Thursday, February 11, 2010

Task This

I was at work tonight, working, as you do when you're at work. The usual happenings were going on in and out of the shop, common to a Thursday night. There was a great deal of chit chat due to the lack of customers (most of who were probably in bed), trying on of new garments, testing fabrics, dusting, more chatting, people watching, chatting... the normal.

As I was working I got a thinking, something that is common-place in my day. Serving customers is second nature to me. I don't have to think about it, it comes naturally. I have done this task countless times that it is now routine.

However, when I first began my time in retail, serving customers was not second nature. In fact, I generally avoided any new customer who happened into my store. I would pretend like I did not see them. I would become so engrossed in the task at hand, such as boxing clothes hangers, that I 'didn't even see them walk in'. I would dread the day when a customer requested a discount due to a minor and inconsequential fabric flaw on the inside of a pocket (trust me, I have been asked this before...more than once).

The short of it was, I hated serving customers. I wasn't good at it and it was awkward central, as well as an incredibly painful activity in my day.

Eventually, I had to take a great, big, chompin' bite of the bullet and meet and greet the consumer of our product. The more I became accustomed to serving and meeting customer's needs, the easier it became. I found that I was actually very good at listening to a peoples needs and desires in regards to a fashion top and was able to meet their need with an appropriate garment. I was able to find the right fit, the right colour, the right fabric at the right price and make her fall in love with the clothes, so much so that she bought the whole outfit.

I was good. I was very good. I soon became known as a 'Retail Therapist' (I can neither confirm nor deny that this is an actual job role or title).

Earlier this week I was thinking, a commonplace activity for me, and got brainstorming with a friend (some might say whinging, but for the exercise at hand, let's go with brainstorming). And you know what?

Just like when I first sold my soul to the retail life, stressing about the new tasks to goes life.

There are many things that I am not perfect at. I know, hard to believe, right? But seriously, I miss the mark on things at times, some more than others. Sometimes, I miss the mark so much that it's not even in the same ballpark, let alone the same hemisphere.

But I have found that some tasks and activities in my life require more effort than others to get under control. It didn't take me long to get over the desire to steal marshmallows from the all-you-can-eat Pizza Huts (this may have been due to the fact that all my locals have shut shop...maybe they went out of business because of all the marshmallow stealing...). And I have mastered the task of paying my bills on time. But sometimes I have rampant thoughts of intense dislike towards Andrew O'Keefe from Deal or No Deal that may or may not involve a punch to the throat, or very occasionally I let my mind run wild with the thought of marrying Zac Effron. Only very occasionally though.

What I have realised is this: the more I practice something, the easier it becomes and the better I become at it. I didn't sit at the piano for hours on end learning Mozart to become a hack job. I sat there to become the best pianist I could be. I turned up for work after taking a mouthful of metal bullety goodness and practiced, practiced, practiced selling skills until I was able to sell snow to the eskimoes.

My point is this. Life, sometimes, is hard. There are things that I don't want to do, things that I suck at, things that I need to gain control of. The more I practice doing these tasks, the easier it becomes. Life is full of these lessons. I guess I'm just trying to see the glass as half full.

Anyone for marshmallows?

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