The facts ft. Retail Robin

May something 2008,

I finally applied to the one place in the mall I believe hired me because I was there enough to clock in and get paid for it.
Might as well.
At the time I already had a million women ask me if I worked there, and six years later it hasn't changed. "Excuse me, miss, do you work here?"
No ma'am, I just wear this bright neon badge that says XXI Employee for fun, and they also let me play on the cash register too. Lucky me.

Please hold for more genius questions later.

The girls, queens, divas, and boys who have grown to be a somewhat dysfunctional family to me can all agree we've all had our fair share of genius questions. Oh, but we dared not answer in that manner. Oh, absolutely not.

Do you think I've kept a job there this long by "speaking my mind?" Moreover, speaking my mind in a distasteful manner? No.No.No.NO.

You wouldn't believe half of the things I've told people and all of the things I'm about to tell you. 

We need to go through some fundamental things first, before we get to the good stuff. Just some basic things so we're speaking the same language and we're on the same page when you go from page to page.
I don't want you to feel "bad" (even though I'm sure you won't) or even get mad, or try to fix the retail issue. Start riots and shit? Don't even worry about it. It's not your fault I chose this industry for the past few years. Just laugh with me, at both of our sometimes ridiculous behavior.
Some of you may agree, some of you may not. But this is from our perspectives. The girls' who keep this white wonderland together, perspectives. 

Please bear with me as I go through the facts.



1. I (we) have a natural sass that is sometimes (all the time) misunderstood. I am not demeaning anyone, nor am I saying that I agree with the decisions I'm left to make but at the end of the day, it's my JOB. I HAVE to say and do the things I do. Because they pay me. NOT YOU. You just hand me the money while I put it in the drawer. WHICH MAY have you think you're entitled to re arrange the decision process, but believe me. You're not. And you aren't the first, and unfortunately won't be the last. 


2. Some people really start the whole process on the wrong foot. When you begin awfully prepare NOT to be happy with the results. 


3. This is like fast food fashion. We are not your top of the line designer boutique, even though the latest runway haute couture inspirations can be found in our store as soon as the next day, or even before. The truth remains we are a huge chain with a list of corporate rules, guidelines, and handbooks to follow. 

4. We have a bagillion items in our store. I refuse to be labeled as an unfit employee because you choose to describe a denim vest as a jean jacket with no sleeves, and "really want this black dress" that you misplaced and I can't find. Lady have you looked around, there are like a hundred thousand black dresses, that match your vague description. 


5. We work our asses off to keep that place together. Here you come and fuck it up in 2.5 seconds. It's expected and now even painfully acceptable, however you complaining about the mess that YOU make, is NOT. 


6. The amount of things we each have to do at one given moment can almost be compared to nothing. I can't think of anything. Especially when we have call outs. So you complaining about the line being long is not going to make another person magically appear in place of our lack of persons. We ring fast as shit, and by the time you even manage to put your words together to make a complaint, I just handed you your receipt, answered a phone call, looked up an item, and grabbed a size small down from the top with my tool. *Hair flip* 

7. Sometimes the sass comes from feeling child labored. I changed my mind. One CAN compare the amount of work we do to that of a sweat shop. The sad truth is most of our clothes come from there too. It's no secret. If you didn't know it's all over the internet. I'm not exposing the company I've worked for, I'm merely stating the obvious. So I dare someone to get mad and sue. 

8. For you to think I have time to steam, iron, sew a button, and tailor your dress with that long ass line I just finished talking about is absurd. Yes, I did say sweat shop, but we don't have them in the back waiting around to fix these minor issues. It's a $15.00 shirt, not a Tom Ford blouse from Bloomingdale's. 

9. The fitting room is an entirely different story on its own.

10. So is the store policy. 

So are the thieves, the threats, and even the gun shot. Yes, the gun shot. 

Ok so yes, we are here to be respectful, and a lot of this can be seen as a confession to most (except to the ones who witnessed) but for the rest of you, take this as a friend venting after a long, long, LONG day of work. 

The whole customer is right thing has been taken advantage of here. TRUST ME. 

Actually. It's not RIGHT AT ALL. 

After a while someone hits the wrong button, and you ask yourself, "HOLD UP, am I getting paid enough for you to talk to me like I'm some scum?" My own parents don't even talk to me like that, so WHO ARE YOU? 

What happened to you gotta give respect to get it? Retail has shown me how nasty people can be over some damn $2.80 nail polish. RELAX. 

To be quite frank, bitches be pushing their limits. AND YES, like I said it is my job to be nice, so I would try and hold my tongue to hold my position. But I can assure you when you threaten my well being, it no longer becomes about my job. It becomes about you and ME. 

Two gladiators. In an arena. In my mind. And I.....have to FORFEIT. If I don't, who knows what would happen. Those natural animal instincts become so strong I have to recite "down girl, easy tiger, she is NOT WORTH IT," like a million times. 

The only mechanism to rule: sarcasm. Again, don't take it personally. It becomes harder and harder to maintain that innocent positive attitude after so long.

But, when you guys are nice, it makes us SO HAPPY. I could literally cry. 

On the flip side, I have re occurring customers that adore me. And vice versa. They respect my taste and advice, and always know I keep it real, not bull shit to make a sale. It's not even commission anyways. I have zero to lie for. So it ISN'T all bad. 

Even the bad shit ends up being a story to tell, which is why I thought, after centuries, we have to share these stories. We just have too. 

There has never been a more interesting place to work for, and in the words of one of the most amazing divas I've ever met, I quote, "You gotta be a tough cookie to work here honey." 

Yes. And that we are. So I can imagine we all have attitude adjustments to make, and some customer work on but at the end of the day, NO ONE else could've kept that place together, except for us.