Sunday, January 8, 2012

Why Retail May Not Be the Industry For Me

My family keeps asking me how I end up working for such lunatics. I have no real answer except that possibly the reason it was so easy for me to get those jobs is because they are always hiring because nobody wants to work there. Here are some examples from previous years:

  • Small, beachside boutique. Things are going along swimmingly the very unadjusted-to-America Brazilian store owner until one day she comes in with cameras so she can stay home and talk to me through them. That's right, the cameras not only picked up video and audio in REAL TIME, she could also talk to me through them form her house. Might not sound so weird, but imagine an invisible someone watching you every second of your day and randomly piping in with comments. Super uncomfortable.
  • Yeah, Baby store. I worked at a little jewelry store which was next door to an empty store. My manager offered me to the guy renting the store to help set up and work in my off hours. Except, you know, the guy next door was totally nuts. He would leave me with a tagging gun and boxes of clothes and the instructions to 'just make up prices, whatever you think is fair.' He let people write checks. Except you know, he didn't have a bank account. He also was mysteriously unable to get one. I asked him what the store was called, so people could write checks to the store and he said '..uhhh, yeah, baby.' Still not clear if that was what he meant the store was called or what planet he was on. A few times he told me his name was Harold. Except previously he had told me and everyone else his name was Howard. A few months later, after I had left, he texted me saying 'hey man, i'm in croatia, doing medic stuff.' The weirdest guy.
  • An art gallery/gift shop that shall remain nameless, because the owner is a crazy person and I wouldn't put it past her to sue me. She had been in a terrible boating accident that left her paralyzed, which is actually really very tragic. Except that she seemed to think I was capable of superhuman tasks myself. She once told me to go a few blocks away and bring her sandbags. Except that they weigh as much as I do...each.  So, you know, that wasn't really going to work  [Luckily there was an NBC newsvan nearby and I somehow sweet-talked the driver into picking up a bunch and driving them over.]. I worked there during a huge flood and she made us bring in hair dryers, supposedly to dry the four feet of water in the store. She also made me give a psychopathic customer my number. [scenario: man comes in to look at 400+ solar globes, pretends he is french and cannot speak english, i call him out on this in french and then explain in english that i took four years of french and wasn't born yesterday. my boss comes over and tells me i need to agree to go out with him and gives him my number. he then proceeds to tell me he is actually homeless right now but loves younger women. He is at least fifty.] She also billed her gallery as 'one of a kind, made in america, local pieces.' Except everything came from China..I know this because I was the one who was made to peel off all the 'made in china' stickers. 
And that brings us to my latest retail position, that story's up next!

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