Friday, September 23, 2005

Work at Hollister?

When I was in college, I was really kind of oblivious to what goes on at Abercrombie & Fitch's headquarters (the objectification of women and men through their quarterlies and posters), so I went to work there. Yes, with a lot of my friends. I walked in the store, and they said, wanna work here? So I figured why not? I mean, I got a ton of clothes for less than everyone else who shopped there got them.

Then I got to grad school, and I realized that the Christian community had a BIG problem with them.

A week ago I went into Hollister (owned by Abercrombie) and was approached about the "manager trainee" program. I told the sweet girl (and she was really sweet) that I'll be moving back to Georgia soon (Lord willing), but I might consider working part time, as a "brand rep." I went in for an interview today, and it seems promising. I don't need the money, I just thought it'd be fun since I have a friend who works at AE and he gets to meet a lot of people, it's a great social network.

My dilemma: As a seminary student, would it be unethical for me to work for a company that my school is so violently opposed to?

I won't respond to your comments, unless to ask a question in response, because I just want everyone else's thoughts. And this photo is from A&F's site.


Blogger Mrs The Experience said...

I think as long as your values are not compromised, and as long as your studies are not given less attention, you should work wherever you like. Finding a job that doesn't make one miserable is difficult; if you like the people and the pursuit, a job that helps you pay for your schooling and your eventual chosen career can't be that bad. You're selling clothes, not sex. Following a ministry path means you'll always be under scrutiny in one form or another. Pick your battles. This one seems extremely unimportant on the grand scale. It's just a way of making ends meet.

Fri Sep 23, 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

i understand your hesitance. abercrombie doesn't exactly uphold good values. but who knows, God could use you to impact other employees and even customers. do what you feel God is leading you to do.

Fri Sep 23, 11:51:00 PM  
Blogger Jeannine said...

oh, and i'm flattered that you have placed me under your notable blogs :)

Fri Sep 23, 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Baconlover said...

I try not to shop at Abercrombie or Hollister for the same reasons you're hesitant about working there: specifically the objectification of both women and men in their ads, and their blatant use of sexuality to sell merchandise to teenagers. (plus I have to wear like an extra large in their clothes because of the way they size them, and that's a bit of a blow to the old self-esteem, if you know what I mean). Still, I agree with Sarathena: you're going to face public scrutiny at nearly any job you choose and you have to pick your battles. You've got a good head on your shoulders; just don't get wrapped up in the materialism of those stores - I imagine placing yourself in that environment puts you more at risk for buying into the current beauty standards of mainstream America, but I think you'll be okay.

Sat Sep 24, 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Scooter said...

If I boycotted everything I was opposed to, I wouldn't have anything.

Sometimes just the fact that you realize something is wrong or offensive is enough.

Work wherever you wish.

Sat Sep 24, 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're pondering it this much, maybe that's an indicator that there might be something wrong with it...My mom's favorite quote: "When in doubt, do without out."

Sat Sep 24, 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this should be given some serious thought. If you are dedicated to your calling, you will see the importance behind the decisions that you make. If the truth behind working at Hollister is to make new friends that you "might save some", then I hope that this is the only factor behind getting this job. On the other hand, if in all truthfulness, there is another reason to getting this job (when you don't need the money), then you shouldn't be employed there. Remember your higher calling: II Cor 6:3. This thought should come before everything.
Yes, fault can be found within every company, but only you will answer for your decisions. These seemingly "unimportant on the grand scale" decisions could lead to other harmful decisions.
Don't mistreat your calling. We should all rethink some of our present situations with what we'll be doing in the future.
Question: Do you find yourself attempting to justify this situation?

Sat Sep 24, 10:15:00 PM  
Blogger bethy31 said...

I agree with the anonymous person...whoever they may be....if you feel led to work at Hollister to have an opportunity to meet and minister to those outside the church - and brother I would high five you for that one - go for it.

I'm not sure I really understand the 'social network' motivation. Maybe understanding more about that would allow for a more well-rounded opinion.

I guess I'm hearing you say that you want to have fun and meet people through a company well known for their sexually explicit advertising (much of it with underaged models) and you want to know if that's in conflict with your status as a student at an institution that clearly stands opposed to these values. That is a question you need to answer for yourself.

Sun Sep 25, 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with bethy31--although I don't know her. This is a question you ultimately have to answer for yourself. Although my first instinct is that I don't think a social motivation is a valid reason for working for a company with their reputation. cs

Tue Sep 27, 06:33:00 PM  
Blogger Scooter said...

I hate Hollister, simply because their shirts are so small. I tried on one in what I thought was my size (the size I wear in T-shirts from other stores) and the Hollister shirt was as tight as a scuba-suit. As I've told other people, staring at myself in the mirror that day I no longer had any secrets with myself. At first I thought I'd somehow mistakenly had tried on a girl's shirt, but, no, the shirt was a guy's. It's just that they (like many other stores) have gone to this whole cheesey 80s style (with tight shirts and flipped up collars, etc.). If you're going to boycott Hollister, boycott it because they're retro (and not in a good 70s way).

Wed Sep 28, 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Baconlover said...


When are you going to update us on your venture into the dazzling career in fashion that is Hollister?

I wanna know what you decided.

By the by, aren't you coming back to Georgia in December?

Sat Oct 01, 08:55:00 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Yes I'll be there in December, and I was offered the job, but I'm still not sure. I should blog about it again...

Sun Oct 02, 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dr. C. August McGillicutty said...

You could take a job as my personal assistant. Of course, you'll have to do things like shaving my toes and applying talcum powder to my bottom.

Mon Oct 03, 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like that last job offer may be the best one yet...

I would say don't do it.
(you asked)
I would challege you that despite the "best laid plans of mice and men.." to borrow a phrase, you will most likely NOT spend time witnessing or lead anyone to to God there. Not because you woudn't want to...but because the retail market - especially in a store with pictures of half-naked teens- is not going to be condusive to that. You are more likely to find yourself conforming to the image you are placing yourself in. (You will have to wear the clothes, and have the look.) I know this isn't what you want to hear... but there it is. You are called to be a minister... that means you are held to a higher standard. What kind of message are you taking to your future church... that this store and it's message are okay for their children? I would compare it to being a bartender. I am not saying a Christian can't do it... but you have been set apart, like it or not.

and that's my 2 cents


ps(I personally don't have a problem with their clothing other than it doesn't fit my teddybear, but this opinion is based on the image you have given us in this blog. Your understanding of the problems you presented makes you accountable to avoid the evil you have seen. "the prudent man sees the evil and hides himself..."-Proverbs)

Tue Oct 04, 09:01:00 AM  

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