Work just a few hours!
DISCOUNT! FOR ME? 25%! SIGN ME UP!
And so began my amazing, yet less than amazing, yet totally stressful summer retail career at a very large department store. I was hired as an “Extra On Call”…a term for “just come in and work as a “temporary” in any and every department in the store that might need someone for a few minutes or a few hours or a few days. And then move professionally and joyfully to another area that you know absolutely nothing about. The job did have some fun aspects. I just cannot seem to remember them.
Before I go into my sales performance details (sure)…let me first announce the following…
I REALLY LOVE THIS PARTICULAR STORE. I AM NOT CERTAIN HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT ME.
All that I was required to do was to go into the store once a week or something like that and sign up for some hours to work as an Extra On Call…and show up to work! Easy, Easy. Right? Wrong! So Wrong! I did not think about just how many different areas there are in a big department store. I could be in Swimsuits part of an afternoon and then suddenly be called upstairs to Bridal. The Swimsuit Department was truly the most difficult. No…I take that back. The huge department for Junior sizes was the most difficult.
And the teenagers were so fun as they argued and then rolled their eyes at their mothers and eventually at me. It was all I could do to keep my mouth closed. I felt my inner teacher…THE DISTRESSED MRS. DAVIS…starting to emerge. How in the world could I easily (sometimes) handle 22 five and six year old and barely last for three minutes with 14 years olds and their mothers?
And the teenagers were so cute when they tried on a size three when they were really a size 11. And the teenagers were so adorable when they threw the clothes on the floor, threw jackets over the door, dresses hanging over the top of the racks with the hangers on the floor. At the end of the evening, there would be clothes scattered from one end of the department to the other. Sometimes, I was not designated to be on the cash register. Lucky me! I continuously cleaned up the merchandise and found the proper place where it should be.
Cleaning up after teenagers…hour upon hour. Did I do this in stores when I was a teenager? Did I throw clothes on the floor at a store? I don’t think so! The people at Martin’s or Riff’s…two very nice stores in my hometown…would not have put up with such behavior! I can only imagine what would have happened after my mother was informed!
I finally got off of the Junior Department assignment…I thought that I was being promoted. As if they would really promote a temporary employee! What a dumb thought! What I thought was going to be an exciting transfer turned out to be the emotionally charged…
SWIMSUITS!!! I needed a graduate psychology class to calm down the grownup women who were upset about how they looked in the “can’t hide any shape problems” swimsuits.
I felt so sorry for the shoppers. I could feel their pain. And it just was not nice to remind them that they should have thought about this situation back in January. Maybe a New Year’s resolution? But…how could I tell them about preparing for swimsuit season when I was most likely in the same boat?!
Now I hope that I would just say…who cares? Have fun! Swim! Go to the lake! Go to the pool! You are just fine the way you are! Really!!
I was so thankful to move on from the Swimsuits. I ran out of any mental help assistance that I could offer…I had taken Educational Psychology, not the now needed Swimsuit Psychology in college. I was unprepared for the Swimsuit area. Since I had been a bride who had to make all of those choices about fine china place settings and silverware, I thought surely that the Bridal area would be my ideal spot! Alas…the mothers once again. The rolling eyes from the bride. The grandmothers who really had opinions. No grooms…thank goodness.
When I became a Mother of the Bride, I remembered how I should act. You can count on that! So…there you have…my distinguished career at a department store. At my favorite store…still my favorite store. I think that I was really meant to be a teacher. People may disagree, but more patience is sometimes needed to work in retail! However…
THAT DISCOUNT WAS THE BEST! I NEVER, EVER MADE A PROFIT! MY PURCHASES EXCEEDED MY PAYCHECK!