There are many perks to having a retail job (a job working at a clothing store).

The first and foremost is I get a fabulous discount on the clothing at the store I work at. It varies from store to store, but my discount is 50% off any item that is not already marked down.

I've bought some really cute things with this discount, but I haven't turned into a shopaholic…yet. God help my budget if I do.

Another perk is I get to listen to music while I work. Listening to music helps me relax and listen to the popular songs on the radio. Nowadays, I often choose to listen to my own music choices and favorite songs instead of trying to branch out.

The place I work at helps me listen to music that is not only peppy, but it is usually family friendly. I appreciate both of these aspects in their song choice, which leads to me wanting to dance while answering costumer's questions.

But the best perk is when I fold the clothes on the sales floor.

You might be thinking, "Wow, she just said she likes folding clothes. What a boring thing to like."

You are right, folding clothes for four hours straight does not sound appealing to most people. But when I got this job, I understood that work would probably be really boring. A perk to a job being really bored is it helps your mind wander on interesting story ideas, memories, and even future events. Doing routine work for hours on end is actually something that helps me 1) get a paycheck 2) fill up my resume and 3) become a better creative writer (due to the whole "mind wandering" thing I just mentioned).

Folding clothes for four hours straight (my usual shift time) has another very important personal perk.

I get to see something messy turn into something clean in a very short time span.

In other words – I can see that I have fixed a problem during my shift at work.

That is highly rewarding for me. I often feel very unorganized in my life at home. I write story ideas on post-it notes that often get lost in my class notes. My futon in my room is often covered in haphazardly stacked outfits and pajamas I decided not to wear yesterday or the day before, and my desk... Well, it's more of a magnet for junk mail than important schoolwork.

It is really nice to see the sections of the store I work on go from chaotic piles of jeans on tables, sweaters being balled up on the sales floor, and dresses halfway on their hangers (and halfway off) become a cleaner environment – and that's all because of me.

I don't know about you, but life is complicated, and often times I try to fix problems that are also complicated. Complicated problems take time, like moving on after putting down your dog or recovering from a disappointing experience (when your crush shares he/she doesn't like you back).

When I go into the store, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to fix a little problem while bopping to the great music. It's going to take some focus and attention, but man oh man by the end of the night, I AM A PART OF A SQUAD THAT MADE SOMETHING MESSY INTO SOMETHING CLEAN.

(My all caps are meant to convey excitement, not the tone of yelling. Just so you know.)

It feels good, like hey – this worked out, so all the other messes in my life will work out, too. It fills this little heart with hope.

… But even though I like cleaning up messes, please don't intentionally make a mess while you're shopping.

Below are some examples of how you can help workers like me out while shopping:

If you were shopping in the toddler section and decide that in the women's section "Naw, I don't want this pair of pants for my 12-month-old," please don't dump that small pair of pants by the women's jogging shorts. It just confuses me.

If you knock something off of a rack, then pick it up off of the floor and put it back.

This is the most important piece of advice though – which is funny that this has even happened more than once.

****If you bring a Starbucks cup into the store, don't hide it behind the denim section or behind one of the tables with clothes on it. Just throw it away outside of the store. This has happened way more times than it ever should have.

Don't do it.


With much love,

Brooke the Working Girl