Sunday, February 28, 2010

Employee discounts

Friday marked my first day back in retail/somewhat steady employment. It was also one of those days when I wished I had some sort of microchip in my brain that transferred my thoughts directly to my blog so I don't have to make sense of everything later on. Timeline post? Sure, let's try that.

8:00-- Wake up.
9:00-- Seriously consider getting out of bed.
10:00-- Get out of bed, but return with cereal.
10:30-- More cereal.
11:00-- Apply for two jobs.
12:00-- Actually get out of bed and shower.
1:00-- Consider wardrobe options very carefully. During the interview they talked about the importance of accessorizing and being awesome. This is problematic since my fashion sense probably falls somewhere in between these two: <--------------|-------------->

So as I stare at my closet and lament over my current "too broke to buy new clothes because for my last job I basically wore the same thing every week because no one saw me more than once" situation, I wonder why I ever took a job in a store that prides itself on being "fashion-forward." (Okay, in the safety of the blogosphere I will admit that during the interview they asked me how I stay up-to-date on current trends and I may or may not have blurted out "Magazines!" even though I don't read them ever at all. Please don't tell them. I don't know what they'd do to me.) Eventually I settle on a dress that I really like that has some cool pleating in front and I threw on some tights and a cardigan. It was one of my favorite roadrunning outfits, so I'm feeling okay about it even though I've been desperately wanting some new clothes.
1:30-- Glance in the direction of the jewelry box, but decide against accessories. The dress has a really high neck, so a necklace is unnecessary. I go with my standard watch and bracelet.
1:50-- Time for shoes. Ordinarily I wear heels with this outfit, but it's a retail job. I throw on a pair of black patterned ballet flats and grimace, knowing they don't look good. But at this point I don't really have other options.
1:51-- Roommate texts me to ask when I'm leaving. Informs me the that the roads were slick. Awesome.
2:00-- Brush snow off my car. Leave home.
2:10-- Arrive at the shopping plaza. My shift doesn't start until 3. I forgot to bring a book. Lame.
2:50-- Exit car, walk into store. The manager is ringing up a customer, so I approach another employee who has been there forever and tell her that I'm there for training. She tells me I need to talk to the manager. The manager overhears this and calls out, "Hi! I'm ____, we met when you came in for your interview, remember?" I use every ounce of energy resisting the urge to babble awkwardly, "Yes! Of course I remember! It's just that you were busy so I figured maybe someone would just lead me towards the back to wait or something so I was just... I didn't want to bother... Of course I remembered you!"
2:52-- While waiting for the manager to finish with the customer, I wander aimlessly around the store and instantly fall in love with every single piece of clothing. Oh no.
3:00-- My training begins. First we have to finish filling out my I9 electronically, which requires two phone calls from the manager to the other store manager. Two managers, same store. Co-managers. Sound familiar? Perhaps they should just make one of them Assistant to the Manager.
3:15-- We have finished with the I9. Now I need to get entered into the system. This requires two phone calls to IT.
3:30-- I'm probably in the system. Maybe. We'll have to see. Now it's time for DVDs! The manager tells me to come get her when the first DVD is over so she can put another one on for me. I resist the urge to call her "mom."
3:33-- The first one starts with a three minute montage of scenes from Devil Wears Prada, Wedding Crashers, Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Holiday, In Her Shoes, etc. Since the actresses in the montage were not wearing our brand, I'm guessing the montage served as a model for the type of women we dress every day.
4:00-- Someone who's in charge of brand fashion-y stuff for the company has spent a lot of time making promotional videos about how to put together outfits for customers. They stress the importance of looking great at work because, "No one will listen to you if you look like shit." (Okay, I may be paraphrasing.)
5:00-- Finished with the DVDs! And feeling completely frumpy in my outfit. I step out into the store to do some floor training. It is then that I notice the employees' shoes. They are wearing heels. You've got to be kidding me.
5:10-- I'm actually quite impressed with this company; they have me doing register training on my first night. Other retail chains I've worked for don't let you near the register until you've been working there for three weeks and have completed a series of challenges to prove your worthiness. (I'm looking at you, Payless. It's an oversized calculator, for god's sake!)
7:00-- I leave the store. I'm supposed to call to figure out when they want me back. (If...?) It has snowed insanely hard since I arrived at work, so my car is covered in three inches of powder and the roads are a mess. (For the record, trying to figure out a route home that doesn't involve going uphill is nearly impossible.) And I have to drive around the neighborhood a few times because someone took my parking space (okay, I may have forgotten to put out my parking chair... in my defense, people have stopped using them in light of recent wonderful weather).
8:00-- I arrive home. Keri has an amazing dinner waiting for me. Now I know why people get married.

So that was my day. An exhausting mess of frumpy. The good news is that I don't work again until Thursday, so I have several days to plan my outfit. And yes, I am taking suggestions.

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