Sunday, January 30, 2011

Forevs 21

I was in the mall yesterday and had a few minutes to waste before my friends arrived for dinner. I hit all of the usual stores: Banana Republic Petites, Guess, Sephora, etc. I also went into Forever 21,  and if you've never been, it sells designer knockoffs made in countries with few worker rights*, and no one in the store is actually 21 years old. On paper, the store is targeting female teens with about $35 of disposable income on a given day.  The difference between this store and some of the other popular tween locales is the lack of overpowering cheap cologne.  Surprisingly, one of the retail specialists (folding clothes) was approximately 70 years old and male.

While I was listening to the store's eurotrance song that sounded like Bjork on helium, I wondered what happened in order for him to land this job. Maybe it's great to have a job where you're surrounded by teenage girls all day, although I highly doubt it.

Things that would entice someone to work in this setting: the music, the level of skill required, a serious monetary emergency... While the song was quite catchy (similar to most of these clubs stores), you can't hum it while folding a stack of striped tunics in sized order.  The level of skill - folding clothes a certain way - is minimal, and he looked put together enough to be formally educated. Formal education can be a hard guess, because initial judging is usually based on cleanliness, neatness, and ability to listen. I was an immaculately groomed high schooler for example, and no one outside of my friends knew if I was from a "poor" or "rich" neighborhood, which was a great skill for adulthood.

Anyway, I concluded in that 50th of a second that he had money issues, and if that's the case, I really hope this guy can get out of his situation. I also hope that my work never leads to such a mundane and abstract area like female teenager clothing (or clothing for adults if they have the body type).

* I tend to buy clothes from these countries as I would organic versus conventionally grown food. As in, I'm leery of anything "Made in China" but Vietnam and Sri Lanka are ok.  The reason is actually a combination of fabric and cut qualities. I fit in clothes better that are not made in China, and the cloth is usually thick enough to pass my "No See Through" policy.