Life Updates

Summer Update 2018 – Regent St

I can’t quite believe my time at Regent Street is fast-approaching its end! The past 3 months have been an absolute whirlwind of stress, excitement, tiredness, and happiness. (Cliche, I know.)

Whilst studying at Reading University, I started working in retail part-time. Before I knew it, June had arrived and I knew it was unfeasible to travel to and from Reading during the summer holidays (despite desperately not wanting to leave for 3 months!). I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work at the London store, which also happens to be the global flagship for the company, too. Going from a store where,  in total, there were 35 of us to a store of 125 members of staff was an absolute killer for my social anxiety, but the staff and management opened me with welcome arms.

Coming towards the end of my summer stint in central London, I can honestly look back and say this summer was one of the best I’ve had. Working full time in retail is exhausting but being able to work in a fast-paced environment with people who have become great friends is something I’ve been so blessed with. I was lucky enough to cross paths with managers who went out of their way to help me progress further within the company by training me up and most importantly, pushing me to better myself.

One of the categories within the store is sportswear and during the first month, I decided that would be the category to specialise in. Considering the company are always bringing out new collections and working on developing the category, I figured it would be a great place to start learning about how exactly retail works and what goes on behind the scenes. One of my managers, in particular, trained me up on everything sport-related, from USPs to KPIs to the technology of fabrics used; I never thought in a million years I’d be able to look back and say I’ve learned so much from working in retail and had such fun learning, too. I’m super excited to get back to Reading and put everything I’ve learned/been taught to good use!

Thanks for a beautifully wild summer, Regent Street. I’m sad to leave you behind.

(But let’s be honest, I am absolutely thrilled to be heading home to my Reading family soon!)

A x

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Life Updates

Last Day at Work!

My last day working for menswear has flown past and I’m left feeling rather nostalgic and a little at loss with what to do with myself. I remember the day I had my interview with my department manager and leaving the interview feeling absolutely terrified. Since then, I’ve massively grown as a person, in strength and in determination. Not without a few obstacles on the way, however! Nevertheless, it’s been a wild ride and one I’ll cherish for a long time.

Working for a high-demand fashion retail company isn’t easy when you’re literally running around the shop-floor all day. The one thing I was guaranteed was a decent night’s sleep after an 8 hour shift. Working for menswear was also an entirely new and exciting experience for me; I’ve learnt to style men for occasions (kinda still getting my head around that one) and help co-oordinate outfits both merchandising-wise and for customers. With regionals coming down every couple of weeks, this job has been simultaneously the most stressful and enjoyable retail experience.

The customers were a challenge, I’ll happily admit that. With men shouting at me for not smiling at them, throwing clothes on me, demanding I run up 3 flights of stairs to find them a jacket etc, it was exhausting. When customers didn’t speak a word of English, they’d start getting furious with me for not understanding them. Also, from called an “asian persuasion” to being insulted and harassed for refusing to give me phone number/ my name, I can only look back and laugh at the nature of half the arguments there’s been in menswear.

However, this job couldn’t have been as wonderful as it has been without the people I’ve met and grown to love over the course of the few months I was there. From the cashiers to the stockroom assistants to the security guards, it felt like one big family and I’m grateful to have been a part of it. I learnt the art of sass from my floor manager and how to control my tongue when men became particularly aggressive towards me and my merchandiser taught me everything I needed/ wanted to learn about merchandising – something incredibly invaluable. Their relentless support and encouragement made the experience evermore enjoyable – without it, I don’t know where I’d be. It was an absolute pleasure working with such wonderful ladies. And finally, my boss. I don’t think I have ever got on so well with a manager before. Our relationship was an odd one, though – one minute we’d be laughing, the next minute screaming in each other’s faces, at times literally hitting each other. I think 90% of that stemmed from my inability to understand what he was saying most of the time, but I’m immensely grateful to have worked for a really amazing guy. He transformed me from the timid little 19 year old at the interview into a no-shit-taking, thick skinned 20 year old. The love and respect I have for him I cannot put into words. All I can say is thank you. For absolutely everything, but most importantly for taking a chance on me and making me cry/laugh at the same time.

I looked forward to coming into work these last four months, so thank you to everyone at Croydon for giving me memories I’ll cherish and friends for life. It won’t be the same not coming down those escalators and seeing your faces again!

All my love,

Anisah x

Original Writing

“Work smarter, not harder.”


I was on Facebook not too long ago and came across someone saying this. Multiple times. And I began to get increasingly frustrated with its context.

In this age of crash dieting, juice diets and fitness fads, there’s a slight issue which continues to crop up on my social media accounts and hits a nerve. Recently, I was told about a new “way to lose weight.” I’m not going to name the company but their suggested method of losing weight is to take their “capsules” which supposedly contain “30 kinds of fruits, berries and vegetables” that you take daily. Instead of eating food during the day, they advise you to drink their milkshakes which are also “plant based and a healthy alternative to food.”

In other words, you pop two pills and drink milkshakes all day so the weight will drop.

I have never tried diet pills and I most certainly don’t intend to, so I cannot personally admit or deny their effectiveness. However, I have read reports by scientists, health experts and a personal trainer who have all agreed that this system does NOT work. You are essentially starving your body of necessary food groups such as fat and carbohydrates in order to shed a couple of pounds. The worse aspect; the pounds aren’t actually shed at all, but put back on once you eat normally.

