Last night was the first night of my new part time job. It was a different perspective being the low man on the totem poll. It reminded me of my college retail jobs. One was at a little girls clothing store, one was at a high end women’s retailer. This job fell in between the two. The sales staff more or less reminded me of little girls dressed in their moms clothes and makeup- pretending to be her. The sales girls were fairly stuck up. They were all in their early twenties. Their faces were caked with makeup, but shoddily done. The veteran sales staff were smirking at the flaws of the newbies, but they were not any “cooler”. It was reminiscent of high school, but the popular girls here would’ve only ranked in the midrange of teen hierarchy.
The manager that was filing out my paperwork literally looked down her nose to me while I was filling out my new hire work. The company were part of a tax program where they received breaks from those on government assistance. I was asked to answer questions on the phone and then give them an approval number. I guess I am the only person to have ever received government assistance in the store, because when I answered “yes” to a question I was quickly redirected to a customer service rep and the hiring manager looked perplexed. At the end of a very long call I recited my numbers back to her and she looked baffled. “I’ve never seen someone have to take so long on one of these calls.” I explained that they asked if I had received government assistance in the past 18 months, and I had, when my first daughter was born and my company didn’t pay my maternity leave. She at first looked at me like I was a charity case, and then a smirk took over her face as if to confirm that she was still secure with her popularity.
The job is selling modestly priced wedding dresses at a large chain store. With both my costuming and retail background combined with my bartender charm I feel confident in being successful at this job. They also allow me to work only one to two days a week. So I will find someplace in the background to just keep my head down those couple of days and make some money.
Last night I realized how much of a turn my life had taken. I used to be those girls when I was younger. I felt superior (to those that were probably better qualified to do my job) because I was young, attractive (or so I thought because I spend hours in mirror perfecting my face), and I was at the top of the workplace popularity. I was the one making snide comments. I was the one with the content smirk across my face. I look at those days and think even though I thought I was happy I wasn’t. I didn’t feel complete. Even though I’m only working there part time, I have a full time job where I currently feel fulfilled-in the role as mom.