Crummy jobs: An idiot! Really?

Hope you have a great Labor Day! Today a group of us are writing about crummy jobs we have had in the past (or present!) and I had quite a few to pick from. This however, wins the prize. 

Winter 1979.

I’ve graduated from a two year Fashion Design and Merchandising program from Harper College. At the time (and perhaps still) an extremely well regarded program. Hey! I was offered a job right out of school for $2.30 an hour!! WINNING!

But that’s not the crummy job.

From the time I was a little girl I had dreamed of becoming a designer. I would draw books and books of design ideas; learned how to sew in the fifth grade, taking classes every year until I graduated from Harper. That’s a lot of sewing education. I also studied fashion design for an independent study my senior year in high school – yes, I pioneered that program; I was the only student who’d done that – EVER!! (Damn, I was cool)

So I took that high paying job after college and nope, didn’t work out. I actually did love it as I was doing what I wanted to do so it didn’t matter what I was being paid. It was the fact that I wouldn’t sleep with the design director, or something to that affect that got me fired. Well, something like that. But I digress.

I went back to school for another semester and that wasn’t working. Upon dropping out I contacted a former instructor and she recommended me to a very well known bridal designer. I. Was. In. Only $2.10 an hour but I didn’t care. I was now working for a prestigious designer of not just bridal gowns but bridesmaid dresses, pageant gowns and the like. It was like I’d died and gone to heaven. I knew nothing about bridal design but I could wing it. Right?

Ding ding ding ding. WRONG!!

When you are hired to work for a place that runs like a well oiled machine you had better operate like one as well. You had better know what you’re doing every minute. Having only worked at the other job for four months making patterns, I was not that experienced. And it showed. But she didn’t have to be a bitch. That’s right. My boss WAS A BITCH.

For the first couple of weeks she would give me odd jobs to do. I wasn’t really doing any designing, more like just bitch work. I didn’t care though, I was IN. Occasionally she would let me draw some designs and run them by her. No, no and no. I was already feeling defeated.

Then it happened. I was asked to “cut swatches” for Neiman Marcus for a bridal presentation. That meant I was to take the fabric choices/colors and cut them into small squares for submission. I did just that. Exactly what I was told. Only trouble was she didn’t tell me what size they were supposed to be. And I hadn’t thought to ask.

Upon handing them to her she paused for a few moments. Then the wrath of the Parisian accented infamous designer was in full swing.

Swinging a scissors at my face she asked me why they were so small, so “petite”. (She didn’t ask, she was actually screaming). Of course without knowing what to say and remaining silent that infuriated her even more. Then she screamed again. She said it. Sounded just like this, only in super slo-mo for full effect:

YOUUUU IDDDD_YUTTTTTT. That is super slow French inflected for IDIOT. Yes, she called me an idiot.

Now, I was no genius but pretty sure that was a cue. I remained silent, still. She walked away. It was lunchtime. I took my little brown bag and left.

I never returned.

The “crummiest” part? I never returned to designing. But it ain’t over til it’s over, right?

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