Mar 7, 2016

Did you go to college?

Hi! I am excited this week because I got into MIT! I was accepted into the Leaders for Global Operations program, through which I will earn my MBA and my SM in mechanical engineering.

In news of funny retail customers, a customer accused me of not having a college degree during my shift at my part-time job last weekend. I’m going to be charitable and assume it was all a misunderstanding. ;) The confusion started when the customer commented that I must be bored organizing the clearance rounder by price order, and that it would be easier if they marked everything 25% off instead.*
“Oh, I’m not bored. This is my fun job. The prices are determined by the computer. I think they have a program that looks at supply and demand to identify a price that will attract the most buyers.”

Then the woman told me about her job. She had been a nurse for a long time. I said, “Oh! That sounds interesting. My roommate is a nurse.” My customer informed me that she had never worked retail. I wasn’t really sure how to respond, so I said, “This is my first retail job. I work here part-time. I like it a lot so far.”

Then the judgement began:

She said, “You couldn’t find a job?”
“Oh, no. I have two jobs. This is my weekend job. I have another job during the week.”
“Did you go to college?”
“Yes.”
“What did you study?”
“Engineering.”
“But you couldn’t find a job.”
“I have two jobs. I work at an engineering company during the week, and I work here on the weekends.”
“Where’d you go to school?”
“I went to Johns Hopkins University.”
“You must have a lot of student loans.”
“Actually, I don’t. I took a full scholarship at the University of Alabama for two years to save money. I transferred to Hopkins. And I’m fortunate that my parents paid off the rest.”
Before she left, the customer finally relented and congratulated me on my “recent graduation”.
. . . I graduated college three years ago!


*First of all, I was organizing the items by size, not price. Second, if I WERE ordering items by price, it would be way easier to order things ascending by price than by percentage off. You know, since the price is actually written on the tag. #engineeringproblems THIRD, my store's employees are more educated and older than most retail employees. Our brand is built on our expert technical and in-the-field product knowledge, which seems to be correlated with higher education.