A Slightly More Musical Than Usual, Week In My Life

A Slightly More Musical Than Usual, Week In My Life

Hello hello!

Thanks for choosing to give me some of your time, I can’t guarantee it’ll be worth it, but we can sure as heck try.

This week I thought I’d let you guys in on a week in my life, more specifically, my first week back at university, and an exceptionally busy week in general. I’ve done one of these before, my I Blogged My Day post, where I gave you updates as I went about my regular day at university, but I thought I’d extend on it a bit, considering I have a busy week ahead.

Let’s get into it!
(I hope you all notice and appreciate the date stamps on the photos throughout this post, I wasn’t playing any games this week).


SATURDAY
I worked today. I struggled considerably to get up at 9:00 this morning due to the Melbourne public transport system screwing us over last night on our way back from the footy, turning what should have been a forty minute trip home into a two and a half hour nightmare.

It’s been pretty slow at work for the last few weeks, I guess because it’s school holidays and quite a few people are away and schools aren’t buying anything for the term yet, but there’s never a boring day at the music shop. Since I finished smashing boxes considerably fast (amazing stress relief would highly recommend) I was sent over to the MI section to help out at the counter.

I count myself incredibly lucky that for a solid hour and a half I got to sit in the guitar room and tune all the electric guitars and basses with one of my coworkers, with whom the banter is top quality. It was a great way to start the day.

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yes ppl I work here, I’m jealous of me too :)))

But then it decided to start picking up, meaning we had some customers coming through the door, and ya girl ended up selling a ukulele and a kids guitar within a forty minute time frame. I was slightly buzzed off the adrenaline but it was a good kick start.

One of the best things about working a Saturday shift is that the company buys us lunch, meaning we got to scoff down pizza during our break before we got straight back into it. I followed the guitar and ukulele sales with the biggest fluke, by selling a bass guitar.

Towards the end of the day I helped in setting up an electric drum kit, and spent the last hour just messing around with the kit and some bass guitars with the other guys working in the MI section with me. It was a good way to end a good day.


SUNDAY
Today was a really productive day.

Today meant rehearsal.

For what?’ I hear you say. For a performance. I finally have another gig coming up next month, and this time I’m playing not only with a friend (colleague too as he works with me at the music shop) accompanying me on the guitar, but with a drummer as well. Which obviously means, we need some decent practice time.

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This was the second practice we had, and we managed to get a lot of stuff done, despite the vibes and our energy levels being a lil bit low during the first half of the day, however from 11-4 we plowed through, managing to perfect a few of the songs. PLUS, the boys even helped me finish up a new song, which I had finished the lyrics for earlier in the day while they were setting up the drum kit.

We managed to sort out majority of the setlist, but there’s still one song, an original of mine that we aren’t entirely sold on yet, so depending on how next week goes, we’ll probably try to rework it a little bit more, or choose a different one. We shall see.

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not a fan of the chamomile tea, don’t come for me

Unfortunately I was also coming off a cough and cold that’s been floating around, so I wasn’t able to sing as well as I could or really go for any of the high notes in my set, of which there are a couple, though…the dudes forced me to chug two huge mugs of chamomile tea and honey, disregarding me whenever I mentioned that I actually liked neither of those things.

However, I didn’t mention it while I was there to save their heads from exploding, but it definitely did the trick, and we were able to give the last couple of songs a bit more energy.

The rest of the day following rehearsal was spent lounging around at home, only slightly panicking over the impending beginning of university and binge watching Queer Eye on Netflix.


MONDAY
Ah, Monday. The first day of the week, and the first day of semester two at university. It was definitely a very chill day for me, despite the 7:30 wakeup that was a severe shock to the system after nearly a month and a half of getting up between 9:00 and 10:00. That said, the day did not exactly go off without a hitch, as I came to realise that I’d misread my timetable, and my tutorial only started at 11:30 rather than 10:30.

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So what did ya girl do? Literally nothing. I walked back to Melbourne Central to get me some bubble tea cos I live off that stuff, and browsed through some of the shops, all the while checking the time until I could finally head to class.

The class was good, at least. Sure we had to do an ice breaker that I recall doing in Year 7, but it was fun. I have a pretty decent class, and even though none of my close friends are in my tutorial, I have a good group.

