Thursday, January 28, 2010

The 30% Discount WAS Nice, but...



I've had a handful of odd jobs through high school and college.

One of which was a 3 month stint at Victoria's Secret.

SUPER coveted job amongst the college girls.

I mean, who wouldn't want to wander around all that lace and satin and pink and get paid for it???

Yeah, well, it was likely one of the *worst* jobs I ever had.

Do tell?

Okay, if you insist.

Basically, if I had to sum it all up in a nutshell, I just couldn't handle how SERIOUSLY they took themselves. Look, I know they are multi-bajillion dollar company, and they obviously are successful because they do, in fact, take themselves seriously...but in practice, it was pretty hysterical. And even though I was fully clothed, it was pretty demeaning.

It was all about rules:

Rule #1: You had to wear 90% black. Translation: the only color you can wear is your top. If you wear a skirt, it has to be paired with black tights. You MUST always, no matter how hot, wear a black blazer. Which, incidentally, they don't provide you with. So I found myself having to fork over $50 for a blazer in order to get paid minimum wage. (And in college, $50 was an astronomical amount of money).

Rule #2: You had to call them "panties". Just typing that makes me feel dirty. Ugh. You were threatened with being fired if you were caught calling them underwear. Oh, and the "full butt" panties...those are briefs in case you weren't quite sure. And yes, your manager will shoot you the look of death if she overhears you calling them "full butt". Oops.

Rule #3: You can't call anything "cute". It has to be "beautiful" or "gorgeous" or some other fancier version of cute.

Rule #4: They give you a 30% discount. Rad. Loved. it. And at Christmas time it went to 40%. Even better. And when a new bra came out, you got it for free. The not so rad part? You were supposed to wear said bra and/or use your discount to buy bras...so that you can wear them on your shift. So that you can say to random customers YOU HAVE NEVER MET BEFORE IN YOUR LIFE "this is a great bra...in fact, I'm wearing it right now"...which is basically a gigantic invitation for said RANDOM STRANGER to peer at your rack and asses whether or not they feel that they are being supported sufficiently.

Really.

My favorite was when someone would look you over, shrug their shoulders and say "meh"...

Ouch.

Rule #5: There's this sort of unsaid expectation that you will get ogled up one side and down the other...and it's just part of the job and you can't be weirded out by it. What does that mean? "Hi, I'm here looking for a gift for my wife/girlfriend". "Okay, what size does she wear?" "Um, I don't know...[steps back, looks you up...and down...back up again...] but yeah, I think she's about your size..."

Shower...now...please. Wait, I think I just vomited in my mouth a little bit...

Rule #6: You can't laugh at people. So when a girl comes in and tries on some lingerie, because her husband or whoever is coming home from Iraq after 8 months...and she tries on 2 different little outfits...but she looks like a 9 year old boy in both of them...you have to keep a straight face when she asks you in all seriousness "which of these do you think he'll like better?" That was mean, but really people...I don't know, I don't care, and honey...maybe you should stop by the local salon and get them eyebrows wrangled while you are out...

Meow.

Needless to say, I only lasted a few months.

8 comments:

joy said...

oh. my.goodness. jeannett! the thought of you working in victoria's secret is totally the theme of a good comedy--the kind that will make your pee your pants comedy. that is hysterical!!! i wish i would have run into you during college--wait was it the slo one? maybe i did run into you. i can't stand being fitted there for bras--they don't know what they're doing. and seriously, if you're 17, how the heck are you going to know how measure some post-3 babies-nursing boobs?

Joanie said...

Well, I was wondering...Now I know. Thanks for the comic relief!

Brianna Heldt said...

As you know, I do not spend money or shop at Victoria's Secret. But back when I DID, the girls working there drove me NUTS. SOOOO obnoxious, obsessed with the bras, WAY to thrilled to be working there. And way too thrilled about whatever I was buying.

And I'm with you, the word "panties" totally freaks me out!!!!

JeannettG said...

Brianna-that's because the sales floor girls had certain bra sales they had to meet...and if they missed the # too often, they lost their jobs...because bra sales were also directly tied to the income of the store manager...so she was pretty ruthless if you weren't "performing"...it was actually pretty stressful believe it or not...

Mommy Laity said...

Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!!!! Awesome story. =)

Leah said...

I won't shop there, I am a mom in my mid thirtys so I am not real old but some of those "panties" and such I just don't get. Why don't you want your butt to be covered? An all day wedgie wouldn't be fun.

Jacquelyn said...

V.S. for me is like Sbucks is for you. I don't get it. All that stuff is optional anyway ..

Serenity Now said...

that was hilarious! I had no idea about all the rules - but I've also only been in a V.S. maybe twice in my whole life.