Fashion Victim

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Vol 37 Issue 05

Movie Deemed Acceptable For Mom And Dad

LOCK HAVEN, PA–Looking for a video to watch with his parents during a weekend visit, 28-year-old Steve Berg rented Small Time Crooks Sunday. "This seems good–no sex or violence," said Berg, studying the back of the box. "I could get Analyze This, but there's an outside chance it has some bad language." While home last Thanksgiving, Berg squirmed through Double Jeopardy with his mother, unaware that it contained brief nudity.

Star Wars Gamer Magazine Boldly Claims To Be The Leading Magazine For Star Wars Gamers

NICASIO, CA–The debut issue of Star Wars Gamer, which hit newsstands Monday, audaciously boasts that the magazine is "the world's leading publication for Star Wars gaming fans." "Whether you're looking to take your character on an adventure on Yavin IV, soup up your B-wing fighter, or paint an army of Stormtrooper miniatures, Star Wars Gamer is the only Star Wars gaming source you'll ever need," the issue brashly proclaims. Said Chad Burnley, an Athens, GA, Star Wars gamer: "They are certainly going out on a limb to make this claim. If a second Star Wars gaming magazine were ever to be published, they'd have to work really hard to maintain their number-one status."

Jerry Lewis Undergoes Emergency Gefloigel Surgery

LOS ANGELES–Less than an hour after doctors discovered that the gland had become all screwy with the infections, legendary comedian Jerry Lewis underwent emergency surgery to remove his gefloigel Monday. "We had to go in through Mr. Lewis' schlaphlecky system, bypassing the oy-hayvel," said Dr. Jacob Weisz, Nice Mister Chief of Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "But in the end, we were able to get him all being better and healthy, you know." Doctors have prescribed Lewis several weeks of bedrest, with the sleeping and the flowers and the nice music and hrrrrrn.

The Cruise-Kidman Divorce

After 10 years of marriage, Hollywood power couple Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman announced their divorce on Feb. 5. What were the reasons for the split on each side?

My Collection Of Cassingles Is Second To None

In the realm of the true musical aesthete, there are some who rise above the madding crowd. At the risk of seeming immodest, I must confess that I am a member of this elite upper strata. I have put my love of music before all else in my life, and I feel supremely confident in asserting that my collection of cassingles is second to none.

Clinton And The Fugitive Financier

Congress is investigating Bill Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich, a major Democratic Party contributor who since 1983 has been living in Switzerland to avoid trial for racketeering, tax evasion, and trading with Iran. What do you think?
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Special Coverage

Productivity

Scientists Posit Theoretical ‘Productive Weekend’

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Challenging long-accepted scientific convention, a group of leading MIT scientists published a report Thursday positing that, under certain rare and specific conditions, a so-called “productive weekend” is theoretically pos...

Pop Culture

Man Commits To New TV Show Just Hours After Getting Out Of 7-Season Series

UNION CITY, NJ—Recommending that he give himself the chance to pause and explore the other options out there, friends of local man Jonathan Gember expressed their concerns to reporters Wednesday that the 29-year-old is already committing to a new television show just hours after getting out of a seven-season-long series.

Fashion Victim

A few days ago, if you'd asked me what "nepotism" meant, I would have guessed it was some sort of eye disorder. But boy, oh, boy, Jeanketeers, since then I've learned what the word really means! (The hard way!)

When I began working at Fashion Bug, I thought I'd finally found my dream job: decent pay, flexible hours, and the chance to have truly important responsibilities. I was even given my own keys to the cash-register drawer and a special register code so I could correct any cashiering errors I made! I never had that privilege at any of my other retail jobs. I always had to wait for the supervisor to come and delete the error, getting an icy glare in the process!

Best of all, I was almost up to 40 hours a week. And you know what being full-time means: Yup, employee discount!

Then, out of nowhere, came trouble with a capital T. Or, in this case, a capital E! Her name was Ellen. (Actually, that's not her real name. My editor recommended I change it to avoid getting sued for libel. So her real name begins with a different letter.)

A few weeks before Christmas, Ellen was hired as an entry-level sales associate, just like I'd been three months earlier. The more the merrier, I figured. With the Christmas rush on, we sure needed the extra help.

Anyway, Ellen was the best friend of the store manager, Roz. She was divorced with two kids and really needed a job because the state was cutting off all her assistance if she didn't go back to work. (A policy I wholeheartedly supported–until I saw what Ellen's presence at Fashion Bug meant for me!)