During the tutorial however, I managed to take a quick glance at the schedule for the lecture that I had next.

Some of you will judge me for this.

I am not a huge fan of introduction lectures. If whatever is being said can be said on the PowerPoint presentation that’s uploaded online or compiled into a succinct, quick email, then I am all for that option. Which is why when I saw that my lecture would be precisely that, I decided to head to JD and grab a bargain.

These, my friends, are the newest members of the family.

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I’ve had my eye on the Reebok Classic Club C’s for ages, they’re one of the top shoes on my ‘Sneakers To Snag’ list on my phone Notes, so when I saw this pair, originally $150, down to $120, and then dropped to a ‘final-pair’ absolute steal of a deal of $60, I knew they were mine. Now we just wait for the 85’s to get on sale too and I can rest.

Does anyone else share an absolute obsession with sneakers that are stupidly out of your budget, save for sales like the one I was blessed with??

Anyway, after I picked up my shoes, I jumped back on the train and headed home. Like I said, a self-inflicted ‘chill’ kinda day. Also it was 13 degrees outside, so chill to that extent as well.

To make up for the cash I dropped earlier in the day, I managed to hold off on buying any lunch on my way home, and made use of the stocked pantry at home. It was a good day and a relaxing evening.


TUESDAY
Tuesday marked the first day of my newly appointed Tuesday afternoon, 12:00-5:30PM shift at the music shop. Thanks to a much more forgiving university timetable this semester, I was able to jump on the MI roster, meaning I get to work a couple more shifts in the musical instrument department, as well as my regular Saturday shift in the print music department.

Which is exciting.

I spent the first half of my shift doing the usual low rank jobs, none of which I had a huge problem with. The first was flattening cardboard.

Working in a music shop means we are constantly getting instruments and equipment delivered, meaning we are usually left with a large assortment of cardboard boxes in varying sizes, that end up being tossed in the back room for the poor soul left to deal with them at the start of every week.

This week, being me.

However, I can’t say I cared all too much. Our work is pretty lenient. If I’m stuck in a back room, sorting through boxes or doing any odd jobs out of sight of customers, I’m all good to pull out my phone, throw on some tunes and get the job done. Flattening cardboard means I get to go out the back of the store near the carpark with a Stanley knife, blast some tunes from my Spotify, and flatten cardboard at my leisure.

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It was a chill start to the day. Again, it was bit windier and colder than I would have liked, so chill in all senses of the word.

Once I finished that, my next job was one of my favourites, one which I jump at the chance to do every day; tuning guitars.

Um … sitting in a room of beautiful guitars, tuning them all up and having a strum when I’m finished each one?

Yes please.

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That took up quite some time too, meaning that by the time I was finished, my manager left to go on his break, leaving my other colleague and I to hang out at the front counter, banter over proper conductor hand movements and assist any customers that happened to come in.

Ya girl got another customer lead for a guitar and amp pack meaning commission, but we shall see.

Considering I’m going to be on this shift until the semester finishes and my timetable switches up again, I was also shown how to lock up that end of the store, finally attempting to wrap my head around the twelve key keychain.

We’re very blessed at the music shop, to be within walking distance of heaps of yum food, which is where I headed straight after I finished work at 5:30, right next door the the Chinese restaurant, where I was planning on meeting one of my closest friends Nishika, who’s recently returned from a trip to Asia.

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I see her often enough when she’s here and we go out with friends, but it was really, really nice to catch up with her one on one, considering we’ve been close friends for the past six or seven years and I’ve considered her a sister to me for the longest time. There was heaps of talking, catching up, lil bit of crying, and a whole heap of eating and shovelling food into our mouths, resulting in us being the last ones left in the restaurant until my mum picked us up.

Tuesday was a good day.



WEDNESDAY
Welcome to the off-day. Thanks to picking up that Tuesday shift, Wednesday became my completely free day. However, it also meant I had one day to do most of the things I had to do during the week, and it was a pretty easy feat considering the university semester has just started and there isn’t a whole lot to catch up on. I did, however manage to watch a required movie, The Social Network, for my Screening Politics and Economies class, and it was a pretty good film. I enjoyed it and laughed quite a lot more than I anticipated, definitely recommend if you haven’t already watched it by now.

