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So since June 25th, 2012 (the day after Utah's state holiday Pioneer Day), I've been working at the LDS Church-owned second-hand thrift store Deseret Industries (nicknamed "DI" here in Utah) as a large item and clothes associate, as well as a cashier. And it being a minimum wage job (essentially, it's supposed to be a "training job" where you gain experience until you can get back on your feet and find another job), it's had its ups and its downs. The downs are that the labor is exhausting (massive piles of clothes to sort through and carry, and walking up and down the store repeatedly), the customers act like the store is a combination daycare and messy bedroom (nobody picks up anything, expecting us to be their moms), and the "inoffensive" oldies music is aggravating.

One of the positive sides to my job are some of the customers. I especially adore the poor, hard-working refugees and immigrants who come to my store. Below the fold, I'll mention some of the folks who come here.

The DI store that I work at is located in West Jordan, a suburb-city of Salt Lake City. While West Jordan itself is incredibly bland (bedroom community bland), and the only large minorities are the Hispanic immigrants, the store is located along Redwood Road, a central highway going through Salt Lake County. Because of that, my store gets a lot of folks from Salt Lake City and (occasionally) West Valley City, the most diverse cities in the state. Apparently, SLC in particular is a haven for lots of refugees, so I meet interesting people all the time.

As I walk through the store, and as I stand at the cash register, I get something of a feeling of peace as I see people of many ethnicities wearing both Western and traditional clothes. Despite my troubles with change and new things as a person with Asperger's Syndrome, I really feel content when I hear families talking in Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic (in Iraqi, Somalian, Sudanese, and other dialects), Quechua, Burmese (not sure which language if there's more than one in that country) Swahli, and of course, beautifully accented English.

And not only that, but I work with many amazing people who are from all over the world; I've worked with Filipinos, a Bosnian guy, Peruvians, Mexicans, recently a Pakistani fellow, a couple of Argentinians, a New Zealander, and many other nationalities.

That diary doesn't have much of a point, but I'd just like to say that you can find peaceful, happy multiculturalism in the strangest of places; like a Mormon-owned thrift store in the middle of Utah.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Utah (0+ / 0-)

    Utah is a special place, geologically; theologically it is it is also a step back in time.

    •  Not moreso than the South (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But regardless, this diary wasn't intended to be a debate about the merits/problems of the LDS Church in Utah. I was just expressing my happiness at the fact that I meet so many diverse and interesting people at my work here.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Thu May 23, 2013 at 11:31:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  love thrift stores (6+ / 0-)

    I love thrift stores.   The Salvation Army stores in Portland, Oregon play Christian music all the time, but I love being around the people who shop here.  Portland is a great city, but the Portland that shops at the Salvation Army and Goodwill is not the same Portland that can afford to pay for artistic goods made from "recycled" products.

    Thrift stores are the ultimate in recycling, and are essential for people on the edge.

  •  I've been to that D.I.! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gygaxian, bluesophie, Oh Mary Oh

    At one point or another, I've dropped into most of 'em here in Salt Lake County.

    The one I've been to the most, mostly for drop-offs, is on 9000 S and 700 E. They're building a new and improved one next door, just east of the current building. As I understand it, it's the busiest one in the valley, and currently the drop-off and pick-up is at the same dock, in a narrow alley around back. They're going to solve that and add floor space as well.

    I believe there's a business opportunity in setting up a slightly upscale consignment store next to a D.I. You'd get drop-offs who might decide to consign, and you'd get shoppers who'd wonder over if they didn't find what they want at D.I. I looked into that at that location but there were real problems with the mall management company and the landowner. In fact, it took D.I. YEARS to work out it's deal. The land-owner is lucky that D.I. was so dead set on the location (which otherwise is kind of one of those cursed retail areas, especially since Quarry bend shopping center went in a 1/2 mile away on a busier road. Otherwise they would've been gone from there years ago.

    Re: "...will the American people notice, or are they dumb as sticks to quote the social historian Morris Berman who blames the culture for our problems." - don midwest. don, I'd like you to meet Woody and Twiggy. ☮ ♥ ☺

    by Words In Action on Thu May 23, 2013 at 07:16:21 AM PDT

  •  Boy, do I feel guilty now (1+ / 0-)
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    I don't remember its name.

    But I shop at and donate to the thrift store on 3rd West, near the downtown SLC library.

    It benefits an AIDS charity.

    My theory has always been that the LDS church does not need me to shop at DI because they have so much money that they can build a shopping mall.

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Thu May 23, 2013 at 09:06:47 AM PDT

    •  Oh, I certainly agree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I mean, I'm a devout Mormon, and even I roll my eyes when the managers insist in squeezing every last penny out of some customers. We don't need the money, really.

      Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

      by Gygaxian on Thu May 23, 2013 at 11:29:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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