Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. -Oscar Wilde
Here is a breakdown of my typical day in Retail Hell:
I clock in at 12:51pm, (because I can clock in nine minutes early for my scheduled shift) I go walk the floor, straightening clothing racks and picking up things that are in the wrong place as I go. I see whos working and what’s going on for the day, sometimes there is new stuff to be put out, other times it just ‘clean up, straighten, and process returns’.
I get handed the Jewelry counter and Fitting Room Keys and am for the most part left to ‘do my thing’. Sometimes I am called up to cashier, because that’s fun. I’m supposed to take two 15 minute breaks, one around 3pm and the other at 7:45pm, as well as a one hour lunch off the clock usually around 5:30pm. For my first break I have to wait till someone comes in at 3:30pm to give them the keys, I have to take my lunch before the five hour mark, (I’m scheduled to work 1pm to 9pm) so five hours in is 6pm. At 6pm I am locked out from using the cash register and I get flagged if I don’t clock out by 6:09pm for lunch. Which means I get half a point on my attendance record.
Quick education on the attendance policy, if you call out for any reason you get 1 point against you. If you clock out late, which for me is 9:09pm you get half a point, if you are late coming back from lunch or going to lunch you get half a point. If you call out on one of the ‘Event Days’ (which is any holiday, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Valentines Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, ect…) you get 2 points against you. If you get 5 points against you in six months you are fired, for violating the attendance policy. If you are sick you are not allowed to go home, if you are injured on the job, you are not allowed to go home, till the end of your shift. They will assign you ‘busy work’ if you can’t do your regular job.
Back to my point, I’m a Sales Associate in apparel, which covers the Jewelry counter, Accessories, Women’s, Men’s, Boy’s, Girl’s, Infant’s and Shoes. (That is a lot of things to know about each department) I help customers find things, answer questions and sell Jewelry, as well as watch over the fitting rooms and process returns, and I now know how to replace watch batteries. Which is a skill that I never wanted. (Quick note on returns it is policy to always put anything back on the floor for sale regardless of condition) So unless it’s covered in blood it goes back on the floor for sale, just think about that for a second before you go shopping at your local ‘Big Box Store’. I also have to do anything that a Department Manager, Assistant Store Manager or Store Manager tells me. Which is usually be a cashier, or go clean or straighten other departments within the store.
My point to this is that I am usually the only one on the floor covering all of apparel and I am constantly being paged to be in three places at once, which sucks. But I digress. I’m 100 days in to working this lovely retail job, my biggest problem is the fact that I am paid to clean up the same mess all day everyday, and I find it very asinine. Yes, I know ‘but it’s job security’ I am also real tired of hearing that from my Department Managers, (that appear to do nothing all day, but tell me what to do)
Am I burned out, cynical and negative? Fuck yes, I wasn’t when I started in November, I was helpful, open minded, ambitious, I worked 8 weeks straight at 40 hrs a week, (which included Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve and New Years Eve) and never called out. But 100 days in Retail Hell has made me more aggressive and negative about everything. (and I hate that. I am a non-confrontational, laid back person) I have called out a few times, because my sanity (and need of sleep) is more important than the $64 I earn a day.
I am going to attempt to wrap this up on a lighter note, so here are my sarcastic answers to the questions that I am asked on a daily basis.
Do you have earring backs? Yes if you purchase any of the thousands of earrings in front of you.
Do you have jewelry boxes? No, that would make to much sense.
Will this stainless steel gold plated necklace turn my neck green? Fuck if I know.
Can you fix this:
Replacing watch batteries. Sometimes, who the hell still wears a wrist watch.
Links in watch bands. Not really.
Pins in watch bands. Sometimes, depends on the age of the watch.
Can you resize rings? No, but we can send them out and you can get them back in four to six weeks.
Are simulated diamonds real diamonds? Seriously how is this even a question. Or I don’t know is simulated sex and real sex the same thing.
If I buy this tennis bracelet will others have the exact same one? Only if you hang out with others that buy overpriced, low quality jewelry from China.
Where are your:
Scarves. The answer to all of these is go fucking look and you look with your eyes not your hands.
What size should I get a 7 year old girl? Kinda depends on how big or small she is, next time bring her in.
Why isn’t there a boys size in between a size 16 husky and men’s size 29? No fucking idea, bring your child in and have them try things on. Or buy a tape measure and take some measurements.
I need the earrings for migraines in a 16 gauge, don’t you have those? No this is not Target.
Do you have those things that you put on your ring so that it doesn’t fall off? No, there this thing called Amazon. Or Try buying a ring that fits.
And of course:
Do you do nose/bellybutton piercings? Only if you would like a free staph infection to go along with it.
Ok that’s all I have. I wish you all a wonderful Morning/Day/Evening/Night.