Friday, June 26, 2009

The Summer Job Files: Shop Girl

In honor of the summer, we have rolled out a new weekly feature. Each week we will take turns to recount a summer job we had back in the day. [Editor's Note: Back in the day refers to when we were in school...sigh...college].

For three summers, I was a shop girl. A book shop girl.

Shortly before my senior year of high school, my mom drove me (cause I was awesome and still didn't have my driver's license) to our local book shop and forced me to go in and ask if they were hiring. By forced, I mean threatened. She wouldn't let me drive my new hand-me-down car to school (when I eventually got my license that September) if I didn't also have job to drive to.

I went in, I asked and they took my name and number. I left dejected and worried that I'd be the only senior taking the bus. Talk about LOSER! As we drove back to home, I got a call from the book shop. We turned around, I spoke to the owner and I had a new job.

For the last few weeks of that summer, I organized shelves, help other students find their summer reading books and got to know my coworkers. I was the youngest...by more than 25 years.

I never thought, at that time, that I'd become close friends with women older than my mother. The women I worked with became my friends. I spent three afternoons a week, every Saturday and every other Sunday with them.

One women, Linda, and I became very close. She was like the Aunt I never had. Not my mother bossing me around and not my grandmother worrying about whether or not I'll meet a nice Catholic boy to marry.

She listened to me stress over my fights with my mother and listened to me worry that I'd never find a boy to even date. She'd buy me lunch every Saturday and I became the daughter she never had. She even considered, very briefly, setting me up with her son (he was a little too old for me)

I was probably closer with Linda than I was with any of my friends in High School. She had wonderful advice and great life experience to share with 18-year-old Working Girl One.

I cherish those summers (and falls and winters and springs) at the book shop. As stressful as working in retail can be at times, I miss it. I miss telling a customer about my favorite book or picking out a colorful picture book for a cute little munchkin but most of all I miss the women I worked with.

6 comments:

Practically Perfect... said...

My summer job throughout high school and college was working in a medical practice as an assistant. I was also the youngest by about 20 years, and all of those women were so great :-) I still keep in touch with all of them and see them from time to time whenever I visit home.

Spatzi said...

Aw. You just gave me a glimpse into my friend's job. :)

Erienne said...

Sounds like a fabulous summer job ; )

ps:
Your blog is clearly fabulous and so I am giving you the "one fabulous blog" award! If you want to give awards to others, pick 15 blogs you love and have newly discovered. Link back to me, then link to them. Let them know you have chosen them by writing a comment on their blog. Have fun!

Jillian said...

I had a similar experience working ever so briefly in a book store before I left for college. There was something so incredibly relaxing about being around all of those books that summer. I definitely miss it.

Kate said...

What a lovely recounting of a lovely summer job! Thanks for sharing! The search for a summer job can be pretty intimidating for students right now, with the job market as it is. For any students wanting some tips or advice on interviewing, resume writing, networking or career planning, check out the Office Live Students Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/officelivestudent#/officelivestudent?v=app_7146470109&viewas=7300773.

Cheers,
Kate
MSFT Office Live Outreach Team

jo said...

For five summers and falls I worked at the driving range of a posh Golf Course. The job was perfect for a student with no work experience because I sat in a little hut for a five hour shift and sold bags of golf balls to patrons. I made friends with the regulars. There was this one really neat Scottish man who would come in smoking his pipe and tell me stories that I barely understood because of his accent, but I nodded and kept listening anyway because I loved the sound of his voice and the smell of his pipe tobacco.