I quit my job in retail today, granted that I only worked there for two months. I came in knowing that my life wouldn’t revolve around selling sunglasses, so I guess I fulfilled that prophesy.
I took the job to have some human interaction outside of school and my Netflix subscription. What I assumed to be an easy part-time job quickly became a boring part-time job that required me to work holidays.
That job led me to work my first Black Friday, giving me the experience of selling a pair of Tom Ford sunglasses to a drag queen at 5am. But living hundreds of miles away from family, it would have been impossible to be home for Christmas, thus leading me to resign.
As soon as I submitted my letter of resignation, my mood automatically improved. I noticed how my voice developed a sweet tone and I didn’t mind cleaning sunglasses for two more weeks. The thought of being back home for a few weeks made it all worth it.
This store was run by college girls and a “manager” whose mailing address was thousands of miles away in New York. While resigning, my manager over the phone responded with gossip that she heard from my co-workers including when I once said, “It’s only sunglasses.” Apparently you should never say that, even if it is low-traffic, boring, leg-straining, retail job where you sell sunglasses that cost more than your rent.
The point is, RETAIL IS NOT YOUR LIFE. I have a college degree, and I’m almost done with my second. I came in knowing that some retail job will never consume my life. I’m tired of people who revolve their lives around consumerism, while at the same time they are going to college for an actual degree, and eventually a real career.
Working practically every day in December would be hell, and I now respect anyone working in retail. Everyone should try to work and retail, and then they can understand how it feels to try and convince someone to buy something, or to clean up after dozens of customers who touch everything.
Reading Steve Martin’s “Shopgirl” gave me false expectations. Retail will not lead you to meeting a wealthy man who pays for everything — you just start to hate people more. When you work in retail, customers don’t view you as an actual human, and that’s the worst part of the industry. Customers either hit on your or treat you like shit.
Despite working in a sunglass boutique, my job isn’t to clean your glasses, you can buy cleaning wipes and do it yourself. I don’t know anything about eyeglass prescriptions, so don’t ask me anything about that either. I’m a student selling sunglasses, not an ophthalmologist. Better yet, I’m not working on commission so don’t that you’re doing me any favors.
Also, while working in retail you develop an undiagnosed phenomena called “retail legs,” caused by standing hours doing nothing thus causing your legs to hurt like hell.
I’m sorry to everyone I promised Ray Bans with my employee discount, but now I’m a better person — someone with an HBOGO subscription. No matter if I am unemployed, I now have the time to actually read for myself, and time for me to sort through all my related artists on Spotify. Most importantly, I’m back home for the holidays.
I no longer have to listen to holiday music overlayed on a dubstep track, or put up with customers who are “just looking.” I can reenter society as a customer, and a goddamn happy one.