So, for the record, I don’t piddle around. I do my job. Efficiently, quickly, and to the best of my knowledge. I don’t take half an hour to fold the shirts in the store. I don’t sweep leaves off picnic tables one by one just to look like I’m doing something. I don’t take an hour to sweep the store.
The “store manager”* told me today to piddle. The boss told me to piddle two days ago. But I don’t know how to piddle. One day, I might work on restocking, reordering, and rearranging — and it might keep me busy the entire day…but no longer. And seeing as I work five days a week, that leaves a lot of time between trips to…piddle.
I was told I’m not allowed to finish my work quickly and efficiently and then read on the porch, as I have done for as long as I’ve worked in the store. The owner of our company is not allowed to see me reading a book…
…even if he gave me a reading recommendation for while I wait on guests to get back from the river. And even if he complimented me on how clean and orderly the store has been lately.
Yesterday I tried to piddle around for lunch and try to make it last an hour so I would have less time to piddle around in the store.
I was gone twenty minutes. Instead of the five I usually take.
Of course, others are allowed to sit around without working. The photo girl talks to her mom. The manager sleeps in the office. The other store girl colors. They just sleep and chat and color while no one’s looking, and the moment someone’s around, the jump to attention and do the work they were supposed to be doing all along.
And if someone’s down here — a photo girl or another store girl — then I’m allowed to sit on the porch and talk with them. But if no one else is here? I am not allowed to read.
I don’t piddle very well.
*I quote the title store manager here because she only works one day a week and she doesn’t really know what’s going on in the store. She merely tells me what I’ve done wrong…even though it’s usually already fixed…and then leaves for her full-time “real” job.