Friday, May 24, 2013

Things I've Learned While Working Retail

I've been back in the world of retail for several months now. It's a dirty job, but it's a necessity. Over the last few months, I've made some observations. I'm sure there are more observations that will be made as I continue with that part time gig, but here's what I've got so far...
  • I'm very good at cleaning mirrors - More often than not, I'm working in the fitting room. I figure they've put me back there because of my excellent people skills. Whatever the reason, the person that closes the fitting room is responsible for cleaning up. That includes the bathrooms. And that's a completely different category of observations, which may or may not be covered in this post. But if you've ever been in a fitting room, you're probably aware that there are a lot of mirrors. And those mirrors get kind of smudged. So I'll clean those things every so often. And I've gotten really good at making sure they're clean. By the time I'm done, they're so clean, you can see your face in them.
  • 83% of all customers take their clothes off inside-out - That percentage may not be entirely accurate. But since 74% of all statistics are made up on the spot, I'm pretty sure I can get away with it for an insignificant blog post. My number has to be close, though. If I had a nickel for every time I had to fold or re-hang an article of clothing that has been turned inside-out, I wouldn't need a second job. As many people that do this, I'm a little surprised that we don't see people walking around in public with their clothes on inside-out. America, is it really so difficult to make sure the clothes you've tried on but are not buying are turned the right way? Who am I asking? Of course it's so difficult.
  • Women are slobs - Before you ladies grab your torches and pitchforks, hear me out. I've spent a great deal of my life listening to a number of women in my life complain that men, in general, are slobs. I won't necessarily deny that. I mean, yes, it's a broad generalization that isn't always true 100% of the time. And so is the statement I just made. But to the women of the world who believe that men hold the monopoly on sloppiness, I invite you to visit my store. Peruse the women's denim wall. Take a stroll through women's clearance. Compare the ladies' restroom with the men's room. Once you've done that, you may not complain so much about the fellas in your lives.
  • Stupidity is a familial trait - I know that sounds incredibly mean. But I find it to be a relief. If it's a hereditary thing, it means that stupidity isn't contagious. Which is fantastic, because that means I can't catch it like a communicable disease while working in the fitting room. For years I've said that if stupidity was a fatal disease, it would be the number one killer in America. At least it isn't airborne. At the moment, I can't think of anything specific that has happened. Follow me on Facebook if you want nearly live updates when something epically stupid occurs. It won't be really live, since I'm not supposed to have my phone on me when I'm working. But once my shift ends, look out.
  • Children who are often adorable become evil when turned loose in a public place - I love kids. I wouldn't keep my day job if I didn't. At school, the kids are cute and inquisitive (most of the time). When they're in the care of their parents in a public place, something happens to them. They become loud, obnoxious and abrasive. And I'm not sure who thought it was a good idea to have soccer balls and footballs sitting out for the kids to get their hands on in our store. I've been hit by no fewer than 5 of those soccer balls. Again, this is a broad generalization, but it covers a lot of the kids that come in through those doors. I do like the parents who aren't under the impression that a night out at the clothing store is an invitation to let their children run free with no regard for anyone else in the world or the property of the store.
  • People have no concept of time - This is another rant about parenting, for the most part. So many people come into the store after 9pm. And they come in dragging 3-year-olds with them. I'm not too hip to the parenting scene and I don't know what a good "bedtime" for a 3-year-old might be. But I'm pretty sure it's not 10:30pm, which is what time it must be by the time you spend an hour looking around the store and throwing clothes on the floor in women's clearance and then make the drive back to your home and wrestle your toddler into bed. You know why your kid is fighting you on going to bed? Because she's wired. You kept her out really late and now she doesn't want to go to sleep. She wants to watch Conan.
That's what I've learned while working retail. I'm sure there are a number of readers out there who have worked in retail at some point in your lives. I'm sure there are some who still do work in retail. What have you learned? Let me know in the comments!

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