Story Time: I Am Not Built For Retail

If you caught my first couple posts, you know that I left a pretty serious job in the big city a couple months ago to move closer to my family. And if you don’t know, now you know (shoutout Biggie).

The move, really, has been great. However, finding a job proved difficult. Especially in the same field as I was working in before – which, to be completely transparent, on paper I was pretty much not qualified for in the first place. I also don’t know that my energy was in the right place to allow me to find work, because I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my career – the universe can’t help with unclear intentions. I’ll save that talk for a different day. Moral of the story, I decided to take a part time retail job in the meantime while I figure my shit out.

Little back story. I have never worked in retail before in my life. Weird, right? It seems like everyone has some sort of experience in that realm at some point – be it a store or fast food, something to do with customers. Not me. My first job in high school was at a martial arts studio, where I worked in the office and also taught classes (I’m tough, don’t worry about it). After university, I did some bookkeeping work, and other office-y things before eventually getting into my Project Management career (the one I left). Please note, not a single ounce of this had to do with the Political Science degree I have.

Some other quick facts about me:

1. I believe that I am really strong when it comes to dealing with clients, running meetings – if it’s communicating with a purpose, I’m your girl!

2. I am impossibly socially anxious in any non-work related function.

I understand fully that these are seemingly conflicting points. They are. But I’m not lying. Anyone who knows me at work would say that I’m loud, I’m extroverted. Anything but shy. My family, and my outside of work friends would laugh right at your face if you told them that – out with them, I’m quiet, reserved… the complete opposite. It’s weird. And believe me, it’s frustrating.

So, when I took this job (I’m working as a cashier in a pretty busy shop) it really was a coin flip as to which side of me was going to emerge. It’s work, but it’s also constant small talk.

Fun fact – it’s mostly the later. Well, kind of. I feel like it’s getting better.

Well – I felt like it was getting better, until a gorgeous man went to pay for his items tonight and while he was handing me his cash, I missed. And grabbed his whole damn hand.

Yup. I’m not talking a tap and like “oh oops! I missed” (cute laughter and move on). Nope. Not tonight. I made contact, and my brain committed to the hand hold. We laughed it off, but I for sure died a little on the inside.

Now, to make matters worse – this guy works in the same building. So the likelihood of me seeing him again – high. But hey, maybe somehow this guy turns into my husband some day. I’ll keep you posted.

Actually – side note – my number one husband Harry Styles releases a song last night. Have you listened? Not yet? Okay, I’ll wait for you here.

Good right?

Anyway, back to the point. I’ve only been at this job for a couple weeks now and I have really liked it. But when you get someone as socially anxious and exceptionally awkward as me there is bound to be a heap of embarrassing moments. Here are some more of the highlights:

  • To a man buying a package of peanuts, instead of asking “is that all”, I said “just your nuts?”
  • I spoke to a deaf & blind man several times before the guy he was with informed me (in my defence, you could really not tell)
  • Trying to close the store, I couldn’t lock the door – and proceeded to get the hiccups. So I struggled with the door, while hiccuping, for a solid 5 mins while a lobby full of people watched
  • This is not to mention the countless times I’ve called people by their names. Which sounds nice, but I’m reading them off name tags. And I’ve never met them before. So, creepy.

And this was just the first two weeks. I’m sure there are way more that I’ve suppressed into my memory. Which I hope happens soon to the image of me grabbing that poor mans hand.

Socially, I am the most awkward human. This is highlighted ten fold when it comes to working in retail, where dealing with a new customer every 30 seconds is the norm. And with every new customer, comes a new chance to embarrass myself. A chance, I may add, that I will take 9/10 times. And that my friends, is why I am not built for retail.

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