When it comes to workout gear, I tend to look at the Macy's sales rack, Target, and Sierra Trading Post's Bargain Barn. I hate paying full price for workout clothing, except for footwear. Never skimp on running shoes or hiking boots; there, you've been warned. The problem is that I love to shop for workout clothing, and now that I've been attending yoga classes 3-4 times a week I have been exposed to a new wonderful world of colorful and comfortable athletic attire.
I had been admiring a certain high-end yoga inspired clothing line for awhile; however, I couldn't justify paying $90 for a pair of black stretchy pants. Then, a few weeks ago, I noticed that they were looking for part-time work, so I decided to apply. I figured between the store discount and other job perks (free classes) that it would be pretty great, as far as 2nd jobs go. I have worked at Dunkin Donuts, a bagel store, the HoneyBaked Ham Company store (for 1 day... that's another blog post), and about 20 English language schools, but never in retail, so I was mildly surprised when I received an email asking if I could come in for a group interview.
I had been wondering how many people would be in the interview, but there was just one other applicant; a woman in flowing scarves, beaded earrings & a canvas tote. At this point, having come dressed from my day job in a pencil skirt and blouse, I knew I was in trouble.
The store manager took us to a quiet part of the mall and explained that she had a list of questions she wanted to ask and that she hoped we would feel like we were simply getting to know each other. In the end, the more I got to know the other applicant, the more I wanted to strangle her with her thrifted scarf. The conversation went pretty much like this...
Manager (turning to me): So, how do you like to stay healthy?
Me: Well, try to walk as much as possible and not eat too much junk. Also, I exercise on a regular basis. Running, yoga, golf... that sort of thing.
2nd Applicant: Oh, well, my family owns an organic farm north of Boston and I spent a lot of time working on the land. It's a lot of sweat and hard work, but I love it! The farm, by the way, is also a CSA, which is just an incredible way to bring people together!
Manager (again, to me. Somehow, I went first every single time): We encourage our employees to set goals for themselves. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Me: Hmm, well, hopefully my family is healthy and happy. Possibly my husband and I will have a child or 2...
2nd Applicant: OK, so I am applying for a Fulbright and hope to eventually open a cultural center for disadvantaged Boston youth.
Me: Oh... a Fulbright! That's impressive!
2nd Applicant: How old are you?!
Me: Um, I'll be 30 in July.
2nd Applicant: Well, you're too old to apply for one... but it is an excellent opportunity to do some good in the world.
Manager: What was the last book you read?
Me: The 2nd Harry Potter book... I'm re-reading the series.
2nd Applicant: I just finished reading a book written by one of the first female Buddhist monks. It's incredibly fascinating.
Manager: We hope all of our employees are open to giving and receiving feedback. What was the last feedback you received?
At this point, I decided to go for broke.
Me: During yoga class today, while I was in Cobra, my teacher told me to relax my buttocks.
2nd Applicant: Hmmm, well last night my boyfriend and I were talking... We try and have at least one meaningful conversation a night... And, anyway, he told me that he's noticed that most of my friendships are based on me reaching out to others in need and that he thinks I should have relationships where there's more equal give and take.
Mercifully, the "conversation" ended soon after that and I went home to re-examine my lifestyle, while applicant number 2 probably went to volunteer at a soup kitchen and then poop a bouquet of roses. Needless to say, I received an email the next day thanking me for my time, but that I wasn't quite the right fit for the job.