So when the opportunity to apply for a part-time job at my favorite men’s clothier presented itself, I jumped at the chance.
I wore my favorite suit: a charcoal 3-button I recently had tailored, paired with a crisp white shirt, and my favorite tie, exquisitely knotted. For luck, I wore my Star of Life cuff links.
“Mr. C, I see you have quite the resume’ when it comes to being a Paramedic, but I wouldn’t really know. You don’t have any retail experience…” started the interviewer after the requisite introductions.
“Thank you for your kind words regarding my resume’. I have worked very hard in my field, and I have enjoyed much success. But I would disagree with you that I don’t have any retail experience.”
“Oh? How so?” he seemed genuinely interested.
“I have spent the better part of fifteen years convincing people that they needed my services, that is, a ride to a hospital. Most people would do just find to either drive themselves, or have a friend or family member take them in a car, but I am pretty successful at selling people a ride on my stretcher, if you will.”
“But the people who call you, call you for a reason, they want to go to the hospital. How would that translate into success in this industry?”
“When a person calls 911, more often than not they want reassurance that they are okay. Which I am very capable of providing. What I must then do is convince them that there situation, while not extremely precarious, warrants close observation in the back of an ambulance. When a customer walks into your store, they have already made the decision that they are there to purchase clothing.”
“Okay, I think I see your point. Go on.”
“When a man walks into a men’s clothier and says ‘I need 5 suits and enough shirts and ties and belts and shoes to look good for my new job,’ he has already purchased those clothes in his mind. He is now reliant on me, the salesman, to sell him on what makes him look good, why he should buy it from me, and why he needs to buy it here. I know how to dress a man. I come from a long line of well-dressed men.” I went on: “When that patient calls 911, they have already made the conscious decision that they are going to the hospital, much like the gentleman that walks in here has already made the decision that he is going to leave with a few shirts and maybe some ties. I can dress a man sharply, and I can surely sell the man some clothes.”
I prefer Windsor collars, with a half-Windsor knot, simple cuff links and the TV fold if I am wearing a tie, or the puff fold when using a satin pocket square with no tie. I love liquid starch, a hot iron, and shoe polish.
Can a Paramedic work in retail? You bet I can. Especially if they give me a ‘generous employee discount’ and allow me to wear their clothing to work every day.
I look forward to starting my new part-time job.