I am amazed at how many jobs I went through in my 20’s. Somehow I had blithely forgotten my job hopping in those years. Plus, there seems to be little logic in my choices. Ah well, I finally arrived at a career, but not without a few more jobs!
I went into the management training program for the Fred Meyer chain. Freddie’s was like an early Walmart, with groceries, household items and clothing. I was sent to the Burlingame store, near my home and was the Assistant Manager in Apparel. In those days everyone in management worked six days a week, eight hours a day not including the hour for lunch or dinner. The days shifted around, as did the time of day, depending on when the manager wanted to work. I often worked 1 until 10 on Saturday and then 8 to 5 on Sunday.
The job was very physically demanding since I was on my feet the whole time, often shelving merchandise. I had trouble maintaining my weight and actually carried roasted nuts in the pocket of my yellow polyester jacket to nibble on. I learned many useful things, most not useful outside of retail. Most amazing to me was that many women actually enjoyed pawing through piles of reduced sale merchandise, a task that always put me off.
I only met Fred himself(pictured above) once when he dropped in to survey the store. When I went to say hello, he asked me why I wasn’t helping anyone. He clearly had a serious work ethic! Our department nemesis was a very crazy woman who used to come into the store at 9:59pm to begin her shopping. We had to stay after the 10pm closing time until the last customer had checked out. She knew this and often browsed for a long time and finally left without a purchase. I lasted in retail for 12 months. A new employment record!