Besides the writing gigs, I have the day joy which is rarely a day job as I mostly work evenings. I work at a popular rental store, yes the place that everyone keeps saying is on its way out thanks to the likes of LoveFilm. Admittedly I’m not denying that. In my mere one year there (including the 5 months off with a broken foot!) I’ve seen a lot change, most notably quieter weekends and slower sales. But I’m not here to discuss my chances of redundancy.
You see, there seems to be a stigma to my working there. Mention to someone that you work at this place and you see their eyes begin to glaze over or, even worse, they give you a pitying look. Throw in that you’re working there part time and you might as well be the dirt on their shoes. This is a little baffling to me considering working there part time means I earn less than if I just sat around on the dole, so really I’m doing society a service by not just sitting on the dole…..sort of. Fortunately if you then throw in that you’re writing alongside the cursed retail job, people tend to regain some interest then. Well, at least until you say you write about games, then they resort to ‘Oh so you play games all day?’ and I quietly sigh inwardly.
It’s a strange old business, the stigma of what you do. Just under 2 years ago I had a successful job for a Canadian firm (based in Wales) which dealt with background checks. The job title sounded immensely impressive and often seemed to impress people. The daft thing is it was essentially glorified data entry. Sure it was a little more complicated than that, I had to check over Canadian IDs and submit the odd credit check, but ultimately it was just data entry with a twist. It was the easiest job I’ve ever had and I was very good at it. I consistently completed twice the amount of work as my colleague, day in day out. But it was boring me to death. It was just so tedious and predictable and the promotion options weren’t very appealing.
In the end I didn’t have to decide what to do, whether to leave (or more likely: when I would leave) as a certain life changing event happened, making the decision to leave clear.
The daft thing is when I eventually returned to work, this time as a ‘Sales Representative’, I realised how both jobs were quite similar in their way. Both relying on a certain amount of monotony and routine. While the Canadian job involved following a set routine in terms of entering the data, the retail job involved lining up items on a shelf in a surprisingly anal way to ensure everything is just so. In an odd sort of way the retail job ended up harder. At least in the Canadian job I never had someone randomly accost me while I’m trying to juggle 30 DVDs, just to see if I know what the third Harry Potter film is (I do now but I didn’t before starting the job!). It’s also much more physical which is why I’ve had so much trouble with my return from a broken foot, it’s exhausting some days and your feet hurt at the best of times especially after a frantic Saturday night. There’s a lot more abuse to be had working in retail than in a nice warm office too…oh yeah did I mention the shop has a leak in the roof and a broken heating system meaning the staff either freeze to death or wear coats and scarves in the store?
The point of this entry? Er not a lot really. I was considering telling readers to be nicer to retail workers but some staff are twats and deserve to be treated as such so erm……just be nice to me and my co-workers if you’re ever passing through and fancy renting a film the old fashioned way?