Retail: Part Two

So, after I wrote the first retail post, I thought about the other side of it. 

Any job can be nasty. That is why it is a paying job, and not a hobby. 

But anyways, there are plenty of great things I got out of working retail. 

First and foremost, I learned a lot about myself. I was once the shy kid who wouldn’t raise my hand, even if I knew the answer. 

I was shy at first in the retail world, but then I just starting opening up and being myself. 

I was outgoing, and damn good at my job. And I liked that I was good at something. 

I made lasting friendships with some of the people I worked with. 

I learned about people and how they react, and I learned how to communicate with everyone. 

I got the fulfillment of meeting some of those truly special people who have respect and grace no matter who they come in contact with or what mood they are in. 

I got to participate in the holiday madness. Even though I dreaded it, it gave me a rush. I felt a part of something magical helping people select the perfect gift for someone. 

I learned to stand up for myself too. 

Some days I can’t imagine working a job like that again, and other times I truly miss it. 

I haven’t been good at much throughout my life. I used to be a quitter of everything. 

But, I was good at communicating with people. Being someone they went to for help. A familiar face. A friend. 

That feels like success to me. 

Advertisements

Retail

Todd and I were talking about working the retail life. 

I have been a mere associate, and I have been more. 

I am going to speak from the level of management. It is a much more expansive picture to paint. 

So ya, we run registers. Nowadays we don’t have to worry about counting back change. More often than not, the customer is swiping or inserting a card instead. (I will not even get into my disgust for chip readers). 

But, as a retail store manager there is so much more. 

We pretty much run the entire operation of the store. 

We hire and fire. 

We order, receive and unpack. 

We train and teach our employees. 

We scold and reprimand employees when need be. 

We work up all the numbers each day and are held accountable when numbers are not correct and where they are expected. 

We manage all the transactions, cash, charges, returns. 

We order supplies to make sure we can continue to be operational each day. 

We set sales, reorganize, set up, tear down, change, decorate or promote our products on a daily basis. 

We often skip our lunch breaks because getting the new floor set done is more important. 

We have to get talked down to from higher ups that don’t want to hear any of your excuses. 

Dealing with insubordinate employees, lying, or stealing. 

I had an employee one Christmas that took a 15 min break, and came back drolling and slurring and acting crazy. He ended up shooting heroin on his little break. 

And just like the associates below us, we still have to have a smile on our faces for our customers. 

We have to help and serve them and help them with their needs, because they are the people who ultimately keep our paychecks coming. 

For a measly $400 a week, I was expected to do it all. 
I had people blame me for everything, fight and argue. I have had people who I grew to know very well that appreciated what I did. 

People trying to shoplift. Fighting on the weekends. Ignorant teenagers that were obviously not raised well. 

It was one of the most stressful jobs I have ever had. But, I had a purpose. It felt good that somebody believed in me enough to hand me keys to the store and say, here ya go, you got this. 

So, just remember that as the holidays approach. Although I am not in the business anymore, I know what it is like to get paid shit, treated like shit and yet have so much responsibility. 

Just be respectful. Be human. Be real.