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My so called life-Adventures in retail seasonal employment

I haven’t been involved in retail on the ’employee’ side of things since my early 20’s.  When I was a teenager, it was tough to get a job anywhere-there was a permit that had to be obtained from the city and certain hours that could be worked, nevermind the fact that employers at the time weren’t really ‘into’ hiring young people. I do remember working at a clothing store, a department store, and even managing a card store at one time (boy was THAT a short stint-just wasn’t for me).

However, due to some recent events in my life, I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and dive into a seasonal job at one of my favorite retailers (I will not be divulging the name here although I’ll give you a hint-they sell handbags and leather goods and I’ve been a customer of theirs for several years. Anyone who knows me, will know what company this is….).

My experience ranged from “hey I could really get into this” to “What was I thinking-get me the hell out of here!”

I’ll tell you-seasonal employment is NOT for the weak at heart.  I’ll also tell you that I’M SO GLAD I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE THIS.

The good:

-Teamwork.  Retail businesses don’t survive without it.  Other industries should sit up, pay attention, and take notes  on how retail operations run so efficiently.  Because they run EXTREMELY well.

-Comraderie.  I was the oldest seasonal employee. I’m even older than the manager of the store.  But somehow, the younger people (some still in their teens) and I seemed to make it work.  We shared laughs and good conversation during work.

-Discounts.  It’s a selfish reason but I did enjoy it and bought the majority of my gifts at the store.  I did not buy anything for myself (pick yourself up off the floor now).

-A paycheck.  Getting paid to work with a product that I already love? #winning

The not-so-good:

I was the oldest seasonal employee.  Yes, I know I listed that in the good section.

-Having to learn to do new tasks in limited time.  I was hired on rather late in the season and was the only *new* seasonal employee.  I had to pick up new tasks quickly-there just wasn’t any time not to.  I found myself feeling ‘helpless’ in many situations because I didn’t know what to do.

-Odd hours.  It’s not easy for a 9-to-5 gal to start working 11-7, 12-9 or most recently 3pm-MIDNIGHT. Way past my bedtime!

-Long hours. The closer it gets to Christmas and New Years, the longer the shift.  I won’t complain about a “nice” paycheck, but I definitely earned it.

-Standing on your almost 40 year old feet for 9 hours.  Let’s just say I’ve already scheduled my trip to the podiatrist because my feet h-u-r-t.

-The customers. Surprised I’m saying this?  People aren’t always sugar and spice and everything nice…you need to have a thick skin and be prepared for absolutely ANYTHING to be said or to happen.

So before you go into a retail establishment and think that the employees are the lowest of the low and are beneath you and your office job or 6 figure salary, I want you to know:

1. Kick yourself in your own rear end right now.  Or punch yourself in the face.

2. There is a lot of business sense needed to manage a store.   There is also quite a bit of knowledge involved in simply working in one.

3. This is a business-it is meant to generate revenue.  Time is money-so if you’re feeling a sense of entitlement and want to waste everyone’s time, think twice.  Not only will karma get you, but next time you DO want to actually purchase, things may become a bit difficult.

4. People that choose to work in retail or be managers in retail aren’t stupid.  For some, this is what they have chosen to do-and they need to be respected.

5. Some retail employees are part-time and may have either multiple jobs, families, or are going to school.  It may be a part time gig for them but they’re still there to help, so have some courtesy and respect for them.

Overall, I’m glad I chose to work this holiday season. I gained a new appreciation for the behind-the-scenes action at one of my favorite retailers.  Would I do it again?  Hmmmm, ask me again next year.

 

OOTN-Company Christmas party

I do NOT normally post this kind of thing but wanted to share this with you….

Here is what I wore to my company Christmas party on Friday night:

Dress: Jacob, Shoes: Nine West, Jewelry: various but mostly items I have already had!

 

Hair: Dina for Aldo Salon, Toronto

Hair: Dina for Aldo Salon, Earrings: Suzy Shier

What a great night!

 

traveling-what’s in your……..beauty bag?

Before I completely lose my sanity (due to some strange/disturbing occurrences at work), I am taking some time off and going home.  For those of you who DON’T know, I am American and more importantly, I am from New York.  My parents live in a quiet suburb about 45 minutes north of NYC so for a week, I will literally be doing next to nothing there.   Or so I think…..something is ALWAYS going on!

huh? what? I don't know what to put in my beauty bag-waaaah.

(more…)

Did ya miss me?

Don’t know if you noticed….but I didn’t post the entire weekend! Well almost the entire weekend (minus the flat tire post-the tire is still flat btw *ahem*).

SO, I didn’t think that I would have my own ‘back to school’ time.  I mean, I am only taking one class. But as the nights get cooler and it gets darker faster, I have noticed the majority of people around me ‘getting into the swing of things.’ And I think I am about to join them.

The first of my ‘busy’ weeks is this week.  I have a flamenco class tonight (well I should say I HAD my first class tonight), and then school starts this week as well!  Today was the day that I realized that I need to get it together.  Even at work today, I noticed myself making all of my lists and preparing. Tying up loose ends…..I need to as one of my ‘bosses’ goes on maternity leave at the end of this month!  How’s that for pressure?  Add in a last minute, “Hey Meredith I need you in this meeting” and it was a hustle and bustle kind of day. But I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Dance class was wonderful!  I noticed right away that I was the ‘largest’ person there (and by that I mean I outweighed everyone), but I didn’t let it stop me from really engrossing myself.  Flamenco is absolutely beautiful to watch and to actually perform. I can’t wait until I get to that point!  Plus, I worked hard on the first day!

Overall, today was pretty d*mn good.  I found a great recipe for pumpkin/chocolate chip muffins-if I am flying this high-I will make them but won’t eat them because (drumroll please), I am 12lbs down on my detox! Not too shabby!

Ah what a Monday it was!