Thursday, April 29, 2010

The best things about my new job

In case you didn't hear, I decided on a whim to get a job at a teen/young adult clothing resale store called Plato's Closet because I wanted to spy on and copy the business model and then open my own similar store, then decided that simply opening one of their franchises would be the better way to go, however upon researching the start-up investment required I've determined that certain areas of our financial portfolio need strengthening before we can make that dream a reality, yet in the meantime I have been thoroughly enjoying this silly little minimum wage, part-time job.

Here's what I like about it:

1. I finally feel fashionable again. Originally I planned to write, "There was a time when I cared about what I wore..." but emphasizing the past tense would not be accurate. I have always cared about my clothing choices and embraced a desire to be fashionable. It was only recently that I really grasped the idea that fashion continued moving forward without me, while I thought I was hip enough (for a mom, I guess) wearing the same things that were cool five--or yes, even ten--years ago.  Multiply this phenomenon by the following facts:  A. For seven and a half years I have worked in a fitness center where I don naught but yoga pants and T-shirts each day.   B. Along with the "Mom" title came a continually morphing, foreign body shape and a stipulation that comfort and durability trump style.  C. When the branches of our money tree aren't heavy with fruit, emulating a page of Marie Claire's "Summer Style Secrets" falls pretty low on the list of financial priorities.  Working at Plato's Closet has provided me with precisely the three elements I needed to catch up to today's current trends: opportunity, education, and economy.

Opportunity~Logically, Plato's Closet associates are expected to reflect the styles we want to buy for the store.  I get excited each day I have the opportunity to concoct a cute outfit to wear.

Education~One of my primary roles at Plato's Closet is sorting and inspecting clothing and accessories that our customers bring in and ultimately select the few items we'll buy.  This part of the job is by far the most fascinating to me, and I have gained remarkable insight on what's hot and what's not, and learn more about current trends every day. I'm asked to make an instantaneous style judgment even on crumpled up garments, and I now know subtle differences in brand qualities as well as names of designers I'd never heard of.  I find this education very interesting.

Economy~The clothing at Plato's Closet is priced at about 30% of the original retail value, and we strive to purchase only items in excellent condition. It's the perfect place for a budget-minded consumer such as myself to update her wardrobe.

2. I get a discount and time to shop three days a week.  I just mentioned that the merchandise is priced cheap. But I get to pay even less! I must intentionally exercise restraint in the store, but it is thrilling to see new items every day I work and find those gems that can be mine for a small fraction of what they cost new.

3. I am not in charge. Don't get me wrong. There are benefits of being the boss. But I get to do that enough to know there are at least as many challenges that come with that territory.  I must admit it is very freeing to blithely punch my clock (so to speak), do as I'm told to the best of my ability, and go home with little more than a whisper of care for what occurs in that building when I am not inside it. The satisfaction of a job well done without strings attached is divine.

4. Learning new skills is fun.  Not much more to say about that. I just love the opportunity to learn something new and apply it. I have never worked in retail, and the Plato's concept is absolutely unique even in that category.

5. It's easier to eat healthfully at work.  This one might sound like an odd thing to love about my job, but it's true. While I sip my protein shake in the morning, I conscientiously put together a healthy lunch for work. It's easy to make better choices in advance, rather than when I feel starved at lunchtime. I record the meal in MyPlate before I leave so I'm confident that I've left sufficient calories to be enjoyed for snacks and dinner.  Since I can't eat lunch until my break, there's no inadvertent snacking when I feel hungry. At lunchtime I thoroughly enjoy my carefully planned and packed lunch, and can't be tempted by everything else in the various nooks and crannies of my well-stocked kitchen.

Sounds pretty sweet, eh? Okay, it's not all rainbows and butterflies. Soon I'll fill you in on the aspects of my silly little job that aren't so rosy.  Can you relate to any of this? What's the best part about your job?


Jennifer said...

Wow, definitely lots of great things! I'm curious to hear about the low-lights as well.

The only job I currently have is math tutoring. I love that I schedule it when I want and someone comes to my house and pays me to do something I find fun. :)

Bridget said...

Hmm, eating healthier. I wouldn't have guessed that but I see what you mean.


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