The Perspective from a Humble Retail Work

Today I have decided to write this post whilst I am at the shop. Not because it is particularly quiet but because I am in utter disbelief that certain characters of humans exist and I am surrounded by them. Retail and I have been friends for a solid 4 years and I have worked in environments from Fragrance & Beauty to joyous brides but never have I experienced such pernickety, menopausal, rudeness from a calibre of people in my existence.

It is always assumed when I mention my previous careers that “they must have been really tricky customers to deal with” insinuating that people that buy beauty products and desire to find the perfect dress are somewhat “high-maintenance”. Well my friend they are angels in comparison.

I have the pleasure of working with some of the most beautiful furniture in the UK, and for anyone that knows me understands my love for interiors and all things comfort. However, I have just been under the scrutiny of a gentleman that wished to inspect a glass, looking to find a fault to quibble the price. I am being whole-heartedly serious when I say this, but I genuinely thought he was going to get out the Hubble Telescope from his rucksack; that was filled to the brim, no doubt with articles on customers rights and how he could discount the product further.

I have endured finger-clicking, summoning me like a dog, tutting like an errant child when a product is out of stock and I think I have mastered my pack-horse impression because it is hilarious how people lose the use of their arms when it comes to retail. Now, yes I am paid to deliver a service, but I am not paid to tolerate disrespect or gentleman’s bottom cracks; revealing what that person ate for breakfast. I understand that some of the furniture we offer is made in the U.K. which is relative to the price, but I am not forcing anyone to buy it… and no, we cannot offer a best price THAT IS THE PRICE and if I was Prime Minister I would ban hagglers. As a good friend of mine says, “here is an acorn, you grow the tree, pay for it to be cut down, manufactured and regulated for safety to sell and then see what price you can do it for”. It is a mouthful but it gets the point across.


The point I am trying to make is that the products are just material things. There are situations going on in the world that are far more severe that completely diminish the need for such behaviour towards a cushion that has a fray, a delay in the production of a sofa or any other scenario that requires a stamp of one’s foot for not getting their own way.


If you are a customer today, maybe re-think how you would approach your humble retail worker.

Have fun out there!

With love,

Pipedream xx

I don’t like who I am drunk

Last night concluded the local marvel that is the Hastings Beer and Music Festival. An occasion held every year over a period of 3 days, showcasing an array of good music and beer. I cannot deny that I am not usually a beer drinker by choice, but I think I was partly converted last night or maybe I was just merry and too hot to care.


The Cavaliers closed their set with confetti and joy, and I was in a desperate need for another drink after thrusting my body around in an attempt to dance, consumed by the vast heat of perspiring bodies in a tent.


The night did not end when the music stopped. Continuing until the early hours of this morning; I had drunk far more than I intended, ending up on the curb outside my house trying to gain composure to not wake the sleeping.

I don’t like who I am when I am drunk. I am quickly converted into this demanding, grizzling-mess with a potty mouth and no inhibitions. The dire nature of modern society is, it was all recorded and posted on social media outlets, which makes me want to crawl into a hole and bury myself. There is no gruesome story of me having my stomach pumped or choking on my own vomit, or a tale that is so cringe-worthy that your toenails will curl up into little quavers. I just become the person I don’t want to be… outrageous and repenting in the morning.

I am well aware that when people are united in drunkenness, civility no longer exists. But as I sashay through Sunday with a hangover at work I think in future I’ll leave the wine in the fridge and my wine glass in the cabinet. I intend to give my liver a break along with my social media appearances, intoxicated.

Have fun out there,

Pipedream xx

 

I smell Wedding Season.

I am now beginning to regret my decision in not attending the gym when I really should have. It is wedding season and my irrational dislike towards my arms; and other wobbly areas that make up the composition of my body, is making it incredible hard to find a dress.

Many brands attempts, at the perfect wedding guest outfit would consume my 5’2 self in lace and tulle which is something only suitable to be seen on 3-year-old flower girls, and not my adult self. I absolutely love eating marshmallows, but I don’t want to look like one; especially if there is photographic evidence.


Working in the wedding industry highlighted how many brides dislike their guests wearing the same colour gowns as themselves, which is perfectly reasonable as it is the biggest day of their lives to date and they want to look like the Queens they are.  But as my luck would have it, the only dresses that have ignited a passion in my soul have been Ivory (maybe because I know the colour is out of bounds it makes it more desirable?). However, the idea of making a bride unhappy on the biggest day of their life is not something I aspire to do… and I value my life.

