Background: I work in a shop which offers quite retro and vintage merchandise to nostalgic customers. We had a visit yesterday from our area manager, who is unhappy that our shop is flagging behind on target so close to Christmas. This is because our shop is about half empty following several 50% off sales and we haven't had enough new stock via delivery to fill the shelves. A lot of potential customers take one look at the shop, realise there's not much choice, and wander out again. We've gone from taking £4000 a day to barely £1000 because of this.
I came into work yesterday and was told by one of our two shift managers, K, that the area manager either suggested or said that on Christmas Eve all the girls working should dress up as elves to try and entice that last bit of custom in. I don't know whether or not this was a suggestion or an order - it's the sort of thing that would actually be K's idea. I didn't have the opportunity to tell the area manager that I wasn't comfortable with doing this. When I told K I didn't want to, she told me I "had" to because "everyone else is doing it" and because the area manager "said so."
She expects me to spend my own money on purchasing clothes for a costume, which I will never wear again, for four hours on Saturday. I don't think she took me seriously when I said this simply wasn't going to happen. I don't want to have an argument with K on Saturday about wearing an elf costume. My finances are not conducive to frivolous spending right now.
Is this one of those situations in which I can say, "I'm afraid that won't be possible"?