Yesterday there was a family standing in front of the door. When people would come inside, the baby would wave at them. One entering customer looked down at the baby and said "Oh, the new greeter!"
The parents felt they had to share a story with the stranger. Apparently the baby was waving at another store and someone said that she had a future in retail. "And we were like, 'Oh GREAT!'" said the parents.
I was standing right there. I always love it when people degrade my job in front of me. My co-workers and I discussed this and after joking about how they'll change their minds when the baby grows up to be a junkie amputee hooker, we were over it.
But, throughout the afternoon, I kept thinking about it. I didn't intend to have a long-term retail career, and I don't think most people do. I've had plans and ideas throughout the years, but sometimes things just don't work out how we think they should.
So I don't have a career and my wages are low and perks small, but I have always been employed. No matter where I've lived, I had a job and no one else has supported me. Retail work has made me a smarter shopper and a thoughtful consumer. I have learned humility and respect and to take advantage of opportunities when they show themselves.
I will not let one comment from a young new mother bother me. Who would want their child to be a greeter at some place like Walmart or work endlessly at a store until they are so old they can't function? But I will fight the stigma attached to retail work; we are not here because we are stupid or otherwise unemployable. We work to supplement the life activities and jobs that do not pay a living wage.
So, new mother, know that altough I don't have a glamorous job saving lives and helping people or raking in cash, I am happy. Ultimately, isn't that what you want for your child?