There are three major jobs for people with my skill level at work: Register, Maintenance, and Sales, which I am good at, okay at, and terrible at, respectively. This is because Register is really straightforward, Maintenance lacks structure, and Sales involves approaching shoppers out of the blue and convincing them to buy stuff.
Almost every one of my shifts is on the Register, which is safe, because I know it and can handle it, even on the worst day, and it’s the one place I’m comfortable making small talk.
However, I’ve noticed a new trend lately. I’ve been getting a lot more Sales and Maintenance shifts. And on top of that, I’ve frequently been pulled off the register and flung out onto the floor to help customers or to make the store look pretty. I’m picturing the managers gathered around, working on ways to get me out of my comfort zone. Kate says I’m being paranoid.
And then one day a manager came to me and said, “You’re doing a better job at approaching customers on the sales floor. We were all talking about it at the meeting.”
One of the bits of jargon that is used at work is that, when it comes to bad sales figures, bad enrollment for our customer appreciation program, or even a messy store, these things aren’t called problems—they’re called opportunities. It gives us a chance to sell more, or to step up our sign-up pitch, or to make the place sparkle. And so, in this vein, I’m not being treated badly by being pulled away from the thing I know, but I’m being given an opportunity.
I just wish it wasn’t so daunting.