Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Bowels Of The Mall

Two days a week I work the middle-of-the-day shift at the mall Customer Service desk.  When I arrive the boss (who opens) leaves to take his lunch, then spends a good chunk of the rest of his day doing boss stuff like meetings and paperwork.  Today he took the day off.  He asked me to open the desk, and scheduled a coworker to do my usual shift.

We had the normal employee afternoon overlap, and since the mall has been pretty slow since school has started, not really enough work for two people. I decided to use the time to clean out a pile of empty boxes that had accumulated in the storeroom.  However, there was just one problem--I didn't know where to take them.  In the two years I've worked at the mall, someone else has always done it.

There's a large network of halls, elevators, and docks behind the scenes at the mall, but I didn't know which ones to use.  I asked a security guard where to find the trash and box receptacles.  Turns out there's more than one; he gave me directions me to the closest.  I could see the door leading to the area from my desk.  When my coworker arrived I told her what I was going to do.  She really got into the cleaning idea, and started breaking down the boxes that were stacked in the corner of the desk office.  At my request she saved one box for me to stack others into.  After cramming in as many boxes as I could I was off on my adventure.
 
Once I went through the doors to leave the public area of the mall the atmosphere changed. Instead of ceramic tile the floors were cement, and the farther back I went the dingier they became. It was interesting to pass by the back doors of the stores I'm used to seeing from the front. My directions were spot on, with one exception.  The dock I was directed to didn't have trash and box compactors, but I saw someone who directed me a short distance to the next dock that did. 

I ended up making five trips.  When I was done I was sweaty and my white shirt had patches of dirt on the front and sleeves, but my shift was over so it didn't really matter.  While I was busy my coworker had borrowed a broom from one of the maintenance people and swept the office.  It looked much nicer.

Five years ago today: New Thing #236--Towering

11 comments:

  1. I always love to go behind the scenes and see things from a different perspective like that.

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  2. Phew! I thought the story was going to end with you locked outside of the loading dock or something! What a great feeling to get everything cleaned up and so much junk thrown away! You must have enough stories from the mall to write a book!

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    1. Wow! Not one, but TWO, people were afraid something would happen to me. Makes me feel good. I don't have enough stories yet to write a book, but we'll see what happens if I'm at this job for a long time.

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  3. I have seen movies and shows where someone on the run ended up in that part of the mall. I was wondering if it really really existed. I'd like to see it for myself but not by myself. I thought your story was going somewhere else and I was nervous. ;-)

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    1. Thanks for being nervous for me :-)

      I kept expecting someone to appear in the back area and question what I was doing there. I think it would be interesting to know more about where all the back halls go.

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  4. I took part in a few mall shows. We exhibitors could not set up or tear down until after the mall closed. We unloaded into those corridors and lined up waiting for security to let us in at 10 or 11. PM, that is. Set up until 1 or 2 AM, grab a few Z's and be back to finish when we were let in, an hour before the mall opened.

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    1. Now THAT sounds like an interesting story!

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  5. Now you know the mall inside and out!

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  6. Since you did such a good job in straightening up the area, don't be surprised if you now become the most requested person to take over other areas when someone is out. LOL.

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    1. They can try, but I'm good about saying NO!

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