This was prompted to me by an amazing friend of mine, Scarlet, who I suppose in this fandom would be known better as one half of the GreyInnocence team. No worries though, Katie. I love you just as much. And yes, I am whoring you guys out.
Anyone who can guess my occupation gets a nice pat on the back. Great work, everyone~!
Also, I don't own anything.
Oishi sighed. Another day, same job. As he walked along the sidewalk towards the tall white building with the rainbow letters, he looked at the parking lot. This was Japan. Most people took the trains. And yet here, in front of him, was a packed parking lot.
Even though the large building was settled directly in the middle of a strip mall, he knew that all of those cars were for the store.
There was no missing the toy store. For one thing, it was taller than all it's surrounding buildings. On one side was a tiny family Christian store, and the other an instrument shop. Both neighboring buildings were dark colored, with red wording. But not this store. It was painted entirely white, and the light up letters were giant and multi colored. It didn't help that the large picture window had a rainbow border. It was big, bright, and obnoxious. It stood out.
Walking along the front of the store, Oishi passed up the exit door. He could have entered through it, the doors would open, and it was the normal entrance when it wasn't the middle of season, but right now he really just wanted to stay outside of the store as long as possible.
The reason was simple, and anyone could tell why even just by glancing through the windows. Oishi didn't look. He really didn't want to know.
Taking a deep breath as he reached the entrance, he quickly looked down to make sure his name tag was not visible, sticking out from his coat in any way. He refused to be swarmed by people when it wasn't on the clock yet.
Retail, it seemed, had the strange ability to bring out the absolute best in people. It didn't matter if you were the customer or the employee, if you were in the store then chances were you were having serious doubts about humanity. This was an incredible experience for Oishi, considering he never thought he would be the kind to not want to help someone.
Actually, it wasn't that he didn't want to help them, because he really did, it was just that this…was ridiculous. And if he got stopped by one customer, he would get stopped by another soon after and never make it to the break room to drop off his belongings.
The second he stepped into the store he cringed. Hello Holiday Season. Moving as fast as he could, he dodged several holiday shoppers with their shopping carts piled up high over the edges of the cart, and the boxes that were teetering dangerously from the tops of them, waiting to fall at the slightest bump of the cart. Pleased with the five minutes it took him to get to the break room (an event that would only take half of a minute during any other time of the year), Oishi began to unbutton his jacket. Upon entering the break room, he was met with the sight of at least nine other employees sitting at a large table. Some of them were eating, he got a few nods in his direction, while others had their heads down, a few had their feet resting on top of the table, and a few of the girls were complaining about something that had happened at the registers earlier in the day.
Pulling his coat completely off, Oishi began to search for an empty hanger. Finding one shoved somewhere in the middle of the full coat rack, he hung his jacket up, doing the first button up so that when people were getting their own coats later as their shifts ended, they wouldn't knock it off.
Glancing at the clock that was hanging above the entrance of the break room, Oishi saw he still had fifteen minutes until he needed to be on the clock. Even for someone who was as physically fit as Oishi, he still needed to sit down now and save all possible energy. There was absolutely no doubt he would need it later. Christmas time in a toy store was no joke.
"Hey Oishi." A coworker from across the table greeted him as he pulled out a chair.
"Hey." Oishi responded. "How long have you been here?"
Leaning back in his chair, the man sighed. "Five hours too long. I've got ten minutes left of my lunch. It's crazy out there, man."
Oishi frowned. He knew it was bad, it was always bad. It had been bad every single say since the end of October. But he still had to ask. "What's so bad about it today?"
The girl next to Oishi let out a small laugh. Leaning forward she rested her face on her hand, looking between the two men. "None of the sales items ring up correctly in the computer."
Oishi groaned. "You're kidding." That was not what he wanted to hear. The computers were supposed to handle taking the sales prices off for them. If they didn't ring up in the computer, they had to change it manually themselves, and there was no possible way to even consider knowing the sales in the store. They changed every day, and everything was always a part of some sale.
"That's nothing." Said another man from the other side of the table. "Try working pickups! Everyone wants to buy their kid huge ride on toys today for some reason. And of course they want them assembled. So I'm either back and forth with boxes, or ride on toys…and we gotta get them from the back of the store to the front!"
This really wasn't what Oishi wanted to hear.
The girl next to Oishi turned her attention to the man on the other side of the table. "They're buying those huge ugly things because they're like twenty percent off today."
Oishi made a mental note of that. He was sure it was going to come up somewhere throughout his shift. And this way if someone managed to stop him on his way to clock in, he knew of at least one active sale…
He sat there listening to his coworkers complain about things in the store for a while longer, before realizing he only had five minutes to get on the clock.
Standing up, he pushed his chair back up to the table and made his way for the exit. Grabbing his time entry card, he held it tightly in his hand and walked out into the open store.
This was another thing he disliked about the store. You had to punch in with the price check machines. In the middle of the store. Meaning you could get caught by any random customer, who would more than likely get angry at you when you tell them you'd be right back because they were irritated by the number of people around them, and the only help they had found had to rush off. He couldn't blame them, but it was annoying none the less.
By some miracle, Oishi managed to make it to the price scanner, and then all the way back to the front of the store to receive his daily assignment from the service desk.
