Chapter Twenty-Nine

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Sitting around in the back room didn't sound like much fun to me, but it was easy money. I brought the food and beverage manual from Ray's and studied the ingredients for hours. Jay would call from time to time on the store phone just to check in on me. He was probably more concerned about the merchandise and wanted to make sure I hadn't left. 

"How is everything?" Jay asked. 

"So far so good, I suppose. They turned off the heat so it's pretty cold back here, and there's limited lighting, but otherwise I can manage." 

"Okay well, just stay until closing. I think the workers will be done by around 11:00 p.m." 

"Okay, and what about tomorrow?" 

"I need you to do the same thing tomorrow. Just show up at 8:30 and I'll relieve you around 4:00 p.m." 

"Okay, no problem." 

The six by six square foot back office was cold, dark, and did not have good ventilation. I sat at a small desk surrounded by boxes stacked from floor to ceiling. The large plastic sheets set up to protect the shoes from getting dusty did their job; they were covered with white dust from the gyprock. However, I would get it all over my clothes anytime I brushed up against it, which would happen pretty much anytime I moved. Twelve hours went by and I could not imagine doing another day like this. It was beyond unbearable.  

The following day was more of the same. I was counting down the minutes until Jay would come in at 4:00 to relieve me. I felt like I was going crazy sitting back there all alone in the dark. 

*** 

"Yo, Trevor, how's it going?" Jay said over the phone. 

"I'm hanging in there. How's it going with you?" 

"I'm just at the Metro Mall location helping them out and was wondering if you can you check if we have some shoes in stock?" 

"Okay." 

"You got a pen?" 

"Yes." 

"Good. I'm going to read you off the model and the sizes." 

"Okay, shoot." 

I took down the information and left the phone off the hook. I grabbed a flashlight and walked down the narrow hallway in the back of the store. I found the general area that had all the shoes Jay wanted. I wiped the dust off the plastic sheets with my hand and held up the flash light. 

I returned a few minutes later. "Yeah, Jay, we have them." 

"Okay good, I need you to box those up for me and express them over here today. Can you do that?" 

"No problem." 

I hung up the phone and went back with the flashlight. I set the flashlight down and peeled back the tape that was securing the plastic sheet to the bottom of the shelf. I lifted it up just enough for me to crawl carefully underneath it, making sure the tape from the top did not come off. I did this a few more times in different locations in the stock room and put together everything Jay had requested. 

I called the shipping company we used and scheduled a pick-up. In the meantime, I found a flattened box from out back and put it together. I loaded all of the shoes in the big box and made sure the sizes and models were correct. The shipping company arrived shortly after, and in no time, the shoes were en route. Mission accomplished. That only took up about twenty minutes of my day. After that, it was back to reading the food and beverage manual until Jay arrived. 

*** 

"Thank you for calling Mike's Athletics, this is Trevor speaking, how can I help you?" 

"Yo, Trevor, it's Jay." 

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