I guess you wonder where I’ve been,
I searched to find the love within,
So I came back to let you know,
Got a thing for you,
And I can’t let go…

Haha. Joking. “What You Won’t Do For Love” – Roy Ayers (cover of Bobby Caldwell) – 1978? seemed appropriate for some reason.

Disclaimer: Please do not misinterpret the following as complaining.

Ok seriously, I guess you wonder where I’ve been. My posts haven’t been as scheduled as usual. Here’s why: a few weeks ago I decided to take a temp job for the perks. Yes, I signed up for a job because I knew I’d get a nice discount. Plus, it was only a two week assignment, so all was well.

Turns out the work wasn’t as glamorous as I planned. No not at all, not at all! As a matter of fact it was more manual labor than selling clothing. I’ve worked retail before but not like this. Specifically, this was a J.Crew Warehouse/Sample Sale gig that saw thousands of people over 2.5 weeks. People turned out in droves for dirt cheap prices on current and past season items. Fortunately, I was behind the scenes to 1. see the merchandise first hand and 2. save the mulah!

Oh boy was I in for a surprise. I had no idea I’d be lifting boxes, processing and folding hundreds of garments, withstanding hassling from shoppers, watching customers totally destroy (understatement here) the store within minutes, witness fighting over new items, plus we were not allowed to sit while on the clock (9 hour shifts with two 30min breaks). Again, I am not complaining. Humbling, right?

I thought I’d share a few lessons I learned.

1. I still like a GREAT bargain.

2. The fashion industry at the top level can appear so, hmmmm, glamorous. However, you will find real people in sometimes desperate situations, working at the bottom levels to maintain a simple lifestyle.

3. Vintage/thrift shops still have way more character. Although I do like my purchases.

I worked with the most interesting group of people who challenged me in so many different ways. Since we were hired through a temp agency, we each came from VERY different backgrounds. Some in far worst situations than the next person. All working to make ends meet… not to pad their wardrobe.

I will never forget this experience.

Here’s a peek at what I purchased. I’ll take more pictures and post later.

(top image: Elaine Hamill)