Born to Retail

No, this isn't my actual store, but you get the idea!
This week marks my 1 year anniversary of being at my job - a part-time sales associate at The Children's Place (which for those of you without kids, is a newborn through big kid mall clothing store that offers fashionable quality clothing at affordable prices).

Sure, working retail can suck at times - we're open 7 days a week as well as non-major holidays, there's the occasional angry customer, and of course the holiday season is just crazy. But honestly, I don't mind it so much.

I didn't really have a job dealing with customers until I was in college and started working at the movie theater, and sure, it was pretty fast paced on the weekends, but I didn't mind it and when I got promoted to management... best job ever! (despite the occasional projector breaking down in mid-showing or the disgruntled patron here and there).

I left that job though to work at desk job, doing design work for a small family owned sales promotion agency in the furniture business.

And I often hated it. Sure the hours were great for the pay and the job was easy. But that was just it - I was bored. A LOT. And there were only 3 other people in the office - the father and son owners and the mother who did various secretarial work.

I missed the social interaction with people I had the theater.

http://americajr.com/news/SearsGrand_checkout_lo.jpgSo when my hours got cut and I needed at least a seasonal job I turned to retail and got to work as a seasonal cashier for a Sears Essentials store (basically a Kmart but with a Sears appliance and electronics department). It was fast-paced and I worked Black Friday for a few hours mid-morning. Unfortunately they couldn't keep me on past the holidays though due to them having to give the regular full-timers x-amount of hours and couldn't afford us part-timers.

When they cut my hours even more last year (making me basically work on an as-needed basis... which has been twice all year) I knew I had to find something else and applied at various places at the mall. Children's Place just happened to be one of the 1st call me back. Being 5-6 months pregnant I only worked a few shifts here and there, getting mostly on-call shifts, but after the holidays they offered to keep me on as part-time and once I came back from my 6 weeks maternity leave I started getting 2-3 shifts a week, peaking at 4-5 shifts during the summer when we were extremely short-staffed. Thankfully, I'm back to 3 days a week, as 4-5 was a bit much for this mama - I missed my little man a lot and hated leaving him with my mom as often I was.

I like jobs that require me interacting with people and helping them find what they need. I like working at the cash register and I like processing shipment in the back as well - it's a rewarding feeling when you get through a stack of boxes. I like the fast-paced environment.

I realized something not long ago though - I was basically born to work in retail.

My mom managed a department in a department store at the mall before I was born and growing up, whenever we would go to a store, when I wasn't hiding under or playing in the clothing racks I was being helpful, organizing the clothes or whatever and such. Even the staff would comment on how great it was that I was helping keeping the store look nice by putting things where they were supposed to go!

Recovering the store is another detail about working retail - if you let it go it (especially during the holidays) the tables and racks get to be a HUGE mess, so it's important to keep up on the busier tables (for us it's the graphic tee tables - those things get so messed up within 5 minutes during the holidays it's ridiculous!)

Now don't get me wrong - I love being a mommy and I enjoy the days of just staying home with Jay or running fun errands with him, but I do need to get out of the house at times and socialize/interact with people and while I don't need to work like some of my co-workers do (as hubby works 2 jobs) it is nice to have the extra spending money to spend on our home or on Jay or even a little on myself.

What about you? 
Do you enjoy the type of work that you do? 
Have you found your 'niche' in the work-world?

You have til 10pm CST on Monday to enter!

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