Retail taught me a lot….
There are so many things I have learned while working retail. It’s not as easy as people think it is, and that is one of the things I thought when I first started. It’s not bad for a part time job, especially since you need something to build your resume. It’s something temporary to get you where you need to go. It can be the rest of your life if you enjoy it. However, it’s not for me permanently. I’m just using it to get through college. It teaches you how to deal with people, and problem solve since everything that goes wrong means it’s up to you to solve it. The customers treat you like you know everything, and at the same time they think you don’t know anything. The customer thinks the sales associate is supposed to wait hand and foot on them. It doesn’t mean that, but you have to act like it is.
Retail customers can also be pretty nasty to you just because they can, and in that case the customer is not always right. Retail gives you the ability to be in contact with other people, and to deal with many different personalities. Doing the same thing day after day though can get boring, and especially if you work there long enough then you have seen and heard it all. You have to learn how to multitask because you will be in charge of two departments at once, and sometimes even the customers expect you to wait on two at the same time. It sucks when they do that since it’s not easy to wait on two people at once, because you have to keep track of it. They also try to tell you how to do your job when they have never worked retail before. It teaches you to treat the person on the other side of the counter well since you know the struggle.
When you get hired, they never tell you that you will be in other areas, and that the managers can put you where ever they want to. You can be in one area, and then they will want you in another. The customers do have a habit of treating you like you are stupid sometimes, and when they have issues describing an item they will make it like you are stupid to them when they suck at describing it. It can be a very draining experience at times. Long hours for very little pay, and people who constantly run you ragged. It’s not for everyone either. It made me who I am though, and I’m an author so it helped me with my writing too.
I do recommend trying retail out when you are just getting experience so you will know what it’s like having a job. People are messy and they don’t clean up after themselves. They are so lazy they will put items in random spots, and then blame you for every little thing. It is a steady paycheck provided you don’t do anything stupid like steal or work off the clock. It gave me some people skills, and the ability to listen since people will tell you their stories. You also have the ability to act like you are listening when really your mind is somewhere else. Retail can be a source of entertainment too. Between the drama with the customers and managers it can be hilarious when they blow stuff out of proportion. It teaches you how to let stuff roll off you, and to let things go. If you stress about every little thing it can lead to high blood pressure. It did give me some lifelong friends, and people whom I love working with. There are good and bad points to every job since I love some of the customers that come through my line. You can always tell who works retail by the way they treat you. If they are nice then they understand what it’s like. It also teaches you how to keep calm in pressure situations, and I would not change it at all. It taught me a lot of valuable lessons I can use in other jobs, and I would recommend people to work retail just for the on the job experience. Even working in it full-time was eye opening since it allowed me to see it more in depth. I actually love the coworkers this time, and I get along with a lot of them. I love the people I work with now, and having good managers can make all the difference. I do suggest it’s a good starting job to have, and it will teach you a lot about working with the general public!