Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Job Journal: Doorman at fancy women's clothing store

The United States workforce is represented by two separate, yet equally important groups: those who plan on keeping their job for the long haul, and those who are biding their time before becoming the Next Big Thing. These are stories from the second group.

Job: Doorman at upscale women's clothing boutique in the Meatpacking District, NYC

Duration: 3 months

Year: 2006

This was my second summer in NYC, between my second and third year at grad school, and I needed a job. I couldn't go back to the hotel job after telling them I'd decided to go back to school last year, because what excuse would I use at the end of this summer? Turns out, the same one, but at a different job.

This was a Craigslist ad, just like the hotel job. I had experience this time, all the experience one needs to stand in one place for eight hours and open a door. They wanted a headshot too, which makes me think they wanted a big handsome model. Well, they got me instead. I believe they were considering another modelesque applicant, but apparently, spoiler alert, he was dumb as a rock. Which is saying something when your chief duty is opening a door.

In addition to opening the door, I was also "security." If someone wanted to walk out with a $500 dress, they probably could have. But I took it quite seriously, having grown up secretly spying on people anyway. I kept a mental map of every customer's position, made easier by the small size of the store. I made a game of wandering from the door to watch people without them knowing I was watching them. Creepy right? This is what happens when you're told to STAND IN ONE PLACE FOR EIGHT HOURS. Also, I follow every rule ever told to me with such fervor you'd think I was a Fascist in a former life. If you tell me to keep an eye on people, I damn well keep an eye on them.

Now, the uniform. Some of you reading this may have been fortunate enough to swing by and say hello to me at this job, so you know what it was. For the uninitiated, see below:

Note also the large glass wall I'm standing by. That meant a couple of things. First, several gay men popped in just to say things to me like "Aren't you just a little angel!" or "Is it your job to just stand here and look fabulous all day? Then you're doing great!" Don't get me wrong—that's super flattering. But I look like a clown. Which leads to number two: I'd stand so still, and so close to passers-by, that many times if I did slightly move they'd jump out of their skin. That was fun. I still have that shirt and belt.

Some of the people who worked here were nice enough, but come on. This was not my world. I make no claims to geniusry (see?), but I think it's not immodest to say my mind is active enough that if I stand in one place for eight hours, five days a week, I will slowly go insane.

In future posts I will tell you about our champagne stock, the racist music we were forced to listen to, and the time my manager tried to kill me with stupidity.

Colin Fisher is many things to many people, but mostly he's just an actor and writer.

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