stories of the evil employee discount

I started working in retail in 2000. My first retail job was at a women’s clothing store and what probably impressed me the most was the employee discount. I was told it was ‘generous’, but of course, it’s really just a discount at cost. It’s pretty much like that everywhere. You pay what it costs the company to buy a product, usually at 30 or 40% below what the retail price is.

But at the time, I thought I had hit the jackpot. There were all these amazing clothes that I loved and I had a hard time not spending an entire paycheck at any one time.

My closet was over flowing with clothes. It was kinda gross. The kicker, and tipping point was about three years into this job, I was rooting around said closet for something to wear and found a stack of tee shirts in various colors…..all with the price tags still on them.


Ok, I thought, I get it. I don’t need EVERYTHING.

Next job was at a major department store. The one good thing was that to take advantage of the discount, employees had to have a store credit card. At the time, my credit rating (due to my own stupidity and from defaulting on student loans)was drowning in the deep end of Lake Michigan. But the store gave me a card anyway, with a very small credit limit.

Ha. Since we were paid weekly, I’d max the damn thing out and pay it off the next paycheck. Again, overflowing closet full of stuff. Not as bad as from the last job, but enough that my husband finally made a comment about it when I came home with a designer handbag….in my defense, the discount nabbed me a great deal, but it purse still cost me what I paid in rent. Needless to say the husband hit the roof. I canceled the card so that I wouldn’t be tempted to use it. Which of course ment no more evil employee discount.

Next job was the gift shop at one of the museums in town. My down fall there was books and jewelry (earrings). The discount wasn’t as great, but the museum is a non profit, so it’s not like they are in it for the money.

By then I had learned a few things.

I paced myself on my spending. One book OR one pair of earrings a month. Also, from my previous jobs, I started weeding out clothing yearly. If there was something that I had not worn in a year, out it went. Either in the rag bin under the sink if it wasn’t in good enough condition for the thrift store, or to one of the thrift stores in our neighborhood.

The books were amazing, I got some really nice art books. And the jewelry wasn’t the run of the mill crap you see in department stores. A lot of the earrings I own are one of a kind.

I briefly worked at a kitchen supply/cooking store. Given that I love to cook, that could have been REALLY *DANGER DANGER*, my saving grace is that we have a small galley kitchen and not a whole lot of counter space. My purchases there were limited to small gadgety type of things, but I did treat myself to a couple of nice sauce pans.

Currently I’m working at a bookstore.


I swore that I would limit myself to one book a month. Ha. I’ve been there since mid October. I’ve been averaging one book a week.

Have I ever mentioned that our living room is already three walls of books?

my lot in life

It’s all I can think about.

What is my fate? What am I supposed to DO?

No, really. What in fuck’s name am I going to DO.

I’ve pretty much accepted that I won’t find a full time job again. And I’ve pretty much come to terms that I’m destined to work menial jobs. And that I’ll be working well past when I should be able to retire.

I really tried to escape from retail. Now here I am, at it again and the irony? I actually really like this job and I hope the company keeps me on a permanent basis. The location means I don’t have to deal with the shits in a mall environment nor do I have to deal with the shits downtown.

And since I’m a reader and it’s a bookstore, well, duh, most of the customers are there because they are readers as well.

But it’s still retail.

I tried so fucking hard. I did everything that I was supposed to do. I thought outside of the box. I searched outside of the box.

I guess it wasn’t enough.

the truth about that being an adult thing

I’ve never been one for setting goals for myself lately. Mainly because in recent years, I’ve had any such things be tossed into the deep end of Lake Michigan for a slow drowning death.

But there are definitely things that I need to change in my life, things on a personal and a professional level.

I just don’t know where to begin.

I thought I was doing all the right things in regards to job hunting and finding a full time job, but of late, that seems to be one of the things drowning.

I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that for various reasons, I probably ever won’t work full time again. It’s been a bitter pill. And returning to retail, even on a part time basis was a bigger, more bitter pill. I think I’m still swallowing that one.

I can joke all I want that I’m ‘retiring’ early and purposely working part time. (I’m not since I’m not collecting SS)  But something in regards to my professional life needs to change.

I know what I’d LIKE to DO. But that requires a couple of grand (to be safe, really, more like four or five k) that I don’t have, nor am I likely to see anytime soon. Unless I’m willing to cash out my 401k. And I’m not.

I also need to shed about 50 pounds. It’s fucking beyond scary how quickly it found me. Most of it within the last two years. It’s not like I was all WTF where did this come from. Two plus years of job hunting, stress from job hunting, the shit show clusterfuck dumpsterfire election of last year and the current shit show clusterfuck dumpsterfire that’s going on in DC has pretty much led me to a level of drinking I haven’t seen since I was in college.

Which if I was still in my early 20s, my body would be all, ‘oh yeah, honey, we can do this’. But here I am at 51, on the tail end of the ‘change of life’ and said body is now all ‘BITCH YOU ARE FUCKING KILLING ME’.

I’ve tried WW and briefly Atkins. Both have their pros and cons. If nothing else, both have made me very aware of what I put in my mouth. I am an avid food label reader. I stopped drinking pop and eating fast food years ago. I watch my sugar and salt intake.

I don’t exercise, which I know I should do.

And finally I know I need to be better at pulling my weight around the house in regards to general ‘shit that needs to be done’.

Why is adulting so fucking hard?