Deal Me In, Week 10 ~ “My Life with R. H. Macy”


Hosted by Jay @ Bibliophilopolis

“My Life with R. H. Macy” by Shirley Jackson

Card picked: Nine of Spades
From: The Lottery, and Other Stories


During the summer when I was fifteen, I worked for 2.5 hours at a Wendy’s. That was the length of the training video and being introduced to the long line of condiments that had to be applied in precise order and amounts to hamburgers and cheeseburgers. I went home and realized that the job was not for me. Too fast. Too much. I only ever returned to drop off my apron and pick up my check. And, well, to eat there since it was the fast food place around the corner. “My Life with R. H. Macy” reminded me of that story.

The R. H. Macy of the title is Macy’s department store. This super short story chronicles the two days that employee 13-3138 works in Books. Shirley Jackson makes it sound utterly dystopian, full of numbers, abbreviations (Comp. keep for ref. cust. d.a. no. or c.t. no. …), and being sent to lunch three times since the counter head mistakes her for 13-6454 and 13-2246. In the end, though, our bookseller gets a little revenge before being a customer once again.


3 thoughts on “Deal Me In, Week 10 ~ “My Life with R. H. Macy”

  1. Your description of this makes me think of some of Vonnegut’s stories, where he fictionalizes his time at General Electric in “Deer in the Works” or “The Girl Pool” – or even his novel, Player Piano. I’d like to read this one as my job often feels pretty dystopian to me. 🙂

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