Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wishful Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

"I wish..."

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

folding sweaters,
& straightening.

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...

Pocket Cardigan in Strawberry Banana


  1. My first job was at Banana Republic! I loved it too!

  2. I worked at a Gap Outlet for a few months after I finished grad school and before I moved to DC! In college, I worked at Bath and Body Works, so I had discounts there, Limited, Lerner NY, Express and Victoria's Secret! Loved it.

    I posted about a different youthful job though!

  3. The discounts is what I would go after!! But, after seeing so much clothes and folding it, I hope it isn't as appealing!