Friday, August 17, 2007

Brand Reps and Impacts

So, someone got to my blog today by doing this Google search: way to switch from impact to model at abercrombie%3F&hl=en&star

"Switch from impact"? What could this mean? Here was the CBI post, or rather, string of posts, that randomly came up in this Google search. In it, I insinuate that Conor Oberst tries intentionally to resemble an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog model. Later on in the page, I mention the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Double Impact. Such is Google...

This sort of this happens fairly often. But there was something about this Google search that just struck me as creepy and ridiculous in equal measure. What could it mean?

God Bless Wikipedia:

Abercrombie & Fitch brands offer three main part-time positions: Impact Team, Model (formerly "Brand Rep"), and Overnight. Impact are responsible for the back stock rooms, Models primarily interact with customers on the store floors, and Overnight associates are in charge of floor sets and store recovery (maintenance and presentation of merchandise for the following day).

This is not just another example of how retail environments become insane little pockets of delusion. Very different, sometimes very odd individuals thrown into a very small, social environment for 8 hours a day, five days a week will form little communities and then they will all slowly go absolutely mad together from dealing with the inanity and frustration of customer service, until they become like the two girls from Heavenly Creatures, dreaming of the days when they didn't have to act friendly and take extra special care of obnoxious, needy strangers and secretly plotting during every extra moment the delicious pleasure of savaging the establishment on their final days of work. This is standard.

But Abercrombie actually seems to nurture this kind of environment, to encourage its employees to turn on one another in fits of paranoid, uber-competitive self-aggrandizement.

This blog post is one of the first you see if you search for Abercrombie impact models. (NOTE: I'm assuming that the term "brand rep" in the post and the term "model" in the search are referring to the same position. This NYT article seems to confirm that assumption.)

here's such a tension between brand reps and impacts at my store! brand reps tend to be cliquey (it's a second high school) and act like they are superior than the impact people. i'm a brand rep myself, but other brand reps have this "we're brand reps because we're hot, and impact people just fold in the back" attitude. i feel so bad because brand reps generally stand around and talk while impact people do all the work. when there's an attractive impact person, i hear brand reps say, "why is HE an impact?" as a result, impact members hate their job and don't last long.. we're always short of impact people. does this happen in other stores too!?

Sometimes, reading a blog can be like watching someone in the shower. I could never write dialogue like this, hard as I might try. I don't have the kind of creative mind that could invent the phrase "Why is HE an impact?," though I plan on peppering it into my daily conversation from this point forward.

Anyway, you have to feel for whatever person performed this initial search. Clearly, they work in an Abercrombie child pornography studio store as an "impact" and has observed the same trend as this blogger: impacts have the shitty jobs and get disrespected, while brand reps get to lounge around and not do much.

The searcher performed this Google search, I'm sure, hoping for good news. Maybe a post on someone's personal blog who had made this transition. But, no, instead they found very little helpful information - including my blog, which had information about JCVD movies and overrated singer-songwriters - save a blog post about how their boss finds them physically unappealing. Weak...

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