Earth Minus Jeans Equals Slacks ( the 2nd silly bit )
" Is that....? "
" Ermmmm, could be. "
" I think it is you know, but I'm really having to squint. How far away do you think? "
" Ohh, about 1600 metres I'd say. Something like that. "
" Yeah, I was thinking about 1600 metres. And seemingly approaching from the horizon. "
" Yup yup, definately heading this way. Rather quickly too. "
" Yeah... Awww bless him, all dressed up for his first day. No doubt brimming with the anticipation of a new and fulfilling career. "
" .........And.....here he is! "
" Welcome welcome and a thousand welcomes to our new recruit. How are you? It's funny, between the two of us we were just saying we could see you coming a mile off! "
Yes, welcome to your new career in fashion retail. We begin this short handbook with a question. Don't worry, it's not one of those mind-numbing teeth-grinding questions they asked you at your interview.
Not " What qualities do you feel you can bring to this position? " Crikey, that's an original one, didn't prepare myself for that.
Not " What would you say motivates you? " Right now? Stifling this yawn at your inane textbook interviewing technique that yields textbook answers that tell you less about me than if you were to take off my shoes and sniff my socks.
Not " So where do you see yourself within this company in a years time? " Is that a gun I can see sitting behind you, could you just pass it over and I'll try not to splatter too much of my brain across your office walls.
No. Our question is a simple, to the point, one word question.
Look at your qualifications. You could have been anything. You could have studied medicine, you could have been a Lawyer or a Financial Advisor or a Web Designer. You could have stood up in the Houses of Parliament and enquired what the Prime Ministers planned bowel movements were for the day. Hell , you could have been a road sweeper for christs sake.
Instead you have taken the decision to spend your days expressing your opinion to someone that the indigo stonewash looks slightly better on them than the electric blue stonewash - even though you can't tell the difference between the two blasted colours any more than they can.
Thrown by this question? Don't really have an answer? You're in trouble.
If on the other hand you have a perfectly coherent, intelligent and logical answer to this....You're in real trouble.
Bit of a dumb-ass choice of career, is what we're basically trying to say to you. But hey, if you absolutely insist on politely asking people exactly how fat they are and saying things like " No, those look fine " when infact it looks like a contraceptive stretched over a Rhino's backside, then look no further than this helpful companion.
This handbook is designed to separate fact from fiction, the pros from the cons, the myths from the miffed customers.
It will take you from the uncertainty of your very first day, through those uncertain months of gaining experience and improving your customer skills to the heady uncertain heights of promotion and management. It will be your wise and trusted friend right up to the day when the bailliffs lock you out of the premises and you are made redundant because profits for your store are down, stock loss is high and the directors use these reasons as an excuse when the real reason is they couldn't be arsed to pay the lease anymore.
Yes , this is an admittedly uncertain profession.
Uncertain in that it will leave you wondering whether the idea of working in that mental institute was such a bad one after all. Probably not, because either way there's a good chance you'll end up in one anyway.
However, far be it for the writers of this manual to discourage you from choosing such a career, because logically if you are reading this you are already up to your eyeballs in button-down collars and red-tabs and the last thing you need right now is for some smart bugger to tell you what a huge bloody mistake you've just made.
The majority of the advice on offer in this handbook is optional and is intended to be taken or ignored, but you will at times encounter what we have called " The Golden Rules ". We recommend that even if you choose to ignore every other passage in the manual, to not heed these specific entries would be more foolish than boarding a Tupolev with any hopes or ambitions for the future.
You have been warned. And here's one straight away to start you off.
Golden Rule Number 1 - If you have read all of the above, and are taking the smug attitude that if you feel this is not the career for you, you can just walk away from it... think again. Remember that song called 'Hotel California'? The clothing industry is programmed to receive....
( Er, we should point out that there is no stabbing of beasts with steely knives or anything like that. )
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