I made the effort to start looking for some hooks around my house. My dad has a slight hatred towards anything that needs to be banged into the wall, so majority of the things that are hanging around my house are stuck on with the sticky hooks, and so far they’ve worked well enough, it’s just hard to get them perfectly in place on the first go.

I have some digital drawings that I did on my phone that I actually liked enough to print out and frame, and I plan on hanging them up in my room above my bed, the only issue is all the sticky hooks around my house have disappeared, so the project is currently on hold.

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kehlani, donald, lauryn, michael and billie

My next activity for the day, is what I like to call ‘independent learning’, a relatively new endeavour I’ve undertaken, where for an hour a day I try and learn about something new. Whether it’s through a TedEd talk, a podcast or whatever, just learning something, taking some notes and all. Today I learnt about altruism, contagious yawning and the science behind memes. It was enlightening.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with my dog (it counts as an activity, fight me), watching Queer Eye, and finally getting around to watching End of The F***ing World (Chloe, you’re welcome), which made me pee my pants with laughter, but also creeped me out because they’re both complete psychopaths.

It was a relaxing day. I definitely feel I managed to get as much done because I woke up a bit earlier than I usually would, which I’m aiming to start doing from now on. Not only do I have more time to get things done, but I also feel a bit better.


THURSDAY
Thursday marked my second day back at university.

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By all means, as has been the running theme throughout this week, it was a pretty decent day and I wasn’t hating life at all. It was pretty windy in the morning, so the walk to the bus stop was not entirely pleasant, but it was a smooth train ride into the city for my first class.

I had a two hour tutorial for my Screening Politics and Economies course, and I was lucky enough to know at least one other person in the class, considering a lot of the students taking the subject were Cinema Studies students. The other boy at our table with us was nice as well, so we got on well as a group as we discussed The Social Network. Once the class was over, I exited the building, only to realise that the huge clubs day and sign-up was happening in the main courtyard that I had to walk through, meaning it took slightly longer than usual to get back to Melbourne Central for lunch.

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After a quick cheeky Nando’s for lunch, and watching an intense dance battle going on courtesy of the marching band and the dance club, I made a quick stop at Glassons (rip my wallet) and Pandora to pick up two gifts for my sister’s 14th birthday the day after.

After walking back to the right building I was joined by Kate, my best friend who has been mentioned on the blog before, and we made our way to the one class we were lucky enough to have together, despite doing different courses and forgetting to consult each other when putting in our timetable preferences, TV Cultures. Fair to say it was a very enjoyable class that consisted of everyone sharing and conversing about their favourite TV show, getting to know our tutor who is one of the most laid-back, chill teachers I’ve ever had and then talking some more about TV and shows she needed to watch, as well as people life hacking Netflix with their own VPN. It was a great tutorial, really fun, and after the two hours were up, Kate and I caught the train back home.



FRIDAY
Friday was a fantastic day. A bit busier than the rest of the week, but it was really fun.

I woke up earlier than usual, to make sure I could give my younger sister her 14th birthday gift before she left for school. I got her the July birthstone ring from Pandora considering me and two of my other cousins all have ours, as well as a cute burnt orange top from Glassons, just to slightly poke fun at the fact that she finally had her own clothes from my favourite store, so now she didn’t have to steal mine.

I had a tutorial in the morning, this time a 10:30 class, meaning I was on the bus around 9:30, and catching the train into the city, listening to my Spotify playlist to get me through.

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My first class was actually my practical for my main course, Global Perspectives, and I had chosen a really fun studio, all about covers and cover songs. Our first class was the usual introductory class, and we all shared our musical backgrounds so our teacher could really tailor the semester for our capabilities and styles, and then we spoke for a little while about some of our favourite covers. You know I had to learn everyone a thing or two about my favourite cover, Moon River by Frank Ocean, as well as a heap of the Triple J ‘Like A Version’ covers.

It was a very relaxed studio, mainly filled with talking and listening to a ton of different covers, and I learnt a bit more about our assignments and practices which are all basically going to be recording our own covers, sampling pre-existing music to use in our own music, creating remixes and understanding mash-ups, all of which I’m super keen to get into.

Choosing again to skip my next introductory lecture, I picked up a call from my cousin who I was seeing later in the evening, to find that she was in the city as well, so we decided to meet up at Melbourne Central to grab lunch.

