It had been a few days since her not-quite-brother-in-law had arrived, and Sunny was elbow deep in mer-plushes. Not surprising - as quickly as she'd put it on display, an hour and a rush later, the shelf would be empty again. Only a day or two into her new position as manager and special forces were attempting to drive the store to hell.
The manager was normally not supposed to be on the sales floor, but rather working behind the scenes and only tending to extreme customer cases - however, the new attraction was keeping her terribly busy. Thank goodness Ethan had pre-ordered many boxes to be shipped overnight as soon as the news had hit them. The man seemed to be psychic when it came to inventory. However he had already left for his new job and Sunny was in charge of it all now.
Sunny grabbed the pricing gun and started tagging each one and tossing it into an emptied box to go out onto the sales floor.
Outside the stockroom door, she heard the hub bub of the sales floor. The metallic rush of the register openning for a second then slamming shut - immediately followed by "Have a good night." from Leslie, her assistant manager in training. The timid questions by the new girl, Taylor - fresh out of high school. The blonde was holding up pretty well. Training was nothing new to Sunny, but getting a newbie under these stressful circumstances really raised the stakes and tested the young girl almost as a baptism by fire.
The two others on the floor that evening were Matt, the college senior and Terry the high school dropout that had been there for 3 years. Both were dependible in a pinch, it's what made their evening crew pretty awesome in the giftshop. Samantha, Rick and Ebony made up the primary morning crew, and they were equally efficient.
This incredibly ridiculous pace was wearing at her a little, but it was easily brushed off by the sheer numbers they were pulling in.
At this rate, they would surpass their monthly quota and it's only the first week of the month.
It tickled her to think of the quota incentive bonus being put towards her wedding. (For every $500 dollars over their MTD goal they received a $.50 bonus. For the entire month. As a manager, she received a $1.) The wedding dress had already been picked out, financed and most everything else had to wait for the actual day. Three months away and she was desperately anxious.
Kai was non-chalant about it on the outside, but he was a frickin' train wreck of emotions. From the moment they simultaneously proposed to each other that hot summer night at the waterfront park, through the war waged between Sunny and her mother over the wedding arrangements, and now sitting at the edge of their seats just waiting. This whole bizarre situation with Altmega had compeltely blind-sided them. Kai's minute-older twin was young, successful and making his way through college when struck down with one of the most unimaginable conditions.
The aquarium had been so busy the past few days - Sunny and Kai hadn't actually talked about how things would pan out now, since the best man was now half fish. It was gnawing at her. She loved her brother-in-law, and it was soul wrenching to watch her future mother-in-law fighting to be brave only to sputter with a single tear cascading down her cheeks while watching him swim around the massive tank. The tight hug Nikki had given her when they got home was tense and full of unshed tears. Sunny was pretty sure that if Nikki had broke down, there wasn't much she could do except hold the woman tight.
Suffice to say, their whole family was in utter shock.
Sunny stopped and looked at the pile of tagged plushes that was over-filling the box.
"Poor Mega," she let out a sigh, then straightened when she heard footsteps just outside of the door. A soft knock sounded. Sunny stood and opened up the door, only to find Taylor sheepishly pointing towards the sales floor, "We're uh, out of plushies."
Sunny smiled down at the young girl, "Don't worry," the honey blonde then leaned down and picked up the box, shifting it so Taylor could grab hold of it, "Please put these out on the shelf for me. I have to start on the nightly paperwork."
"Yes ma'am." The girl nodded, accepting the box and toddling out to the appropriate shelf that was barren. Poor thing couldn't even set down the box before a couple kids walked up and grabbed some out of the box. Sunny watched and folded her arms. 'Mental note: tag all the plushies and order a few more boxes.'
Leaving the storage closet, she made her way to the back office and sat in the worn wood and leather chair.
A soft bing-bong came over the loud speaker and Hyper's soothing voice echoed through the Aquarium halls. Telling everyone in the most polite way to get their ass out of there in 15 minutes.
Unfortunately that also meant that a flood of people would have to come through the gift shop to exit. At the rate the plushes were flying off the shelf, she'd have to get there early in the morning to make sure that the rest were tagged and more were on per-order.
Such is the role of manager. With a small sigh she pulled out the papers and calculator to start prepping for close so they could be out and heading home within the hour. Fifteen minutes slipped by with the busy sounds of crowd noise, "Have a good evening", "Thank you for coming", "come back and see us soon" and "no ma'am we don't have those in that color."
As the minutes wound down, Hyper's voice came on over the intercom every five minutes, making it easy to keep up with the time without looking at her watch. The glorious moment when Hyper stated that they were closed, Sunny leaned back in her chair and stood. It was time to rally the troops and round up the stragglers.
Thankfully almost everyone was gone and 2/3 registers could start counting their drawers.
It was about ten minutes and four customers later that Blythe stopped by and gave them the thumbs up, meaning that they could finally lock up and recover for the morning.
Matt and Terry finished up their drawers and bid everyone a goodnight. Leslie helped reorganize the shop while Sunny walked Taylor through the steps of closing out.
Hyper wearily wandered in with her own drawer, walking straight into the office and closing the door. It was a nightly ritual. Hyper was the face of the Aquarium customer service afterall. 9 hours later and the woman was just as people'd out as they were, if not more.
Leslie finished with the restocking and maintenance and clocked out. Almost immediately - about this time - Jade wandered in after checking in with all her babies. Except for Sari... because fuck that Orca. The curly haired brunette had her preferences, and made her rounds accordingly. The future assistant manager was leaving so it was time for Jade to make an appearance without a word and began looking around.
Alex, Kai and GJ eventually made it over with their dufflebags full of swimwear and remnants of lunch.
Usually the quad would converse while waiting for Hyper and Sunny. Quietly Hyper added her deposit to the office safe and left the office, meandering back to the front desk to replace her drawer and gather her items.
Taylor was a swift learner and even though this was her first job, she picked up the closing process rather easily. Although the quad's banter about the aquarium proved to be a distraction in the process, thankfully not derailing the young girl though. Hyper walked back over and listened in on their discussion that devolved into giving the newbie sarcastic tips for fitting in around the aquarium.
Sunny rolled her eyes and collected the deposit in her hand, "You did well," the girl beamed up at her, "Go get some sleep. I'll see you bright and early."
Sunny watched the girl nod and thank her before taking off for the back room next to the bathroom where a single cabinet of lockers were.
Jade leaned on the glass counter and smirked, "She's adorable. So innocent." Sunny collected the paperwork before her as Jade continued, sympathetically, "She's not been broken in, has she."
"No," she hadn't been. Sunny mused aloud, "But for a newbie, she's adapting quickly." The stack of paper tapped loudly against the glass when she neatened it, "- showing great potential." Sunny resumed a business like stance, "Her GPA was stellar and her volunteer work is at least a page or two long." she paused, "In fact, she may be too good, I'd probably recommend her for the lab internship here, but she has no work history and only a high school diploma." Sunny paused as Taylor resurfaced from the door, head down and right hand rubbing her other arm bashfully.
"There's... there's something I need to tell you about..."
A hush fell around the group as they stared at her for a second. Sunny eyes narrowed a little, "What would that be?"
"The deposit was not correct."
Sunny straightened and raked her with an icy stare, "What do you mean?"