AUTHOR’S NOTE: You may find that this chapter is shorter than and not as interesting as the others. It’s quite simple. My time at Old Navy was indeed shorter and not as interesting as the others. Thank you.
After coming home from Australia and promptly quitting Red Robin, I took a few weeks off to relax. Because if there’s one thing you don’t get to do on vacation, it’s relax! Am I right, folks?! Seriously though, I was beat. People to People Student Ambassadors kept forcing us to learn and shit and I did not appreciate the lack of opportunities to sleep in.
The sweet, sweet endless days of unemployment didn’t last that long. Now that I had a car and an actual life, I was spending money. Parents don’t pay for your gas all the time, you know. I mean sure, you can sneak a free tank in here or there by promising to pick your sister up from gymnastics on the way home from the mall, or by saying you need to go buy school supplies then ending up at Sizzler…but there are only so many after school fallacies you can create. Eventually you either need to get a job or stop buying so many Offspring CDs and Denny’s breakfasts. Old Navy seemed easy. Why not? It was seasonal. Just for the Back To School season. They told me my last day would be October 5th.
This may surprise you, but it actually didn’t take long for Old Navy to suck enormously. Trust me. This was a shocking revelation for me, too. One of my biggest issues were these eight hour days they kept scheduling me. You heard correctly. Eight hour days! Looking back as a hardened member of the working world, I’m amused by how against the concept of an eight-hour-day I was. Only now has it become evident that my aversion to actual work started at a very early age indeed.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been into an Old Navy, but I assume most Americans have been poor at one point so you probably have. You probably know about the headsets (more on that later), and the questionable quality of craftsmanship, and the strangely vast amount of budget pet couture. You may also be familar with the fact that all of their storage is held on the shelves above the displays. Not in the back. Only above. My days were spent climbing up and down ladders, looking for certain sizes, and trying to explain that if it wasn’t up there, we didn’t have it. It’s all on the floor. There is no back room. Okay, yes, that door leads to the back room, but what I’m trying to say is there is nothing back there. No. I won’t go look. BECAUSE WE DON’T STORE ANYTHING BACK THERE THAT’S WHY.
If Sears and Roebuck knew what monstrosity they’d be responsible for by blazing the trail for retail shopping, they would have never left mail order. Have you been to an Old Navy when it’s busy? It’s a zoo. It’s chaos. It’s Dark City. Women (sorry. true) generally refuse to do anything that may constitute cleaning up after themselves. Guys come in, pick up a shirt and they buy it. Ladies, they come in, they try on every size. They unfold every shirt. They unfold clothes they have no intention of even looking at. They must get some sort of ephemeral bliss of leaving a mess that they don’t have to clean up, I’m not sure. If and females are offended by reading this, let it be known that I am equally, if not more offended, by all of the fucking messes I’ve had to clean up after your gender during my entire service-oriented career.
By the end of the day, the place would be a mess, and we would spend approximately 17 hours folding and straightening before we went home. There is nothing more depressing than fruitless labor, which is exactly what organizing an Old Navy is. At a certain point you just kind of resign yourself, and you let the monotony of the task take over. You reach a state of Zen. The ringer T’s and techno chino cargo pants are all that exist with you.
The headset. The fucking headset. Any time someone tells you they work at Old Navy, do NOT respond by asking “Do you get to wear the headset?” Get to where the headset? Get to wear the headset? Like it’s some kind of goddamn privilege. Yes. I got to wear the headset. I was blessed by the Gods with the opportunity to walk around a clothing store with a hands-free walkie-talkie.
The headset was pointless. They are rarely used professionally in any way. Generally they were used for making fun of customers. There was one time, though, when my boss called me on the headset and told me to keep an eye on a lady that looked like she was stuffing baby clothes into her purse. I went up to ask if she needed help (FYI, a majority of potential shoplifters will change their mind if employees acknowledge them) But she was kind of big and scary so I walked away. She was totally stealing and barely made any effort to hide this fact from me, and I guess I kind of respected her gumption. You do it, lady. The universe clearly owes you those onesies and pleather infant jackets and you are far to large and far too black for me to be the one to stop you.
