I need to do another rant for the sake of my sanity. Today’s topic: working in retail.
Do I prefer working in retail over working at a fast food restaurant? Heck yes (I will forever regret taking a job at the lowest rated Little Caesars in my area). However, I’ve come to the realization that working in retail still isn’t the most spectacular job– especially if you choose one in the snootiest city in your state.
Summer 2018– I got my first retail job. I can’t really tell you who I worked (and currently work) for without writing out a long disclaimer that I can’t remember. Anyway, I really liked it. I worked full time with set hours of 10 am to 7 pm; with those hours, I knew what to expect. Over the summer, I developed really great friendships with everyone I worked with in my part of the store and created amazing acquaintanceships (?) with people in other departments. It wasn’t until about July of last summer that I started kind of disliking where I worked, and literally the only reason I started disliking it was because of a large man that transferred to our store and became my area’s supervisor. He loved to pick on me especially, and it became really irritating; considering there were several times I was the only girl to work in our area, he was extremely sexist. I’m just going to leave it at that.
December 2018– Despite not being a fan of the new hire, I still loved everything and everyone else at my first retail job, so I tried to go back for my month long winter break. I called several times and sent quite a few emails to the H.R. person at my first job. At this point, I knew the manager who hired me had quit, so I knew I couldn’t get in contact with him. Anyway, no one contacted me back, so I got a different retail job (in the same snooty town) as a seasonal worker at a clothing store. I loved every single second of it. Since I love style and fashion and anything and everything involving clothing, working at a place where I was surrounded by clothes was amazing; honestly, if the pay was greater than my first job, I would go back there in a heartbeat. I was in charge of putting away unwanted items in the juniors department, which is the department I normally shop in, so I got to see all the “trendy” winter clothes. Besides the (surprising) physical strain it had on my body, I really liked that job. Helping parents shop for their teenage daughters was the highlight of my winter break.
Summer 2019– After calling I don’t know how many times and bugging the new H.R. person to the point of finally getting a call back, I’m back at my first retail job. It’s been a little over a week since I started working there again, and it has not been the most pleasant, especially this past weekend.
First off, I know change is inevitable, but jeez. There is a new co-manager and new H.R. person (I really like the new co-manager; I can’t say the same about the H.R. person, and several others don’t like her as well). A lot had changed with the way some things operate, and the new H.R. person didn’t tell me any of that. I am having to learn about all the changes from other co-workers when it’s her job to tell people what has changed. Anyway, one of my favorite humans to work with last summer was fired while I was gone. Three of my other favorite humans I worked with got moved to different areas. There are still several people in my area that worked with me last year, which I am grateful for. The sexist leaves this Friday, and the new supervisor to take his place is really sweet (he warned me about sitting down on the job instead of yelling at me; we’ll get to why I was sitting down in a second). When I returned, there was an outpouring of love and hugs from people who worked with me last summer, and it filled me up with so much joy. That’s probably the only stellar thing I have to say about returning to my job after only being there for a week.
Thanks to the wonderful new H.R. person who is so spectacular about listening to people’s availability (please note the heavy sarcasm), I don’t work as many hours I did last summer, and I don’t have a set schedule anymore. There are literally days when I have to close (like this upcoming Friday), which makes the day seem incredibly long, and there are days when I have to open at 6 am, which means waking up at 4 am to be a decent human. I know my bank account won’t be too hurt from my shortened hours (considering our hourly rate), but it’s still a trash situation.
Going back to why this weekend was especially rough. I work in one of the snootiest towns in Tennessee, and some “rich” people love to be complete jerks and treat us as inferiors. This past Saturday, every other customer I had was one of those “rich” people who think they are superior to everyone. There came a point where I was by myself doing my job, and one woman wanted me to do something for her that I couldn’t do because A) I couldn’t leave the customer I was assisting, B) the area she wanted me to go to was blocked off, and C) the person who could help her was fulfilling another assignment (not sure if that’s the right word, but I hope you know what I mean). I tried explaining this to the woman (not as vague as I just did), but she kept cutting me off and saying “I don’t care. Do this.” I was *this* close to saying some very unfriendly words.
Then I had to work the following Sunday. I had three issues with the network; it’s hard to explain how that works, but essentially, I had a hard time fulfilling my job because of the network issue. Thanks to the network issue, I also had a hard time logging onto other computers. There came a point where I had to follow one of my supervisors around to make it seem like I was doing something (like I was job shadowing) because I literally couldn’t do anything thanks to the network issue. It was very frustrating. Then, thanks to a customer, I got injured; it’s hard to explain how it went down, but I ended my day with a cut and a developing bruise. The customer was super apologetic and super sincere and genuine with his apologies; water under the bridge (I think I used that saying right). It just hurt like a mother trucker for the rest of the day, which is why I was sitting down (as I mentioned earlier). On top of all that, I got an extremely rude customer. I asked him one of the preliminary questions I have to ask that came along with one of the changes, and he said, “Don’t worry about it. Just do your job.” I took a second to recollect myself and went about “doing my job.”
After taking a day off because I was super sick (turns out there’s a stomach virus going around), I returned to work yesterday with an extremely dry throat and still recovering from being sick. It definitely wasn’t the worst day, especially since I only had to work four hours. However, there was another network issue on my computer, and another thing happened that I’m not going to get into (it wasn’t awful; I just don’t really know how to explain it).
Needless to say, it’s literally been a little over a week, and I’ve had more trouble in this past week than I had the entire time I worked at this job last summer. I’m working here until August 23rd of this year, and I am hoping and praying it gets better. I am normally a very patient person, but this past weekend, my patience started wearing thin very quickly.
When it comes to anything, no one is superior, and no one is inferior. It doesn’t matter how much money you have; it can all be taken away, and you could be the next person working a retail job and trying to get by. There needs to be so much more respect and kindness towards people working retail jobs (and food jobs). After having the jobs I’ve had and being treated the way I’ve been treated, I go into every store with all the kindness in the world because I know what it’s like to be treated like you’re nothing simply because you have a job where you’re not a big CEO or world-renowned something.
All I ask, for whenever you go into a retail store– or anywhere in general– whether you’re having a good or bad day, treat whoever is working there with respect and kindness. It could really make someone’s day a whole lot better.