After a short Gong Cha break while I waited for her, we decided that $4 pizzas from the Asian Beer Cafe (ABC) was the move.

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Two pizzas, a bowl of chips and two very satisfied gals later, and we decided to head on back to my house.

Once we got home, we only had to wait a little while until my other cousin arrived at my house, as the sisters, as well as my sister and I were planning on going and watching Richmond play against St Kilda at the football at Etihad Stadium.

We left my house around quarter to 7, and made our way to the station and onto the train. We had a slight mishap one station in when we tried to change carriages to find a place for all four of us to sit, only to have our group split up, leaving me with my younger cousin on the train, and my older cousin with my little sister on the platform, watching us as the doors closed between us before they could get on.

We only had to wait at the next station for ten minutes to meet them on the next train and from then on it was smooth sailing, and a good laugh.

We made it to Etihad Stadium, where I had seen Ed Sheeran a couple months ago, and after buying some food to eat, we walked around the stadium to try and find some seats.

We managed to get some decent seats with a pretty good view, and settled in for what we knew would be, not a very eventful game, considering that unfortunately for me, St Kilda are 15th on the ladder of 18 teams, while Richmond is currently 1st, much to my sisters delight.

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While it was an easy win, there were a few moments when my younger cousin and I thought the Saints could pull up even a little to make the loss slightly less embarrassing, but I’m glad we left at the start of the fourth quarter, just in time to miss the huge crowds on the train, as well as the 54 point loss.

After a quick stop at Hungry Jacks for hot brownies, we were back on the train on the way home, with my younger cousin reading inspirational cringe-y quotes from Pinterest that had us all giggling like idiots until we got off the train.

It was a good way to end the week.


So there you have it friends. It was actually a pretty fun week, and I really enjoyed myself with all the people I spent it with. Work was fun, rehearsals were great, I’ll probably have to try a bit harder with lectures next week but I’ll let you know how that ends up going.

If you read everything, congratulations and thank you, let me know if you enjoyed this type of post, I know it was long, but it was great fun to sit down at the end of every day and run through how it went. I had heaps of fun taking and editing the photos too, date stamps are my new lil obsession.

x

Priya

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A Music Shop: The Experience + 200 Followers!

A Music Shop: The Experience + 200 Followers!

Hello friends!

Today I thought I’d share with you my experience of working in a music shop.

However before I start, I’d like to say a quick thank-you to the now over 200 of you who have joined me here on this little blog of mine, especially those of you lovely people who have continually commented and engaged with You Should Hear and I. I’ve said this a couple of times on my Twitter (linked and down below), that my goal at the start of 2018, was to hit 100 followers by June. To consider that even before the end of June, I hit 200 followers, is insane, and my family have all had to put up with me constantly voicing my huge amount of disbelief as I try to wrap my head around it.

Thanks friends.

 


 

Back to the music shop.

I’ve been working at this particular music shop, a family run business, since my last year of high school, now just over two years. I’ve never been so grateful for having a job, despite my bleary eye’d SnapChat’s to my friends while I make my morning coffee every Saturday morning in the staff kitchen.

It was a complete off-chance that led to me securing a job here. I’ve driven past this shop since I was a young child, it’s been an ever present fixture on the corner of one of my most frequented main road intersections, one I spent driving past on a close to daily basis during my childhood, and well into my teens.


 

It was during February of 2016, and my friends and I were on the way to our Year 12 formal, as our hired limo for the night crossed through the intersection, and I voiced my appreciation for the music shop. My best friend Kate’s, who I have mentioned several times throughout my blog, formal partner offhandedly mentioned that his best friend worked at the shop, and loved it. I didn’t pay much mind to it, until the day after when I mentioned it in passing to mum, who told me I should apply. However, I never got around to it, until a week later when she texted me the store number as a not-so-subtle hint to get a move on.

When I rang up, I spoke to my now manager, who told me they weren’t currently hiring, but to send my resume in anyway. The next day I was called in for an interview, which I went to the day after that, on a busy Saturday morning.

The shop was bustling with people, so I was super duper grateful that he took the time to chat with me, even going as far as introducing me to the staff in the print music section, where I would be working, should I get the job. I left the interview feeling pretty confident.

And then didn’t hear anything for two weeks.

