Who the hell am I to have a blog? What do I have to say that’s so important? Why is my point of view more important than anyone else’s?
I’ve been thinking about it and I really don’t have a right to write my blog. I’m not famous. I’ve never slept with anyone famous. I have no “tell all” book material stashed away somewhere. I’m not a specialist of any sort. Yet I blog and people read it. People I’m not even related to. So I figure it’s about time I put my credentials on the line. Give you some background so that you can understand why I’m so damn qualified to write a women’s empowerment blog in the first place.
Prepare to be dazzled.
If you don’t count baby-sitting, my first real job was at Brooks Fashion in the Franklin Mall. I was a salesgirl and learned how to do things like track the number of coat try-ons I had gotten that hour and how to say,
every time the phone rang without stuttering or being hung up on. At the time I thought I was simply a teenager holding down a typical teenage job. Oh no. In retrospect, I believe that Brooks Fashions my have been the most important job of my career.
Grabbing a sparkly headband that just so happened to match the shiny shirt a patron was holding and casually sauntering over to the customer to show her how fabulous the two went together was not my forte. I was too blunt. Too eager. Too guilty trying to do my job and get a “take five” (when you could get a customer to “take five” items into the dressing room it increased the likelihood of a sale).
I never knew how to rebound after asking the customer if they needed help only to hear that they were “just looking”. I was supposed to hover without stalking, pull items for them to consider without being obtrusive and ultimately get them to buy something even though they were “just loafin’ while their boyfriend, Guido, was shopping in Chess King looking for a leather tie to wear to the dance this Friday”.
To this day I’m highly impressed by anyone that makes their living in sales. You must be suave, smooth and not only able to tell someone exactly what they want to hear, but know what it is they need in the first place. Like Kenny Roger’s Gambler, you’ve got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em and smile the entire time you’re doing it. You must be an expert bullshitter.
I don’t have this skill. I tell people exactly what pops into my head and figure if they want me to know something they’ll tell me. This trait is a double edged sword. On the one hand, you’ll never end a conversation with me wondering what I meant. On the other hand, I leave nothing to the imagination and not everyone finds my direct approach as enjoyable as I do. My only saving grace is that I keep a lot more comments to myself which to most is a blessing, I’m sure.
Needless to say, I was “transferred” to shipping and receiving after about 6 months on the job. I put clothes on hangers and used a cool gun to attach price tags to each item. I worked alone in the back and only saw my co-workers when they had to take a piss. Along with my 20% discount it was a match made in heaven.
Eventually I graduated high school where I began the next important phase in my intellectual development – my career as a waitress.
To read part 2 of this series, click here.