July 2014 - I Hate Working In Retail


10 Things Working in Retail Teaches You About Life

Retail jobs are almost a rite-of-passage for most style-conscious folks. It almost makes sense—you love clothes, so wouldn’t you love selling them too? It’s like the nerd who dreams of getting paid to work at the comic shop! Except the grim reality of the business is that well—it kind of sucks.

It’s not all bad. You have the opportunity to make new friends, get a sweet discount, and get a first-hand look at the clothing business. It may not be pretty, but you do learn some valuable lessons. These are 10 Things Working in Retail Teaches You About Life.

10. The customer is often wrong

The first rule of retail: good customer service doesn’t always mean ensuring the customer gets his or her way. No, just because one item was hanging on the sale rack does not mean it’s on sale. No, if an item has no price tag it is not free (and please, as a customer, save yourself some dignity and never make that joke). What you learn here is how to choose your battles and how to use common sense. Someone trying to return a shirt covered in deodorant stains with the price tag in the pocket and claims it’s “never been worn?” That’s cause for alarm. If someone just wants to make an exchange or get store credit for something they lost the receipt to, whatever.

9. There is absolutely nothing “in the back”

On the other side of the grass, behind every retail store is a gigantic warehouse full of wormholes to China. All it takes to get an item in a different size is a quick reach into these magical clothing portals and voila—there it is! Except you’ll learn fast that the back room is full of nothing but misanthropes and a super-gross toilet. The “office” is a bunch of cobbled together furniture from Bed, Bath, & Beyond and the computer management uses to keep track of sales and make the schedule is still running on Windows ’98.

8. You’ll sometimes have to clean up other people’s messes

When you work in retail, people are always fucking your shit up. You will pick up some amazing folding skills, only to see your perfect stacks get reduced to a huge pile of shirts by some asshole looking for size “doesn’t exist.” This doesn’t change when you get older. Sometimes a co-worker will forget to carry a zero on a spreadsheet, sometimes your boss will skip town with the secretary and leave you to meet with a huge client and warn you not to fuck it up. Just keep your cool. These things happen sometimes, and what you’ll come out of it with is grace under pressure.

7. The holidays are NOT the most wonderful time of the year

Working retail on the holidays is enough to make you consider telling your family “hey, maybe we shouldn’t even get each other presents this year, because I’ve seen the stores, and fuck that.” Or maybe not, and you’ll just think that all the mall madness is a necessary evil that justify the iPad underneath the tree (or on the last night of Hannukkah, whatever) this year. But perhaps, you’ll come to an understanding that “it’s the thought that counts” isn’t complete bullshit, because anyone willing to subject themselves to the hell that is the holiday retail season just may be a saint.

6. How to sugarcoat things like a pro

The thing about working in clothing is that if someone asks “do these skinny jeans make me look fat?” you can’t say “well actually, yeah. It looks like you’re smuggling two midgets out of the fitting room in your thighs.” As much as you may want to tell someone that they should maybe spend that hundred bucks on a gym membership, you learn to say things like “oh, our jeans run a little small, you might want to size up.” It’s almost like that movieInception… except just blatant lying.

5. Your discount shows you who your real friends are

Your friends are cool and all, but now that you get 30% off sneakers, expect a buttload of texts about whether or not you can hook them up with a new release. Some people will actually be decent and offer to do shit for you, like buy you a coffee or food in exchange for copping a T-shirt for them. Others are the worst, they’ll come into the store with their new jump-off and act offended when you don’t want to buy shit for someone you don’t know (strike 1)—and they had the gall to ask you to do it in front of your manager (strike 2), and then they want to pay with a card rather than give you cash (strike 3).

4. A little humility never hurt anyone

For the small percentage of people who are self-important pricks, the first shift of a retail job is enough to make them go “I am too good for this shit.” And usually you will never see them again. Here’s the thing though: everyone is too good for this shit. The first thing you leave at the door when you clock into a retail job is your dignity. You are initially saying “yes, please hire me to provide a service to other people.” You think it’s bad having one boss? Imagine having hundreds. That’s what customer service is like. And for most of us, it’s a humbling experience that teaches us that a little kindness and patience goes a long way… because chances are someone who was totally nice to you made your job a little easier.

3. People in the service industry deserve respect

Servers and bartenders are your kindred spirits. The work you do may be a little different, but oh, the assholes are entirely the same. Revel in your worst customer stories and enjoy the camaraderie of working a shitty job. At best, it’s only temporary and you’ll all soon move on to other things, and when you do, you will understand what it’s like, and you will tip well. At worst, meet your new drinking buddies. Because you will probably be drinking a lot. But on the bright side—drinks will be very, very cheap.

2. The world is full of dickheads

Here’s the thing about “nice people:” no one is nice 100% of the time. The littlest thing can cause “good” people to turn into complete and utter assholes. Someone cuts them off on the street, their cat has a gallstone, or maybe they just really have a stick up their ass. Sometimes, these people buy things, and they take their shitty attitude with them. Don’t let these types of people ruin your day. You can’t control that, and it’s a reality of life. Your best bet is to get them out of your life as soon as possible, so provided they’re not being overly hostile and making completely unreasonable demands, just put on your best shit-eating grin for a few minutes, get them out of the store, and then move on with your life.

