A Smile Won’t Kill You. My Lightsaber Will.

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No, it won’t. My lightsaber will not kill you unless I have proof that you are trying to undermine the Republic and there is no other alternative. Then, you might want to do some soul-searching.

The sad reality of following the Jedi path is that only 1% of the population can make a living (and I mean an ACTUAL living) following a true Jedi’s path. I’m sure if I got creative and lived under the variations of the title ‘that crazy Jedi lady who lives next door’, I could think of something.

Bulldog #13

Until then, I work part-time in retail. It’s a pretty sweet gig when you’re attending Academy for a duration of 4-5 years. Not only does one have to buy supplies for classes, but food is very important. It’s also imporatnt to broaden one’s horizon and not wear the tried and true sweatshirt of your teenage years. It’s great to be a Bulldog, but when you make the move into greener pastures, embrace being a Seahawk (or whatever it costumed being is running around your football fields and basketball courts.)

Clothing and food are pretty important to anyone’s survival. The Jedi say not to want what is not needed. That pair of $495 Jimmy Choos? Not going to happen in this lifetime. However, the $10.00 pair of athletic shoes I need to keep myself in shape? A necessity. Although my favorite pair of Apartment 9 gold heels that I pair with my LBD are pretty much an essential for any female Jedi nowadays, too.

The perfect accessory any time, anywhere

Back to working in retail. As great as my coworkers are (only they can understand the triumphs and suicidal thoughts of our 6-hour shifts), sometimes I want to throw in my name tag and scream at every single person who steps through the store’s front door. Sometimes, I question whether my discount is worth the imbalance this job causes to my mental stability.

“I detest humanity. I’m allergic to it.” — Those are the words of Brigitte Bardot, a sixties glamour puss.

French bikini babe

Her words could not ring more true after the day I’ve had.

Does it hurt to smile? Or even fake a smile? Or bite your tongue before ripping into the innocent associate trying to help you in any way they can so you, the customer, can continue on their way? I’m very sorry the price of your favorite brand of jeans went up from last year, but I have no control over it. If you think bullying me about how another store’s prices are lower is going to get you the lower price, I’m sorry, but not only are you wasting your precious oxygen, but mine, too.

I’m sorry you decided to return a god-awful necklace 4 months beyond our return policy time-limit. I cannot return it to you for full price. It states so on the receipt you received 7 months ago when you bought it. When you yell at me about how stupid the policy is, I’m simply tuning you out and nodding to make you happy. It’s company policy. I have to follow it as the company employee. Call the 1-800 number is you want to complain to someone who will get paid to listen to your endless rants.

This, the never-ending daily events of being a retail associate, seemed to happen in the expanse of 4.5 hours. When grouchy people decide to go out into public, they do it in stampedes.

Pam understand my frusteration

Attention clothing shoppers! Because I am working a part-time retail job to support myself through my years at the Academy does not mean I’m stupid. Working retail doens’t ‘dumb down’ my IQ. Talking to you, the ignorant bastard customer, does. Learn how to speak proper English and come to the realization that I am not, in fact, a mind reader. That would be great if I could simply look at you and say “You’re looking for a V-neck men’s underarmor T-shirt made of 70% cotton, 25% spandex and 5% polyester in the color of eggplant in a size ultra-small, but not so small as to fit a 6-year-old. Right this way.” Believe me, my job would be so much cooler if I had mind-reading capabilities.

I hate to admit this, but sometimes, I hide from people. The best place to hide and honestly keep yourself busy in case a manager happens to spot you? Big and Tall. I’m not sure why it’s always so quiet back there. It’s right next to the women’s bathroom and our second busiest entry way. It makes no sense to me, but never ceases to fail. I got to know Big and Tall like no one’s business during the holidays.

I know exactly what you’re looking for.

As terrible as the days have been, I still manage to smile at each and every person I help. There’s a lesson to be learned from that alone. I’m sorry you, the customer, just had a crappy day at your office job. But, here’s a genuine smile, from me to you. Most of the time I get sass in return…or the rare occassion, I get hit on. Actually, I get hit on way too often for retail. It almost leads me to believe a majority of our male customers have never interacted with a female before. My all-time favorite retail moment? When a father tried to to get my number for his 15-year old son who, in the father’s words, was ‘”tall, gangly, a few zits here and there, and has ridiculously long fingers…but hey, what girl wouldn’t find his attractive. He wears men’s sized jeans (I don’t even know what that was supposed to mean!) and can decently hold a normal conversation.”

What in the world had our world come to?

I’m smiling at you because I am friendly and genuinely want to help you find what it is you came shopping for. I’m honestly a smiley person! Ask anyone.

Future lover

I am not smiling because I’m looking for my future lover or potential boyfriend. And even if you’re son was uber attractive to catch my attention….EW! He’s 15! In most states, that is considered not only illegal, but highly disturbing! I’m gagging a little bit just reliving the memory…

So, my fellow customers, when you see that man or woman folding pair of pants (probably for the 5th time that day alone), be nice to them. They deal with more muck and tomfoolery than you relize. Be nice to them. Smile at them. Share a laugh them them. Acknowledge they are trying to assist you in whatever way possible. More importantly, thank them.

Or I’ll master the Force just enough to cause your pants to drop around your ankles. Let’s hope you’re wearing your cute underwear that day.

Oh yeah…I own a pair…or five.

Now, this post may have depressed you or crused your dreams of being the a part of the fabulous retail world. If that is the case, please check this out: Kesha and the Beatles Mash-Up.

It is one of the sweetest mash-ups I have heard in a looooong time. You will not be disappointed.

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2 thoughts on “A Smile Won’t Kill You. My Lightsaber Will.

    Dex said:
    January 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    I was indentured at McDonald’s for more years than I’d like to remember, eventually moving into management. I feel your pain.

    I would even be so bold to say on the ladder of abuse that fast food workers are at least a rung lower than retail.

    This is a prime test for learning how to let the Force flow through you and not allow uour emotions to get the better of you. Breathing solely through the nose can be useful in keeping a level head.

    When all else fails, being disgustingly polite can be fun.

    sleepingjedi said:
    January 8, 2012 at 3:58 am

    I have worked in retail also, and can totally relate to all that you’ve said here,including the being hit on. When people moaned about the prices being cheaper online I told them to order it online or go to another shop. The company tried too get me to sell extended warranties on items which were stupidly overpricied and a lot of hassle when it came to repairing them. In one retail shop I worked in, a friend and I used to fill trollys with clothing, to say we were putting returns back, grab broom, go in opposite directions, then just when we saw each other.

    I now work in healthcare and people aredoubly greatful, but also others are doubly grumpy. But I guess people just like to be jerks and the force has sent them to test us.

    /sleepingjedi @tk985

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