Sunday, April 11, 2010

Me vs. It

There's something simply unholy about uniforms. Really, UNholy. No offense to clergymen, priests, the pope, etc. but uniforms, I believe, are probably mandatory in hell.

Naturally my passionate disdain for the uniform stems from my own personal experiences with it, but I know I'm not alone. Throughout my yearly changes in jobs: pita pit, blockbuster, borders, border's cafe (seattle's best coffee), and the "RA year" ( yes, even as an RA there was a uniform, an occasionally one but I have the pile of crappy cotton t-shirts to prove it was enough times to be put on this list). Each uniform was no better than the next. I literally had to throw out pita pit cause it smelled like I bathed myself in ranch everyday.

Pita Pit was a simple beginning: black tee, my own capri jean shorts, my black converse, and the apron.

Ugh, the apron. That, could be a whole god-awful blog in itself.

I was young and freshly picked from the virgin wagon of the workforce. I shook hands with my manager one ordinary afternoon, never to look back again.

My delicate, soft hands would never be the same.

Blockbuster was a step up, introducing the need to buy khaki, and also trying to accessorize with a blue, baggy polo so that you could still remind yourself you were a girl. Fortunately, being a busty lady, yes I said busty-no need to be vulgar about a non-discreet fact- the baggy polo created the illusion of no bustiness, but at the end of my time with that uniform, I realized I missed my chest. What that means, not really sure, but I hope it's somewhere along the lines of being happy in my body that my mother gave me. (Seriously, physically, I am my mother incarnated)

Borders, as a bookseller, was business casual. I felt like a girl again, but there was pressure. Like shaving my legs everyday. And washing my hair. Some mornings, I really don't care to look presentable, especially when the mall that I work at is called "fashion valley," which means 4 months later I would be out of job, replaced by a much needed make-up store. Yay literacy!

The RA year was a day camp I accidental signed up for. And by accidental, I mean I had no idea what I signed up for. It was ASB on crack. In high school, I was far from that. My organization was dysfunctional and beautiful and invigorating and chaotic: it was the theatre. Now in college, I didn't really have the need to belong to a group, I made my own. However, I was an RA, my senior year (of course) and I wore the restricting-crappy-cotton-cliche-logo-collar t-shirts and the smiles and the concern looks and politely supported all the 12-year-olds I was surrounded by.

So now we come to the most recent of jobs I have juggled: Seattle's Best Coffee aka Border sellers who happen to smell like coffee. That uniform was a lie. The others I can forgive because it was truly a part of the job, a reflection of the professionalism the company wanted to emit. SBC is another accident. I accidentally became an actress again. I wear my costume: black polo, black pants, black..apron..., and my vans and I say my lines: Would you like (insert pastry name) to go with your (insert starbucks knockoff drink)? Do you have your Borders Rewards card? I can look it up by your email (please for the loveofgod don't say no) No? (smile) Phone number? No? (balls, i'm gonna get a write-up again.)

People don't really believe in eye-contact when you don only one color. It's like they want to pretend you blend into the bright beige background and that the black is the natural state of the machine parts you are made of.


That, is what I do not love.

Peabody's, I love. It's my only shining grace. My Mary; my wardrobe. I work full-time at a small coffee kiosk at SDSU. 2 years now. The moment I found out there was no uniform I rejoiced. Although my clothes took major stain hits, I discover the saving power of Tide-To-Go stick and skill. I'm quite good as a Peabody's barista. I pull my own shots. Most of time I call 'em too. In my clothes, in my "reading is sexy" tee, jeans, and moccasins, in my african-print sundress, in my leggings and a sweatshirt, in my fedora.

My clothes=me

In my chain of customer service jobs, I always have to make sure to see, Me, at the end of the shift.


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