T Nation

Retail Hell

I don’t get how some people make retail whether they are employees, or managers, their life’s work. Most probably get stuck in it. The worst retail places to work at are in poorer areas where education stops at the 8th grade, and wealthy areas where the customers somehow think they aren’t at the end of the day…homo sapiens also.

As a part-time job during College I work at a tech store in Harlem. Not fun. Hell I am a nice guy, I even watch Oprah and cry during Bambi, but today it took all my will power from me smashing a guys head in today (few people respond well to someone shouting “asshole” to their face just because you have to get their item elsewhere). The problem is the doors are open and all walks of life come strolling in, mentally derranged, greed, idiotic, and the occassional good people.

Gotta’ quit that, it’s ridiculous. The only benefits are you learn all the positive and annoying sides of every religious affiliation, sexual orientation, race, gender, nationality, temperment, of all human beings. I can sense a moron from 15 feet away.

I understand both sides of the table, being a customer you can deal with bad service but this shit-job gave me a new perspective. I’ve seen total dumb asses at the retail places I have gone to, and quite good people.

Anyone else have shit retail jobs? How did it go?

I worked at Best buy for 4 years before I joined the army full time. I too had similar experiences with the idiots of the real world.

I worked in loss prevention for three of the 4 years there. I tell you what, you get the total dirtbags that think they can get away with stealing. I remember once watching a young kid over the camera putting a couple cd’s in his pants. His older brother was running interference on his mom and grandma so his younger brother could go to the rest room and open em up and take them. I went straight to the rest room and started pounding on the stall door where he was, I opened it and caught him red handed. I then escorted him outside and told his mom what went down.

I have even seen the scumbags that don’t even care that you catch them, they will just come back again and try later.

Retail work is trying at times, but it can be fun also. I did get to meet and work with alot of good people. The key that I noticed is to get to the higher levels of management. That is when you get out of the stores and start making the real money.

It’s not just retail, its customer service in general. In high school I worked at Braums (kind of like an up market dairy queen for those of you who don’t have one close by), then I worked a counter in an airport. It got to where I could not stand dealing with people. It was great motivation to move up and out though.

Like the previous poster, I did meet some good people and I took some people skills with me when I left, skills which have served me well in later jobs.

To this day I automatically hate any one who treats any wait staff, retail clerk or drive through window worker poorly simply because they think they are above them.

Its not really retail but i deal with the public like you. Im 19 and an insurance agent, you can imagine the looks i get from 40 or 50 year olds that walk in. The company is in a shitty city, with a lot of lower class. so no matter what everyone thinks im trying to rip them off, which if it was possible i might want to with some of these people.

ive been called every name i can think of. luckily im behind 2 inches of bullet proof glass. most of my out side windows have had bricks thrown through them more than once. then after they bitch me out they ask if they can apply for a job. i dont understand people. so people always think that i am wrong because i am so young for this profession. they dont realize that i obviously know what im doing, i had to go to school and pass a state exam, and have doing it for almost a year. luckily i make really good money or i would be out in a second. sorry for the rant

you know, customer service was mentioned. The worst customer service that I have ever had and continue to have is on a military installation. I am talking about dealing with the civilian contractors. These people don’t give a shit about wether you had a good experience dealing with them. They will treat you like crap and make you wait forever, because they know that you are not going anywhere. You can’t just pick up your crap and take your business elsewhere. No, I wish it was that easy.

Any other Military people out there that can testify to this?

Try being military and being forced to work with government cvilians. I was stationed at the Naval Magazine in Guam(bombs and bullets, not articles and ads), and about half our manpower was made up of civilians. Before I stereotype all of them, there were some great guys who were hard workers and actually cared about their jobs. But the majority of them would skate as much as possible. They were union, so they were entitled to a 15 minute break in the morning, hour lunch, and 15 in the afternoon.

Of course, they would take turns clocking each other in and out so they could come in and leave early, the 15s would turn into 30+(we were guilty of that one too, when there was nothing pressing to do, they did it every day), the hour lunch went well past the hour mark. And they had to clock out at 4:30, unless over time was authorized(and that could only be done by the base XO or higher, so it was rare).

We, however, were military, and they knew it, so when there was work to finish(since they were too lazy to do it during the workday), they would clock out and leave at 1630, while we would have to finish whatever and get to go home at 1800 if we were lucky. There was actually a three-month stretch where the military guys worked from 0700 to 1800, Mon thru Sat. The civilians only followed that schedule for maybe a month of that period. And of course they got paid more than us for the same(actually less) amount of work.