"Hey Oishi!" His coworker behind the desk smiled over at him, despite being swamped with people. "You're on the floor tonight. But first can you cover register eleven's fifteen?"
Nodding, Oishi agreed. He made his way over to register eleven, trying not to even look at the huge lines, and told his coworker he was to cover her break. When she had finished with the guest she had been helping, she stepped down from the register booth.
Taking her place, Oishi grinned at the next guest in line. "Hello, did you find everything alright tonight?"
The guest looked at him for a moment, before pulling her cat up and lifting a large box out from it and dropping it down on the counter between them. "No. This store is a mad house, and you don't have what we need."
Oishi blinked. These were the best customers. "I'm sorry, what was it that you were looking for?" He asked, as he began to scan her items and shove them into bags. Surely the item the customer was looking for would be a hot item this season, and it was two weeks away from Christmas. This type of Holiday shopper was the worst, because they waited until last minute and grew extremely annoyed when they couldn't find what they wanted, and of course they took it out on him. This was a good example of why people hated to work retail.
Sure enough, he had been correct. The item in question had been on the stores 'Top Twenty' hot list. She wasn't going to be able to find that thing anywhere.
"And are you a member of our rewards card program?" Oishi asked, after he had finally finished scanning all her items. "It's quick and easy, and it's free."
The guest looked at him for a minute. "What? No. I don't have enough time."
Had he not just said it was quick? All he had to do was enter her e-mail address and scan the back of her I.D. But he couldn't force her to sign up, no matter what his managers would say later. "And would you like to donate towards children in need this season?"
The customer, who had been going through her wallet, stopped in her actions and looked up at him. "I don't have time for this, boy. What's my total?"
How he wanted to say something to her. He still had two more questions to ask her. He was required to ask if she needed batteries, or if she would be interested in saving an extra ten percent by signing up for the store's credit card program. But he had to please the guest, so he told her the total.
In the end, he smiled, thanked her, and wished her a happy holiday. And then he repeated this task at least fifty more times until the cashier assigned to the register had returned from break.
Making his way out onto the floor, Oishi braced himself. This was going to be extra fun.
The very moment he stepped foot into the actual sales floor area, he was pulled aside by a customer. Her request was simple enough, she wanted to know where something was located. But by store rule, he had to walk her over to the item. As soon as he began to lead her in the direction of it, another customer called out.
"Excuse me, young man! You can't just walk away from me."
Truth be told, Oishi hadn't even noticed her there. There were so many people swarming around him, it would be hard to notice one person. One could hardly walk inside the store, let alone push a shopping cart or pick out one individual. But none the less, he smiled and asked her if he could help her.
So there he was, now leading two customers through the store, silently praying he wasn't stopped again until he was finished with them.
As if he were actually that lucky. He had successfully helped the first guest, and was leading the second to another section of the store when one of his managers went running past.
"Oishi, there's a bit of a disturbance in wheels!" He called. "I need to ask them to leave, but we've had someone collapse."
Oishi blinked. People really shouldn't come out shopping this time of year. There were far too many people collapsing in this store. All retail should be closed the entire month of December, he decided. Save for a few stores, that sold only what you needed. People didn't need toy stores.
"Sure." Oishi replied as his manager took off running again.
Leading his final guest to their destination, which just so happened to be an aisle away from the wheel department, Oishi bid them a good day, and told them to let him know if he could help them in any other way before making his leave.
The cause of the disturbance was obvious. And unfortunately, if the store were not packed to the brim of it's capacity during Christmas season, it was a thing that would be perfectly fine. What shocked Oishi about the disturbance was the red head that was causing it.
"Eiji!" Oishi cried out, working his way into the crowd as fast as he could. "Eiji, what are you doing?"
Eiji, who had been riding a bike in and out of the customers, stopped and grinned at Oishi. "Oishi! Just testing out this bike, nya~!"
Oishi sighed. "Eiji, don't you see how many people are in here? It could be dangerous!"
Eiji blinked at him, before frowning. "But Oishi, I was being careful."
Oishi looked around, to make sure none of his coworkers, managers, or even his boss were around. "I know." He said, lowering his voice. "But it's upsetting the customers. My manager sent me over here to ask you to leave the store."
Oishi hated himself as Eiji's eyes grew wide. This damn store.
"Really?" Eiji asked quietly.
"Yes." Oishi replied just as silently. "I'm sorry Eiji."
No it wasn't. It was not okay. And it was very obvious by the look on his friends face. Eiji was upset, and Oishi knew it was his fault. Well, maybe not his fault exactly, but he was definitely the one who had delivered the bad news. So it was still his fault. Somehow. Or maybe he should blame the store.
"I'm sorry, Eiji." He offered him a small smile. "I'll walk you towards the door?"
Eiji nodded, getting off the bike. "Alright."
Together the former Golden Pair put the bike back on the rack and made their way towards the front door. When they reached the sliding blue doors, Eiji turned and grinned at Oishi. He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to Oishi's cheek.
"I'll see you tonight, Syuuichiroh." He said, before bouncing out the door.
Oishi blinked, his hand moving up to touch the spot Eiji had just kissed. He turned around slightly stunned and saw his manager watching him with his arms crossed.
Oishi sighed. The things he put up with in order to pay for medical school.