It's just a j.o.b.

Tim calls it "survival mode." I call it "desperation," or rather "reducing desperation." Either way, it took some amount of humility to walk into the mall the other day with a stack of the "retail" version of my resume. So much humility that I almost didn't go. In fact, Tim had to drop me off in front and then wait for me to make sure I actually followed through.

That's actually not true. Here's the real story. My mom reminded me the other day that God doesn't care what we do for work, He just cares that we work. So, I walked myself to the mall the first time. Once inside, I sat down on a bench, trying to restrain the tears of pride and sent a text to Tim that said, "this is more painful than I thought it was going to be," followed by a text to my sister Emily that said, "I'm at the mall to get applications and I need a pep talk." Her response was exactly what I needed to read and basically told me to shake it off, it would only be temporary anyway. After that, I dusted off my dress pants and straightened my sweater and walked in to Ann Taylor. The assistant manager on duty seemed as if she would hire me on the spot, said I looked like management material, and I was reminded how pathetically phenomenal my retail resume really is. While it was confidence boosting, it didn't take long for the high to fade.

Fast forward a week to find me sitting in Tim's car outside the mall, resisting having to go inside to follow up. A police officer flashed his lights at me and motioned for us to move along, I signed back to him. "I'm getting out," and he signed very angrily, "then get out! NOW!" Oh, it made me mad and I walked into the mall with an attitude. I marched to the Gap, where I had filled out the online application (a new process since my prior tenure as a Gap employee). On my way there I had to pass a kiosk where I had been previously hustled by Israeli sales people who convinced me to buy several heated hair styling tools which I later discovered I could get online for less than what I paid (even with all the "freebies" they threw into my bag) and am still mad about the money I wasted there. I couldn't help it. As the sales dude tried to reel me in I flipped my hair and snapped at him. "Do I look like I need one of those?" He sheepishly said, "No, you don't, but...." the rest of his pitch faded in the fury behind me. I felt a bitter satisfaction. I didn't have to be rude, but it did feel empowering.

I turned my resume in at the Gap, found out the names of the store manager and the hiring manager, then proceeded to Ann Taylor where I found out the store manager hadn't even seen my resume. I gave her a new copy and we scheduled an interview. I'll tell you what. In person is the way to get a retail job. When I went back for my AT interview, I also stopped by Gap and tracked down the manager and she interviewed me on the spot. Within a couple days I had job offers at both stores.

In two days I have my follow-up interview for a "real job". I call it a real job because it is full-time with benefits and a salary and paid time off, not because God gives brownie points for such a job over a part-time retail gig. Because He doesn't. After 2.5 months of searching, I think it will be ironic when I am offered the "real job" for the salary that I've been dreaming about (you know, the one that will allow me to live, eat, and get ahead) and I'll have to tell my new retail employers that instead of the "open availability" I stated before, I am only going to be able to work a couple evenings a week and some weekends. I would be very happy with that irony.


Auntie Em said...

woo-hoo! I will cross my fingers for you.

T*town said...

At a girl babe! Sock it to the mall hustlers!