Seven o’clock, quitting time for me, comes and goes without the other manager coming to replace me on the floor. Traffic in the store has settled into a pattern, these days, with everyone coming in after their offices close around six o’clock, and we’re always short-staffed, leaving the final two hours before closing at eight a mess of running around, attempting to find salespeople, irritated customers, and stressed out managers, in this case: me.
Five after seven, then ten, and every minute seems like an eternity, because I have allotted exactly the energy required to get me through the day, through my last hour of the day, and my irritation festers and blossoms into a red-hot anger in my stomach, and then, finally, she shows up.
“I know you’ve asked me to be more direct,” I say quietly to her, “so let me tell you, I don’t like ten minutes late."
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