The mall is quite the interesting place. People gather there to spend their money on various irrelevant items for either themselves or other people. Customers browse, eat, laugh, and inevitably go home.

The mall takes on a different perspective when you actually work there.

The mall ceases to be a place that is fun. It becomes your workplace. Especially if you have off-site parking. The floor of your department becomes your office; your stockroom, your haven. Unless it smells like dead rats, like some do.

The cash register is either your friend or your enemy. You don't know the register as well as you might. You push buttons and the register beeps at me: "Void." "Invalid." "Incorrect command." Meanwhile the customer is standing on the other side of the wrapstand while you waste their time.

Your coworkers are not mall shoppers and they are not your friends. They are simply coworkers, there to earn a buck just like you. "Did you see the sale at makeup?" You ask. "They have massaging chairs at the Sharper Image," whatever, they don't care. They want to do their job and leave.

Customers take clothes into the fitting rooms and then leave them on the table. Then it is your job to put them back. Do you know where every item of clothing is in your department? No, you don't. Putting those clothes back is going to take a while. You're going to do a lot of walking. And if you're anything like me, your knees are going to give you hell.

The best part is you'll probably have to walk all the way across the store to get to the timeclock, security, and employee entrance. This means you'll have to dodge cosmetics, the watch counter, the jewelry counter, and the children's section. This will take some difficulty if the store is crowded, which, during the holidays, it will be.

You must adhere to dress code. No midriff skin must show. You must wear hose. You must wear sleeves. You must wear closed shoes. You must wear your nametag. No exceptions unless you want to lose your job.

When you get home you will be tired, your feet will hurt, and your knees will hurt. Customers will have yelled at you, the shuttle bus will have been late, and there will have been traffic on the freeway. You will sit down in the recliner in the family room, pick up your schedule, and realize that you're due back in ten hours.

Welcome to the mall.