Once you’ve been fired – especially if it happened more than once – there’s always that fear that it will happen again. But, I decided to charge against the fear. I was afraid I could get fired for failing to meet the goals set by corporate. My time scanning the bays had been too slow. So, I called the bookstore manager and asked if I could volunteer a couple of hours to work up my speed. I was serious – and sincere. I was willing to work on my own time to work up to the goal – just to see if it was possible.
I realized that I am not always right in my criticism. I have been in management myself, made executive decisions. What if others under my supervision suspected and criticized my every decision? I might be in an executive position again some day. Here was an opportunity to behave the way I hope people in my supervision would behave, a chance to offer what I hope they would offer. We had a deadline to meet. Move $250,000 worth of merchandise out of the store in two weeks, making room for the construction of our new Nook boutique. I was on-board with this corporate goal although I personally hated to see physical store space for beloved books shrinking.
Here I was putting a corporate goal and interest above my own. This felt like personal growth to me. And I was kinda happy to discover it. This was like getting paid $8/hr. to do research – on my own soul and character. I was being enriched in ways no paycheck could ever indicate.