Combating the Evil Empire
Once upon a time there was a high school senior who thought she should build her resume and have something to do after school. Because J. Crew was a little more discerning in their hires, she bit at the first offer from Abercrombie & Fitch. There were immediate signs that something stunk in suburbia, yet the allure of that stout $5.50 an hour held her in place for enough time to witness some truly horrific things about the underbelly of the Evil Empire.
- Fellow co-workers and managers thought the world of themselves, even as a 24-year old manager lost all dignity by throwing herself at a 19-year old community college sales associate and inviting him home repeatedly after late night clothes stockings.
- At the direction of store leadership, associates were directed to be more playful and spontaneous, much like the models in the trashy posters flung across the store. This plan had to be halted when some associates started a tag football game in the middle of the store and knocked over an unsuspecting tween.
- In a required meeting for all employees, management coached everyone on making sure the right kind of customer lingered in the store. If someone didn’t look like they belonged and had bags from stores that were way below the caliber of the A&F fashion house or if they essentially weren’t Caucasian and preppy, associates were to follow them around asking if they could offer assistance and not leave their side until they left the store. Because certainly a Wet Seal bag = shoplifter.
- For the highly anticipated visit of the CEO, managers instructed all of the girl associates that there was a perception “throughout the country” that they were too pretty and intimidating to approach. “You, put your hair up,” “You, put on these flip flops,” “Remove those pearls and put on this hemp beaded necklace thing,” followed.
Being a worse quitter than Michael Scott at his telemarketing gig, she was scheduled for all-night duty to set up the new summer merchandise and did not, repeat, did not, feel like her health should be sacrificed to this insulting company. So she did the grown up thing and had her college graduate sister phone her manager and tell her that her sister had been stricken with mono, and wouldn’t be making the 10pm-9am shift that night, and that she would never be coming back.
This plan to build her resume backfired which may explain some of the job opportunities she was presented with after attending a Park City job fair:
And that my friends, is what future hiring managers thought of her Abercrombie stint, and rightly so. She had only proven that she had “amusement park skills” and the ability to sport a monster costume.
Posted by JL