RECORD STORE TALES #990: Cleaning the Door
In 2005, near the end of my sad reign as Record Store Manager, I was working at the head office branch. There was a door in the back of the store that lead to an office space with several desks, and a warehouse area for supplies. It was like the Great Wall. On one side sat the the elite who laughed as they made the decisions, what stock we were carrying, and other sundry details that came down from on high. On the other side, I the rabble that worked behind the counter serving the unwashed public.
Or at least that’s how they made it feel to me. The cold detachment. It was always unnerving when you could hear them discussing your store behind the wall.
Either way it was clear by 2005 that I was the old guard on my way out. Management was unprofessional, and some of us couldn’t help noticing that other stores got away with things that mine didn’t, perhaps due to personal relationships. This is not only my observance but that of others in the know. So I knew the deck was stacked against me until I eventually made my move to depart.
One thing they were always bitching about was “your store is messy/dirty/disorganized”. There was the incident with the glass front display case that had fingerprints on it for example. Other “preferred” stores were the same or worse, but didn’t catch the grief that I did. So I decided to try an experiment and see if they’d notice.
The only door to the back office was filthy with fingerprints when I took over that store. You know how the area around a doorknob gets blackened with the dirt and grime of the years since last painting? I was shocked, because I inherited that store from someone who seemed to be more preferred than I was. One week I decided to scrub that door, and surrounding wall, clean.
Anytime management were not around that week, such as the night shifts, I would get out the cleaning products and scrub. It took a few days, but eventually I got all the black off the door and wall. They were as fresh as the day they were painted. The grossness was gone.
I waited for someone in management to notice, but notice never came.
A week or two later, I asked someone if they noticed I had cleaned all the grime off the door?
“Mmm,” came the only reaction.
“Fuck this job,” was my own silent response.