16 May 2014

This 'n' That

Like many people, I worked retail for a time while I was in college. Ah, yes, those were the days. Short shifts hardly seemed worth the effort and long shifts were often broken up and rewarded with a delicious lunch at the food court pizza place. Of course, at that age, your metabolism lets you dine frequently at such establishments.

These retail days were spent at J.Crew. I was asked this week just when I worked at “the Crew” and realized, much to my dismay, that my first day working at J.Crew was nearly 13 years ago. Oh my. When did I get so old? It seems like just yesterday that us “regular employees” were grumbling about the fact that the “kids” they brought in as holiday help were making more money than we were. But I digress (can you digress if you ultimately have no real point, though?).

My time at this store left me with lots of interesting and funny memories. Like the time we had the local college basketball game playing in the back room, and kept taking turns running back to check the score and watch for a few minutes. Or the t-shirt folding skills that I still possess (but don't use) to this day. Or the memories of some employees (not this one, of course), hiding in a fitting room or even on a shelf of back-stocked clothes to grab a quick nap. Or the shoplifters. Or the muzak. Or the flip-flops. Oh, the flip flops.

PinkLens Photography by Tonee Zaide via photopin cc 
I had one manager who was a flip-flop freak. Anytime someone purchased a pair of flip-flops, if we did not rush to the back to restock the size, we would suffer the wrath of this manager. She constantly was making us rearrange the flip-flops. Do you know how hard it is to ensure that a stack of flip-flops always looks organized when customers are constantly digging through to find their size?

I also can vividly remember those female customers who would carry a load of clothes into the fitting room and then come out and deliver a fashion show to me in order to get my opinion. “How do these pants look? They’re not too tight, are they?” Um… what do you say when the pants actually are too tight but the customer is one who you know will not appreciate your honesty if you offer it? I usually escaped that trap by suggesting something else that I knew actually would flatter the customer, but alas, it didn’t always work.

As far as I’m concerned, everyone should spend some time working retail. It will give you a newfound respect for those poor souls who are working hard for just a few dollars an hour (of course, what do I know—after 13 years maybe retail is more lucrative than it used to be!). It will make you think twice before you get irritated with the sales associate who really can’t fulfill your every whim and demand without first consulting a manager. It will test, and hopefully grow, your patience. And of course, it will give you funny stories to remember forever.

Now that I have you reflecting back on some of your early working-world experiences, why don’t you think about leaving a comment here to share your memories, but not before you first enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • It's no secret that I believe the Alpha Course to be a dangerous and deceptive tool. Nevertheless, please join me in praying for the family of Gerard Long, who is the Executive Director of Alpha USA, following the unexpected death of his daughter.
  • A little fact-checking on John Hagee's blood moon 'prophecies'.
  • Overheard at a recent brainstorming session at the Vatican: "You know, we need more demon-fighting priests." Okay, maybe that's not exactly how it happened, but it's how I imagine it.
  • You know what else we need more of? Trendy clerical clothes for women ordained in the Church of England. Yes, it is taking every ounce of self-control not to type out my snarky thoughts right now.
  • The hymns of Isaac Watts are like theologically rich, mini sermons.
  • Here's your weekly dose of adorable.
  • Pastor Jerry Wragg's Grace & Granite blog may be the best blog that you're not reading. So start reading it now with this post.
  • And now continue reading it with this post.
  • So, apparently one of the "four essential" things for a "healthy children's ministry" is not sound teaching of the truth of God's Word. 
  • "In the end, an impatience with the Word of God can be explained only by an impatience with God."
  • Michael Kruger reviews Bart Ehrman's latest book, How Jesus Became God.
  • Discussing Martyn Lloyd-Jones:


  1. One of my favorite songs right now is an Isaac Watts hymn, Blest be the Lamb (done by Sojourn who has done / redone many of his hymns.) I worked at a restaurant and a small car dealership during high school and college. Maybe interesting memories.

  2. Thank you so much for this Martin Lloyd Jones discussion. Too bad there ares few like him today.

  3. Unfortunately your cat video link was pulled down for a copyright issue. FYI to all.

    1. Thanks, Rick. Someone else emailed to tell me the same thing. I found another link covering the same story, so it should be working now.


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