I'm Probably Going to Sound Really Ignorant...

...but I've never worked in retail.

I've worked (either paid or unpaid) as an office assistant, food prep staff for Meals on Wheels, tutor, public relations for this hip hop troupe/nonprofit, research assistant for a psychology research institute, one of those people that sit at the visitor's desk and answers questions and helps people find out where to go, and I'm currently a program associate for an organization that helps adjudicated youth.

I feel like I'm missing out by never working in retail, and reading the stories here I feel like a jerk for not ever having a retail job.  It's not that I never wanted to, it's just that with the jobs I listed above, they were easier for me to get a foot in the door plus they were things that I was/am interested in.  So, I mean, why shouldn't I have taken them?  I've had to deal with dealing with difficult people, time constraints/deadlines, having the economy hurt the organization...is there anything I'm missing out on by not ever having a retail job? So...if someone could enlighten me about what you learned in retail, what I'm missing out on and why you think everyone should work in retail, I will be thankful.  I'm not writing this story to be an ignorant *******.  I really, honestly want to know what I'm missing out on. 

yoyy yoyy
26-30, F
8 Responses Mar 2, 2009

After I lost my Dad, in order to divert my attention from being so devistated and not being able to eat or sleep, I took a second job in retail selling high end cosmetics at Dillards. It was the best experience I've ever had. I enjoyed showing ladies how good they cold look and boosting their self confidence. I loved my customers. Some were really young girls attending their first dance. Some were elderly ladies who came in to see what's new, but mostly just to talk and visit. I could visit and sell at the same time. The commissions fell from heaven. I also enjoyed attending the classes by various lines and learning about the latest trends. I hated to quit when my mother was sick with cancer.

I work retail, it's all I ever have worked, you don't sound like a bad customer, which is good. And actually, when it comes to clothes shopping it's not always a bad idea to ask them to check the back for your size, especially if it's in the front, then it's probably new and they don't have everything out, and that is actually what the people are there for. <br />
The thing that's so annoying about working retail is mostly that people seem to misinterpret "customer service" as "personal servant", I have a job and being your personal shopper, cleaning up after you, finding and putting away the things you don't want and leave wherever you please around the store, knowing every detail about every item we carry and answering really genuinely stupid questions, is not part of it. <br />
I have had people call me stupid, belittle me, throw things at me, and I even know of a woman who was smacked, actually smacked in the face, by a customer. People with children are the worst, I have come to the point where I think most children should not be allowed in public, not because the children are bad but because their parents are incapable of actually being a parent, and they want me to do it for them. <br />
Oy, the stories I could tell.....Don't get me started. :)

If you read one of my previous comments, you'd see that I don't consider myself an a-hole customer, and I'm pretty sure, judging by your comment, that's what you think of me. I'm not an intrusive person, and I never, ever bother a store associate for anything. Not even for tiny things. What I meant was that I just do not know (due to the lack of first hand experience) how difficult it is to work in retail, and that people may find that I'm a jerk for the simple fact that I've never worked in retail, and that it's just a plain ol' a-hole, ignorant move to even be asking what it's like. <br />
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Plus it's not like I've never held a job before. And it's not like my job I have right now isn't difficult. <br />
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But I am curious about retail, so I just had to ask...

Black Friday is the worse day to work retail.....But you ask what I have learned...<br />
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Well I can look at someone in the face...And with a smile....Show others what a A$$ Hole that person is......and come out smelling like the true Lady that I am....hehehehe<br />
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I have done it a few times.....And it feels so great when I can tell others.....I am glad that you said it....as I sure was thinking it.....(When the other guests call that one am A$$ Hole)hehehehehehe

Selling things is not my forte'. I have no patience with undecided shoppers. Actually, I hate shopping myself! I hate pushy salespeople. I hate stores unless they have groceries and lots of fresh produce in them! Publix here I come!

i worked with tourists alot. its pretty good but i like waiting tables too

I've always heard that Christmas was a horrible time to work in retail. I never am a difficult customer, at least I think so, in the sense that I'm not going to bother a store associate for anything. If I can't find what I'm looking for, then it's cool, no biggie. And I won't throw stuff on the floor, I'll pick stuff up off the floor if I drop it, I'll refold clothes that I opened up to look at and I'll put it back on the shelf. And also for example, if my size isn't out there on the floor, I'm not going to ask someone to check the back because I don't want to give people extra work. <br />
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From what friends and family who've worked in retail have told me, customers can be a pain, and I don't want to be an *******.

hehe<br />
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i wish i had worked in it at least once.