Alison Lee, Manager, GOOD FOR HER

What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?

There is absolutely no such thing as a typical Thursday (or any day), but Thursdays are often staff meeting days, so I’ll wake up around 7 am, jump into the shower, pack a lunch, fart around the house for a bit, then hop on my bike and arrive at Good For Her headquarters at 8:30 (an hour and a half earlier than my usual roll-in time). On to: getting the agenda ready, throwing out some snacks and preparing to engage with staff about policy changes, new products, upcoming events, ideas about store direction and everything else that might be going on.  Then it’s time for floor staff to open the store and I hit my email inbox by 11 am – checking out the online orders, answering supplier (or hopeful-supplier) emails, promise a few community donations, answering some customer service queries, putting out any fires that have erupted (website glitches, supplier errors with orders etc), update the Good For Her blog (www.goodforher.com/blog), and/or other web work (www.goodforher.com) that needs to be done (ie: are the lubes listed in good order? Is the “bestsellers” section up to date?), and run some new porn dvds in the background all the while. I’ve been trying to save money, so I’ll reheat whatever I’ve dredged out of my kitchen and eat it at my desk while catching up on celebrity gossip. THEN, more emails, maybe dash off a press release about an upcoming event or workshop, more scoping out potential new products and DVDs, and taking calls from media (and persistent journalism students).  I also hang out with our intern from U of T on Thursdays, so we’ll gab about porn and feminism for awhile.  Add to this a side of communicating with our designer if we are creating any new marketing materials, working on some logistics or making phone calls to potential sponsors for the 2009 Feminist Porn Awards and eating chocolate with the other staff rounds out my work day. 

Anywhere from 8 to 10 hours after I got to work, I’ll hop back on my bike or walk home, eat dinner with my girlfriend, play with my cat, do some “product research” (wink, wink) if I’m really lucky, read something that has nothing to do with sex or work on freelance writing if I’m not, and then hit the hay by midnight.   

What was your first job out of school?

I managed a sex store in my hometown of Victoria, BC while I was in university and I stayed on for about a year after I graduated.  The store was much smaller than Good For Her, but was a great base for what I do now.  

What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?

Persistence, communication and curiosity.  The world of sex, sex toys and porn is huge and sometimes confusing.  Asking questions and making sure they get answered can be a chore, but it’s worth it.  I do my best to be diplomatic to people asking us to sell products that we can’t stand behind, and I need to maintain a lot of communication with staff around anything and everything going on in the store, both the day-to-day details and the big picture stuff.   

What do you love most about your career?

It’s never the same thing at any time.  I thrive on change and mixing things up, so I appreciate working on all the different things here, whether it’s event organizing, working the Feminist Porn Awards, dealing with the website, inventing exciting new ways to promote and market the store as well as typical retail management things like scheduling and HR type of things. And I love talking about sex all day, in one way or another, and there aren’t many work environments that allow for that.  

Do you have any warnings?

Working in the sex industry in any capacity can lead other people to think you are a pervert.  While this may or may not be true, working around sex can make it harder for you to get “straight” jobs in the future.  Be prepared to answer how you’ll translate sex experience into other work down the line.   

If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?

Sometimes I say I’d like to be the one who thinks up the names for sex toys, as that has to be one of the most hilarious jobs out there, or I’d run my own restaurant and serve delicious food for cheap and create an awesome community space.

http://www.goodforher.com/

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