Apologies for the pun in the title, but in my defense, I didn't come up with it myself. About 432 years ago (give or take), I asked on Facebook what else I should write about here. One of the suggestions was stories from my pet store employment days, and someone responded with that.
I've worked at 2 major chain pet stores in my life. I was at the first chain for about a year and a half in Colorado, and the second chain for about a year in Washington. At the first chain, there was a LOT of drama. Oh dear god the drama. It was like being in middle school, but wearing a uniform covered in various animals' pee and/or poop, and getting a paycheck for your suffering. I was 22-23 when I worked there.
The Operations Manager there was a girl just a little younger than me, who took smoke breaks as often as possible and had a baby with her common-law husband - she complained about him constantly, broke up with him regularly, and I know at least a couple of us suspected him of physically abusing her but she would never admit it. She would still sometimes go to "raves" with another girl who worked there (also a little younger than me, married, 2 kids).
This was the kind of girl I'd heard existed in high schools, but that I don't remember actually knowing personally. She was nice to people, and acted like we were friends. I even had her and her baby over to my home once, and would take smoke breaks with her so we could chat. (I learned quickly in retail that if I wanted to actually take breaks, I had to pretend to be a smoker and bond with my chimney managers.)
Another girl who worked there had Bitch Face. Not Bitchy Resting Face - just Bitch Face. It was rare to get a real smile from her that made her look like for at least that moment she did not, in fact, want to kill you and everyone around you and set your corpses on fire for no reason. There's a theme going here - this girl was also younger than me and had a young child. She and I were both shift managers and "specialists" for different departments. She apparently took this to mean we were in competition for the General Manager's affections. Maybe the Ops Manager thought I was after her job, too, because these two girls had it out for me.
At some point, I thought I'd won over Bitch Face. We hung out outside of work and I made her laugh a few times, and we seemed to be getting along instead of her just glowering at me every time we passed, or snapping if I asked her for any sort of help at work. Progress!