i used to sell shoes

I didn’t get a job until college. I worked at a major department store in a shoe department. I didn’t have an official uniform (though I really wanted one). I wore a black shirt and khaki pants (the one pair of khaki pants I owned, over and over again) and a name badge.

It wasn’t the most glamorous of jobs, but I enjoyed it. I worked usually on weekends, but sometimes, I worked during the day, or when my undergraduate classes were later that evening.

Through my work, I met lots of people.

I met women with children, who warned me about how challenging it is to be a woman with children. “Wait!” Your life will change for the worse!”

I met children of elderly people who warned me that their elderly parents were “worse than children.”

I met men who wore construction Red Wing Boots and asked me, “How old are you, again?” throughout their sale transactions.

I met women who refused to wear size 7 1/2 shoes if their “real” size was 7.”This 7 1/2 fits, but I wear a size 7, so I just can’t buy this.”

It was an interesting job. I didn’t make much, but since I was paid on commission, I did have to work for my money. I did learn to be persuasive and a “people’s person” (whatever that means).

I was a shoe seller, a darn good shoe seller.


What was your first job? What life lessons, if any, did it teach you?

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2 Responses to i used to sell shoes

  1. Cecilia says:

    Besides babysitting, my first job was shelving books at the local branch of our library when I was 16. I interacted a lot with books but not people, so I think that impacted my learning in that everything was through observation (I think it is GREAT that you learned people skills). I learned about people’s reading habits as well as library patronage habits, and some stuff was not pretty…for example, one guy urinated in the far corner of the library, all over the newspapers…another creep stalked me while I was shelving my books, lying on the carpet watching me like he was watching tv! It was a dead library staffed by half living women, all of whom are still there today. I went back a few years with my son and said hello, and they offered to hire me again, haha! Funny, with the wisdom I now had, I was actually tempted to go back and turn the library around.

    Fun post, Jeesica! I love that you had sold shoes! I think retail experience is good to have.

    • Jessica says:

      That sounds like an interesting job you once had! I’ve always wanted to work in a library, but I never really did pursue that idea any further. Maybe when my girls get older, that will be my part time job along with writing. Hehehe.

      It’s amazing how much we can learn about others through watching them in our workplaces. That guy who would lie on the floor sounds creepy. Very creepy. Did you acknowledge him? Or, just keep working? Eeek.

      That’s funny that the women offered you a job again. You must have been an awesome employee!

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