John Siebelink in Retail

I meant to post something earlier but Alexis had to be at her job at 8 so I took a Lyft with her to the mall and then crossed the street to mine. Today was my first nine-hour shift in quite a while. I was way too tired to coherently express myself even at work, let alone in my blog. I mean, I’m still kinda out of it, but I’ll do my best. I can’t keep the blog hanging too long, you know?

Working in factories for the better part of a year and a half–with the exception of a few months I worked at the plasma center–I’d forgot how much work the retail world actually is. Even in a comfortable, small store like my Vitamin Shoppe it’s still a lot of work. Not so much physically; I think the most I’ve had to lift was an overflowing trash can today and even that was no problem. Ladder climbing is minimal. Honestly, the most exercise I get during a work day is my walk there and my walk home at the end of my shift.

I think it’s because I put the most into my job that I can. Because I’m a manager, I feel like not only am I supposed to set the best example to the rest of my coworkers and bosses that I can, but also show them that I deserve the paychecks they’re investing in me. It is never a simple “Hello” when someone walks into my store. I do my best to at least acknowledge every person that comes in if I’m busy with someone at the register (ours are directly situated in front of the doors)but if I’m not busy then I’m always the one to approach customers with a smile and offer my help in answering questions or finding things. They never have to wait at the register, either. The vast majority of retail stores have their own brand or so of up selling, and rather than treat it like an add-on sale or make it seem like I’m pressing them to spend even more money I try to help them however I can and make them feel like I’m on their side and not just a salesman. I’m sure they have to deal with plenty of those types at other places.

One of the things that sucks is that now that my store manager and assistant manager are in the process of training me as the other full-time manager, all the days and shifts that they don’t want to work is going to fall on me. Which, I mean, is fine. I love a pretty boring life anyway, but like yesterday I had to train all day while Michigan was playing Michigan State and I had to miss the first Wolverines victory over the Spartans in YEARS! I’m sure the chances are pretty good that I won’t be watching any more college ball this season, which again is fine. A big bummer, but fine. I need the money more than I need football.

I thought getting back into retail and retail management would be a bit harder for me than it actually has been, having not done it in almost two years. I’ve really grown to respect and admire the Vitamin Shoppe brand and the goals of the company, and my fingers are very tightly crossed that I will not resort back to my old horrible bad luck habit of jumping from job to job to job to job. I’m almost 29. 30 is right around the corner. I need a job that I can stay at for quite a while. Maybe even a career, should I continue to procrastinate at my blogging and writing.

In the meantime, though, I’m excited to learn and grow in retail again. When you’ve found your niche, you’re on the right track.

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