Re-Tales: How to Get a Job at a ShopBy Jim O'Leary • Aug 16th, 2013 • Category: Features, Latest, re-tales
Welcome to our newest column “Re-tales” in which shop guy Jim O’Leary is here to provide you with insight and insults based on his chosen profession. If you find value or humor in this column, be sure to check back on Fridays until he runs out of ideas.
There are lots of reasons to try and get a job at your local snowboard shop. The most obvious one is to get money for the essentials of your snowboarding lifestyle. Lift tickets, gas, food, narcotics, etc. Or maybe you are looking for that mythical mega-hook up of the “proform,” allowing you to rock gear far beyond your means, or truth be told, ability. Or maybe you think it will be your first step down the road to the snowboard industry job of your dreams. SPOILER ALERT: It won’t be. Stay in school kids. But these jobs aren’t super easy to come by. Everyone knows boardshops are a super relaxed places where you spend all day bullshitting about gear and watching Big Jean Fantasy on repeat. Right? Wrong. Most of your time will be spent helping people decide what size boot they should order online. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. I mean really, with your skills it’s selling snowboards or digging ditches. So go for it, try and get that job. And you’re going to have to try. Everyone and their brother is going to be looking for this job, so you need to come correct if you’re going to land this gig.
Here are a few pointers:
Start looking now.
Shops are starting to get the first shipments in, and they need bodies to throw at the endless stream of boxes coming in the door from manufacturers. Unpacking, hanging, and merchandising the entire winter inventory over the course of a few weeks isn’t fun, but it’s the only reason the seasoned veterans at your shop would allow a green pea like yourself to work with them. You’ve got to earn your turns, so don’t run away.
If you can, be a girl.
Female sales clerks almost always have the best sales numbers, and for good reason. Female customers tend not to listen to male clerks, primarily because when he tells her that jacket looks stylish, he is wearing Crocs and a stained Jeenyus tee shirt. When another woman tells her it looks good, it is valued counsel worthy of consideration. Male customers aren’t immune to this effect either, since men will buy anything any girl tells them looks good on them, 100% of the time.
Don’t act like you know everything.
Odds are if this shop is at all respectable, the staff has seen more “radical breakthrough technology” fail miserably than you have ever heard of. I’m not saying you should play dumb, coming in with some solid knowledge is key, but correcting the guy who’s been selling boards longer than you’ve been riding is probably a mistake. Stroke egos, don’t burn them. So that’s it. It’s an easy gig, and once you get past the obnoxious customers, repetitive boring nature of the work, and the fact that to anyone who doesn’t ride your job is barely distinguishable from working at a supermarket, it’s a lot of fun.