It was nerve wracking to say the least. This would be my fourth job, and at least the hundredth that I’d applied for so I was incredibly keen to find out. So I called up, only to be advised that the owner was currently away on holiday, so the conversation hadn’t even been brought up yet. I went away on my family Easter trip, waiting again. On the long drive back home, it was all I could think about, so determined, and slightly impatient I called again, only to be asked how soon I could start. Three days later I started.


It’s honestly been so much better than I ever could have hoped for. The beginning was only slightly rough. I’m pretty reserved when it comes to people I don’t know, and I’d been thrown into a pretty tight knit family of staff members who loved cracking jokes, hanging out after work, organising get together’s and calling each other over the desk phones just to mess with each other, so it took me over a year and nearly four more people joining/leaving the shop for me to stop calling myself the ‘new girl’ and relax a bit. The staff member in charge of print music on the Saturdays that I worked also took some time to get used to. Since joining, his dry sense of humour, refined English accent and love of watches, organs, old Melbourne trams and Rover P5’s have become staples in my weekly shift, and I always come home with a story to tell.

Saturday shifts are undoubtedly the best of the week, considering nearly the whole staff is working, it usually gets busy, and the company shouts us all lunch every shift. This year I started working in the musical instrument (hereby referred to as MI) department a lot more, more full day shifts rather than afternoons filling in, and while it continues to intimidate me, I’m slowly growing to love it, especially getting to hang out with my friends, all the younger staff members, all of whom work in MI.

That said, working in a music shop, like any retail experience, comes with it’s fair share of con’s to try and balance out the pro’s.


One of the huge problems I’ve come to face? One of the problems that continues to grind my gears on a close to weekly basis?

Sexism.

If you didn’t catch my write up about sexism in the music industry, specifically music festivals, give it a read, because it’s a great indicator of all the levels that sexism is present within the music industry, and apparently, small-scale, family owned music shops, are not exempt.

The staff are 100% not the problem. If I’m asked to dust and vacuum the print and piano rooms, no-one has a single problem if I get sick of it and pass it onto my friend, a male staff member, to do the guitar rooms.

When I’m helping out in MI, the manager has no problem with asking me to help out with carrying boxes and instruments, and I know if I’m having trouble, I can say so.

Sure I end up the one washing the dishes in the sink when it starts over-flowing, but that’s because the sight of it gets on my nerves. On several occasions I’ve directed another staff member, a guy, to empty out the sink, or at least dry them as I finish, and no-one complains.

Customers however, a different story.

I’m one of two women working in print, and I’m also the youngest person in the entire store. On several occasions I’ve had someone on the phone asking about a particular sheet of music, only to be asked if they could ‘talk to the man who’s usually there’. I understand having prior conversations with him throughout the week when I’m not there, it only makes sense to finish what we each start separately, but I’ve had customers with fresh enquiries, assuming that because what they want isn’t in stock, there’s a man there who could possibly tell them differently.

Working in MI was an eye opening experience as well. There’s one other younger girl, a year older than me, who works there regularly, and she’s shared experiences with me, that only recently I’ve gotten to experience first-hand. I was shocked when she recalled stories of speaking to customers on the phone, only to have to assure them several times that she did work in the guitar room and was perfectly capable of helping them out, sometimes even having people asking directly to speak with a guy. A whole group of boys have come in and watched her setting up a bass and a bass amp for them to test out, whispering and snickering between themselves as she did so. My experience in MI, due to the sparse time I’ve spent over there, only occurred recently, but it still left me incredibly frustrated.

I’d just finished nearly a whole day of going over entry level guitars, the different EOFY sales going on, the prices, the type of guitars, the strings, the necks, the bags/picks/tuners/capo deals, the lot, so when a couple walked into the store, the MI manager nearly pushed me across the room to have a go at serving them.

Before I start, I’d done it before, assisted now and then by other staff, but I was determined to do this one by myself, and I could not have bagged a more difficult customer. The husband seemed set on asking every single question he possibly could, which fair enough, you’re purchasing a guitar, you want to know whatever there is to know, but I’m sure we’re all well practised in reading tone and body language, of which I was getting ‘You’re damn stupid‘ vibes. I could also gather that his wife was telling him to back off a bit, despite speaking in Mandarin, due to all the apologetic glances and friendly smiles she sent my way, but he was having none of it. Then it came to pricing. My God did that man try and push the price. Remember that we’re already having end of financial year sales, so our prices are ridiculously low, as in he’d be getting a guitar, a bag and a couple of free picks, for under $120. Every time I expressed a price or mentioned a deal he did not hesitate to let me know that it was still very expensive, despite knowing there was little I could do to go any lower. Then came questions about the guitar neck. Now this part I can’t blame him for. Most people would assume that the slim neck’s would make it easier for young kids to wrap their hands around and play, but in the long run, and for lessons, it really makes no difference, which I explained. Then came the sentence that increased my blood pressure.