And that was Old Navy. October 5th came and went and they kept scheduling me, so I put in my two weeks. If there’s one thing worth noting, I suppose it’s that this was one of the very few jobs where I actually put in two weeks.
I am writing to you in regards to some strange happenings I have witnessed.
It appears your baby has hacked your Facebook page.
I logged in to find your profile picture has been changed to a photo of your baby. On top of that, there are multiple photo albums, all full of pictures of your baby, but tagged as you. Strange, right?
Your interests are all the same. You still love Mad Men and the Sookie Stackhouse novels. Your status updates, however, are all from the perspective of your baby. What astonishes me is how many times these are updated from your iPhone. Now, any concern a parent would have over their baby stealing their cellphone would quickly be overshadowed, I think, by the fact that your baby knows how to use it! And so well! Is it true that your baby knows how to read, as well as write, as well as access the internet, as well as use an iPhone???
This brings me to my next point, which is how extremely verbose and self-aware your baby is! At less than one year old! One status in particular that stood out to me was “Made a doodie in the tub. Whoopsy!” Your baby knew she made an error by defecating in the bathtub! Extraordinary. Having a child that already has such a grasp on how to behave must make parenting so much easier for you!
Now, I do want to address one concern that I have with all of this, which is online predators. Your baby seems to be relishing all of the attention being given to her on your Facebook wall. When someone named Joann Mauren posted “Aren’t you a little heartbreaker?” in response to some photos of your baby dressed as a cheerleader for Halloween, your baby coyly responded by saying “That’s what they tell me ;)”
I just hope that you are able to monitor your baby’s behavior on the internet. Do you know this Joann Mauren? You must. I will assume you do, but if you don’t, I encourage you to do some investigating to be sure she isn’t an unsavory character. Oh, friend, what if you don’t know her? Is your baby accepting friend requests on your behalf? Perhaps she is not as aware of the world around her as I initially suspected. I implore you, know that she knows that doodies in the bathtub are a whoopsy, you MUST teach her about the dangers of stranger danger.
I do think it’s wonderful that she is socializing and the praise she is being given is not undue. My heart melted when I saw the picture with the bowl of spaghetti on her head.
Oh! Get this! I showed your Facebook page to my coworker. He said that your baby didn’t take over your profile, but that you are the one posting all of these photos and typing status updates from your baby’s point of view. I had to laugh at that one. I mean, who would do that? No one that I can think of. Certainly mothers can maintain their own identity and understand that not all of their friends and family are that interested in their babies! No, obviously the safer bet is that your baby uses the internet. Yes. That makes much more sense to me.
"You are like, really, really talented. Whatever your major is, skip it! Drop out of college and just sing. You’re so good you should do this for a living. Go to Chicago. Just move to Chicago and sing. Not LA though. Not yet."
Me, completely wasted, on my first day in college, to some random girl who just sang a Lauryn Hill song at the dorm karaoke party.
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”—Amy Poehler
I’ve been going through my old blog posts, which is fun when you’ve been keeping an online record of your trivialities for as long as I have.
In 2004, I worked at Disney World. For the most part, employees at Disney Theme Parks are treated like shit garbage, so I was interested to see what I had to say about my 20th birthday.
As a birthday present, Troy sent me to American Adventure merchandise today. I love AA because it’s an easy job and I look good in knickers. Also the other people who work there are way nice. At the end of the day I go into the breakroom and there is a poster there with a bunch of signatures saying “Happy Birthday Steve!” Now of course anyone would feel special for getting something like that, but you have to understand that I don’t work at American Adventure that often. As a matter of fact, I’ve been there 4 times since January. It’s cool they took the time to do that.
Then, as I was leaving the park, a family of strangers noticed it was my birthday and sang to me! This was awesome. I’m so used to dealing with impatience and rudeness that for a family to take the time to sing “Happy Birthday” to me, an EMPLOYEE, was the icing on the cake. There’s a lot of crappy people out there, but I managed to avoid them and run into some pretty top-notch folk today.