Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Phone Booth


It always amazed me how innocent looking Clark Kent could jump into a phone booth (you know, those extinct buildings that once held phones?) and come out as the Man of Steel, a.k.a. Superman.

But for awhile now, I’ve been doing my own Phone Booth routine. By day, I sit at a desk, answer phones, write and do all kinds of other stuff that comes with my responbilities for the X Company. And at quitting time, I go into our handicapped bathroom stall (my version of the phone booth) and transform into Retail Woman.

These are the changes I had to make when I started a part time job at a retail establishment eight months ago. It took me awhile to get adjusted to my new life. For example, Corporate Me can wear whatever she wants in terms of business attire. It’s a loose environment, so she can either chat loudly (about work matters, of course!) or have her head buried in work and no one will raise a brow. As long as the job is done, that’s all that matters. The most horrible thing she can do here is spell a person’s name wrong.

Corporate Me can be quiet. She can be loud. She can be comedic. She can be shy. She can be introverted. She can be disgruntled.

Things are different for Retail Woman, who has to dress up in the gear that her Retail Job sells. She can’t wear earrings that are larger than a dime (I’m still cursing over that one), can only wear sneakers and flip flops and must always have a smile plastered on her face. It’s a small store, so whenever a customer enters, it’s Retail Woman’s job to greet her immediately. She must quickly highlight the current sales, usher her into the fitting room with no less than a dozen items and make sure she buys at least three. At checkout, Retail Woman absolutely MUST remind customers of her name, as well as the store’s upcoming promotions. The most horrible thing she can do at the store is not say “tell your friends” at the end of every single transaction.

Retail Woman is perky. She is a people person. She can dress a headless mannequin in record time. (I can’t, though) She is fluent in Small Talk and takes frequent trips to Extrovert Isle and Too Hyper country.

So now I finally understand how difficult it was for old Superman to switch his personalities at any given time. It is truly a study in mental illness. Luckily, this switcheroo only happens about 10-15 hours a week. I’m slowly getting adjusted.

1 comment:

Tha L said...

OMG I absolutely hate retail. I'm thankful I only had to endure it for a few months. You are way better than me, my friend. :-)