Today was my last day at my job in a department store. I hope never to work retail again...I started when I was 16, it was my first job. Now I'm 18; I was there a year and eight months. I know compared to a lot of you guys on the site, that's not a long time at all, but it felt like forever to me. Now that I'm done, I finally feel free to write on here.
At first I was just glad to have a job and be paid, but the longer I stayed and the more I became aware that the only one who'll pay for my college is me, I began feeling increasingly trapped. To say the store is badly organized is kind; it's not organized at all.
I have so many stories from my time there, but for now here's some of my biggest pet peeves.
The customers: probably 75% of them are middle-aged to older women. They're all wealthy with demanding and self-entitled mentalities. Whether their eyesight is poor or not, they cannot be bothered to even acknowledge the hefty paragraph of exclusions at the bottom of every coupon.
The coupons: aforementioned exclusions are in approximately 7-point font in order to fit. There's three specific sale types always excluded, certain departments always excluded, and certain brands always excluded. Oh, the limited ways in which the coupons can be used are also listed (can't be used with other coupons, sale offers, etc.). It's basically a sure thing that no customer, ever, has read this. The small fraction that knows a way that a coupon won't work only knows because they've tried it before and remembered somehow.
The "reward" credit cards: the fact that we were supposed to get one for every 20 hours worked is ridiculous. No one ever wants to open one, probably because most don't shop there often enough to justify a card. I asked at the start of a transaction every single time as required, and it made no difference. I was behind on my "goal" for credit openings most months, just barely opened enough to keep my job usually. I know it's how it works in sales, but asking customers incessantly to open a credit card when they've said no only frustrates and annoys them. It detracts from their shopping experience everyone is supposed to be so concerned about.
The unbelievable expectations: in a nutshell, they want to get whatever they please out of you without having to put in anything themselves. There's a poster in the break room instructing how to "approach every sale." At the bottom it says "Be positive. Be encouraging. Be realistic." I always wanted to scream at them, "Pick one!" Before the store opens every day, the openers must attend a "take 5" morning meeting. This is the store manager (or whoever's MOD) reporting the day's deals, giving sales statistics nobody understands, and yelling at us to open credits "if you value your jobs!" Um, wouldn't I always do that if I had as much influence as you insist I do? We get 2 whopping bucks when it's approved. Oh, but when it's declined, that reflects negatively on our records.
This is long so I'll stop, but the stories are endless. My new job is at a movie theater, where I've wanted to work for forever (few coupons, no retail crap, free movies for me!) but only just got the job. I interviewed five times at four theaters, over a period of a year or so, before finally getting this one, but it's so worth it. There's still customers, but they're there to see movies, not receive a magical customer-service shopping-experience from me.