Dissolve into Evergreens
Clark before the commission Richard Clark is te...
Dear Mr. Friedman Input: Axis of Appeasement ...
Shopping I stopped by Target the other night. I...
Lets talk about music a little I'm ti...
Crumbling Down, The walls.. crumbling crumblin' ...
God is Gravity Think about it... I can feel ...
Worms This is my update.
Spanish Lies Orcinus Wow... you know that po...
Things We Might Overlook apples earthworms Bi...
The Heavens (1280 x 960 version suitable ...
The Flaming Lips
The New Radicals
Death Cab for Cutie
Badly Drawn Boy
Coheed and Cambria
Atom Site Feed
Life in Retail
First, before we start, do this: grab you keyboard with your hands on the sides, flip it over and shake it all about.
Did anything fall out?
I have mentioned this fact before, but I can hardly expect that everyone reading here today has been religiously following my every post from the last year.
I work in retail.
How I got here is a short story.
After I graduated from TU I was still just working part time at a Lebanese steakhouse. I worked back in the office tallying up the tabs. My sister was the bartender and I worked weekends while in school. After graduating I took some time for myself. I took a cruise to the Caribbean and a trip to Hawaii, among other things. I wasn't excited by graduate school and I was getting more involved with my musical recording hobby.
This period ended when the steakhouse closed down and I found myself with no source of income. I picked up a job at a local bookstore working in their coffeeshop. I stayed there for a year or so and eventually quit and took a job working at a photolab. By now I was quite interested in photography and working at the photolab allowed me to print my own pictures and do so at a fairly cheap cost. I learned a lot about photography and I don't balk at considering myself an expert in that regard.
At one point I transferred to Dallas, where I printed photos in Dick Cheney's old neighborhood. It was there that I developed my views about class. I learned that the rich are not any different than any other people expect that they see the world from a completely different perspective. It never registered to some of our customers that we always seemed to be there when they came in to have their photos done. They really had no clue that while they were fretting over which European vacation picture to use for their Christmas cards there were people working there that had never been to Europe, and that some hadn't had a vacation in years.
Eventually I moved back to Tulsa and decided to leave the photolab business, at least for the time being. The whole business is changing as more and more people adopt digital cameras and move away from film. I'm not sure how photolabs will be integrated, if at all, into the new environment.
Now I sell digital cameras at a retail electronic chain. I enjoy the work, explaining the how digital cameras work and helping people make good decisions about what best fits their needs. I've always been at my best as a teacher and I like talking about things I enjoy. Photography is one of those things.
What I like less is the overall retail environment. For instance, right now I have about six people above me that cannot agree on just what they should be doing. On top of that is layers upon layers of management from the corporate office. So I have gotten used to accepting that at any point in time the rules regarding what I should be doing can and will change with little warning. In this regard I imagine its a lot like any corporate structure. Management spends the majority of its time trying to justify their own existence when in fact most things would run fine on autopilot, at least for a little while.
There have been instances where I've worked at stores where there was no management. This happened a few times at the Bookstore as each manager would leave for greener pastures. It might be months before a new Store Manager was found and sent in to muck things up. Most of the employees remarked about how much smoother things ran without a manager.
By now you have no doubt noticed my general disdain for management. I have managed (pun intended) to avoid going into management for a few reasons. Mainly because most of the managers that I have worked for were only managers because it was the next step on the ladder. They wanted better pay and they needed the status of the position to go with their age. It just doesn't look good if your getting on in years and you haven't climbed up into some sort of management position.
I should pause here to make a comment that I HAVE worked for some excellent people that were well suited to the roll of management. My boss in Dallas was an excellent manager and a good friend as well. My hat goes off to her.
Mostly though my experience has been with middle aged hacks that had little natural talent for working with people, spent the majority of their time trying to look managerial and made being and asshole an intergral part of the job description.
I subscribe to the Peter Principle - "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence."
If you're too dumb to realize that you would be a bad manager you are likely to accept the job, be really bad at it, and get stuck there.
And that.. is where managers come from.
Dissolve into Evergreens