Friday, February 08, 2013

Taking Inventory

Yesterday the retail store at which I work nearly full-time lately closed half the day for inventory. I spent seven hours quietly researching item numbers, solving mysteries of the "what the heck is this item and how old is it?" variety, counting and double-checking other people's counting. I enjoyed it. After inventory the store opened for business. I spent just over an hour trying to hide from customers as I restocked items on the selling floor.

Taking inventory at work prompts me to take an honest self-inventory. I'm struggling with what I want to do for work. I make far too little money for how hard I work at that retail store. In the six months of the fiscal year that I worked there, I produced just over $250,000 in sales. My reward (other than the sad hourly wage)? Business cards with my name on them. Yes. I am also underwhelmed.

Because my first true love for avocation and vocation is acting, I figured that a retail job would give me a somewhat flexible schedule and a "leave it at the workplace" job description. I am growing restless with the dinner theatre scene, and feel ready to step away from that. I left my talent agency this year after too many fruitless commercial auditions. I do not consider smiling until my face breaks into spasms while talking about car dealers or computers to be acting.

I want more personal fulfillment from my time. I also want to make more money for the time I spend working.

I have a preternatural sense for color, scale and placement when it comes to decorating rooms, curating outfits or sewing projects. I hoped to join the visual display team when I took the retail job. Unfortunately, I am pigeonholed as a great salesperson. While I stay calm in the face of angst, confusion and conflict, it takes a toll on my emotional energy. I need to step out of customer service before I turn into a misanthrope.

I want a job that challenges me creatively with a balance between visual problem solving and communicating. I also want more control of deliverables besides telling a client whether or not an item is in stock. If that must-have item is out of stock at my current retail job, it's probably literally on a slow boat from China.

I need to find a new job. Yesterday.