Working at this low-paying clothing store has taught me a few things,though I’ve only worked a few shifts. I take for granted the fact that people actually spend their time folding clothes, unpacking boxes of trousers, tagging them, putting sensors on them, clipping hangers on them (using the ‘right’ type of hanger that must face the front with the logo), and finally, laboriously propping them up for customers to browse and discard. I used to think it was funny to be cheeky and stash a shirt in some corner if I wasn’t bothered to put it back in the right place. But if everyone was like me, the minutes spent rearranging the store back to its pristine, orderly state would build up to mean extra hours of work for the people who spend at least four hours of their day laced with boredom and back aches. It’s not very bro of anyone to do, na’meaan?
The very best part of the job is interacting with people. Being a server. Whether it be a simple smile shared with a customer, a question concering the whereabouts of the changing rooms, holding clothes they no longer want/cannot fit, or checking for a shirt in their size, I love the moments when I get to play the role of shopkeeper and feel helpful. When I was younger, I used to buy cheques from stationery stores and sign them off as if I had just sold a house. My customer service would always be top-notch, and to be honest, I still believe that I’d make the best barrista at Starbucks. Please have me. I promise to treat each person like a real person and always smile (even if I burn my wrist from a splash of boiling water or have an off-day) and give an extra squeeze of whipped cream or caramel to the regulars. Or anyone if they asked. I’d make it a point to remember the usual orders, the faces and the names to go with them. Everyone would love me, because I know what I’d like my Starbucks experience to be like. I want to make people’s days. I want to be a happy face and be that wonderful human being that sprinkles oreo bits generously (if I were to work at a fro-yo place). And don’t get me started on being a bartender or a waitress at a diner (a skating diner would just be the cherry on top of a stack of golden pancakes- thanks to A Cinderella Story). I know it’d probably be different from what I expect but I don’t care. It’s perfect in my head.
Last thing. The fact that I barely get to talk to people on the job (besides awkward chatter with the managers for fear of being too friendly) makes me want to quit. I am a quitter. I will quit even though the job will probably be the easiest job I’ll ever have. Hopefully I won’t end up making a living in a store where the employees are less than insignificant. I know I’m being dramatic but this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is what I have learnt.
P.S in movies, co-workers, colleagues, managers and employees swear when they speak to each other. Not at one another but you know, just let their words and conversations seem natural. Like, answering “how are you feeling today?” with a chuckle paired with an honest “like shit”. At what point does it become inappropriate? How cordial and awkward do you have to be to maintain a professional relationship?
I’ve only just turned 18, I don’t know anything.