In 2014 I developed an eating disorder. I stopped eating completely, lost so much weight that the doctors became concerned and recommended a complete lifestyle change.I also required therapy to work through and come to terms with what I was suffering with – I’ve underlined the word because going through something as damaging as an eating disorder never really leaves you. It remains in the back of your mind as a constant reminder of what once was: in some ways, it still haunts me. When I look at pictures of myself on holiday, I grimace at the bones sticking out. It’s one of the worst things anyone can go through.

That is why I’m so against diet pills and more specifically, the idea of someone starving themselves to lose weight. Furthermore, over the last year or so, I’ve managed to turn my life around despite all the health conditions I’ve run into along the way. Like most people, I work my absolute hardest to be a healthy weight and a healthy person in general. They do say that if you’re not soaked in sweat, you’re not doing it right! There’s simply no easy way to lose weight.

The company I referred to above work as promoters for their products; their employees talk about the benefits of their products and how becoming a part of their team is the best thing you can do. Ultimately, they’re working from home (ideal, right?) by selling products to desperate women predominantly. They also get paid a HELL of a lot for conning customers. This is where I saw the titled remark of working smarter rather than harder, and thus is the point of my article.

Yes, you may earn ten times what I earn in a day but you’re no smarter than a person working in retail, medicine, law or any other industry. Yes, you may have “financial freedom” but your life skills will be nowhere near as extensive as ours. I work from 6-9.5 hours a day, standing on my feet and I’m absolutely exhausted but that feeling of accomplishment is like no other; the pride you feel when your superiors thank you for your hard work and dedication to a late-nighter is also priceless. The relationships you form are for life.  I could give you a hundred thousand reasons why working in the real world is invaluable but I’m sure you get the message.

Duping customers is not in my nature and certainly won’t open as many doors as this job has. Starving my body will not make me as healthy as doing exercise and eating healthy will.

I work fucking hard. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very long time.

A x


Original Writing

Work & Life Update: Dec 2015


I’m now four whole days (6-9 hours per day) into my new job and can honestly say that I’ve never worked so hard and been so happy with a fashion-retail job in my entire life. Not only are my team fantastic, but they’re incredibly understanding and fun to be around (My manager will be very chuffed when he sees this.)

Working for one of the biggest ‘high end’ fashion brands is pretty daunting and by the end of a full day’s shift, I’m ready for bed. But the work isn’t unenjoyable and that’s the main thing (I say that now, but I guarantee that opinion will change drastically once the christmas week and shopping carnage begins.)  I look forward to my shifts, despite some of them being 9 hours long. I consider myself awfully lucky to have this job as it’s a stepping stone to progression in the industry!

The aim of taking this year off was to focus on my health and take time to recover from whatever is going on inside me. After undergoing a procedure and having ridiculous amounts of tests done, it’s still inconclusive which is exactly what we weren’t hoping for. Nevertheless, I’m looking at the lack of information on these tests as a positive sign, in the hope that I will recover in my own time. My condition(s), whatever they may be, are unpredictable and can be triggered by anything and everything – fatty food, taking medication to getting a cold! That’s why it’s imperative for me to not overwork myself but at the same time keep busy and preoccupied. For a long time, I felt incredibly low and disheartened by this illness but now I’ve realised that I’m one of the not so lucky ones – and that’s okay.

I want to enjoy the next few weeks coming up to the big 25th!

Happy christmas countdown,

A x

Original Writing

First Day at Work!


After deciding to leave university, I had roughly 2 weeks of doing absolutely nothing and for those of you who know me, understandably I went mad. I realised that having no work to do wasn’t what I wanted at all; I thrive on having things to do and keeping myself preoccupied so I decided to start looking for work. This may sound horrendously ironic and hypocritical considering I left university to rest and focus on getting better, and it’s understandable to think that if I can work in retail for 8 hours in one day, I can go to university.

But I’m working two to three days a week at the moment, and I have no academic worries lingering over my head. I have no deadlines to worry about either. I’m on strong medication to control the pain at the moment, so my work wouldn’t be anywhere near as good and coherent as what I know I’m capable of. Opioids don’t make for great analytical essays!

I’ve been working in the fashion retail industry for a year now and it’s not easy. Its a cut-throat world and your efforts are generally discarded if the figures aren’t what’s required for the store. To add to this, Christmas is drawing dangerously close which means longer hours, more mayhem and godawful attitudes to members of staff. Nevertheless, it keeps me busy and that’s what I adore about retail. I’m not constantly worrying about things I need to do and thinking about the pain all the time. Having a year off is great for me, health-wise, but it’s also a great chance to improve those necessary life skills.

Health-wise, we’re still in the dark but things seem to be okay for now; the pain comes and goes, not as frequently as it used to and I’m eating a little better now. The a&e visits aren’t as frequent, either, which is a nice change. It’s a matter of trial and error at the moment with medication to keep the pain at bay. The not knowing aspect of this health condition is awful and a little disheartening especially as this has been going on for so long. I just have to maintain faith in myself, my doctors and surgeons and the medication.

Happy Christmas shopping!

A x