First-time workers, upon entering the workforce, will no doubt face a list of tasks at their job; some of these tasks will determine their level of commitment to the job.
Personally, I attempted to avoid any job that involved the responsibility of bathroom cleaning (or heavy cleaning in general) and food. After a short and quick job search, I acquired my new “summer” job of over six months now, working retail at Hollister. Based on my experiences, my most powerful lessons were derived from customers, co-workers and most importantly the process of folding clothes for four hours straight. Not only did I gather important lessons from working retail, but I also discovered my most infuriating of pet peeves.
Leaving Clothes in the Dressing Room
Every dressing room contains a specified area to leave clothing that did not work out, and if not, please inform a worker to collect your items to ease their job. During a closing shift, finishing emptying the go-back bin (a bin of misplaced clothes through the day that need to return to their original spot) creates one of the best feelings of relief and accomplishment because a whole day’s of misfit clothes (and the entire store) returns to square one. Despite that, it hurts when you open the farthest dressing room, and there lays a mountain of clothes on a teeny tiny stool that equals an additional go-back bin and a half. I do not ask that you fold the clothes or place them back on hangers, but simply set them out of the dressing room or pass them to a worker.
The “Why Can’t I?” People
Every store programs its registers and technology for certain tasks to make each worker’s life just a tad bit easier. However, when a customer returns an item that they previously paid for in debit I must tell them the same thing: no, I am not able to return your money in cash. Not only does that contradict our policy, but the register limits my actions with money. Yes, I know that debit equals cash, but we can only follow the store policy.
As a customer brings back a whole box of 15 “must-have” t-shirts for their son that needed a size “small” instead of a size “medium,” and rush to leave for their scheduled brunch, I need their cooperation for me to not mess up the meticulous transaction. Now I understand that you want your money back, but the lack of patience these specific customers carry reveals my anxiety at the register. In addition, the customers who bring a return without the receipt and expect their money back stand as the greatest test for any retail worker’s cool. This concept stands as no stranger in the world of retail.
Mix and Match
To accompany the “Why Can’t I?” people, fall those who like to style their clothes and the store altogether. These customers decide they do not want an item and set it down wherever they stand. For example, a full price, newly-set item ends up found in the clearance section. Everyone loves a deal, so no customer would back down from the argument of finding it in the clearance section or on a sale rack; but again, I just work here and am unable to change prices. My job description consists of just selling you the item, putting your receipt in the bag and telling you to “have a good one!”
My pet peeves do not stop here, but the experience and adventures from every shift make the job worth it. Please remember: I’m just an employee and I just work here.