This past weekend, I got a message on my cell phone to call Eastbay Sports about my recent Nike Shox purchase. My initial thought was that my card was declined, or that the item was out of stock.
When I called Eastbay back, they wanted to make sure I authorized the order shipped to my work address. It's been about 13 years, but what Eastbay's Payment Processing department did this past Saturday was exactly what I did for 8 years at The Sharper Image's Order Processing department.
It brought back a lot of memories. I met with all kinds of people, and became close friends with several of my regular contacts (Josh, Roger, Pauline). I confirmed purchases with celebrities such as Joe Piscopo, Rush Limbaugh, Kenny Loggins, and Garrison Keillor. I once had a very nice chat with Jeannie Buss, daughter of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss and at the time, wife of Olympic volleyball player Steve Timmons.
I wouldn't have gotten any of my jobs after Sharper Image without the experience I had there. But, it's not exactly a job that opens career paths. Most people who worked in our department did it primarily as a stepping stone to something better (or so they thought). The company itself is under very difficult times (see Tretakoff Musings, September 30 blog entry).
For me, I came into retail because I wanted no part of my family's restaurant business. It's an industry I come back to because the work outside of retail isn't as fun or fulfilling. The best part is that my paycheck goes a lot further.