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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 02-12-2016, 06:32 AM
Location: The Heart of Dixie
1,359 posts, read 1,815,370 times
Reputation: 3498


I would say pretty much everything. The ONLY thing I liked when I worked retail were my coworkers. I met some great people.

On a rare (and I do mean RARE) occasion, there were great customers. I remember this one older man that I helped. He wanted a TV, so we went around and talked about it and then he picked one out and bought it. Not long after that he called because it wouldn't work. I spent a bit of time on the phone with him and found out that the problem was his surge protector. He plugged it directly into the wall until he could get another one and was SO happy that I both took the time to help him pick it out and the time to help him after he got it home. I don't mind helping people if they are as nice as that man. Unfortunately he's the exception - not the rule.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:43 AM
1,644 posts, read 1,671,064 times
Reputation: 6237
Worked in retail a few times, many years ago. Everything about it sucked!!! The pay, the hours etc.
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Old 02-12-2016, 10:35 AM
16 posts, read 11,086 times
Reputation: 65
Pretty much everything. You forgot, "Associates and managers leaving what they didn't get done during the day to the always under-staffed night crew". I still work part time in retail 10-15 hours a week in addition to my full time job.
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Old 02-12-2016, 11:10 AM
Location: Louisiana and Pennsylvania
3,010 posts, read 6,322,679 times
Reputation: 3128
Originally Posted by In God We Trust View Post
Please share some of your experience and vote on the poll

I worked for a major office supply store back in the 90s and if you weren't dealing with grumpy customers, you dealt with co-workers throwing each under under the bus and backstabbing. Then you have customers who come in near closing and stay...Per company policy. we couldn't ask them to leave, nor could we clean up, count money and re-stock until they were gone. Overall, it was a horrible experience.

My first job was in a now-defunct supermarket chain as a stocker, bagger, clean up etc. While you may not consider that retail per se and I wasn't necessarily pushing a product, I still worked with the public. Sometimes I would get stopped and asked by a customer about a certain item now and then and did my best to answer. Being underage, I was not allowed to handle tobacco or alcohol, even when bagging. I actually enjoyed this job despite the hard work and irregular hours. I made a killing in tips and cant' recall a single bad experience with a co-worker. True..a grump here but overall, most of the customers were regulars and got to know me.

One thing about retail/store managers, though is that they have a boss to answer to as well and I've seen a couple get their ###s chewed royally by regional managers who drop in. Hence, they take it out on the workers..not right, not justifiable, but that's the nature of the beast.

No matter what, though I gained valuable experience from every job I have worked. Retail gives you an edge in dealing with people on all levels, at least in terms of conflict resolution, lol.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:35 PM
769 posts, read 1,019,841 times
Reputation: 1360
haven't worked in retail since my early twenties, but the worst part of it for me was the Musac loops. They get programmed into your head and then that is all you think about the entire time that you are there.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:59 PM
Location: Yakima yes, an apartment!
8,340 posts, read 6,824,654 times
Reputation: 15137
Customers calling you names their parents would have slapped them spitless for.
Lazy co-workers
Whining co-workers
Jerk Assistant Mangers
I didn't mind working late/weekends (Didn't have a life anyway)
Scheduling barely covers the area....

After Tuesday, not going to be stuck with it.

Funny thing, was in Winco and saw a woman take 5 packages of meat looking for the right one. She sticks them back
half-reared and I said "Do you think that was an acceptable thing to do?"

She says "Why do you care?

"Because I know what it's like to have a Sh*thead like you come a "F" the place over"

She storms off....Everyone should work 6 months in retail....Might help....
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:20 AM
5,347 posts, read 7,219,332 times
Reputation: 7158
Originally Posted by s1alker View Post
1.The wages are unlivable
2. The managers tend to be bitter college graduates who are mad that they got stuck in retail, so they treat you like crap and belittle you.

Also the customers are horrible. But I agree about the managers lol, you can see the look of "OMG where did my life go wrong that I'm a manager at a mediocre retail spot"
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Old 02-13-2016, 06:47 AM
5,429 posts, read 4,487,675 times
Reputation: 7273
Pretty much all of it. Even when I worked ages 17-18 the 8 hours a day on my feet were rough on my feet and legs. If they are rough on the body of a 17 or 18 year old, I can only imagine what that would feel like after age 40.

There were some difficult customers, but customers usually didn't bother me that much. I hated customers coming in just before closing and getting off later than my scheduled time.

The pay was awful, but my retail experience was before I graduated college and had to be self-supporting. I expected lousy pay.

With my major retail job, I started working it full time during the summer before senior year of high school, during that school year, and then in the summer before going off to college, During my senior year of high school, I was working just on Saturday and Sunday, and going to school Monday-Friday. I was appreciative that I could focus on school during the week. I also was on the tennis team in the Spring months. Most of the tennis matches with other schools were during the week but there was an occasional match on a Saturday. I appreciated that work let me go play in tennis matches. They were pretty reasonable with me. I showed them the tennis schedule before the season started.

I then worked in restaurants during the summers as an undergrad. Restaurants are a form of retail, but there's a slight difference between working in a department store and a mid-priced sit down restaurant.

I didn't like my co-workers generally speaking. I also didn't like the work.

I disliked working on weekends.

I used to think about working retail to motivate me through my college classes.

Last edited by RJ312; 02-13-2016 at 07:00 AM..
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:08 AM
7,214 posts, read 9,418,952 times
Reputation: 7803
I worked in retail for a couple years after I graduated college...people forget that the economy was pretty bad circa 2002 and basically no one was hiring (at least in our area). Honestly, the pay wasn't horrible (for the time)...what got to me most was the blatant disrespect some people would show, simply because you are a "lowly retail worker."

I remember one time a well dressed couple came in. I went up to say something to them...just a generic greeting like, "Hi, welcome to ______." The man literally waved me off like I was a dog.

I think everyone should have to spend a few months of their life working in retail so they can see what it's like to walk in those shoes.
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Old 02-13-2016, 09:33 AM
Location: Western North Carolina
8,094 posts, read 10,694,630 times
Reputation: 19044
Originally Posted by KnownUnknown View Post
The poverty level wages. That's the biggest issue. Every job has stress. Every job has rude people be they customers or co-workers, but the low wage service jobs fueling this "recovery" don't even allow a person to finance the basics. Working retail is being full time poor.
I spent a total of 14 years with a major retailer, from part-time cashier to start, and ending as a department manager. I now work a 9-5 job in finance, still dealing with the public, but with much better pay and benefits.

While everything listed on the Poll is true about working in retail, the single worst issue is the lack of pay and benefits received for all of those negatives. Truthfully, all jobs have at least some of those negatives, some of the time. The difference is, you can balance the stress so much better if you are actually being compensated fairly. In retail, especially in management positions, the pay and benefits these days is pitiful compared to what is expected in return.

On the POLL, I voted for an issue that did not receive many votes, but it is a huge issue in retail "burn-out" today, and that is the requirement to "ask customers for too much information". At every turn, you are pressured to get customer e-mails, sign them up for credit cards and reward cards, or extended warranties, and, where I worked, you were threatened with the loss of your job if goals were not mean in that area, REGARDLESS of whether or not you had a good work record, were dependable, and delivered good customer service. We actually lost customers who got tired of being hassled for their information every time they came into shop.

I used to enjoy retail, there are worse things than working weekends. Working the 9-5 hamster wheel is not the greatest grind either. But the dumbed-down wages, and lack of full-time positions, and constant hassles from "corporate" at the retail level is the main reason for high-turnover in that line of work.
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