The grating, sandpaper sensations flow from Mark’s teeth through to his jaw and up into his brain. He cannot remember the last time he was so angry and if it were up to him he would fire that mouthy little bitch right now but these days his lawyer would be all over him for it. He remembers when all he needed Ian for was to go over contracts, now he actually has to listen to his advice about HR decisions because heaven forbid people understand what it means to be an employee who works for someone else. This is his store, he shouldn’t have to answer to anyone else.
It’s not like it was when Pop ran the store. No, back then his old man could put his hand on a cashier’s waist and she’d smile back friendly. These day it’s a “I don’t feel comfortable with that Mr. Walowicz,” followed up with a little insubordination when he tells them to get back to their register, so what if it is five minutes early. Since when do you need a full half hour lunch just for the easiest job in the world? It’s Carter’s fault, just like his old man said. Carter, and Clinton, and people who think they are too good to actually do what they are told. That and that broad, what’s her name, Steiner, Steinburg, whatever.
Every one has ideas above their station. He’s worked hard to keep the business going even with all the big box stores taking over. He doesn’t understand why people go work for them or buy from them when they can support local business like they say they do. It’s not like they pay any better than he does, and he lets them work as little hours as they want, it’s not his fault they aren’t available for when he needs them. They’re all a bunch of ingrates and dad told him they wold be. “Just you wait and see Junior,” he’d tell him, “watch what these women’s libbers and the rest do to the country.” Now he can’t get decent help.
Nobody sees his sacrifices. His having to be in the office everyday to make sure he doesn’t get ripped off just so he can still sign their paychecks. Nobody sees the family vacations he’s had to reschedule or the taxes he’s got to pay, or the money he has to put into the store just to keep it up to code. Nobody see’s his balance sheets or how only about a quarter of every dollar is profit for him. No, they all just want to stick it to the man, and he cannot even enjoy the little things like his Pop did. No, that wouldn’t be appropriate.