RetailWriter here, and it has been a while since I have posted here. Below is a collection of some of my entires from a journal of mine. Sorry if it’s whiny with profanity but this is a place to rant about retail. I’m an author, and there for should have proofread before I posted so here is the edited version in the correct timeline….
I've been reading through all my old work journals since I bring small notebooks to write down everything that has happened to me at work. I noticed that the customers talk to us like we are stupid. They think we can magically pull a product out of our ass for them if we run out. They also think that just because we work there that we know every product in the entire store, and that we work everywhere. Meanwhile, we get pulled to the front if there are not enough cashiers and we have to work several different departments and run ragged. I have done jewelry, fitting room, shoes, and phones too. Is it any wonder why working retail just sucks ass. Oh, I love the dealing with the nice customers and putting up stock. But dealing with the mean customers just makes me want to drink especially when they yell at us over things we can't control. Half the time they yell at us over things that we can’t control. We don’t order the products that come through our store we just put them up. We also don’t know when they come in due to it being out of our control.
I was the only one to cover apparel, shoes, the fitting room, jewelry, phones and accessories till 12 it was hard since there were a lot of questions I had to answer. It was only me in my area to do several different departments which means I had to constantly watch the counter, watch the phones and fitting room. Then to top it all off some asshole goes behind the counter. Said he was looking for a tool behind the counter, and I told him he could have called someone, and then said he was looking for a buzzer. What is wrong with people you can’t just ask?To top it all off the front end has crazy lines all the way to softness due to not having enough people, but the manager did say there is no one in our area to help out.
This morning was bullshit because I was put on the register since no one was at register 20 which is the smokeshop. What made it worse is I had a huge migraine. It was first thing in the morning, and I'm not a morning person enough as it is. It's bullshit that I had to be on it for so long since I’m a sales associate. She said it would be an hour. I was on the register an hour and a half. I know they need help, but they could have put other people on the register besides me. There are people standing around and they could have sent one of the ones on it instead.
My last hour sucked dick so let me tell you what happened before I forget. This lady asked if we had anymore clear pink backpacks because it says we have it online at the store. I look for it and I told her we sold out of it. Then she said but it says you have it in the store. And she traveled far to get it, and I say fuck it and ask my coworkers if they have seen it. They say no, and I grab the telexon to see if we have any left. I know we don't because I have not seen any, and the last time I did it was a few months ago. Meanwhile we get the managers to look in the steel to see if we have it because we have cleaned them all out so there might be one. Even the managers can't find it. They looked too and could not find it either. I told her and all she said was I drove all the way for nothing. I'm sorry but sometimes the system says we have it when really we don't because of the counts are not entered properly, or the managers put it away somewhere. It's not my fault, and she did not have to treat me like that….
Customers have been such little assholes to me. There was the woman who was a bitch to me when I could not get her watch back on.
“Well you got it off shouldn't you be able to get it on.” She replied.
“I told you that I couldn't get it on.”
She got mad, but I tried one last time, and luckily it went on that time.
Next was a lady who wanted me to check every single fucking item then said can't you check me out here? Sure, whatever. I do it, and I was happy when I got off.
Today was shit first comes the customer who smells like shit. Not only is he breathing all over me, he stinks. I was trying to get the watch back off, and I told him I could not do it. He said this must not be your department if you can't get the watch back off. I told him it is my department, and what I wanted to say was suck a dick. The shithead tried to get it off like he could do any better he can't. Then a lady that asked about flip flops and I told her we ran out. The bitch freaked what do you mean you ran out? We ran out a long time ago, and we are already in the next season. Bear in mind there were actually some in men she did not want to pay a lot of money for it. Fuck you too not my fault, and she was a bitch practically screaming at me about it. Then just as I'm about ready to leave an old bitch wanted to know if the necklaces come together or separate. They are separate for $48.00, and on the same display. According to her it's misleading, no it's not they are the same price, and no we don't have the bracelet. We did have it at one point, but it got sold. Do you know when it will come in? No, because I don't have any control over it, and they don't tell me when it will. I really want a bracelet. I got that, but I can't pull it out of my ass for you just because you want it.
I’ve dealt with some live ones lately, and because it’s going to be the holidays I will post more about it…
Until next time,
The complaint about having twenty registers but only one open actually really irritates me. This is why:
The people who build and design the stores are usually blissfully unaware of how labour management works.
When the company I work for built it’s first store on the island, (Vancouver Island), it had 14 lanes. Starting wage was 7.25/hr (.25 more than the minimum wage at the time), and everyone got 16 hours a week.
Even if the labor rate was where it is now, the store would have been able to afford about 250-275 hours a day. Pretty much every lane WAS open during peak hours, with 2-3 people on until closing. (Back in the glory days of 9am-9pm).
Fast forward 18 years….
There are now 5 stores on the island, the newest being almost 10 years old. The one I worked at for 13.5 years and the current one I transferred to, all have approxiamately 30-50% of the front end staff, (the ones who know how to run a register), that are original staff, or are at the maximum pay rate. (24.96 an hour), triple what we made to start with.
LABOR RATES HAVE NOT GONE UP, THEY HAVE GONE DOWN. Store hours are longer, 6 or 7am until 10 or 11pm, depending on region, that amounts to being open 4-6 hours longer than 18 years ago, with half the hours to work with.
Where, before, they had upwards of 225 hours a day to distribute, now, there are 100-125. That includes customer service, price checkers and supervisors. so maybe 80ish hours a day allowed for cashiers. oh, and don’t forget, in that time they have also brought in the Self Check outs, which, in some stores, amount to almost 30% of the customers. A store will have 6-8 in a store, with one cashier to oversee them.
