Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Retail Rules

So as many of you already know, I work in retail. I was promoted this past year to an Assistant Manager position in a kid's retail store. What many of you also know is that I have an MBA that may or may not be going to waste (my vote is "not"). What you may not know about is the general attitude the public has toward retail workers in general.

This is that: 1 - since we work in retail, obviously we could not hack it in the "real world" and had to settle for such a lowly job; 2 - that we must be uneducated since, yet again, this is the only job we could get; and 3 - we must be on an intellectual level somewhere between a country hillbilly with two first names and a wide-eyed, blonde college freshman whose biggest dilemma is which frat party to attend first. And yes, therefore, this was the only job that didn't involve too much "brain thinkun" or the use of heavy machinery that we could fall into.

Yeah, that definitely describes me.

Me. One first name. 3 diplomas with honors notations. Blonde by choice. Can insult you and you won't realize it for a few days. My whole being reeks of awesomeness. I work in retail. And there are many others like me.

I have had peers from school, old friends, distant family, and even professors from college who run into me and ask what I'm doing now. When I mention retail they immediately avoid eye contact, as if to ease the shame I should be going through for having to mention such a tragic turn in my life. Then when I tell them I have been doing it for several years by choice, I almost always get the same reaction - "Don't you have a master's degree?" they ask, with a look of incredulity. "Why, yes!" I retort, excitedly. "My diploma makes lovely wall art! I mean it did cost me $20 thousand dollars, and I am hoping to pay off the loan for it just before my kids go to college!"

This is the part where they stare at me in shock with a look of constipation consternation. When they finally realize I will not avert my eyes in shame, they give up and slink away to find some other kid's dreams to crap on. (See how I did that? Two poop jokes in one paragraph! My degree did pay off!)

So here, dear blog friends, I will educate you on why a retail job (or at least my job) is awesome. I give you...

The Tops 10 Reasons Why Retail Rules:
(10) It is probably one of the most thankless jobs on the planet. But unlike policing or gator wrangling, you can make plenty of money at it to make up for all the lack of thanks. Because despite what you may think, I would much rather be handed a check than be thrown a parade.
(9) It is one of the best first jobs anyone can have. Bring me your teenagers, and I will teach them what it's like to have to clean up after other people. They will also gain confidence, sense of self, and the patience to deal with stupid people.
(8) Who doesn't like a ridiculously awesome discount? I get clothes for practically free. Suck on that, white collar job. I don't pay $200 for my work clothes. And speaking of clothes...
(7) Who doesn't like to wear comfortable clothes to work? No awful uniforms. No ties, skirts, pantyhose, blazers, or high heels. Jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops will suffice. Am I going to work or is it my day off? Who knows! Sometimes even I can't tell!
(6) You become a freaking pro at folding clothes. Seriously. In twenty minutes, I can have over 600 units looking neat and pretty in 42 different stacks. The only downside is that at home you will want to hang every piece of clothing you own to avoid folding laundry.
(5) The schedule can be amazing. Sure, nobody likes to work on the weekends when all your friends are off work, but having a random Tuesday off has got to be the best invention ever. No annoying kids at the movies, no obnoxious teens at the mall, and no lines at the grocery store.
(4) You know the tricks of the trade. Like: who honors expired or missing coupons (or coupons that just plain don't exist in this dimension), who has the best sales going on, and which cookie place is going to finagle me a free cookie if I mention where I work and am really sweet and nice to them.
(3) Retail is like a giant brotherhood. Working in retail can find you in the presence of some of the best friends and colleagues you will ever have. Kind of like being in the Army and serving together - if the enemy were the customer and you were fighting for control of the t-shirt table (later to be dubbed Mount Graphic Tee as it begins looking like a giant pile of clothes). And if you're really nice to your retail neighbors, they will even spot you some paper towels if yours mysteriously go missing.
(2) You get the altruistic satisfaction of knowing that you are selling someone something they probably really do need. And if you do a good job, you get the pride of knowing they will continue to come back to you (even if sometimes you wish they wouldn't).

And the #1 reason retail rules?
(1) Headsets. We use them to ask the person hiding in the stockroom if we have that shirt in that size you need. We also use them to talk to each other about that ugly-ass dress you're wearing.

"Have a nice day, come back and see us!"

Note to Self: We also use our headsets to warn each other of shoplifters, do price checks, and discuss how we would beat the crap out of your screaming kid if he were ours.

5 comments:

Peter Parkour said...

I've never worked retail, but I have worked many lowlier jobs, and I can assure you, they suck big time. No post needed. I'm not even making eye contact with the computer screen as I type this out; for shame. :|

If you're happy with it that's all that really counts. ;) Heck, you make me want to give it a try. :P

Ken and Stephanie Clark said...

Ummm...the headsets are the best part. But you totally gave away our secret!!!!

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