my short-lived pottery barn career

As you may remember, my first-born precious angel went away to college this past fall.

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It’s easy to write about now, because he’s sitting in the next room…home for the summer. :)

That experience was the most gut-wrenching of my life. I had a really, really, really hard time.

The thought of going through it twice more…well, I’ve got three more years thankfully.

To maintain my sanity…I knew I needed a plan.

Something else to focus on.

Something to keep me super busy and distracted.

So I decided to go back to school and get a degree in interior design.

I figured my degree in Elementary Education was not gonna give me enough “street cred” to do what I really want to do.

I enrolled, went to three weeks of classes and then I realized that it was a mistake-o grande.

Not nearly as delicious as nachos bell grande, I might add.

Here’s the recap, in case you weren’t around back then.

On to PLAN B.

I NEED TO WORK AT POTTERY BARN.

Pottery Barn is my destiny, I thought to myself.

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I made a little mental list of all the reasons I should work at Pottery Barn:

+++I love Pottery Barn.

+++I love all of the merchandise.

+++If I had to sum up my personal decorating style the words “Pottery Barn” would be there somewhere.

+++I want to play with all the pillows.

+++I want to camp out at that little design consultation counter at the back of the store and help people pull rooms together.

+++I want to create amazing displays throughout the store.

+++I want to create tablescapes so beautiful that people would weep. ;)

+++I want to lay on their perfectly rumpled display beds while flipping through the catalog. Just being honest, here.

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+++I want that suh-weet discount.

Isn’t this sounding like a match made in heaven?

PB and me would go together like peas and carrots.

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Then…just to be fair

I played a little mental devil’s advocate.

It went a little something like this:

—I don’t want to work nights.

—I don’t want to work weekends.

—I don’t want to work late afternoons because I want to be here when my kids get home.

—I don’t want to create displays based on a diagram that comes from corporate.

—I don’t want to have a boss.

—I don’t want to be told what to do.

(My middle name is “you ain’t the boss of me“) ;)

—Also, I’m not really big into “feedback.”

And last, but certainly not least…

—I don’t want to wait on difficult people.

OH.

CRAP.

So much for peas and carrots.

Come to think of it…

I adore carrots, but peas make me gag.

There went my brilliant Pottery Barn career.

Out the perfectly dressed, linen draped window.

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Doomed before it ever began.

At least I thought this one through before jumping in!

But getting fired for lounging in the display bed while flipping through the catalog sure would have made for a good story.

Fear not…

I had a plan c.

And it’s working out like biscuits and gravy.

Stay tuned…

:)

 

 

 

 

28 Responses to my short-lived pottery barn career

  1. Adrienne May 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    Oh my word. You crack me up! I can’t wait to hear plan c. My oldest is going to high school in the fall. And all the kids know we don’t EVER talk about them going off to college and leaving home. Ha! Seriously.

    • Cathy Neff May 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      We could be sisters. I too have always thought that working for PB made sense for me, after all, to quote my husband,’Tthey owe us big time’ For years I’ve been making the PB shareholders very happy, plus there isnt ever a new season pillow I don’t want/need to have. Unfortunately, like you, what I really want to do is shop there every day, go home when I want to and not have it interfere with my life in any way…..so. what to do? what to do? I will read your upcoming posts with great interest and hope you figure out the way forward, until then, I will just lay here, on my PB sofa, flipping through my PB catalog, dreaming of those burlap lampshades I just gotta have to pull this whole mess of a room together.

  2. Stacey May 29, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    We are sisters = I’m convinced!

  3. Jessica May 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    This is so funny to me because I had the same feelings about what to do next with my life. After making my own pro and con list I thought the best thing I could do is work for myself! I have to keep telling myself I can have a plan A,B,C all the way up to Z. That’s the beautiful thing about this life:) Good luck with whatever you decide!!!

  4. Traci May 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    you make me laugh!! that was cute. can’t wait to hear about plan c!!

