retail Tag Archives

My so called life-Adventures in retail seasonal employment

I haven’t been involved in retail on the ’employee’ side of things since my early 20’s.  When I was a teenager, it was tough to get a job anywhere-there was a permit that had to be obtained from the city and certain hours that could be worked, nevermind the fact that employers at the time weren’t really ‘into’ hiring young people. I do remember working at a clothing store, a department store, and even managing a card store at one time (boy was THAT a short stint-just wasn’t for me).

However, due to some recent events in my life, I decided to bite the proverbial bullet and dive into a seasonal job at one of my favorite retailers (I will not be divulging the name here although I’ll give you a hint-they sell handbags and leather goods and I’ve been a customer of theirs for several years. Anyone who knows me, will know what company this is….).

My experience ranged from “hey I could really get into this” to “What was I thinking-get me the hell out of here!”

I’ll tell you-seasonal employment is NOT for the weak at heart.  I’ll also tell you that I’M SO GLAD I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE THIS.

The good:

-Teamwork.  Retail businesses don’t survive without it.  Other industries should sit up, pay attention, and take notes  on how retail operations run so efficiently.  Because they run EXTREMELY well.

-Comraderie.  I was the oldest seasonal employee. I’m even older than the manager of the store.  But somehow, the younger people (some still in their teens) and I seemed to make it work.  We shared laughs and good conversation during work.

-Discounts.  It’s a selfish reason but I did enjoy it and bought the majority of my gifts at the store.  I did not buy anything for myself (pick yourself up off the floor now).

-A paycheck.  Getting paid to work with a product that I already love? #winning

The not-so-good:

I was the oldest seasonal employee.  Yes, I know I listed that in the good section.

-Having to learn to do new tasks in limited time.  I was hired on rather late in the season and was the only *new* seasonal employee.  I had to pick up new tasks quickly-there just wasn’t any time not to.  I found myself feeling ‘helpless’ in many situations because I didn’t know what to do.

-Odd hours.  It’s not easy for a 9-to-5 gal to start working 11-7, 12-9 or most recently 3pm-MIDNIGHT. Way past my bedtime!

-Long hours. The closer it gets to Christmas and New Years, the longer the shift.  I won’t complain about a “nice” paycheck, but I definitely earned it.

-Standing on your almost 40 year old feet for 9 hours.  Let’s just say I’ve already scheduled my trip to the podiatrist because my feet h-u-r-t.

-The customers. Surprised I’m saying this?  People aren’t always sugar and spice and everything nice…you need to have a thick skin and be prepared for absolutely ANYTHING to be said or to happen.

So before you go into a retail establishment and think that the employees are the lowest of the low and are beneath you and your office job or 6 figure salary, I want you to know:

1. Kick yourself in your own rear end right now.  Or punch yourself in the face.

2. There is a lot of business sense needed to manage a store.   There is also quite a bit of knowledge involved in simply working in one.

3. This is a business-it is meant to generate revenue.  Time is money-so if you’re feeling a sense of entitlement and want to waste everyone’s time, think twice.  Not only will karma get you, but next time you DO want to actually purchase, things may become a bit difficult.

4. People that choose to work in retail or be managers in retail aren’t stupid.  For some, this is what they have chosen to do-and they need to be respected.

5. Some retail employees are part-time and may have either multiple jobs, families, or are going to school.  It may be a part time gig for them but they’re still there to help, so have some courtesy and respect for them.

Overall, I’m glad I chose to work this holiday season. I gained a new appreciation for the behind-the-scenes action at one of my favorite retailers.  Would I do it again?  Hmmmm, ask me again next year.

 

Bath and Body Works Semi-annual Sale!

IF YOU HAVE NOT GOTTEN YOURSELF TO THIS SALE, GET THERE ALREADY!

Lately, B&BW has been sending me a lot of emails with coupons.  I am glad I take the time to skim them-because when I got the one about the semi-annual sale, I saw the $3.00 classic fragrances ad and thought I would take a look.  Glad I did, check it out:

Items purchased from the Semi-Annual Sale at Bath and Body Works

Granted, Black Amethyst is not my favorite B&BW scent, but it’s still pretty nice.  Now, in total these products would have retailed for approximately $42.00.  What did I pay for them?  Drumroll……….

$7.50!  Yes, under $10.00 for all 4 products!

Phenomenal!

 

 

 

Wait, why are you still reading this? Get over to the sale!