Why Politics and Work Shouldn’t Mix

I work at Target. Apparently there’s some craziness and anger going on right now about gender-neutral signing throughout the stores. I don’t really know, because let’s be honest: I get paid to pull boxes forward and help people find cat litter. Politics isn’t in my job description. Today, however, someone apparently decided it should be a part of my job description. That was probably a mistake.

I’m almost positive that the woman in question came to Target specifically to stir up trouble with this weird controversy I’m just now learning about. She found me in the food department, specifically asked me to show her where bedding is, and as soon as we got to the aisle and declared: “Children’s sheets? Children’s? Where’s the Girl Sheets?

Now, let me point something out– that entire aisle is pink. The paper on the back of the shelves is a neutral wood-brown, but all of the packaging itself has remained the same. And princess bedding tends to be pink. Even so, the woman still picked up a blanket, pointed at the “children’s bedding” tab and demanded: “Doesn’t this bother you?”

I already told you what I feel about politics and my job mixing, so my answer might not surprise you. Also, it was too early in the morning to argue with crazy women with agendas. But this slipped out before I even realized what had happened:

“Not really. There are 16 million starving children in our country. I have less petty things to be angry about than whether or not a Frozen blanket says ‘girls’ or ‘children’.”

Maybe I should work on my filter if I want to keep my job.

Seriously, though. I don’t understand the pettiness of our country. I just don’t get it. There are huge, terrible issues that everyone recognizes as being shocking and sad, but we focus on what celebrities wear to rehab or how much the price of our pizza is going to cost next year. And the worst thing– the worst thing is that sometimes we do actually stumble across the worst issues in American culture, and we mourn as an entire society– and then bicker so much on the schematics of a solution that nothing gets done anyway.

Let’s look at gun control. I think everyone can agree that there have been too many tragedies. Too many children have died. And too many of them died in school–a place that should be unconditionally safe. That’s fucking wrong.

But even in the worst-case scenario– when our country’s most beloved and important resources were extinguished prematurely amid terrified screams and sobs–we can’t agree on a course of action to keep something like that from happening again. As far as I’m concerned, the gun debate ended the minute that we put our own selfishness above the safety of kindergartners and refused to change our current laws even as their parents wept over tiny graves.

So, Lady in Target today– here’s my question for you: If we won’t take action to ensure our children are fed– if we can’t protect them from something obviously deadly like bullets–then why are in the hell are you fighting so hard to “protect” them from Frozen blankets marked “children” rather than “girls”?

Your priorities disgust me. But I can’t tell you that (or I shouldn’t. But seriously, you caught me off guard).

And the biggest thing is– I shouldn’t even know about your messed up priorities when you come into my workplace. I am literally the lowest person on the Target Corp. ladder.  What did you think you were going to accomplish by dragging me over to Domestics and picking up that item?  Nothing.

Nothing. That’s a word that shouldn’t often come from hard work. But whatever your agenda. Whatever your politics. If things don’t change soon–if we don’t start compromising and focusing on bigger things–then that’s what all of us are going to accomplish when we pick our soapboxes and wave our signs: Nothing. Nothing at all.


One thought on “Why Politics and Work Shouldn’t Mix

  1. Pingback: Okay. Then Let’s Talk About Bathrooms. | Mortal Asphalt

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