Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Wishful Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
I could go back & spend one day working at a job from my youth, & it would be from the Gap!
Okay, so technically, I worked at the Gap while I was in college; & one could argue, I guess, that that doesn't count as "my youth." But being on that thin line between mid-twenties & late twenties, I'm counting it!
I actually loved retail. I've mentioned my job at Gap before, & I've also mentioned my ingrained tendency to wander back in to both Banana Republic & Gap, out of sheer habit. I actually went on to work at Banana Republic after college, while I was doing graduate work.
(They are, of course, in the same family.)
Obviously, retail hours are not ideal, so few folks are up for staying in retail for lifelong careers. & considering the amount of time I've put in to my education, the pay (even for managers) really isn't ideal either.
But retail is fun! I suppose it was particularly fun for me because I *love* accessories&apparel!
Good old Gap has been around since 1969, as they occasionally remind us on their tees. I very much appreciated that my employee discount extended to their sophisticated sister store Banana Republic. I didn't so much use it at their other sister store, Old Navy, although I do occasionally find something cheap&cute there - especially silly holiday-type products. Unfortunately, I worked for the company before the fabulous Piperlime was founded - & before the acquisition of the Athleta catalog.
While I've tended toward designer jeans in the last few years, mostly because I decided one day in a Saks fitting room that a pair of Citizens had transformed me into Heidi Klum (You hush - I had not been drinking when I had that epiphany!); I do hang on to several favorite pairs of Gap jeans year after year. & I am occasionally drawn to buying a new pair, which may or may not last through my rigid periodic closet cleanings.
(I am the anti-packrat.)
Anyway, I appreciated the flexibility of retail. I could go home for the summer & come back to my job at the Gap whenever I wanted in the fall; be it a week before classes had begun, or two weeks after. I could request pretty much whatever days I wanted off, within reason.
(Uh, you usually can't request every Saturday off in retail.)
I am a people person, so I actually (generally) enjoyed working with the public. I liked meeting new people. & being a Southener in the middle of Ohio often sparked conversations. I also had a few "regular customers."
I loved knowing
what was about to come out on the sales floor,
what was about to be marked down,
& what was supposed to be styled with what.
& to be perfectly honest, I was content whether the stores were busy or not. Busy meant that time flew by, & I enjoyed the bustle. Slow meant
Um, hello, those are some of my favorite things to do - I actually find those things wonderfully relaxing.
I was also a bit of a pro at getting folks to open credit cards, for which I was occasionally rewarded with goodies (or raises).
(Perhaps my persuasive skills were a bit of a warmup for getting ready for law school!)
& it was kind of a big deal when I became trustworthy enough to be appointed as a "cash specialist," which meant I could close down the drawers at night. I think, technically, I was also a "denim specialist," though I don't recall that being nearly as impressive to my fellow employees. ;) & I did enjoy some good friendships & good times with some of those fellow employees!
Of course, what I miss the most, is the employee discount...especially when I'm perusing the online stores & finding things I'd like to buy...
Stella McCartney Anchor Intarsia Sweater (BabyGap)
the My First Denim New Jeans (BabyGap)
Pocket Cardigan in Strawberry Banana
Lightweight Patchwork Floral Scarf in Fall Navy