But, they won’t take out all the extra lanes that don’t get used, because it costs too much.
People don’t just stop and think that, yes, there are 14 lanes, but the store was built 15 years ago when everyone made 8.25 an hour and you could put someone on almost every lane.
Now, more than half the staff makes upwards of 25 dollars an hour, and the store can’t afford to hire more people because the higher earners are also guaranteed more hours. They just can’t have all the lanes open, labour costs won’t allow it. And labor management comes from way up in head office. Store level has no say.
I do not work retail. I work in something just as messed if not worse... I work in the OPE repair field.
You get some one who buys a new mower, and they take it home and blow it up five minutes later because they did not put oil in. Then the store sends it to us to fix.
Well guess what? It is NOT covered under warranty because it was their fault for not adding oil.
Or the ones who try and ‘fix’ something that is not broke to began with, then wanting it fixed for free... Like the man last week who ripped out all the wires on his new mower because he does not like the way it shuts off if he gets off the the seat without setting the park brake. Warranty is not going to cover a new wiring harness that he ripped out.
Or the generator I have on the table now that the owner decided to weld wheel brakes on, and he spiked the voltage regulator when he did. Warranty does not cover such crap.
I once had a man who tried to file a warranty clam because his mower fail off the back of his truck onto the road.
Or the ones who let gas sit in a machine for a year and want it fixed under warranty.
You think that you have it hard in retail? Well let me tell you that doing warranty work is not any fun.
I have had people want stuff that was 20 or 30 years old and beat to crap to be fixed under warranty.
So remember the next time you send something out for warranty work that some fool messed up, that it gets sent to some one like me.
Sorry for the rant but some people should not be allowed even near power equipment much less use it...
Ask The Expert -- Alison Green:
Q: Was it wrong for my boss to fire me after a stranger sent in photos of my private text messages?
I’m a part-time retail employee at a clothing store. I left work a couple of weeks ago, got on my bus to head home, and as always, spent the time on my phone.
At one point, my boyfriend texted me asking if I’d left work yet. I wrote back saying something to the effect of ‘Yes…and I can’t be home soon enough. I’m tired and the fat cow sitting next to me is taking up half my seat as well as hers AND hasn’t heard of deodorant.”
I was called into my boss’s office at the start of my next shift and told that someone complained about me. I couldn’t think of any way I could have upset a customer…until my boss showed me a series of photographs the person who must have been sitting behind me on the bus took of me and my phone screen, having recognized me from the store yesterday.
I got fired, but I think it’s ridiculous. I wasn’t wearing anything that identified me as a member of my company at the time. What I do in my own time is my own business.
I’m now struggling to find another job, because my store manager has refused to let any of the department managers give me a reference, presumably because she’s offended because, well, she’s also the type to pin the poor size 2 girl next to her against the wall!
Who was in the wrong here?
Everyone, to differing degrees.
Most of all, your employer. It’s no one’s business what you write in private text messages to other people in your personal time. You had a reasonable expectation of privacy in sending a private text message, and they’re wrong to fire you over this.
The woman behind you was out of line in reading over your shoulder, photographing your phone, and sending it to your employer. She shouldn’t have been looking at a stranger’s phone in the first place, and she must have had to make a point of trying to see what you were writing; it’s not like it was forced into her line of vision and she couldn’t help reading everything you were writing. (And even if she hadn’t been able to help it, the polite thing to do in that case is to pretend she didn’t see it — she doesn’t get to comment on, let alone photograph, someone else’s private messages just because she happened to be able to see them on public transportation.)
But your employer is worse. The woman who emailed them was a busybody, but they’re the ones who actually fired you over this. They’re totally in the wrong.
But for what it’s worth, you yourself aren’t coming out smelling like a rose here — and not because of your actions in this story, but because of your commentary on it: You have a pretty gross attitude toward overweight people. Your comment about your store manager at the end of your letter is rude and out of line. That doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t deserve to be fired for what happened, but you’re going to lose a lot of sympathy in life for talking about other people that way, and rightly so. Your boyfriend might be fine with you calling people “fat cows” (although he shouldn’t be), but making a snarky and insulting comment to a stranger (me) about your boss’s weight says to me that you’re out of touch with how kind people talk to and about each other (or possibly that you’re young enough that you haven’t learned it yet). So: Be nicer.
But yes, your company was wrong here, and that text message should have been treated as private.
Hello, It's janitorgirl,
After reading stories of managers caving to custys, I felt this was too funny not to send.
I was taking out the trash in customer service when I saw a man (tall, 20's/30's) return a massive assembled desk. Which he said was missing a crucial screw.
The coworker I will call M, processes the return- but then the custy asks for something odd.
"I had to take uber to get there and this is the fault of bullseye AND the manufacturer- so what can you do for compensation?!"
WTF?- M called for the cashier manager (as opposed to store manager) and the cashier manager listened to the story. (He paid $28 for his uber ride.)
Cashier manager-"Do a gift card for $28."
Jaws hit floor. Now grant it, it's a gift card; a promise that he will have to shop at bullseye again, but that was an answer no one expected.
Cashier manager is a sweet person and considering what I see when I yelp search my store- we need the good press- but that answer was so unexpected me and M were dumbfounded.
I told this story to all my family members; ask for a manager at my store -and magic happens.
May all your custys be sane and all your managers be fairygodmothers.