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Holy Shite...

Well, I survived. How many blog posts have I started that way? Grr. If I valued originality more I might contrive some alternatives. But, alas.

Meanwhile, I've been working. A lot. And hard, too! I worked about 32ish hours last week and will again this week. Yay, retail + holidays = busy.

I think I'm beginning to get the hang of this whole customer service/outfitting/selling thing. Or reaching out/trying/engaging, at least. I actually enjoy it. It's a lot more fun than just standing on the sidelines, folding, and watching--passively--as yet another potential sale walks out the door instead of buying anything. Definitely more fun.

Like, I feel freer to just be myself. To be dorky, helpful, playful, fun, knowledgeable, inquisitive, creative.... I'm grateful, I suppose, to American Eagle and the principles its customer service emphasizes--Be Real, Be Party Ready, Be Friends First, and Be The Customer. So, like, instead of opening with sales pitches ("just so you know....everything is 20% off today...that's on top of the buy-one-get-one half off with any combination of tops....and also jeans $29.95 and up...."), I can open with some kinda joke. Like, "Hey, how's it going? Warm enough for ya out there?" when it's been consistently in the 20s & blustery all day. Or I can be like "DUDE--that coat is AWESOME!"

Then there's the actual outfitting thing. That terrified me at first but Black Friday kinda forced me to get more used to it. Since then, I've gotten better at it, I think. I've gotten to know the store and stuff better with time/forced myself to.

When you see (mostly) the same tables of (mostly) the same kinda stuff everyday, it gets easier to intuitively mix and match stuff (Lord knows it's all I do in my head when it's slow & I'm left to just fold, fold, fold....).

I also borrowed one of the pocket jeans guides our Jeans Experts carry/use/learn from. And I've read through it. Several, several times. I've even started reading over and re-reading over the newer/bigger one posted by our lockers when I'm off the clock.... It's all I can do to keep myself from making index cards. All the same, I've learned a lot and put it to good use. Knowing many of the finer distinctions has helped.

Like the mom shopping for her soccer player kid, who has big ole meaty power-thighs (yum) and therefore likes a looser fit in the thighs.... Our loosest jean for guys is the Relaxed Fit, which naturally we don't carry in-store anymore. However, I knew, without missing a beat, that the Low Rise Bootcut - Signature Stitch had a relaxed fit in the thigh, meaning it has the same fit in the thigh as the Relaxed. Plus they're kinda cool, frankly.

After I've "mastered" jeans, I want to systematically go through the site and read up on every goddamn thing we have to offer as thoroughly as I can. Why jeans first? They're kinda our big ticket item, though without so much of the 'big ticket'. See, apparently American Eagle Outfitters has "maintained the #1 market share in both Men's and Women's denim, making [them] the #1 ranked denim specialty store for 15-25 year olds every year from 2005-2009!". That's kinda nuts, dude. But it's also kinda a big deal for us; seriously, look into your local AE store and you'll see both walls covered in rows & columns of jeans.

Part of my ethics wants to take beef with all the outfitting/selling. What kinda stops it, though, is the way the outfitting/selling works out in reality. For one, as I pointed out, it's so friendly. Often I'll talk to a customer for, like, at least a good 5 minutes before even moving towards the selling--and, usually, by that point it's the customer who brings it up.

The other thing is they've come all the way to the mall aware of the possibility/plausibility of parting with some portion of their disposable income by the end of the visit. And considering I'm usually asking things like "So what do you like wearing?" or "What do you already have?" or maybe even "what are you looking for?", if I'm feeling less subtle, I'm trying to work with the person's own tastes, not simply foisting some meaty, expensive thing on them to leech off as much of their money as I can.... Given that, it's much harder for my ethical thoughts to snark that it's less "selling" than "selling out" and actually believe it

Anyway, I'll cut this off while the going's still mostly good. I realize I've cheated y'all outta 2 weeks worth of Bad Movie Mondays; if I get a chance later I'll do at least one review, maybe more! Meanwhile, I'm recuperating after two consecutive floorset overnight shifts (9pm - 5am). Mmmm...caffeine.


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