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View Poll Results: What sucks about working in retail?
Annoying/Rude customers 40 75.47%
(some) terrible accociates 27 50.94%
Long working hours 18 33.96%
Working on weekends 26 49.06%
Working late evenings 27 50.94%
Working on most holidays 24 45.28%
During big sales when too busy 19 35.85%
Minimum/Low wage 35 66.04%
Bad benefits 24 45.28%
Crappy managers 26 49.06%
Short breaks/meals 19 35.85%
Annoying phone calls from managers 11 20.75%
During Christmas/Holiday season 24 45.28%
Standing for hours on feet 27 50.94%
When customers trash my department 16 30.19%
Asking customers too much information 10 18.87%
Begging customers opening store cards 12 22.64%
Being on register 13 24.53%
When doing returns 12 22.64%
Annoying store policies 13 24.53%
Customers walking in minutes before closing 19 35.85%
Managers telling you "Do this, do that" constantly 18 33.96%
Being 'looked down' 24 45.28%
Getting threatened to be "written up" 13 24.53%
In danger of getting fired 12 22.64%
Different schedule/hours every week 25 47.17%
Other (?) 5 9.43%
Nothing, working in retail is great! 1 1.89%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-23-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: USA
311 posts, read 606,123 times
Reputation: 176

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Please share some of your experience and vote on the poll
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:01 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, 615' Elevation, Zone 8b - originally from SF Bay Area
44,642 posts, read 81,333,263 times
Reputation: 57884
I haven't done retail in years, but I would suggest adding "all of the above" which would be my vote. My most memorable experience was being robbed at gunpoint just a week before my wedding. This was in the SF Bay area.
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:35 AM
 
417 posts, read 825,511 times
Reputation: 480
The closest I worked o retail was in fast food for a single summer. The worst thing about that was having to deal with huffy stuffy angry people. I don't necessarily even mind dealing with such individuals, but when you can't fully unleash or respond as you'd desire due to crusty regulations, it starts to wear on you like a knife through your joints. Beyond that, **** pay, usually awful co-workers, and unforgiving unfounded complaints wasn't fun either. The potential issue of being robbed is pretty darn scary. However, I doubt that'd be a factor for more "upscale" retail outlets. Then again...
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Old 06-23-2012, 02:23 PM
 
Location: NYC
114 posts, read 245,118 times
Reputation: 152
WORKING ON WEEKENDS!!!!! POINT BLANK PERIOD. Sorry got mad at flashbacks.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:36 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,788,912 times
Reputation: 821
Hmm...WHERE.DO.I.START?!?!?!............

Customers

Customers can be annoying.

Customer: Your prices are really high! I can get this down the street for cheaper!
Me: Oh really? I didn't know that! I was totally unaware that we, as a nicer, higher-end store sold products for more money than the lower-cost alternative down the street! Really. You're the first person to ever point that out to me. Thank you! [/Sarcasm]

Customer (in annoying self-important tone): Can I have some service please?!?! I'm kinda in a hurry!
Me: Absolutely! I'll drop what I'm doing to attend to you immediately. Never mind these three lovely customers who were here before you. They couldn't possibly be in as much a hurry as you! [/Sarcasm]

Customer: Can you hurry up?! I have a taxi waiting for me outside.
Me: Oh I'm sorry. Your screaming in my ear totally made me lose count of your change. I'll have to start over.

Note: I'm totally not a d-bag or a-hole. I really try to provide the best customer service possible but sometimes I can't help myself. Fortunately I work (or worked) in a smallish, non-chain establishment so I didn't have to worry about the big hand from the Corporate Offices telling me I had to pretend the customer was always right. Plus I was the manager so I could get away with some stuff.

Associates:

My only problem with co-workers and associates is that they were/are always late. We have about 15-20 workers (depending on season) and all but 2 are late frequently. And by frequently I mean 50-75% of the time. It's really unfair to the other workers. The worst part is that most of them are family and friends of the owners so my hands are tied when it comes to disciplining them. Otherwise they are great. Hard workers, really smart and just fun(ny) to be around.

Crappy Managers:

I don't think I'm a crappy manager. The owner is a crappy manager though, and he insists on micromanaging the most ridiculous aspects of my job. The good thing is most of my co-workers and employees view me as the "Good Cop" to the owner's "Bad Cop" persona.

Short Breaks:

On the one hand, in all my years working there I have never had a break. Ever. EVER. It's certainly not legal. On the other hand, I pretty much do what I want all day so I don't really need a break. And I get paid the whole time.

Annoying Phone Calls from Managers:

I used to get annoying calls from the owner ALL the time. At all times of the day over the craziest problems. He once called me at 10:45pm asking me to come in to reset his router. Ummm...no sir. I'll do it tomorrow. Now I just ignore his calls between the hours of 5pm and 5am. I know that sounds like bad/disrespectful employee on my part but we have a really special, mutually understood relationship: I make him a lot of money in exchange for not having to take his sh*t.


Being Looked Down On:

For me this was the hardest part of my job even though it probably should not have been. I was ashamed of my job because people looked down on working in retail.

I graduated top of my class, with honors from a fairly decent university. I'd always be afraid that a former classmate or professor would walk in and see me. I was ashamed to tell my friends and extended family what kind of job I was working.

The fact of the matter is that people truly treat you differently based on your job and it's associated (perceived) social class. I can see and even feel the difference in treatment from when I'm standing behind a counter vs when I'm walking down the street in suit and tie. I'm still the same person. I talk the same and am just as intelligent. But the treatment is completely different.

I will say, however, that I think my experiences have truly made me a better person. I'm a lot more sympathetic and empathetic towards people who work in low-level, low-wage service positions than I was before. I know how hard it can be and I know that one's position or profession really doesn't really represent the 'whole' of who a person is.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:37 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,788,912 times
Reputation: 821
Oops. Didn't mean to type that much. Guess I had to vent!
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:42 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
29,848 posts, read 24,947,456 times
Reputation: 28551
I have never worked retail. It just looks like one of the worst jobs imaginable. I would gladly clean toilets before ever pursuing work in retail.
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
1,602 posts, read 4,162,588 times
Reputation: 1851
I worked at Crate & Barrel and it wasn't bad - they promote quickly if you take your job seriously, work hard, and focus on a future with the company. Not everyone is so professional, but those people don't usually last too long ... It's a great company, but they pay awful
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Old 06-23-2012, 07:54 PM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,788,912 times
Reputation: 821
Quote:
Originally Posted by andywire View Post
I have never worked retail. It just looks like one of the worst jobs imaginable. I would gladly clean toilets before ever pursuing work in retail.
It's not all bad.

If nothing else I always have great and hilarious new stories to tell my friends and family whenever I see them.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Bergen County, NJ
1,602 posts, read 4,162,588 times
Reputation: 1851
I think it all depends on where you work ... Upscale stores attract a more upscale clientele and although, they can be needier and more demanding, sometimes they are more classier, and kinder ... You can be demanding, and deliver it with kindness. I found that a lot at Crate & Barrel. I liked going out of my way for my customer.
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