I’m in the final countdown stages of my retail job! Hooray!!
But, let’s say…it has already been the longest stretch of work EVER! The customers have proven to be difficult, the management has proven to cause more unnecessary drama, the associates have started gossiping about each other even more, and I honestly just cannot wait to get out of there. I have only been at this job for 7ish months, but I feel like I could write a book just on shopper etiquette. A few examples…get off your phone when you’re at the registers (associates are people too and you’re just telling them that they are nothing), we aren’t lying when we say everything is out (what do you think the stock room is…a place where all the things you’ve ever wanted just magically appears? This is a serious question. I never asked if there were more stock of things so I don’t get it), clean up after yourself (there are garbage cans everywhere…perfect for garbage disposal, and things normally look nice for a reason), and…the associates are typically not out to get to you (hear them out on the rewards programs, be kind, and if you are unsure ask for a manager…they kind to call a manager when you are unhappy with something and they can do nothing about it).
I try my hardest to put on a smile. I try my hardest to hear the customers out and to work together with associates. But man, is it getting hard. And as much as I would love to sit here and vent about everything and hope you take sympathy on me I won’t. With three shifts left, and three shifts that will probably seem to drag on for forever, I have decided to write post. I have decided to tell you just what I have learned from working in retail, because everyone should have to work retail for at least a short period of time in their lives. It would make us all a little nicer.
1. I have learned to be a little kinder to everyone I see. There is no reason to be rude to anyone. You don’t know what that person may be going through, and they don’t know what you’re going through. If I have a chance to be something that makes them smile on a cruddy day then I want to be that, even if it’s just because I saved them a little bit more on some shoes than they had anticipated. Who knows what that could mean to them?
2. I have learned to treat associates with respect. I don’t think I was ever really disrespectful to sales associates, but now I am so careful about how I handle these things. I know how associates feel when they are at work, and I know how often people treat them kindly. They are humans too. They are working because they need to. They need the income and the sales experience. Why not help them to have a great day too?
3. I have learned to clean up after myself. Seriously, it’s not that hard. I know that associates get paid to clean, but a lot of times there are a bunch of other things they have to do as well. Why should I make a big mess for them? Why should I make their shift miserable and be that customer that they dread seeing come in? It’s not that hard, and it helps them too.
4. I have learned to try to understand the return policy right away. Stores have return policies for a reason. And if for some reason I can’t get it back in time or whatever oh well. It’s my own fault because I read the policy and understood it.
5. Listen to the associates when they try to explain things. NOT ALL REWARDS PROGRAMS ARE CREDIT CARDS. A lot are coupons, and sometimes the associate really needs those sign ups or they’ll get kicked off of the registers by the managers, etc. Also, if I want to turn it down I WILL BE POLITE.
Basically, working retail has taught me politeness in a way that I never thought about. I can’t say that I was impolite before, but I would get upset or impatient. Sometimes I would feel like the associate was being a pain to just me, but that’s typically not the case.There are a few associates that are terrible at their job..but there are good ones out there. Make sure you let them know that you appreciate the work they are doing.
Ok, now I am off to find something else to do. I was really having a hard time calming down from today. There really is a lot of drama going on and I am like part of it (not willingly) but not a part of it. It’s weird. There’s so much tension and things are going to go downhill there fast. And I am like partially tempted to talk to the district manager, but I just don’t know if it’s worth it.
I appreciate this retail experience so much, and I have definitely let my managers know that. I really do feel that people should work retail or customer service at least once in their lives, not matter how long. I have learned so much and grown so much and wouldn’t take that back for the world. But I am so excited to move on.
Wow, this really did help me calm down. It took a lot of work to write things about my retail job and not make it angry. But all that thinking made me reflect less on my anger and more on why I’m thankful for this job. I don’t want to make this blog all about person posts, but man was this necessary for me.
And now I will go pen my novel titled “Shopper’s Etiquette 101: How to be that customer associates love.” Probably will end up on the bestsellers lists right?
How about you…can you find reasons to be thankful for a not so fun job that you have had in the past? I’d love to hear them. I am a firm believer in learning from the not so fun situations in life and trying to find some things to be thankful for (because there is always something).
Until next time! I hope to have something fun on here in the future!