  5. antiquechase May 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    please don’t leave me hanging… my first born is going off to college this fall and I am beside myself. I need a plan and PB was on my short list!!! :)

  6. Elizabeth May 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Can’t wait to hear about plan c!

  7. kathy May 29, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    OMG your truly hilarious, can’t wait to see what it is!

  8. Barbara Rentschler May 29, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    My youngest starts his senior year of high school this fall, and I dread empty nesting. With the encouragement and support of so any family and friends I have opened my dream Rentschler Redesign, painted furniture and reupholstered furniture, home accessories and home styling. It is still in the building stages but it is coming together and hopefully will fill a void for my creative needs. I have been a stay at home mom for 27 years to 3 great kids and have always worked from home as a seamstress, formal and wedding dress designer,(degree in clothing and textiles retailing from Truman state university, 79.)
    I have met so many like minded artists/creative spirits out here in Internet land, so I would love for you to check out my Facebook page and share as it is encouraging for us all to support each other. My best wishes on your future endeavor and thanks for sharing!

  9. Holly May 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    So funny! THis is my life to a tee!! Good luck with that next career…can’t wait to hear what you have in mind!

  10. Elizabeth May 30, 2013 at 12:57 am #

    Thank you for the laugh! It is hard to know what to be when we grow up.

  11. Kim May 30, 2013 at 2:09 am #

    You are so funny. Waiting to hear more.

  12. Karen May 30, 2013 at 2:46 am #

    you truely are hilarious!! I said the same exact re working (wondering my second career, after 25 years in the hair biz, I want easy!). cant wait either to see what you will be up to! enjoy the summer with sweet oldest, he’s a cutie (oh I’m old and married no harm, ha!)

  13. Bernice May 30, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    Oh my, I remember that post! It was not what you thought it was going to be and you decided right off, not to waste your time doing that stuff when what you really wanted to do was beautify, not necessarily design. And I thought then how super it is that you gave it a try and did not continue, you knew yourself so well. and…. you did it again, not working times you knew would not make you happy, just to get pillows on discount! ♥ Super gal! Am anxious to hear the next plan!

  14. Anne May 30, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    I totally agree with your why you don’t want to work there.My biggie would be “You aren’t the boss of me ;-) ” .It is nice being my own boss with my flexibility.Can’t wait to hear what you have up your sleeve :-)
    xx
    Anne

  15. Rachel May 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

    So funny! I’ve often dreamed of working at PB for all the same reasons, but I don’t want that commute or those horrendous hours or the difficult people. So, I volunteer at a local thrift shop where all the money goes to help animals.

  16. Kelly @ The Moon and Me May 30, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Yep…good thing you thought that through. I agree with all your “don’t do it” reasons…especially since I’m of the “don’t tell me what to do” persuasion myself. :)
    Kelly

  17. Cathy May 30, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    I have been following your Blog for just a short time and have to say I have laughed alot reading your stories. I read your Pottery Barn saga today, while I am at work, and have been laughing out loud. My sister, who works with me came and asked me what I was laughing at….she too is laughing. Thanks for the laughs!!

  18. Terry May 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

    I remember that post and I could have written this post earlier in the week. I’m so burnt out from my career now and my youngest is going away to college in September (he’s a junior but he’s transferring to a school in state but he’ll live there. And let me say that the oldest has moved home to go back to college….omg I could go on…let me get out the chaise, raise my hand to my forehead and do a good fake swoon). Uhem, back to your post. I’ve been shopping yard sales and auctions, buying furniture and repainting. I have a storage room full and I don’t have any plans for it. Well I do, I’d love to open a little shop but…

    You make me laugh! I think I’ll grab an ice cream sandwich and troll the PB website.

  19. Erin May 31, 2013 at 1:39 am #

    I am waiting with baited breath, can’t wait to hear what you are doing!

