Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Would you like it... gift-wrapped?"

Dear Globlets,

I suck, I know. Let's just pretend the last 15 days never happened and move on. I'm posting now.

I like my job. It's just a retail job, but it's really a great environment to be in even though the music hasn't been classic rock for the last couple of weeks. I feel like I'm getting better and better at everything. The newest of newbies sometimes even come to me for help. The numbers are in my favour. I never meet my sales targets; I beat them. And my boss has made it clear that she does not want to lose me. This is something I never got when I worked at the coffee shop. Nobody ever told me or made me feel like I did a good job at anything. Being told that I wasn't the person they thought they'd hired (but holding onto me anyway because they felt bad(?)) was my first clue that I would never feel truly welcome there. Perhaps I wasn't. There were some good times, of course, but it often felt like I would work so hard yet still manage to do something wrong, or rather nothing right. I blame it on the lack of training I received as well as the lack of organization within the facility. There was no system, and I need a system.

There is a system where I work now. There are procedures and guidelines and assignments, but I am still faced with variables, so it's not like working at a military training base. In addition, others have described the sales team as being like a family, and I tend to agree. I feel comfortable talking with any of them - perhaps less when it comes to Hot Coworker, but that's just because he's pretty. However, if something serious ever comes up, I know I could count on him, which is familyish.

I prefer to work in the fitting rooms, where there are many interactions that tend to happen all at once. It gets stressful, especially since the doors are flush with the wall, and the whole thing is mirrors, so I can hardly tell the rooms apart. Someone will ask me for another size in something and the moment they close their door I will have forgotten which room they were in. This isn't a problem when it's slow, but when nearly every fitting room is full, my only hope of identifying the rooms is a little number that pops up on the door when it's locked, as long as the person inside has remembered to lock it. Then I have to worry about multiple locked doors next to each other, particularly if someone sneaks into a room while I'm not around. ("Was it room 5 or 6?") Then I usually just knock and ask if they were looking for a size, and sometimes I'll just shout, "I have that size you needed!" and whichever door opens first is the one I'm looking for. It's like Whack-a-Mole combined with Memory Blocks. And for some reason I love it. When I'm not attending to customers there, I'm processing clothing rejects. I hang things up the way they're meant to be and either take them back to the floor myself or thank the designated "runner" who does it instead.

A part of me wonders if my enjoyment doesn't also come from the lack of responsibility I face back there. In the fitting rooms, it is less likely for people to steal and easier for me to notice if someone does, whereas at the front it's easy for things to slip by. It's easier for someone to simply swipe items from a table at the front than it is to smuggle something out of a change room. And at cash, well, it's cash. You're dealing with people's money and the store's accounting and inventory; plus, you have to be quick and be careful of fraud. But perhaps with a little more practice on cash I'll get more comfortable with it.

Sometimes when I'm packing a customer's purchase in tissue paper, I feel like they get a little impatient. Less so now that I'm more used to it, but I can't help but remind myself of Rowan Atkinson in this scene from Love Actually where Alan Rickman agrees to having his purchase gift-wrapped.

All in all, things are doing well in the job department. It hurts going from being paid almost $20 per hour to less than half of that for twice the work, but at least it's coming in consistently.

Now, before my spine ends up staying like this permanently, I'm going to end this here, stop writing with the laptop on my chest, return my arms to a less bent and more natural position, and hope Lucy doesn't run away when I move her so I can turn around and put my sleepy head on the pillow. As enjoyable as the job is, surprisingly, it takes a lot out of me physically. After work, I'm usually quite content to just fucking die on the couch. But not tonight, I told myself. Tonight, I dedicate this night to my Globlets. (Mostly because nothing was on TV.) <3


Thomas Winterhoff said...

Love this: "It's like Whack-a-Mole combined with Memory Blocks." ...and the Rowan Atkinson reference.


Ori. said...

Hehe, thanks. :)