_Go ask that man._

I swear to god the MI Manager looked like a deer in headlights. He essentially repeated everything that I said to the man, word for word, and it was only after firmly stating that we could do no cheaper that he purchased the guitar. My manager was quick to explain that he too was getting frustrated on my behalf and that he’d put the sale under my name considering the close to twenty minutes I’d spent with the couple.

However, I have one experience that my entire family and anyone who encountered me for the next week know about, considering how incredibly outraged I was at it.

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So it’s busy. I’m by myself in print because the other staff member has a choral performance. It’s summer, late in the afternoon, my feet hurt and there’s another wave of customers just charging through the doors and dispersing throughout the store’s four rooms, many of them wandering through the print room or stopping in front of my desk for help.

A man came in, and while at first he seemed pleasant enough, he was a bit demanding and blunt, but nothing I hadn’t dealt with before. He gave me a rough guideline of some singing books he wanted to look at, and I did my best to show him the several we had that suited his needs. Again, he was demanding, he was short and becoming slightly rude. Note that the store was filling up and I had a line of two or three families that were waiting for my assistance. After showing him all the books he had to choose from, I showed him the little corner we had that was available for him to read through the books and look at them, as I turned to go and help a family looking for a book.

As I’m talking to this family who, bless them, knew the colour and picture on the book they wanted but not the name of it, I hear clicking. Fingers snapping. Like right behind me. At the back of my head. Clicking. At this point I’ve also lost the attention of the family, who are now looking behind me, slightly alarmed and confused. There’s only one person in that section of the room. And in my head, all I can think is, ‘I know this man is not clicking at me right now’. On reflection, I should have followed what my mum would say later on, and not acknowledge him, not responded to bloody clicking like a dog, but in the moment, I apologised to the family and turned to the man, only to have a pile of books dumped in my arms as he moved through the shelves, very much expecting me to follow him. As he walked through the shelves of books he spoke to me, without even turning around to face me. “You were serving me, how come you started serving that family? That’s not professional.”I’m sorry, the store’s just a little bit busy, I have to serve a few people at once.” 

My dude I’m definitely not sorry.

I politely asked if he needed anymore help, to which he only added more books to the pile. By then my fuse was short, so I told him that I had a few other customers to help, but I’d keep his books at the desk when he was ready. I didn’t stay long enough to see the look on his face, but I didn’t see him for the next twenty minutes as I helped out the remaining customers in my section, before returning to my desk. He walked out of the adjoining room where we keep majority of the books and came to a halt in front of my desk.

What’s your name?”

I answered.

_Go ask that man._ (1)

I have no idea what the intent of that question was, but I know it wasn’t to genuinely find out my opinion on working in the shop, however I answered with a simple ‘yes’ only to get, ‘Interesting.’ as my reply. Much confusion on my behalf.

To finish the exchange, he proceeded to buy only six of the thirteen books he’d dropped on my desk, and leave without so much as a thank-you.


 

All of that said, I thoroughly enjoy working at the music shop. Every retail worker has their own unique experiences that do their head in. This isn’t my first retail job. My first job was in hospitality at a churros and chocolate restaurant, where I was in constantly touching chewed gum people decided to stick to the underside of their plates when I was clearing tables, and my second and third were both in retail, my third being in direct contact with rude mother’s who expected me to babysit their children while they shopped for them. With that in mind, the music shop has been a fresh of breath air, despite the occurrences like those above every now and then. Anyone who works retail will agree with the statement, that it makes you ten times more empathetic with employees when you’re not working. I can’t recall a time I’ve not been overly accommodating and forgiving when being served, even before I started working.

If you haven’t worked in retail and can’t relate one bit, remember this; you never want to be the customer that employees complain about and imitate in the break room.

x

Priya

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