In May, I took a seasonal sales job at a luxury department store's men's furnishings section. My plan was to get dressed and out of the house, have fun meeting people, while also running my family audio businesses, Boutique Audio & Design and Tree Audio . Bad plan! It was hell.
Retail crap I won't miss -
- Talking about Gucci (or, as my daughter refers to the hideous G labeled clothing, Douchey). Yes, there are people who find these obnoxiously monogrammed clothing and accessories worth putting on their credit cards. Even if they live in apartments in Pacoima, plan on wearing the crap for a few nights, only to return it all on Monday. At least they felt "worthy" for a few days. And isn't that what's important?
- The cheap bastards who come to the men's fragrance counter, every other day (I swear!) to fill up sample bottles of cologne (or as we have to refer to it: men's fragrance). Is that bottle of Cartier's Essence de Bois too expensive for you? No problem, just drag your cheap ass over to the counter and fill up on samples as often as possible. Oh, Mr. I-Reek-of-Sample-Bottles-of-Aramis, do you REALLY wonder why I'm ignoring you? Here's why: It's your putrid cloud of '70s stank and your inability to cough up a few coins for it!
- Tantrum-throwing children, like the three-year-old who beat on my butt with a red helium-filled balloon as I filled his cheap-assed daddy's sample bottle of Bleu de Chanel.
- And the intense co-worker (hands shaking, far off stare) who, proudly in charge of men's underthings section, would growl, "Keep your hands off my underwear," with not one ounce of recognition of what he just said. So of course I replied, "Don't worry, I'll keep my hands off your underwear," laughing. He sneered.
- I absolutely won't miss that customer who explained to me why he buys only white boxers, and no other color. "So I can tell when they're dirty." Noooooooo!!! (In my head I'm screaming like Sam Kinison.)
- I won't miss the men (For lack of a better word; they have facial whiskers and Adam's apples, so I don't know what else to call them) who will throw mini hissy fits (tisking, eye-rolling, shaking heads, knees buckling, shoulders slumping and major whining) if you put their Eau de Imbecile in a "normal" paper bag and not a pretty shiny silver one with handles.
Wow... didn't pioneer men hunt moose & throw 'em over their backs to feed and clothe their families; built log homes by chopping wood... wrestled bears and stuff, only a little more than a century ago?
- And, of course, I won't miss the pervs who said things like "You're built for comfort," "Married? Well, does that mean you can't go out for dinner with me?" or (the most memorable line of all!), "About my penis, it's large. Very large."
Rant written after my last day:
When I got the idea to get a little part time job where I could get dressed up (since I wear jeans as I solder audio equipment in my family home business) to meet people (other than store clerks who ring up my groceries), I didn't realize that Nordstrom had a different idea of "part time."
Their idea of PT hours are: "You won't see daylight again, forget having a free weekend or listening to the birds sing - but, hey, we'll give you a day to recuperate from working til 11pm then arriving at 9am the next day. You'll never sit down. You'll go to war with co-workers you won't really get to know but who will smile to your face and gossip behind your back. You won't have control of your eating schedule (You'll eat 'lunch' at 5pm and dinner at 11pm and like it, damn it!). You won't be able to receive phone calls, will wonder what is going on in the outside world, will make boxes and wrap presents in front of bitchy shrews who will say 'You call that wrapping? Why, in Iran we consider wrapping an art form' (as you think - Really? In Iran they also stone women to death and hang men for being gay. But there they know how to wrap? Whoop-dee-freaking-do!). You will lamely refer to drooling idiots with their pants hanging down below their boxers, wearing T-shirts that say 'Clothes, Money and Hoes' while asking the price of the Gucci belts, as gentlemen... Management will respond to your wondering why all they told you about your commission percentage was a lie - or 'miscommunication' - (and that when customers return items -as they often do - it comes out of your paycheck) with 'You don't fit in" to keep you in line. You will have customers so cruel they will do everything they can to humiliate you in front of others until you cry wondering how humans can be so soulless. But you will be reminded this bitter bitch spends the big bucks here so, basically, 'buck up and sell, sell, sell...' You will work until you can barely open your eyes, your bones ache, your muscles feel numb, and your brain is frazzled. Then on your last night we'll ask you for your key to the watches and wallets back, suspend your employee number, hand you a pay out of cash (so pathetic that you'll want to curl up into a ball and cry) and you will slunk out of the store - not through the employee door, but out the customer door... wanting to take a very hot shower."
See, we just had different ideas about part time.
Only today, after coming out of my retail fog, did I figure out they let me work my last two weeks without informing me I wouldn't get a cut of my commission (and it was a really good sale week for me, my Now-That-I-Don't-Give-a-Hot-Damn-I'm-raking-In-The-Big(all things being relative)-Bucks-in-Commission week).
Accepting that pathetic clump of cash, and skulking out into the night, I felt so nasty I would feel more respected if I were forced by gunpoint to perform fellatio on a traveling troupe of one-eyed, toothless acrobats suffering from leprosy and covered in mud. No offense to the one-eyed, toothless or those suffering from leprosy, mud fetishists, or traveling acrobats... but I think you get my point.