In a nutshell, here's what my first Convention experience was like:
- Four 12-hour days, most of it on your feet.
- By 3:00 p.m. every day, my feet hurt so much I kind of wanted to cry. It was even worse waking up in the morning to the thought: "Crap. My feet still hurt."
- Getting to know co-workers I don't usually work with.
- Those who suffer together instantly become friends.
- Celebrity sightings. I was more struck by people's reaction to these celebrities, though. Some people throw safety and sanity out the window when they see someone they've previously only seen on TV or social media. Yeah, these people are famous, but they're still just people, not deified beings.
- Convention food. 'Nuff said.
- As the week went on, I got more and more annoyed with the people who would drop items in random places throughout the store and leave crumpled shirts in their wake (even though I'm guilty of doing both of those things). Four days in retail was all the confirmation I needed that fast food was the right path for me pre-college.
- During Convention week, the outside world doesn't exist. I didn't cook or clean, I had no idea what the weather was doing, and there was no room for things like current events in my life. If it happened outside the Salt Palace or the EnergySolutions Arena, it didn't happen.
- The store take-down was inspiring. I have never seen so many people work so quickly with so much focus. We were all off to celebrate the end of Convention week within a half hour of the store's closing.
It was an exhausting, yet exhilarating, experience. Leading up to it, I could not fathom why so many employees look forward to Convention. But amidst the long hours and brutal demands on your body, there are a lot of laughs, fun shenanigans, new friends, and a much-needed shakeup from the daily grind. It may be hard mentally and physically, but, in some strange way, it's good for the soul.