Friday, November 23, 2012

Shop Girl

I'm going through a little bit of an identity crisis right now.

Or, to put a nice publicity spin on it, a dramatic rebranding.

With my waning career in the music industry and my burgeoning career in tech both having come to a screeching halt, the former largely of my own doing, I have returned to familiar territory to fill in the gaps in my income and daily schedule.

I have become - once again - a shop girl.

Fifteen years into my career, having worked at the corporate level in marketing, manufacturing and distribution of consumer products, I am back in the trenches, on the front lines of brick and mortar retail.

I buckle belts for women who sell advertising at ClearChannel. I zip the dresses of women who plan events for Beverly Hills hotels. I yank down the hems of women who could hire me, and for women who once could be hired by me.

I call these women at their homes and on their cell phones to tell them about our Black Friday shopping event.

And I am damn good at it. So much so, that less than two weeks into my new job - which is supposed to be seasonal, which is supposed to be temporary - there is already talk of promotion.

And now, more than ever, I have no idea what my life is going to be like a few months from now.

Can a shopgirl be taken seriously in the board room?

Can a frumpy dumpy hungover music exec be taken seriously as a shopgirl?

Who ever thought I would be styling anyone?

Regardless of whether I belong in either place, one fact is abundantly clear: I am miserable in one, and happy in the other.

In my new "office," I'm surrounded by beautiful, touchable fabrics, good smells, grateful clients, and words of praise.

I am remembering what it's like to excitedly go to work, stand around for five (or more) hours, and run around hoisting hangers full of cardigans and jeans and winter coats and dresses, rising tiptoe in my already lofty heels, feet swelling, arms straining to reach the highest sale racks.

I respect authority enough to be obedient.

I am proud of my successes, as diminutive as they may be.

I am learning new things.

Aren't these the important things in life? Aren't these the things I've been searching for?

All I really know is that I spent all day today, on Thanksgiving, wishing I could be working there, instead of feeling alone, intruding on other people's celebrations.

At least at the shop, I could've made Thanksgiving my own.

At the shop, I can be my own girl.

Related Post:
Back to My Roots
The View from Above

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