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Just Sell It, Already

Being a salesperson: that dirty little job that someone--you--has got to do

This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Teen Startups.

When I was in high school and for part of college, I worked in a shoe store in the mall. Most of the time, it was pretty fun--I liked the people I worked with, I got decent money for my age, and I got a juicy 40 percent discount on the shoes. Some say this is what led to my current shoe obsession--I did own, at one time, about 40 to 50 pairs of shoes solely from this shoe store, and currently I own in excess of 100 pairs of shoes. But I think I always had a shoe obsession--working at a shoe store just made it more obvious.

There were days, though, when I would have rather scrubbed the mall toilets with a toothbrush than be in that store. Particularly around back-to-school time, the majority of customers would turn into demanding, self-involved freaks whose only wish in life seemed to be making my life a living hell. I still have nightmares about measuring some kid's stinky feet, retrieving 14 different styles of shoes from the stock room only to have the kid or the parent change their minds, or being yelled at when some kid's shoes fell apart (never mind that the shoes were 8 years old and withstood a daily beating on a skateboard). Yes, truly, evil incarnate walked through my store's door on more than one occasion during the back-to-school rush.

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