The LP of life has its dance tempos, tragedy themes, and slow jams. Kaede, who seemed stuck in the replay of tragedy for a while, finally slid on her song’s fast forward to the current position, where she had control of her existence’s production.
Kaede smiled and tapped on the surveillance screen with her pencil, “see, just there, he switched the boxes.”
Joseph put on his glasses and approached the screen, “so what are you going to do?”
Kaede leaned back on the wall and crossed her arms, harboring her know-all expression, “I guess I’ll have to issue a warning letter.”
Joseph chuckled, “you’re a boss, Kaede, but no. Just tell Chris we know, and if it occurs again, he’ll get a warning letter.”
“But Joseph, he switched the boxes so his friend could pay cheaper without forgetting he topped him up with his staff discount.”
Joseph scratched his forehead, “Kaede, your job as a manager is to teach them the basis of work ethics.”
One year old, Da Stuff became one of Paris’s hype addresses like all the concept stores before it. Having held lessons from its predecessors like NOUS, Colette, 18-20 Archives, the Da Stuff hoped to expand instead of remaining in one place and catering to an exclusive niche of customers.
More significant and bolder, with its Instagram influencer-looking sales assistants, everyone who wished to become someone hoped to work or shop in the store known for being the mecca of collab exclusives on the most prominent and dopest creator brands.
Kaede rolled her eyes at the older man’s remark and adjusted her earpiece, “I thought my job was to make sure we made money. This business won’t hold if we let them off scot-free, and it’s not like we are out of candidates for sales assistant positions.”
Kaede Missoni Laurence was a woman with professional consciousness that suited luxury retail, but the manager came off strict for streetwear. Even after her year away from the business world, she remained conditioned to rigid guidelines from her previous work experiences. For Kaede, aka Moany Missoni, taking it easy seemed a fictional notion that could only be applied once dead.
An eccentric visionary, Joseph Calzoni, also known as Pizza Man, was the person who privileged the outcome instead of the process. In Kaede, Joseph saw leadership traits that pushed him to hire the woman who worked on the morning shift in his local frozen foods grocery store as an FTC.
At the time, Kaede had no attention to go back to any business that needed overtime attention like a lover. The girl had given, an orphan from age nine. Kaede wished to be a doctor without a direct relative for support; she reoriented herself towards business. Studious, Kaede achieved everything with flying colors and integrated a monster petrol company. The hard-working Yes-girl, as her former colleagues called her at the time, gave her all. Reliable Kaede became a workload dumpster until the day she snapped.
Having seen the ugly and resisted hard pressure, Joseph could not see someone better to watch over his new investment. Kaede was surprised when the older man stood at her till with his trolley of frozen foods asked to see her palms.
Though septical, the woman let the older man examine her hands. In the end, he said, “come and work for me. It’s time to hear what tune your vinyl plays.”
Eleven months later, they stood in Joseph’s office, discussing disciplinary procedures they could apply to the ego-inflated staff.
“Kaede, you know how I hate having you do paperwork. I hate paperwork,” the man said, pointing his hands at himself, “take it easy. You have Marco. I hired him to the second you. There’s no need for you to play a Bootcamp drill sergeant,” Joseph patted Kaede on the shoulder and went to sit behind his desk, where Ricks’s voice from Rick and Morty echoed.
Kaede understood the talk was over. She sighed and opened the door, and turned on her earpiece. The woman had not arrived at the end of the corridor that the first interrogations began.
“Kaede, I just finished scanning the YEEZY B750. Can I validate?”
Kaede took the scanner in her hand; all the quantities announced appeared scanned “okay.”
“Kaede, there’s a miss Magnon on the phone from Fly magazines asking if we have samples of the YojiXDr.martens for tomorrow’s photoshoot. What should I say?”
“Say no. I rather have them sold off full-price than have a model flex and bend them for free.”
Kaede heard Julia politely refuse on the phone. Until now, the woman was satisfied with her choice. Kaede gave the tempo and rocked the beat until her new vinyl found itself scratched by the man who greeted her at the bottom of the stairs.
“Good afternoon, miss Missoni. Will you grace me with a hello today?”
Kaede rolled her eyes at the question. Even though she had a mental pep talk with herself as she came down the stairs. Kaede still could not offer anything other than a crisp igloo salute. She pursued militarily, doing a short handover, “hello, the morning was calm. The delivery just finished. Please don’t accept any demands for the Yoji’s if you can send Rimi to get some change at the bank. Before you ask, yes, senior sales can do that here.”
Marco smiled at her, “breath, Kaede.”
From day one, the woman who almost strangled Marco with her elbow after backing him up against the wall of one of the fitting rooms set the record straight. The man saw no inconvenience working with her. No one was to know, and all had to be kept on the low about their past ties.
Kaede glanced at him. Every day Marco Francis was as fresh as blooming sakura flowers.
Why did the asshole have to look so hot?
Kaede thought as she looked at his curly black Latin hair, his thick black brows that gave his brown eyes a determined stare. A bonus was the straight bridged nose and full lips on his poreless tanned skin. The list of the perfection of Marco’s features could go on, at least for the day.
For Kaede, the man’s physique lost all its superb once you knew him as she did.
Kaede yanked off a lanyard and shoved it in her dungarees pocket, “I’m going to lunch.”
The only good thing about their partnership was that they split the shifts, having one of them coming in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The timetable allowed Kaede to relax as she only had to support the man a few hours a day.
For the staff, Kaede was jealous of the newbie and felt threatened. Their cat and dog verbal jousts were like a single with two remixes playing all week.
Kaede walked to the sliding entrance door and turned back to take one last glance before stepping out.
She took out her phone, which showed 1:10 PM. The staff inside had the same reflex to note they had one hour of freedom before Kaede came back from lunch.
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