I’ve spent quite a lot of time folding clothes over my extended break. Fold, re-fold, tell a customer how cute that sweater you just folded is, watch them rifle through the pile to find their size, smile as they take it to the dressing room, re-fold entire stack of sweaters.
I don’t resent the folding. I slightly resent people who are mean, but I’m trying not to. I try to imagine that mean people haven’t had enough people be courteous to them. So they don’t know how to respond nicely. And they leave inside out clothing all over their dressing rooms and leave without so much as a smile or a response to our cheerful goodbyes because they just don’t know better.
I’m not bitter.
I really don’t resent the folding, though. It’s taught me a thing or two.
1. There’s a rhythm to folding. If you’re trying to get the perfect creases while folding a shirt in the air, you’re going to have to move with the rhythm of the fabric. Patience, grasshopper. Wait for the fabric to sway in the right direction. Place your first fingers where you want it to fold and slide your thumbs to the back at just the right time so that the sleeves and sides of the shirt fold evenly and smoothly to the back. Really, it’s an art form. I’m still an apprentice, but I know a few Da Vinci’s of folding.
2. There’s no point to getting frustrated when you have to re-fold an entire pile of shirts just because someone needed the size at the bottom. That’s just life. You get your piles stacked all nicely, ordered the way you’re comfortable with, but then someone comes along and needs something from you that shifts your pile a bit. So you have to learn to adjust and play Jenga.
3. Neatness is actually a virtue. A folded stack of shirts looks so far superior to a pile of sleeves and necklines.
4. I now can fold any shirt you throw my way. Maybe even while you’re still throwing it my way…. while juggling on a unicycle.
Even if these were the only lessons I’d learned from retail, the only reminders I’d garnered, it would still have been worth my time. I’m learning that anything can be worth my time if I’m willing to open my eyes and see the object lessons God has placed before me.