“I don’t care if I don’t get the permanent job; I’m happy to stay a cashier,” Rochelle told me yesterday as we were eating breakfast during our interview. It seemed her promotion to a supervisor over the cashiers required a 90 day trial period; two of the three people trying out would be officially promoted and given a raise at the end of this period. She said she hadn’t known this going in and was now somewhat stressed and feared she would not be chosen. She is about halfway through the 90 day period. “The cashiers are mostly young and talk back. They take long lunches and breaks and seem to have no desire to work,” she complained. Rochelle had told me about another trainee who said she didn’t care if she didn’t get the job, but I had never heard Rochelle say it. It seemed to me that she was preparing herself for failure.
“Management isn’t easy,” I said. “ One often works with people who don’t do their jobs well, and one often works with bosses one doesn’t like. All jobs are that way,” I explained. I also explained that not getting the permanent position would not be failure, but just accepting being a cashier in the company would mean she would be limited in income and again stuck. “I thought you were really looking forward to moving ahead,” I said.
Rochelle gets frustrated very easily. When we worked together at the department store she often wanted to quit at the first bump in the road. I reminded her of that. It was only after I got home that I starting thinking that most likely she was just afraid of failure. She never had support growing up and has rarely tried to achieve anything in her life except this job. She doesn’t want to lose face with her peers if she does not get the permanent position, and she doesn’t want to lose face with herself. Hopefully we can talk about this next week. To escape from poverty is a giant task.