I was very kindly given the chance to work in Swots of Reigate, a school uniform shop, at the height of this year’s Back to School period. I have worked on and off in schoolwear at Back to School since I was 7 (my Dad was very supportive of child labour if it washis own kids…!) but I have never worked at the front end, at the coal face or what you might call, where it all happens! And it was quite an eye-opener. I was met by the lovely team at Swots first thing in the morning before the doors opened. I was full of anxiety –I did not want to get out of my depth and make a fool of myself but also couldn’t have a customer thinking I was work shy and not putting in the effort they have to. So I started on ticketing, got promoted to bag packing and then had the delights of dealing with the GENERAL PUBLIC!!! There was a never-ending stream of customers entering the shop to be looked after. Finding the very specific items needed for the child being seen to required the mental concentration I might normally save for Sudoku. Extreme multi-tasking became a norm, while I tried to find a size of blazer that everyone seemed to want, help at the till with bag packing as the queue grew and also make sure I did not lose all those barcodes for the socks that I was meant to be attaching… (sorry Tracy, I hope you’ve found them all!)
Finding the very specific items needed for the child being seen to required the mental concentration I might normally save for Sudoku.