Posts tagged ‘retail’

January 25, 2010

corporate zombies* Ate My Neighbors OR I’m Overqualified for This…Right? Right!? (Part 2)

I really need to stop keeping lofty goals for myself. Like this nugget for instance; I want to be identified as either the Anti-Christ or as the BFF of the Dali Lama-regardless if I am either.

This has nothing to do with the rest of the story I started in the last post, so anyway…

When I met my actual boss, he was anything but happy. He was already annoyed that he had no control of my hiring process so when I told him that I had no experience in retail he made little effort to hide his aggravation. He began to talk to me about how hard the job was and that I needed to “step-up to the plate” everyday. It was then that he started churning out more cliche’s and corporate buzz words then I had thought possible by a single person. He seemed like a walking stereotype of corporate America. Those people don’t really exist do they? No one could be that souless, right? He began telling me about his career at the department store, and how he had been there for around 10 years or so. Implying that if I work hard enough, I could get his position. Maybe, in another 10 years.

I was laughing to myself. There was no way I’d be stuck here for that long right? I was a college graduate, college graduates don’t get stuck working retail department stores for the rest of their lives right? Sure, in the next few weeks during my computer training (which I later found out was full of outdated information that no longer applied to the floor) I’d met some people who had been with the company for 30+ years, but they didn’t have degrees. I wasn’t the same as them, right? Right?


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January 20, 2010

I’m Overqualified for This…Right? Right!? (Part 1)

As I left my final English class, with my paper in hand, I was assured my degree. I was practically skipping down the hallways with my friend Pat (who not skipping) who unintentionally decided to end my parade by throwing a suicide bomber on my Santa float thereby scarring the children my metaphorical crowd forever,

“So what are you going to do now?”

I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Maybe it was the stress of writing that final paper, or maybe it was the hope that my internship would produce some sort of decent job, but I hadn’t the damnest clue. What was I going to do? My first reaction was to write that book I was working on-but I wasn’t going to embarrass myself by telling Pat that. I guess I had to get a job, I told him.

“Yeah, but get a job where?”

Pat seemed to be on a roll with killing my good mood that night. I didn’t know; a few months prior I was sure of using my degree for getting a job in marketing,  public relations, or something that involved using my writing skills. I even had relevant work experience to boot with an internship that ended only weeks ago! Yet the more I considered those fields, the more I thought against going in that direction. (Well that and the fact that no employer even bothered responding to me). I decided to try a shotgun approach for a job, any job that would pay the bills. I told myself that it would only be a temporary job while I tried to figure out my career. (That and if I include all the soul searching here, it’ll make for a ridiculously long and confusing post).

I had one interview with a department store. Which was great since I had vowed, that with my degree, I would never return to food service again. My first interview lasted no less than 5 minutes, but I was told to return for another. I arrived for this second interview a good 15-10 minutes early (just like every job-getting aid suggests) and began my wait. I was feeling confident, how hard could this be?

Apparently, this department store had decided to test how bad I really wanted this job by ignoring me.

I had noticed that it was 30 minutes past my interview time, and there was no one in the room but me and an elderly lady. Thinking that maybe she was my interviewer in disguise and was testing how pleasant I could be under stress, I decided to talk to her. Turns out that she was supposed to have an interview an hour ago. We heard footsteps occasionally, but it was never for us. It was always some employee on their way to or from their lunch break. Yes jackass, I’d say to myself, we’re still here. At one point (around the one hour mark) a short lady with an ugly disposition came by, assuring us that our interviewer would only be a moment longer.

She lied. After another half hour passed, I saw a new person walking through the hallway. She was a middle-aged black woman professionally dressed with a smile on her face. Almost like the kind you see on diversity in the workplace pamphlets. She began talking to us right away.

“Oh, you must be our interviewer.” we said, finally glad that the wait was over.

“No I’m not,” she responded as our hearts sunk yet again, “how long have you both been waiting?”

“Well,” the elderly lady answered, “about two and a half hours.”

Turns out the lady was from Corporate. This became obvious when her picturesque expression instantly shattered into something more akin to… something angry. I don’t know how to describe it, it’s not everyday you see a corporate minion break their usual bland demeanor. I feel like I should be telling you that she turned into a leprechaun and gave me a pot of gold instead. I did have to wait another 20 minutes or so for my brief interview (which turned into “Fill out these tax forms”) but it was worth it. Why was it worth it? Well, after our interviewer finally showed up, she was pulled into another room. This did little to save face on her part since I could still hear Lady-From-Corporate yelling at her for a good 15 minutes. The phrase “I don’t care if they’re even qualified for this job-you’re giving it to them!” was uttered. Apparently, I was supposed to have yet another interview had everything gone as planned.

You could say I was happy, but there was still nothing I could do to repair the fake Christmas for those imaginary children in my head.

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