1. What it means to actually “work” for your money

Perhaps the most valuable thing you learn from a retail job is what “work” actually is. Getting paid a little more than minimum wage to deal with people, fold clothes, and go through the living hell known as “inventory” once a year actually does a lot to teach you the value of a dollar. You start thinking things like “if I buy these shoes… that’s roughly 12 hours of work.” And maybe, just maybe, you become a little wiser with your money because of it


Sourced from complex.com


IKEA Workers Tried To Get Birds Drunk So They’d Stop Flying Around Store

(Gregory Brown)

Calling all avians with a thirst for the hard stuff — workers at an IKEA store in Florida are handing out rum to birds for free. Not because IKEA decided to open a bar for our feathered friends, but to try and get a couple bothersome birds drunk enough on rum that they’d slow down and be easier to catch.

The store isn’t open yet, but employees were still annoyed by a pair of birds flying around the building pooping everywhere. They’ve ruined at least one mattress that had to be thrown out, reports CBS Miami, and were proving elusive.

That’s when workers had the idea to soak bread crumbs in rum, in the hopes of impairing the birds’ ability to drive themselves home and instead just get tipsy enough to dull their reflexes. That way, workers could catch them more easily and then release them humanely.

While IKEA officials confirmed the rum plan had been tried, it didn’t say whether or not that’s what eventually got the birds to go. A spokesperson said the company didn’t want to harm wildlife, so it hired an expert to get the birds back to the wild and off all that MALM furniture.

“We reached out to bird abatement contractors and provided direction to ensure removal as respectfully as possible,” said the rep. “Basically, we hired someone to take care of it in a good way and they did.”

Rum seems like a pretty good way to get captured, just saying

Sourced from consumerist.com




Fact: people in restaurants can be terrible, and being terrible can seriously piss off the people who touch your food and drinks. These are the last people you want holding a grudge against you. But there’s a way around it. Take a look at this handy guide to things that really get under the skin of your server… and then do the exact opposite.

Splitting a bill 30 ways, especially after it’s been delivered
Most servers are happy to split a bill up; just give them a heads up before you order. Other places don’t allow split bills, so have cash on hand. Otherwise, you’re forcing a server to do math that would give Archimedes a headache.Linger during a dinner rush
There are dozens of people waiting. Maybe you should show your friends pictures of your dog in costumes somewhere else, instead of filling up on water like a camel while starving people drool over your table.

Say, “Oh, I didn’t like this — can I get something else?”
You ordered the miso-glazed salmon before realizing you like neither miso nor salmon. And you hate hyphens. If you want little nibbles, hit up a tapas bar or Old Country Buffet.

Slip him/her your number
Classic, classy move, Robert Browning. If she wanted to see you in a situation where she wasn’t being paid to be nice to you, she would have given you her digits.Write a message on a receipt in lieu of a tip
“You look great today” isn’t gonna get anybody a post-work drink, or, you know, food for their kid. And “the service was terrible” isn’t going to get you any further away from the gates of hell. If you aren’t gonna tip, the lack of money will make your point.

Tip in change
Unless you’re packing a handful of quarters or Sacajawea dollars, nobody wants to deal with the contents of your car’s cup holder, especially your sticky-ass pennies.Ignore the list of ingredients, then send an order back because you have allergies
You have celiac disease and you just ordered a sandwich on sourdough with a side of bread pudding and a Hefeweizen. You don’t get a re-do on that.

Use a Groupon, then give a discounted tip
Getting a meal for 50% off doesn’t mean the service is also discounted.

Snap, scream, or whistle
Unless you’re an unfrozen caveman, this is an unacceptable mode of communication.Say you’re friends with the owner and expect special treatment
This is an especially bad idea if the owner is a prick. Unless you can produce a full back tattoo of the owner, your so-called relationship is dubious.

Order off-the-menu items
Yes, they have fish. Yes, they have rice. No, the folks at the Italian place aren’t gonna make you sushi with risotto. So don’t ask.

Send a half-eaten entree back
“Oh, this is overcooked,” you say, as you slide a half-eaten steak and missing sides over to the server. Was the other half medium-rare?Blame the server for everything
You are aware the server didn’t make your food, right? Or set the hours of operation? Or price the menu? Or clean the plate? Or forget to put a gluten-free option on the menu (seriously, enough with the gluten!)? She’s also not the complaint box. Direct your rage elsewhere, Dr. Banner.

Leave literature of any kind
A pamphlet about the virtues of living a Godly life might be enlightening, but pamphlets don’t put money in the ol’ tithing basket. And nobody wants to see your post-hardcore slowcore band, so save that flyer for a telephone pole.

Order while on the phone
These people are also likely to yammer throughout dinner, and can’t figure out the correlation between talking to their wife and their burger coming with honey on it.Show up for a big table 30mins before the rest of your party
You get in. You get a table for 10 right at 6p. Then you sit there, alone, for 30mins while the restaurant has to turn dozens of people away. And the server feels too sorry for you to ask you to leave. Your pouty eyes and a-hole friends are costing her, and the restaurant, tons of money. Make sure to leave a nice pamphlet when you go.


Sourced from thrilllist.com