As many of you are aware I am one of the very few in the world who genuinely love working in retail. I enjoy it so much that I am making a career out of it, but that’s a blog post for another day. For the past three summers I have been fortunate enough to manage the best women’s boutique around, GG My Love, in Chautauqua Institution. I love everything about my job; my boss, co-workers, the location, opportunities, and even the customers.
Whenever someone walks into the store I treat him or her as if I’m shopping with my best friend, minus the part about talking about guys and deciding what bar to go to later. Anyway, I don’t do it just to make a sale. I do what I do because I love making other women feel empowered and beautiful, even getting some ladies to step out of their comfort zones. My typical customer- “lake mom”, mid forties, married, complains about shopping, but has an endless cash flow (so I vicariously live through her husbands charge cards and do my thing). Complain about shopping? Apparently it’s a thing. I see more and more women each year who hate shopping and it usually revolves around one of two things. One, they know nothing about fashion and just wear designer athleisure wear. Or two, they are way too critical of their bodies. That’s where I come in. Just like people, clothing comes in all different shapes and sizes and I will never let a customer leave feeling down about their body just because they don’t look how society tells them they should.
Okay, I’m going off topic, so back to this introduction. It takes a special person to love working with people in general, especially in Chautauqua. What is Chautauqua you ask? Well, according to the all knowing Wikipedia.com…
“The Chautauqua Institution is a non-profit adult education center and summer resort located on 750 acres (3 km²) in Chautauqua, New York, 17 miles (27 km) northwest of Jamestown in the western part of New York State. The Chautauqua Institution Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was further designated a National Historic Landmark.”
According to the user submitted, but highly accurate Urbandictionary.com, Chautauqua is…
“An over hyped relic of the past that seems to live on its own self importance. Mainly due to the fact that the rich and upper-middle-class overextended (wanna be rich) have made massive real-estate investments. Located in Chautauqua, NY… Chautauqua is a place where rich to upper middle class suburbanites from Ohio, NY, Pennsylvania, … congregate during the Summer to put on a show that they are “cultured” and attempt to be somehow relevant. All the while their alcoholic neglected children drink their asses off and cavort with each other all Summer (read: massive party). The whole time saying that they will never be like their parents, and then returning to Chautauqua in their mid-life to repeat the same process.”
So there’s that.
I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing people in the world, and the worst! I have been invited to vineyards in Napa Valley, lunches with Dean’s of universities, get to hear love stories from widowed ninety year old women, and have to decline to get set up with customer’s sons almost daily. With the same smile on my face, I get called unintelligent, have merchandise thrown at me, get ignored, I hear the word ‘bunion’ way too many times in one day, and people are just down right mean to me. But, in the words of a powerful public figure,
All of my jaw dropping experiences that no one believes me about are going to now be blogged about and called, “Rants of Retail”.