Florida, musings

Life Beyond the Warehouse

In May I posted “A Life Behind the Warehouse” and I wanted to expand on that post.

For a time there was something spiritual about the place for me. A big parking lot with two huge buildings housing enormous stores. I felt small in their shadows and I liked mine the best because it was home when the place I was staying wasn’t particularly home-y and it gave me the income to move into an apartment that has since been home.

After a year and a half there was ample closure despite a bitter sweetness.
This spot in particular lifted my heart immensely. Every day there was something new and lovely reflected in the water. The sky, ever-changing. The trains cutting through the natural wildness transported me to an entirely different existence.

My little warehouse where I worked to sell food, things masquerading as food or necessary indulgences but that was never why I was there. Yes, the money of course. But there was a sense of being part of the living hum that innervates life even if it felt very basic and base at times. There were customers I liked. The sort of people who are people in all contexts. They don’t use “customer” as a title that entitles and enables them to infantilize themselves rather than empower themselves. And it was the only place I have worked where I respected the vast majority of my coworkers (although I did not necessarily like all of them). It was easy to spot people who weren’t working hard and the vast majority of them gave up, quit or found other work.

The physical pain of the job united everyone. The results of asking a person to be robotic. Six or more hours standing and performing the same tasks on loop for customers who often appeared they’d have preferred mechanized humanity to the messier things of flesh and blood.

Leaving was inevitable but it was one of the many instances of my life where I knew I was unable to truly leave and instead had to cut off the place inside myself that wanted to remain. Reasons for leaving were, ultimately, financial and vaguely self-righteous in that upper management was implementing many policies which directly (and indirectly) sent familiar faces seeking greener pastures. I did not want to stay with a company that could not love the place as much as I did. I did not want to stay with a company that could not love the people as much as I did.


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