On Ellen's very first day, a Monday, Roz had me train her on the cash register. You know, being a cashier may look easy, but it's not. You have to pay attention to giving out the correct change, remember to itemize each sale correctly as a check, cash, or credit card, and change the register tape before it runs out. And if you don't balance at the end of the day, you have to go through the tape and try to find your mistake.

So here I was, trying to train Ellen. Notice how I said "trying," because Ellen hardly paid any attention at all!

"I had a lot of these type jobs before my marriage," she told me, "so I know what I'm doing." When I told her that if she made an error, I'd delete it with my special code so she could do the sale over again, she stifled a laugh. I asked her what was so funny. She said she couldn't help it, I was just acting so serious about everything. Well, that irked me a little. I like to think of myself as a fun-loving person, but I was trying to train her, so I couldn't be all happy-go-lucky, now, could I? (Maybe she should've gone to work with those cutups over at the Hot Sam a few doors down. I can't even order a pretzel there without hearing people tittering in the back kitchen!)

So, after lunch, Ellen got on the second register. And, sure enough, at the end of the day when we rang out the totals and counted everything, Ellen had recorded two credit-card sales as check sales and was $5 short. That meant Ellen had to go down on the employee-error ledger. Because she was new, she was entitled to three major cashiering mistakes a month instead of the customary two. But if she committed any more than that, she could have her probationary period lengthened by a month.

The following Monday, I was scheduled for the afternoon shift. I walked in and saw Ellen at the register. I couldn't believe my eyes: Not only was her "trainee" badge replaced with an "Ellen" one, around her wrist on a stretchy cord was a key: her own register-drawer key! I rushed into the back office and confronted Roz.

"Ellen's only been here a week," I said. "How come she got a key so soon?"

"This seasonal rush has me swamped, and I'm too busy to check on the cashier area all the time," Roz replied. "Ellen is doing well enough that if she needs extra cash, she can sign it out from the vault herself. Oh, and I gave her correction privileges, too. She knows what she's doing, Jean. She used to be my boss when we both worked at Merry-Go-Round. "

I was speechless. I had to wait until the end of my probationary period to get my keys and correction privileges! Ellen loses $5 for the company, and within days she's given what it took me three whole months to earn? What's the point of even having a probationary period if the rules can be flouted like that?

I tried to look on the bright side. After all, if Ellen kept to the register, she couldn't fold clothes in that sloppy way of hers. One time, I practically had to redo an entire table of women's shaker-knit sweaters because she let the sleeves stick out. Sheesh! (Boy, that Merry-Go-Round of hers must have been a real mess!)

For about a month, I hardly ever saw Ellen, because she worked mornings while I worked afternoons and evenings. Then, last Friday, when I arrived at work, I saw her chatting with Roz. At first, I thought Ellen was there to pick up her paycheck, but I noticed she was dressed a little nicer than usual, with a blazer and pearls. Then I spotted her nametag. It was managerial red, not sales-associate black.

You guessed it: Ellen got hired for the long-vacant assistant-manager position! Now, she was my boss! Worst of all, Ellen would get the coveted employee discount, while I worked just two fewer hours per week than her and had to pay full price!

I'm not exaggerating when I say that my world was shattered. I was so close to getting that assistant-manager position, I could taste it! Granted, Roz never officially promised it to me, but it just seemed natural that I would get it after giving so much of myself to Fashion Bug. Didn't Roz remember when I volunteered to stay three hours after closing to assist with inventory? Or that time I helped her unpack and organize that larger-than-expected shipment of misses' rayon career blouses? Or when I showed up at the Christmas party with my notorious Ecstasy In Chocolate Surprise, which everybody said was the best dessert they'd ever tasted, hands down?

Suddenly, Fashion Bug didn't seem like a fun place with cute, kicky, affordable clothes and plentiful opportunities for advancement. It was almost like it became this depressing place that offered cheap clothing of inferior quality in an underpatronized strip mall in an economically depressed part of town.

That evening, as I told hubby Rick what I just told you, his eyes started to glaze over like he was hearing the most boring story in the world. When I finished, he just looked at me and said, "So? I've been passed over for tons of promotions over the years, but I don't get all worked up about it. Like I always say, life's a bitch and then you die." Then he returned to his all-important living-room-floor slot-car race. Gee, thanks for the loving support there, Rick!

I think folks like me who get passed over for promotions they clearly deserve should form a union. Can you imagine how powerful we'd be if we all banded together and demanded that our voices be heard? Maybe there's already a union like that. If there is, could someone please let me know how I can join? Solidarity, Jeanketeers!

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