It doesn’t surprise me that young individuals who are in need of steady income can put up with the whacky world of retail day in and day out for so many years. I was that broke and desperate person for about six years! The build-up of experiences from being yelled at by clients or going toe-to-toe with managers who have very misguided God-complexes was not only exhausting, but taught me how much more effective wine is than melatonin.
What really baffles me is how people are really bored enough to go to the same mall every week just to throw money away on overpriced clothes that (little do they know) probably came into the store in a box that got so damp the mildew-scented clothes had to be aired out for a week before placing them on the floor at all. Do you really need an aubergine chiffon blouse with hand-stitched beading on the collar that badly?
Now, don’t get me wrong, we had some clients who had every reason to be shopping that much. I was once a personal shopper for a mother with seven boys, so I’m sure that half of their clothes are grown out of within weeks and the other half are probably set on fire or torn apart during their shenanigans. We had another customer at a different store who would need us to set up rolling racks for her so that she could buy enough to send back to Mexico for all of her cousins, nieces, nephews, etc.
Although it is not always for bad reasons, I just cannot bring myself to spend my money on clothes like that. Partially due to my frugal and low-maintenance nature but also due to a mental block that my mother instilled in me years ago. I said to her in high school once, “It’s just five dollars, who cares?” and her response was, “Well then why are you spending it, why don’t you just light it on fire if it’s ‘just’ five dollars?! Throw it in the trash if it’s ‘just’ five dollars! Money is money!”
I cannot get that voice out of my head, whether I am buying clothes, shoes, dinner at a restaurant, or a parking space in a garage and that voice has not only saved me money, but it has kept me far, far away from the local mall. Thanks, Mom!