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Thursday, October 4, 2012

NSFW Thursday (but it's safe for work, really)

I've posted before about my work history and how I ended up in the job I have (my first NSFW post). Retail offers lots of opportunities for people like me who enjoy talking to a lot of people every day but don't necessarily want to be friends with a lot of people. Some customers are regulars. One I call the "purse lady" (yes, even to her face) because she comes every Wednesday on our Senior Discount day and buys two purses, then brings one back a day or so later. The Purse Lady sweetly asks my opinion and then goes in a totally different direction each time. Another regular has a distinctive South Florida accent and has made it clear she loves the Kardashians and all their fragrances. Of course, plenty of other people flow through the store weekly, and I only ever know their names if I handle their credit cards or their checks. Some of them spend hundreds of dollars at a time.

I like my customers. In fact, I like retail. The pay sucks. The hours are long and unpredictable. Sometimes my coworkers behave like children (not always the youngest ones, either) and it drives me crazy. But I like the opportunity to be a friendly face and voice to people, and to help them find things they want or need. And mostly...well, I like working around pretty things.

Today I started to worry that my job is making me too materialistic.

I'm surrounded by diamonds and gemstones at work. The deep jewel tones and hearty patterns of our fall and winter merchandise catches my eye no matter which path I take through the store. Every shift, I see at least five new things I would love to bring home (if only I didn't work as a cashier in a department store!). Sweaters, scarves, blouses, earrings, slippers. I pass through the children's department and see clothes I know my girls would love.

Remember those old Toys R Us shopping sprees you used to be able to win if you were a contestant on a Nickelodeon game show? They'd show the kid running through the store, tossing toys into the cart while others cheered her on. That's me. I imagine myself, except I am at my store and I am tossing beautiful clothing and accessories and bed sheets and towels into a cart, my spouse who LOVES TO SHOP (this cannot be emphasized enough) by my side, kids and other customers cheering me on to the finish line.

Our work affects our personalities and daily life routines. Friends who are nurses and teachers approach parenting differently than those who aren't. Those with really stressful jobs may never wind down or may overcompensate on the recreational end. I feel like my job makes me want to buy things much more than I would if I didn't know they existed. New jobs are few and far between, as I have learned, so I will stick with it and just try to adjust my attitude.

But when I clock out and walk down that aisle after each shift, I'll still imagine myself blissfully grabbing clothes from the racks like they were stuffed animals and Star Wars action figures.

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