There are so many factors that need to be accounted for when picking the perfect dress… it cannot be backless as I don’t want the torture device that secures my girls into place on show. A plunge neckline is a no-go because fleshy spillages are only popular on Page 3 of The Sun and this is a family occasion after all. Anything too tight around my hips will result in something resembling Hulk when he gets mad and the list continues leaving me with only a sack as a valid alternative.


I of course am being a little dramatic BUT I am starting to lose hope… As I scroll through the wedding guest edits on all of the top brands, its either take one for the team and spend the next 50+ years at family occasions looking like a potato or sinning and wearing something casual, which is the girl I am at heart.

Have fun out there!

Love,

Pipedream x

The Qualms of Conversation

When someone new slides into my DMs (I absolutely love using this phrase) my replies are usually like an excitable puppy running along a keyboard as I love getting to know new people. However, as social media is now a platform for job offers, romantic prospects and budding friendships, I’m finding it hard to know how to conduct myself, as appearing too eager is becoming a recognised sin online.

In this modern world, there are SO many rules about how to successfully talk to someone online, that I’m getting a hang up.


Pre-2017 me: double texting was merely a way for me to splurge out how my brain was responding to the conversation without having to spend half-a -lifetime writing out an eloquent response in the fear of looking unprofessional, too eager or too clingy. I honestly don’t get why society latched on to the notions that double texting is a bad thing? Personally, when I receive a series of messages I feel like the person I’m talking too is really engaged with what we are talking about and in my own experience when I double text, it’s just because I’m super enthusiastic about the situation. However, 2017 me: I’m now finding myself deliberating (for what seems like an eternity) over how to respond without sinning, which usually results in a blunt response as I can’t convey what I’m thinking into a concise reply. WHICH IS A MOOD KILLER. *sigh*

The thing which I find really tough is that social media is the foundation for many new relationships and I am very aware that my new-found bluntness is an issue. I find it hard to reach the middle ground between being too enthusiastic to being enchantingly sassy with a sprinkle of enthusiasm to keep things spicy…

I can’t be the only one thinking that it is hard to juggle these norms? All I want to do is enthuse my conversations with bursting technicolor of randomness and double texting. But alas, it’s probably time to get out the rule book and swat up on how to talk online!

Have fun out there!

Love,

Pipedream xx

The sunshine in Failing.

Failure, I’ve found, is something rarely mentioned on social media; unless someone is reminiscing on their climb towards their present success. I’m not ashamed of failure and I personally feel it is an important ally towards a positive future. Now of course, I am not too proud to suggest that failing causes me great distress but I am a big believer that things happen for a reason and I am reassured that “everything is happening as it needs to, using not a minute more than perfection requires”.


Today I failed my driving test… for the second time. I have discovered to date, that people only reveal they have failed, when they have passed (of course this isn’t rule of thumb). But here I am trying to reassure the percentage of people in the same position as myself, that failing is OK. The first time I failed, I carried misery around with me like it was a designer handbag.

In day to day life, I strive to be the best at all things I put my mind too, and failing really put me on the back foot. I didn’t have a shiny new car waiting for me (which is an example regularly received as an act of reassurance), but I did have a bubble-wrapped ego that hurt to damage.


I don’t like failing any more than the next person, but today I have realised it just wasn’t my time. There is no point dwelling that the bus appeared when it did or that I messed up on a gear change but what I do know is, it takes a lot of courage to drive someone unknown, around town, in test conditions and only receive 3 minors (obviously excluding the elephant in the room the MAJOR).

The test itself is not the problem, I work well under-pressure (but I just have a poor judgement when it comes to buses) but if you are someone that lets nerves overcome you… YOU CAN DO THIS. I know sure as hell, that I won’t let this defeat me and I WILL drive a test that ends with a pass. Failure isn’t the end; it’s the beginning of being better than before.

Alas, I have embarked on my rejection routine of eating away my feelings and whinging to my nearest and dearest (I am only human), but sometimes life throws you these curveballs for a reason and I want to take the positive from it.

Have fun out there.

Love,

Pipedream xx

 

Gear Change

For anyone that knows me understands that Art is a little backpack I’ve been carrying around with me since the age I could pick up a pencil. I’ve always been pin-pointed as a “quirky” (dare I say it) individual that paints in fields and drinks fennel tea but I have now opened a new can of worms. 

Like most decisions within my life, they happen last minute. I was forever indecisive about my future, but since starting this blog I have reignited my love of literature and the magic of stringing words together to make feelings. I had started my UCAS application with the intention of unpacking the Art that I carried around as an identity, and pursuing it into further education HOWEVER (here comes the gear change) I decided to apply for something that made me feel giddy with excitement and self-doubt. I thought that little-old-me with no A-Levels, was “too stupid” to study a subject my lack of qualifications “prevented” me from doing.