  20. angela burks May 31, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    omg…totally laugh’in out loud….still as i write this….I personally have worked @ the barn 15 yrs.You made a good choice-while there are some highlight to work”in @ the barn-the job discription should read-must be able to paint,yes WE paint the walls @ the store,then 2 weeks later someone @corp. changes ther mind paint walls again 2 weeks later! this happens alot! must be happy to clean bathrooms ( no company to come in & do that-WE do it! even if you have a house full of teeenaged boy its still gross! must be will to do carry-outs…even if the bag is light @ customer has two working hands! must be willing to lift- move -load furniture-most furniture is @ an off-site storage which you walk across the parking lot in the texas 110 temps or in the rain (amazing how many people will p/u furniture in a down pour…but its o.k. they don’t get otta the car!) amazing too how many people complain about FREE giftwrap & want us to re-wrap it! & yes u must work weekends-all holidays ( yes we are even open on thanksgiving now!)I’m glad u were able to see past the shiney pages of our great catalog to see the reality that this is WORK! but thank-you for a great laugh! I LOVE your blog….I’d have one too but i”m busy working @ the BARN! ;o) angela

    • Marianne in Mo. June 6, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

      Agreed, Angela. I worked retail for 20+ years. At a nursery / craft store lifting 40# bags of wet potting soil, and a home decor/wallpaper store lifting 100# bolts of fabric so a customer can get 1/2 yd. We also cleaned bathrooms (loved when ppl. we’re sick and didn’t clean up after themselves!) And wallpapers the ENTIRE store, including said bathrooms, at least 6x a year. Carryouts? When their car is already stuffed or too small, so you lug it back inside, then they come back and you lug it out again. So glad I retired early. My bod and sanity wouldn’t last another minute!

  21. Kelly Griglione May 31, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    Too funny … until a couple months ago I had the same plan for when my kids were in school all day. Then all of a sudden it hit me … I’d have to work weekends and holidays. And have a boss. Umm, that’s totally not going to work.

    As a Plan-C-less mom, I’m anxious for your next post : )

  22. Shari @ Turnstyle Vogue May 31, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    I’m just catching up on some of my favorite reads and now that you are back in business….

    So, I cannot believe that once again, you have proven to be my long lost sister. My Pottery Barn sees me so often that they asked me late last summer, and again before the holidays, to come work for them. I have absolutely no time to even consider it, but my thought process as to why it would be a good thing was identical to yours! I have some other things going on that I shouldn’t even be considering but for some reason, I can’t help it. I’m anxious to hear what you are up to. Glad you have found some “peace” with your blog and blazing a new trail! Have a grand weekend my friend :)

  23. Shari @ Turnstyle Vogue May 31, 2013 at 6:10 am #

    I’m just catching up on some of my favorite reads and now that you are back in business….

    So, I cannot believe that once again, you have proven to be my long lost sister. My Pottery Barn sees me so often that they asked me late last summer, and again before the holidays, to come work for them. I have absolutely no time to even consider it, but my thought process as to why it would be a good thing was identical to yours! I have some other things going on that I shouldn’t even be considering but for some reason, I can’t help it. I’m anxious to hear what you are up to. Glad you have found some “peace” with your blog and blazing a new trail! Have a grand weekend my friend :)

  24. Shelly May 31, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

    So fun to stumble upon you and this post. Glad to know I wasn’t alone in how crazy sad it made me when my precious son left for college. You really do start reevaluating what you want to do with the rest of your life. I believe we have the same middle name, I don’t really like people telling me what to do either. For now, I slowly build my blog, antique booth and make me dreams for the future. Looks like you found the perfect match.

  25. Melinda Burke June 12, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

    Susan,

    Your are such a creative writer! I think I might contact Pottery Barn and tell their Editor to put it in the Pottery Barn Magazine!

  26. Melinda Burke June 12, 2013 at 11:12 pm #

    Susan,

    I just called Pottery Barn about your cute story! She said I could post it on their FB Page so If I could get you permission I would like to post it! I think everyone would enjoy it so much! Let me know OK

    Melinda G. Burke
    melinda5745@gmail.com
    828-772-8893

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