Doing Both

Doing Both

Most PhD programs are pretty intensive, requiring the pursuant to work in some capacity at the school in the department to which they are submitting their PhD candidacy. Many of them maintain student work positions to fund their studies. I am one of those students. I work during the day at the university as a research assistant professor, which I thought was going to mean I wrote exams, delivered lectures, graded responses, encouraged great students, helped less great students find…

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Bosses

Bosses

All of my bosses are white, gay men between the ages of 24 and 30. Literally, I have a boss who is TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD. He does the scheduling and payroll etc. He’s lovely and he considers this his career, “I’m a lifer” he stated during my interview as a way to demonstrate that there is growth opportunity in retail. He doesn’t seem to mind my scheduling conflicts and my tendency to bring books and school work in to do…

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Attire/Coworkers

Attire/Coworkers

We’re required to be in properly pressed attire for our shifts, for obvious reasons. I literally have one pair of black slacks and three black button downs for work, I alternate between these for my six shifts a week. If they’re not properly pressed, I bring them to work and steam them, it’s an obvious solution. One day, this girl shows up for work in a creased top, like it had been in plastic packaging, folded, and she took it…

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Training

Training

I spent my entire first day at this store learning, literally, how to steam clothes. Now I know what you’re thinking, who doesn’t know how to steam clothes? The answer to this is primarily young, white, privileged women who never had to do anything for themselves – whose clothes returned from the dry-cleaners steamed and pressed for them. They never had to actually steam their own blouses and so now an entire day of job training is wasted teaching young…

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Retail Experience

Retail Experience

When I was growing up on the west side of Chicago, my ma operated one of those “boutiques” that people drive past and wonder, “how do places like that stay in business?” We sold cigarettes, expired canned goods, and kitty litter but somehow my mom kept finding odd ways to stay in business. For a few summers, we just let proper gangsters rent out the back room for “meetings” and they kept the business afloat simply to have a front…

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