 
My New Year’s resolution was a cracker… be more spontaneous. Lists and scrupulous over-thinking was encoded in my DNA and secretly, I had little faith in the resolution set by myself. 
However, when I attached Journalism onto my UCAS application I never expected it to be taken seriously. I’ve always had this scandalous dream of presenting on Countryfile and adding Journalism to my list made it feel less of a dream and more of a reality. 


An Unconditional offer and crying with joy on the toilet later, being spontaneous was working in my favour. I’ve never had the confidence in myself to jump. Well, now I’m jumping. 
Sorry for the lack of blog posts recently, I just haven’t found the words to explain how I’ve felt, until now. 

Have fun out there. 

Love,
Pipedream xx 

The Black Dog

It has now been a month since I was diagnosed with the dreaded ‘D’. Depression. The elephant in the room or should I say ‘Black Dog’, which is commonly associated with the inconvenience, has been haunting me now since January. I had tried ever so hard to disguise my sadness with an OTT happiness (which of course is exhausting and impossible) in the hope that my own prejudices towards being labelled with the dreaded ‘D’ wouldn’t come true… Even if I knew those were the murky waters I was sailing on.


I had lost all motivation and passion for the things that had previously dominated my life. My self-care waned in my physical appearance and because I had stopped eating (which is unlike me as I LOVE food). My body was solely reliant upon smoothies, soup and sugary tea, as my taste buds were on strike and my stomach refused food any access. I didn’t like to be alone with myself, so I made sure I was always busy so that I could build on the facade that everything was “fine”, allowing me 0 chance to register the sadness.


Unfortunately, I had praised myself on being this “strong-minded”, confident individual that would try to deal with not only my own problems but others also. I would take on so much that I didn’t know how to process or cope with the pressures I was putting on myself. This last year I had experienced bereavements, setbacks and a level of stress I wasn’t willing to ask for help to deal with. Having depression, to me, meant that I was a failure, that I couldn’t “deal” with my responsibilities and this is 100% a self inflicted stigma. What I failed to realise was that I hadn’t allowed myself the opportunity to rest and process my thoughts, in turn making my brain work overdrive 24/7 and that is not healthy.

There ARE still stigmas around mental health, which I have been subject to. “Just pick yourself up, and get on with it” “Just smile” “You have no reason to be unhappy…” that one really gets me. I feel like people unaffected by mental illness view it as a lifestyle choice, as if sadness and unease are luxuries that can easily be discarded by replacing it with a smile. I mean, being emotionally unable to feel anything other than exhaustion and sadness is the perfect way to enjoy life, right? If you could choose an emotion every morning, I don’t think anyone would CHOOSE depression or any other mental illness.


Unlike the rumours you hear, my GP was reluctant for anti-depressants to be my first port of call, which I found heavily reassuring because I didn’t want to be on medication. I really wanted to train myself to deal with my Depression. I was advised to exercise more which is a natural feel-good hormone inducer, take up activities to ‘relax’ my mind and counselling.

You may be wondering why I am sharing something so personal with you all… Well, this week is Mental Health Awareness week and 1 in 4 of us are affected by Mental illness and a larger number of us don’t talk about it. Talking is power. I use my blog as my outlet and my power and together talking openly; without fear, is OUR power.
I hope that in me doing this, I can inspire a change. Whether it is seeking help, gaining an understanding that mental health comes in many shapes, sizes and experiences and is uniquely different and more common than you think.

Thank you for reading.
With love,
Pipedream x

Insta-Addict

Earlier this week I experienced my first EVER social media ban. At first I was a little offended and dejected as I was hoping that my first ban would be for something a little more scandalous (rebel at heart) but alas, it wasn’t. It’s actually a little shameful…


I was banned from Instagram for liking too many pictures. How on earth is that a bad thing? Just sharing some love. However, in my absence and abstinence from liking pictures, it gave me time to think and this raised the question… am I addicted to Instagram?

