Jingle This

Jingle bells aren’t the best motivational tools…

The retail company I worked for came up with a ploy to motivate their employees. Instead of a decent raise or vacation pay, the company used slogans. I’m not talking cool words encouraging us to just go out and achieve our best. No, I’m talking jingles that made you retch up breakfast.

These slogans, many times, came with props, especially the holiday versions. The year of “Jingle Some Bells” we received a pen, necklace, and bracelet with bells attached. These gifts were designed to help us make our customers happy.

Most customers, annoyed with the constant tinkling noise and twenty-seven versions of the song Jingle Bells blaring from the store’s PA system, wanted to kill us. Not before we wanted to do the deed ourselves. That year, when my friends asked me what my company gave me for Christmas, I replied, “insanity.”

“Rule This Yule” wasn’t much better. I expected a scepter or crown. But no, this queen was expected to command authority with breath mints, hand sanitizer, and deer antlers or elf ears. I chose antlers. In my head, I imagined bending my head, pawing the ground, and charging, not with the intent to gore, but to knock some sense into the butthole who came up with these props.

As bad as the previous years had been, nothing reached the low of the “Gift Guru” jingle. I was expected to Zen out with the motivational tools of chap stick, tissues, and bandages which contained latex and may cause an allergic reaction according to the warning on the package.

My “Gift Guru” shirt was to be worn to draw people to me for help. The real reason people sought a guru was not only to receive lessons or teachings, but also to receive a state of grace.

In retail, that principle was perverted to mean goodies. People could come to me for goodies. I’d then en-lighten their purses and try to give them a credit card so they could buy more goodies with theoretical money at an interest rate of 26.99%.

The word guru was formed from two Sanskrit syllables, the first meant “darkness”, the second “light”. Our shirts should have read “Gift Gugu”.

During the “Go Team” campaign, we employees were strongly encouraged to participate in a company pep rally, complete with pom poms and mini megaphones.

Most of that junk still sat in a box in the break room.

I was reminded of a cheer from my junior high years, rah, rah ree, kick ‘em in the knee. Rah, rah, ras, kick ‘em in the ass. I was never a hollaback girl.

One would think “Thankfulness and the Gifts We Bring” would’ve launched in November. Because retail turned the holiday formerly known as Thanksgiving into Black Thursday, now just another day of work, this wouldn’t have gone over well. We saw this slogan in January. Two bulletin boards were set up.

On the “Thankful” board, I wrote “I’m thankful for God, family, friends, my dog, and agave.” What I meant was agave in the form of tequila. If the boss figured that out, I’d probably be made to sit in the corner with a dunce hat on my head.

Considering I courted trouble with the agave remark, I wrote humor instead of sarcasm on my construction paper gift for the “Gift” board. I hoped we weren’t being graded on penmanship.

“Retail Warrior” held promise. Would I be given a sword? Mace? Nunchucks? Ax? Warriors wore badass attire such as chain mail and leather. I was sorely disappointed. We got nothing with this one, not even a pass to wear jeans. What self respecting warrior donned khakis?

Corporate needs to give up on the encouraging word baloney. Jingle this, my Yule ruling, guru warrior leaders, a better paycheck is still the best motivational tool.

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