I’ll admit working in retail is a lot like a roller coaster ride. One day is good and you’ve made your sales for the day. The next day you have an angry customer who believes they own your world because they bought a $25 shirt from your store. It’s quite hilarious when you think about it. I mean the people that come into the store on a daily basis range from crazy to plain nuts. And it can drive you insane if you allow it.
I’ve learned a lot about retail in the very short time that I’ve worked in this industry. First, the customer is always right, except when you’re tired after a long day and don’t care anymore. Two, when a staff member leaves, you have to pick up their hours. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on whether you need the extra money or would rather spend the time with your family because you’ve already put in enough hours. Third, materialism is real and America seriously has a debt problem! I’ve seen more credit cards decline then I care to see.
Let’s talk about the customer. Yeah, there are some crazy ones out there, for sure! You see everyone from the “Miss treat everyone like a low level servant” to “Miss I’d like to try on a thousand outfits and not buy one of them” to “Miss just let me try one more credit card!” Oh and yes men do the same thing but women are just more notorious for this in my opinion. But I’ve learned how to practice a little patience and self-restraint when it comes to dealing with these people. Oh and yes, humor in the stockroom with your staff is not a bad idea either!
Secondly, yeah, turnover in the retail industry is a mofo. It’s so bad that I don’t think half of these companies do a background check because they need people. People tend to leave all the time. I didn’t realize this because I only work retail part time to collect a few extra hours. But apparently this is a widely accepted thing. I guess this is okay but you really don’t get a chance to bond with the people you’re working with because they’re on to the next job. And guess who has to pick up the slack when they leave. You do! This is particularly true when you’re a new employee. I learned this the hard way!
Lastly, America has a serious problem with materialism. They want everything they see in sight but can’t afford half of it. If there is a sale for 50% off, they go for it regardless of whether the item is worth it. Some of those clothes (at least the ones in our store) aren’t worth $10 but because the company has already marked the item up so much and then discounted them down (what they called red-lined), the customers sees the percentage off sign and think they’ve got a steal. This works great for the retail industry who, by the way, gets these clothes made cheaply in another country, then ships them to America where they price it high and then discount it low to the customer while still retaining a huge profit of what the price in which the item is really worth.
And debt is no laughing matter. The amount of credit cards that I’ve seen declined is ridiculous. I don’t blame the customer though. You see, living in America we’re all like kids in a candy store. We can’t help control our urges. And we as women buy on our emotions making the situation worse. If we break up with our significant other, we go buy a sweater. And retail works in close partnership with the marketing industry to ensure they appeal to people’s emotions. For example, you break up with your boyfriend, a commercial comes on implying you get revenge on your ex by buying a thousand dollar pair of high heels. Well, when you’re sitting home alone while he or she is out on a date with someone new, guess what you’ll be going to do. Thus, leaving Americans financially in the hole. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That’s the American Dream! Gotta love it, right?