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Wednesday, September 03, 2003 

We're in the money, come on, my honey,
Let's spend it, lend it, send it rolling along!

I went to pick up some mail from my parents' house last night, and noticed an envelope from Abercrombie & Fitch amongst the bills and junk mail. Almost two years ago I worked there for about 3 or 4 weeks during my Winter Break to make a few extra bucks (of course, they only paid minimum wage - $6.50/hr - which is low by my standards...but I was looking for a different environment than I was used to -- which is offices). I remember A&F had this insane policy while I worked there that you had to wear their clothes. And not only that, but you had to wear current, non-sale items. Out of season/sale items were NOT permitted. They even had rules on the kinds of shoes you could wear (there was this chart in the back of the store with about 2 or 3 dozen "acceptable" shoes), and rules about makeup and accessories as well. Now, I have no problem with having to dress a certain way for a job. But their rules seemed a little oppressive. Especially since they only gave you three items a season (a pair of pants and two tops) at 50% off, and only 30% off any other items you bought. This was made even more ludicrous by the fact that their employees only made minimum wage (or slightly above it), and the clothes weren't exactly cheap. So, it basically seemed that employees spent most of their paychecks on A&F clothes. I mean talk about a purely genius move by A&F. Pay your workers shit, then tell them they have to buy your overpriced clothes or they won't be allowed to work, and then watch as the money you paid out in wages rolls right back into your coffers for your cheap, poorly made clothing.

I left there for a variety of reasons - school was starting, awful pay, promises made during the hiring process by the manager that were not kept, etc. etc. etc. I chalked it up to experience, and moved on with my life. Almost two years later, here comes an envelope from them in the mail. When I opened it I was shocked to see.....

A CHECK FOR $178.32

I instantly remembered hearing about a law suit being brought against A&F for their uniform requirements. Turns out their practices were illegal in the state of California. As a result a $2.2 million settlement was made by A&F, which allowed for the reimbursement of those costs to former employees. Since I happened to work there for a few weeks in December of 2001, I too got a check. In the end, it probably reimbursed me about 3 times as much as what I actually paid, but I feel I deserved it considering the amount of work I did (I worked the front & back of the store keeping the store organized, stocked, etc) and the wages they paid. So, I'll happily waive my rights to file suit on this matter in the future (not like I ever intended to do such a thing anyway), and cash that check.

Now....what to do with all that moola!

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  • I'm Dani
  • From San Francisco
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