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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Everything I Learned About Life I Learned from Working in Retail: Fact #1


Fact #1:

No matter how many times you fold a stack of shirts on a table, five minutes later, a customer will always, always, ALWAYS come by and mess it up. Sometimes not even with the intent to buy a shirt; quite frequently, shirt-destroyers attack with nothing but ill-intent and the need to destroy order. But you, noble store employee, must refold that stack of shirts you have so diligently folded at least half a dozen times that day. Why? It is your job to keep the store looking neat and tidy, no matter how ungrateful the customers may be.

Translated:

Sometimes we do stuff that doesn't seem to have meaning. No one notices we do these things, no one ever thanks us, and quite often people step all over the fact that we've spent the past hour (or day, or week, etc) doing something for them. But quite often it is beyond our control to make people realize these things. Quite often, all we can do is continue folding our proverbial shirt stack, knowing that we make life a little nicer, even if no one else notices and it all gets ruined five minutes later. The point is: it was there for a moment in time, and for a moment in time, you made the world a little bit brighter.

14 comments:

Jade said...

Ha! I used to work in retail and I was FOREVER re-folding the shirt tables. It used to drive me nuts when I would be standing there folding and someone would come along and pick up the shirt in 5 different colours. I just wanted to scream, "It's the same shirt!!!!"

Retail made me angry, so I had to leave.

Natalie said...

I have three little kids. I often wonder why I even try to clean up because the WILL destroy my clean house the second they wake up in the morning. Still I do it.

Lisa and Laura said...

I'm with Natalie...so many thankless jobs. I like your perspective, Sara!

sraasch said...

Jade -- Retail makes me angry me too. But alas, jobs are hard to come by, thus I stick it out. Hmph.

Natalie -- Kids are notorious for ruining shirt tables too...I cringe whenever they come in.

L&L -- There are indeed many, many thankless jobs...might as well have a fun analogy while we're at it ;)

Donna Gambale said...

I never worked in retail, but I worked many many jobs in food service. I feel your pain.

Mariah Irvin said...

I would always fold the shirts at my old job (because nobody else would). Once, my boss had me standing there folding shirts for two hours!

inthewritemind said...

Ah, a big thank you for this entry! Many times I feel like I'm working a neverending thankless job (being a secretary for real estate agents...yeah, I'm invisible until something goes wrong :P). But there are those moments that I do make someone's day a little easier, even if they don't notice. I guess I should be thankful; I could be in a job that's worse :)

sraasch said...
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sraasch said...
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sraasch said...

Donna -- Oh, you are a brave soul. I could never stomach a job in food service.

Mariah -- Ha! I've so been there; hours upon hours of folding and hanging...fun stuff.

inthewritemind -- You could definitely be working a job that's worse. You could be working in retail. ;)

Renee Collins said...

Ah, retail. I worked many a mall job, some food service, some retail. *sigh* Good times. ;)

And yes, this post is spot on. In fact I would say that most of the time the stuff we do doesn't get any recognition or appreciation. But like you said, we have to just keep folding those shirts.

Hayley said...

Great perspective, I never thought of it that way. It's a good way to look at it, the glass half full...I should take a page from your book.

Kate said...

I am one of a few people who refolds them. But I then get annoyed because I never think my folding looks as goos as the people who has originally done it.

sraasch said...

Ren -- A fellow retailee! Yes, good times indeed. Good times that at least make for good stories later...

Hayley -- Glass half full! There's a good way to sum it up!

Kate -- Bless you for refolding them. I <3 people like you