After working all day for Experience Drums, I have been working more night shifts than usual at the convenience store, where music is not allowed, and I could never understand why. Our assistant manager, Lyla, moved on to a better position, so our workloads became heavier and more tedious. All you can hear are complaining customers and the clicking of the registers. I thought about Lyla a lot on these evenings and the way she often sang to herself as she helped us with our workloads. Without music, the boredom and moodiness would set in, but the way she sang to herself as we worked made the night go by quickly and less painful. We all missed her, and we knew she would be very hard to replace.
The candidates for Lyla’s position came and went, but it was taking quite a long time to find the right fit. Work was getting done with dragging heels and lack of motivation.
All this changed when Jane, a pretty and friendly young woman, came into the store to apply for our new store manager. I remember introducing myself to her, and feeling a warmth in my heart. There was something different about her. She reminded me of Lyla.
As Jane and I trudged through the night shifts together, we worked in silence and fought the moodiness as we cleaned the shelves, aisles and helped the customers. I wondered what Jane was doing in this sluggish environment to make her tasks go smoothly with a smile. Through the next week as we worked together, I noticed that she was quick stepping down the aisles of the store, cleaning and putting back lost merchandise. Boy was she fast and accurate. As I continued to watch her closely. I noticed headphones in her ears. When I inquired about it, she took them out and with a laugh put them to my ears. Music flowed through my head, and I suddenly got the lift I desperately needed. The hours went fast and our work was complimented the next day by our head store manager. We did not tell him our secret in fear he would get angry, because music was definitely not allowed during work hours. All of us decided to sneak our music while we worked, and it was noticed by all! Our jobs became easier and fun as we compared music, work and laughter. So much more got done, and a once boring job became a lot less work. We even drew in more customers because of our happy personalities making them feel more welcome.
One year has gone by, and Jane has since moved on to another job. She introduced a new way to inspire us, giving us more energy at a somewhat tedious and boring environment. She figured out a way for us to use our phones, strapped to our waists as we work to listen to the music of our choice. You should see the morale of the employees now, and even the crabby customers leave our store with a smile.
As we now are in the search for another store manager, we will never forget the vigor Jane brought to the store. We will always remember that something about Jane.