October 18, 2013

like young seagulls to old bread

Well, that was quick.

The new job I began two weeks ago is now my old job. I gave notice to my manager on Tuesday and worked my last shift on Wednesday.

It didn't take long for me to realize that working for Ann Taylor wasn't for me. I'd done it seven years ago when I was in college, but this time around I just felt lost.

I think it was midway through my first shift that I was searching for the exit door. I looked up from a perfectly folded pile of sweaters and realized that I'd just wasted an entire hour of my life smoothing the creases out of cardigans that would likely end up crumpled on a fitting room floor.

I also became acutely aware that I was the only adult in the room.

The only one not living with parents.

The only one with a college degree.

The only one with a massive amount of bills to pay.

The other girls found my age endlessly entertaining. During a casual conversation in the stock room, someone asked me how old I am and if I moved to Canada with my parents. I laughed and told her I moved out of my parents' place more than 10 years ago.

It was as though I'd dropped a breadcrumb on the beach. The other girls swooped in like seagulls, cawwing rapid fire questions. I imagined Ride of the Valkyries playing in the distance.

Am I really 28? Am I married?

Do I have kids? Why not?  Do I realize that most people my age already have kids?

They giggled at my answers, marveling at how someone "so old" could look so young. I looked for the nearest rock to crawl under and die.

Then came the crushing blow - someone asked what I'm doing working part-time at Ann Taylor. Don't I have a degree? Why am I not using it?

I didn't sleep much that night. And when the call came from a competitor's store for me to interview for a proper management position, I lunged at it.

I got the job, which starts Sunday.

I will not be sharing my age with anyone there. Only pearls of wisdom. You know, since that's what us old folk do.


  1. THat's brutal Jaime! Well I'm happy to hear about the new opportunity...forget about those immature girls. Good luck!

  2. We grow and learn at our own pace. We have children when we're meant to. We learn from every experience. Ask these girls to write as eloquent as you do and they would not be able to, not now and not in 10 years. The words of a teenage girl can hurt beyond measure (as a mother of an emerging young adult and former teenage tyrant, I know this). But those words are ultimately dust in your life. Intelligence, humor, creativity and passion will get you everywhere and you have all of those. Of that I am sure. Good luck in your new venture for as long as you're meant to be there.

    1. Thank you so much, Sharyn. It's funny how some silly, superficial words can stick with you. I hope those girls learn to use the power of their words for good and not to have fun at someone else's expense.

      Your words really resonate and I'll carry them with me to my next job. Thank you for your support!

  3. Mazel Tov on the new gig! Hopefully there will be some other old folks at the new store!


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