Monday, March 9, 2009

Retail Rant

So I've been working retail for 8 months now for (1)to make some dough to get by living in the city until I find a real job, and (2)to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to working retail. Seeing that I'm still working there past 6 months, I think I have an idea of what the retail business is about. I'm not sure about other retail stores, but our store is, in a sense, "competitive" amongst other stores under the same name. Our manager is always feeding us numbers telling us "We're #-- in the district and we need to be #1 cause that's what we used to be.. blah blah" kinda stuff. We are updated during each segment [a segment is 2hrs or work ie. 2-4p] on how we are doing on our sales, customer ratio to sales, and more numbers to boost us to work harder. Anyways, bottom line, maybe its just this store, but compared to other stores I've walked through recently, we work suprisingly hard.

Before I thought of the idea of working retail, I went to my friends who have worked retail to see what I would get myself into and it came down to these few Cons:
- Customers can be really rude
- Pay isn't that good
- Hours can suck
- On-calls aren't cool

So I STILL tried out to retail job, and found these things to be true, BUT those things were the least of my problem.
1) Customers can be really rude
.. I'd say I'm a people person, meaning I can deal with rude customers. I'll say my remarks after they leave, but other than that I'll just move on with my life.
2) Pay isn't good
.. DUH. its retail. I LITERALLY stop myself throughout the day from working real hard to make customers happy, work hard to keep numbers up, and keep the store up to par [unless I'm closing], and remind myself "calm down. you are making barely over minimum wage. you are BARELY getting by."
3) Hours can suck
.. Yeah. They say they give us hours depending on the kind of numbers we are getting during our shift but I'm going to ahead and call "B.S." I mean I'm sure there's a little part that depends on it, but when it comes down to it, I'm pretty sure whomever schedules us doesn't sit down, look at our individual numbers and divvy up our hours accordingly. Or else I'd be getting more hours.
4) On-calls suck
.. I can't plan ahead on days when I have an on-call but I'm sure nurses and doctors have that same problem so its not really a big deal.

The one thing that really gets me the most.
You don't get the pick of the pod, or the sharpest tool in the shed, but you do get the good with the bad. I work along with some cool cats, but there are those that just grind my gears [Peter Griffin (c)].

We have CSL's which are out Sales Leads who give us updates on our numbers over our walkies and walk the floor to make sure everything is going OK. One thing that gets me though is that some CSL's find it hard to pick something up, and fold it, rather than throw it on my table and expect me to fold it. Yeah, its my job, but I'm 99% sure that it's part of their job to do something other than walk around and twiddle your damn thumbs. Don't tell me our numbers are down and work harder.. I'll work harder when you do your job.

Second is my other sales associates. Typically complaining about customers being rude to them, sharing info I don't really wanna hear over the walkie.. blah blah. It doesn't really bother me, but when they decide to not work, I am free to rant. I can recall one time I was working, about 5 minutes to closing, and I look over to see what my coworker is doing, and they're writing something down on a piece of paper. I don't think anything of it at the time. 3 minutes to closing [yes, when it comes to closing, every minute is noted], they're still doing the same thing.. 1 minute to go, I look over, he/she takes that small piece of paper, crumples it up, throws it away and says over the walkie "Can I clock out now?".. WTF. are you serious?! Im cleaning up the store and your over there doodling penises or whatever you fancy?! Cmon now. Oh, also when I come in to take over someone's section cause it's time for them to go home, and they have a pile of clothes that STILL need to be folded. It's not that hard to do your job and get it done before you have to bounce out.

Overall.. Work retail if you have time for a part-time job, and I mean PART-TIME. A plus having this part time? the extra % off you get on the goods they sell. BUT! when you take the bad, you get some good. So of course there are times when things are good at work, but if I go on about those, it would defeat the purpose of my rant.