Instagram and I have been friends for a while now, and yes I do think I am a little over-attached to it. I decided to devise a list of what I feel the top 10 signs are of being a complete Instagram addict…

  1. You easily spend over 7 minutes editing your photos, to specifically fit your ‘theme’… You may take a super cute picture with all of your friends but if the colours off, it doesn’t make the cut.
  2. You take over 100 pictures for the one perfect picture, with the right angle, lighting and mood… Because everyone cares about that natural lighting, 225 degree angle chin tilt and a nice backdrop, right?
  3. You will take a picture of absolutely ANYTHING as long as it has Instagram potential… My word that bin has poise. 
  4. Your followers aren’t just followers to you. These people have your back and provide you with a wholesome feeling of love with every like. They understand you on a deep level, especially when they tag you in really relatable things that they know you will like. *Fist Pump* I love you guys.
  5. You have the stalking ability of an MI5 agent… You know things about Jenny from three streets away that not even her mother knows. Yes I saw that tagged photo of you at a party, when you were supposedly too ill for that family meal. Hmmmm…
  6. You have a series of back up photos that you can use if you haven’t done anything Insta-worthy in a while. Oh hi aesthetic coffee shop picture from 3 months previous.
  7. Upload fails can cause a mental breakdown…  
  8. Because there is ALWAYS an optimum time to post a picture. This level of knowledge has been conducted over 1 year 7 months worth of Instagram use.
  9. Its pure torture waiting for the first like… “Was that picture a grave mistake and a misinformed decision? I’m sorry followers for letting you down. LET ME DELETE IT!  Oh wait”.
  10. Reaching 11 Likes, make you feel like you’re Kim K…I mean, you could basically become a brand promoter now, right? People value your tastes. 

Of course there are 100% more important things in life other than Instagram but Instagram is my sanctuary and it allows me to focus on something other than how scary the big, wide, world is for the minutes a day I use it.

Have a lovely weekend.

Love,
Pipedream xx

No Chill

Being told to ‘chill’ and responding with ‘I am’ is a new level of small talk I am starting to embrace. You always see those memes of Kim K wailing on social media with the caption “No Chill” but the more I looked into the meaning of ‘No Chill’ the more I realised that this is relatable thing, which has probably affected all of us at some point.


I always feel like ‘No Chill’ really comes into play when I am trying to impress someone either professionally or because I am a big fan of theirs OR because I’m so attracted to them, my rational mind is void.

My top 10 scenarios of having ‘No Chill’ are as follows…

  1. When you exchange numbers, you know things are getting a little spicy. They reply and you text back immediately, or you want too but shouldn’t because society has this rule where you should leave it a casual 2 minutes + before replying to keep things ‘Chill’ and to not seem too interested (am I the only one that missed the ‘How to be chill’ memo…) because I spend that interval internally debating with myself HOW TO BE CHILL.
  2. When you don’t see the speech bubble (with 3 dots inside) appear precisely 2 minutes 1 second after your reply, you jump to conclusions and think that that person has 0 interest in you. I will then either take the time to have a mini breakdown or send an emoji to remind them I still exist… NO CHILL

  3. YOU TYPE LIKE THIS A LOT
  4. Double texting is a big sin and screams ‘No Chill’. It’s apparently not professional and it is deemed too full on, however when you are in panic mode (which is how I spend half of my life), your brain splurges on short, staccato sentences which 9 times out of 10 don’t even make sense and consist of completely different subject matters. “You have great hair… how many dogs do you have? I really like cows…”
  5. You cannot just go with the flow. You are consumed with nervous energy, completely envious or in awe of people that can breeze through life without experiencing daily neuroticism/ anxiety. E.g. Being invited somewhere on the same day is a no no, you need precisely 1 week 6 hours to plan your outfit, rule out possible conversations (with how you would react) and mentally prepare yourself to be ‘Chill’.
  6. You are also completely upfront and have 0 brain to mouth filters, which usually results in a lack of finesse when it comes to admitting your feelings for someone or expressing gratitude. “You have a lovely face, I’ll keep you… wait, I mean you’re not a possession, you are your own person…” *Nervous laughter*
  7. Compliments usually turn into a full on life story as to why the compliment is void, “You have lovely eyes…” “Well actually I don’t because my cat once scratched my face and distorted my eye and now its wonky and I look uneven…” and then you feel really stupid because they were trying to be nice, and now you have basically made it appear like you think their opinions are rubbish. So stressful.
  8. You manage varying levels of stress and self doubt by appearing disinterested, usually with a resting bitch face, when internally you are having a melt-down unable to function like a civilised human being.

  9. Keyboard spasms are a legit form of communication, especially if someone has told you important news/gossip… Friend: “I’m in a relationship” Me: !!!???233!”##
  10. But really having ‘No Chill’ is because you are emotional, caring or generally happy to have those people in your life/excited to be alive.

Is having ‘No Chill’ really such a bad thing? I know that the only reason I have 0 Chill is because I whole heartedly care too much, and I’m just enthusiastic and really appreciative of having that person or moment in my life. Life is too short.

Have fun out there.

Love,

Pipedream xx

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