So Sew So

When I had decided to leave the jewelry business, I had originally thought that I was just sick of working in jewelry.  I had always worked retail, so I thought a change of scenery completely would make me happier at work.

I applied to many big box stores, had several interviews, almost took a job in risk management (store security) and eventually had an offer to work at a large chain of fabric stores, as the Merchandising Manager. Although I didn’t know how to sew, and didn’t have a crafty bone in my body, the district manager assured me that in the position I was offered, I wouldn’t need to know these things.

He was wrong.

Even though I was supposed to be in charge of merchandising the store, taking care of plan-o-grams, and such, I really had to do everything.  The store that I was hired at was a total disaster.  It hadn’t had any plan-o-grams done in years.  In the “truck” area, there were boxes and boxes of merchandise that hadn’t been put out.  There were boxes of Easter merchandise back there that hadn’t even been opened yet, and it was September when I started.

The manager that was there when I first came to work there quit on my second day.  Which meant that I was the only manager, and knew absolutely nothing.  Due to the store being insanely short-staffed (many quit with the manager, I have never understood how people convince others to leave their jobs just because they are unhappy), I had an emergency lesson in how to cut fabric, how to use the cash register, etc.  I seriously wondered what in the world I had gotten myself into.

So I stayed.  Eventually they got a manager in there.  Eventually I started working on the things that were actually my job.  Now, when I was working, every single day someone would ask me some sort of sewing question.  Every. Single. Day.

It is primarily a fabric store, so this wasn’t really a surprise.  Customers would get so ticked off when I knew nothing.  I knew where things were.  I could tell them how much fabric they needed, I am pretty adept at reading a pattern now.

I actually have a couple of horrible boss stories to share about my time here, too.

Now, I have always wanted to know how to sew.  When we were in seventh grade, and I had a quarter in Home Economics, I was so excited to get to the sewing part.  We were going to make a draw-string gym bag.

I started off just fine.  I did all my cutting, and measuring, and had been working right along.  The day that I went to finish my gym bag, I was put on a different sewing machine station than where I had been working.  I got all set to finish my bag.  I went to turn my machine on and there was nothing.  No power.  I figured that the machine was unplugged.

I made my way to the wall where it was plugged in, reached for the plug to push it into the socket more, and totally got electrocuted.

Zapped straight up my arm.

Scared the shit out of me.

To the point that I refused to finish my bag.

My teacher felt bad, and didn’t fail me because I was almost killed in her class.

My Mom was pissed, and sent nasty letters to anyone who would listen about how they need to do better at making sure electrical equipment isn’t frayed, faulty, or in need of repair.

I had no interest in sewing ever again after this happened.

I did end up taking a class with a friend of mine after I quit working at the fabric store.  I made Mack a pair of pajama’s, and put my machine back in its box.  It’s been collecting dust ever since.  I still sometimes think I would like to sew, but then I remember how my arm felt for weeks after this incident, and decide whatever I need homemade, I can buy from Etsy, beg someone I know to make it for me, or go without.

I lasted six months working at the fabric store, then I went to work where I am currently.  I can say, retail is retail is retail.  I am still more or less in retail, but with the best kind of hours, holiday’s and perks.  Not to mention that I don’t have to pretend to be an expert in something that I know nothing about.

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3 Comments on “So Sew So”

  1. libbylogic says:

    Isn’t it an automatic A for the year if you are almost killed in a class?

  2. Jen says:

    I’m with Libby – you should have totally gotten an A.

  3. Maggie says:

    I totally feel you’re pain! I’m not much of a sewer I attempt it but nothing to good comes from it. I tried to make boxers in my home ec class and they ended up looking funny. It’s the one creative thing I don’t do well.


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