Many times, random kids called me “ugly”. Teenagers plaster me with haymakers for their hilarity. Once in a while an elderly pair will braze by me with a frightened gander. This is a conventional day for me. I’m always a witness to everything. Arguments, confessions, loving sentiments, I “hear” it all, straight and simple, being a dummy is not fun.
The other day, I overheard the assistant manager and head manager discussing Bill’s termination. I didn’t want Bill to go, he had a family and always paced by me with a smile on his face, unlike the other employees. A true employee, Bill was always glued to his work and never foul mouthed anyone. On Friday, during a lunchtime rush, Bill trolled from pillar to post, serving customers and eventually succumbed to fatigue. He hadn’t had lunch, so he gingerly sat on the treadmill, which is situated in front of me and bellowed a hefty breath of air. Though Bill was young in spirits, his rickety body couldn’t handle the exertion.
“Go big or go home Billy, gotta meet the weekly quotas,” harped the head manager. Bill planted his feet firm and attended some customers that we’re waiting on him to get some sizes. Unfortunately, the frustrated clients lost their patience with Bill and hastily exited the store.
My sympathies went out to the veteran, who was striving to keep his family from drowning in the deep end of life. Despite many tongue lashings from his superiors, Bill was eventually relieved of his duties. The seasoned salesman pleaded for a second chance after assuring his manager that, “it wouldn’t happen again.” However, the boss stood firm on his decision and played deaf. I vividly recollect that day as the veteran had a tear in his eye, yet held his head high in repute. Bill croaked that same smile but made this difficult eye contact with me whilst exiting the store, as if he was saying good bye.
Ironically, I was sold to a karate school the next day and bid farewell to my makeshift home. Those gloomy days and dark nights of solitude expired. I was boxed in a temporary grave and eventually greeted by a group of tenacious individuals, only to absorb my duty of marinating abuse. Bill’s world of torture in the store was done with. He didn’t have to be paranoid of “surviving another day.” Conversely, my torture of enduring blows just started. Being a dummy is not fun.