Eat Sleep Slave Repeat | Deborah Stanbridge

A socking leads to rainbow stockings in this colourful short by Deborah Stanbridge.

Eat Sleep Slave Repeat

By Deborah Stanbridge

For the Company Mannequin Award


“Eat sleep rave repeat, eat sleep rave repeat, eat… sleep… rave… repeat!”
Shania sang along to the song on her way to work.
“Eat sleep slave repeat. Eat sleep save repeat. Eat…sleep, work-myself-to-the grave… repeat!”
Taking on the management position at Target had been filled with disappointment. Getting up early to complete the piling paperwork. She missed waking up excited to do some stretching and light exercise. She arrived about 7am and left 7pm. Everyday. Everyday she tried to catch up on what her lazy assistant was behind on. Then the shop opened. By 10 a department manager would have called her because they couldn’t handle making a decision or calming a customer complaint. She usually skipped morning tea and would leave the shop for a short lunch break. It required a trip to a café to buy something full of carbs, the bad carbs. It used to be downed by a juice, she had progressed to a coffee and further evolved to need an energy drink. Her personality had progressed like her drinks, from sweet to bitter. From bitter to toxic. She had no time for afternoon tea and when the shop closed an exhausted heap of flesh and bones, nothing more, landed on her chair. She would reply to the emails, which always seemed to grow harder to appease. Customers weren’t happy, the Area Manager expected higher sales and the only stock which needed refilling was on backlog.
As if this wasn’t already enough Shania had enrolled in a management course as part of accepting the job. Her days off were always filled with meaningless readings and assignments. She missed her Bachelor of Arts, completed 4 long years ago and regretted that her interests were impossible to find a job in. She had always thought she would work less and fund her passions, yet here she was trying to pay off a mortgage and killing herself.
After slogging the paperwork for 2 hours the homewares manager, Lily called… ‘the lady wants to return a doona cover and? Why have you rung?….. Well if she has clearly damaged it by ironing the synthetic thing just say no…..Look I don’t care, refund it… Can you not make a decision?… Fine I am coming. ‘
Shania greeted the customer who resembled a pit bull terror. The customer was a very stocky lady, with a twitching lip and inability to see reason. Lily, much like the sweet flower, looked like she had been blown about by the wind. Shania tried to explain the doona was damaged after leaving the store while Pit Bull growled and barked at her.
In the background she spotted another customer at the checkout wearing rainbow knee high socks with a purple dress. She was dancing to the song playing in the shop “I’m walking on sunshine”. While Pitbull yapped Shania felt jealous as she drifted into her ideal world. She wanted to be carefree and quirky again. The yapping started to turn into a bark. Shania flashed her hand in a stop motion to the dog. ‘Stop… STOP! We are not refunding you money when you damaged the cover. Learn to read the care label and stop bar-king at my staff! Get out of my shop or I will call security!’ Unfortunately pit bull’s like fighting, and this one puffed out her chest and hit Shania to the ground. Pit Bull stormed out.
Shania stood. ‘It is time for my morning tea break’ she mumbled to Lily and walked out of Target. Shania went and bought a pair of knee high rainbow socks. She put them on, even though you couldn’t see them under her pants. She started stretching. How could Shania feel like Rainbow Socks, well first it would involve telling the Area Manager to promote Lily, and selling the house. She picked up her phone.

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