Figure 1: Reject clothing, sorted and baled, no doubt, by overworked and underappreciated thrift store employees.
Thrift Store Employee Burnout (TSEB) claims millions of underachieving lives every year.* It's a tragic cluster of symptoms that can cause individuals to engage in destructive behaviors like drinking head-achey pink wine or paying full retail prices. In a series of hard-hitting, shocking posts, we'll examine the scourge that is TSEB and offer steps to recognize it, combat it and ultimately, overcome it.
Signs You Have Thrift Store Employee Burnout (TSEB)
1. When you see bowls of potpourri set out as air freshener, you immediately sniff their contents.
2. You have bought or seriously contemplated buying food in a discount dollar store.
3. You can recite all the house brands of Wal-Mart (Ragged Glory, George, Metro 6) J.C. Penneys, (St. John's Bay, MixIt, Worthington) and Herbergers (Relativity, Studio Works).
4. You have made or tried to make a skirt out of unsold neckties.
5. Customers chomping on chicken wings while shopping or arguing with a sales clerk starts to seem like a brilliant way to multitask.
6. The first thing you think when you see an old friend is a) would I recycle her entire outfit for rag scrap? b) could I put that purse at $9.99 even if it is a clearly fake Gucci knockoff?
7. You dream about making garden furniture from broken cross country skis and bowling balls.
8. You can predict, just by looking at the person who donated a bag of items, whether it will contain a) fake flowers b) crappily-printed books about Jesus c) stained pillows embroidered with geese wearing sun bonnets d) a shaving cream warmer
9. You are intimately familiar with all of Ron Popeil's products and their relative marketability
10. You take Claritin every single day, even though you don't have allergies, and still sneeze every time you walk into work.
*Not actual "lives." "Lives" here refers to joie de vivre, personal satisfaction, ability to find meaning in work and life, et cetera.