alley without looking.

This arrogant stride provided not so much as even a head tilt toward me or the white BMW who slammed on his brakes coming down the fast-paced alleyway, who was then in turn almost rear-ended by the three cars behind him for not taking the self-indulgent man out. All the while Mr. Ignorant sauntered through the busy mini-street like an uninterested mother duck with over a dozen people following him from the rented bus-limo, all similar in demeanor – the last two women even stopping to review one of their phones before realizing that now nine or ten cars were all waiting on them to finish their moronic business... And every last one of them was decked egotistic head, to pompous toe in our latest collection.

The CEO did show up after all, but he didn’t care that half the staff was leaving nearly as much as his did that the wind was disfiguring his carefully crafted hair-do.