We all dream of what we will do to make money when we grow up. I dreamed of being an astronaut, architect, or teacher. Growing up, I never dreamed of working in a retail store. But the winding road that is my life did lead me to the Barn, a store in the Williams-Sonoma family.
Not being a mall rat by nature, I would get the question, “why work at the Barn?” Just as everything in my life, the answer is not simple. Once Chris and I started dating, I did fall in love with furniture shopping, but I wouldn’t consider the Barn a furniture store. I would classify it as home furnishings. My time at PB started in September of 2003. I had just started a new job at Space Camp. The first days and weeks were so slow and boring. So to pass the time I applied to work at PB 745.
I was single and they were just opening. My first day on the job there wasn’t even a store to report to. I remember assembling the shelves in the stock room and display racks on the sales floor. From those first days with little to no stock in the store till yesterday, where I helped out with the store inventory, I truly enjoyed the people I worked along side. I have learned about leadership, marketing, world class service, and hard work.
I remember helping guests with items as cheap as a dollar or as expensive as furniture or a dinning room table. But I didn’t care about how much I sold in a shift. I did care if I was helpful or if the guests were greeted warmly by me. I tried to answer all the questions asked of me. I never made up an answer or knowingly misled a customer about a product. My favorite thing was to offer gift ideas to guests during the holiday season. I simply loved to help make someone’s day less stressful.
For some of my friends they didn’t see how I could work a second job at the Barn. One friend asked how I could go from working in a job where I was in charge and had control to a job where I simply opened boxes, organized shelves, or swept the floors. It is a simple answer still today, I love helping. I felt if I helped to opened boxes, organize the product and get the items to the sales floor I helped the floor associates provide service and the guests find what they wanted. Working in a job that isn’t about me is where I get the most reward.
My life as a Barn associate did last longer than I ever planned it would. Last summer I left after more than four years. Monday, I visited the story as a temporary employee just for the day. I guess that is what temporary means. I loved my time there. Counting and joking with my friends was better than any day off spent at a spa or hanging by a pool. I just hope my time at PB isn’t over forever, because it isn’t about the forty percent discount, it is about helping our guests and working with friends like Stephanie, Adam, and John… Dumpy!