Why Retail Management Sucks
This was my going away letter to my former employer. This is a must read.
You wake up at 6:30 extremely tired because you had to close your store the night before and did not get home until 11:15 which allowed you to get in bed by midnight. As you get ready for work you realize that you do not get another day off for EIGHT more days! On your thirty minute trek to work, you wonder why your district manager doesn’t move you to one of the seven stores you pass along the way. You have been told repeatedly that you would be moved closer to home, but you have heard that for over two years so you have given up on that luxury.
You get to work at 7:30 knowing that you want everything ready for the store to be open at 8. You get all the registers ready and check some quick emails before you realize it is 7:58 and none of your employees have shown up. You make your way to the front of the store and open the doors and stand at the front register with a smile on your face. You have every desire to write the employees up for being late, but you know your boss will allow them to use some excuse. Ah, the luxuries of working with uneducated and unmotivated employees.
As you are waiting for your front cashier to come in a customer walks in and wants something from another department. Obviously you are the only one in the store so you are unable to help them in that department. The customer looks at you in disgust and says they will go somewhere else. In the back of your mind you are thinking “please do!” but something very different comes out of your mouth; “Ma’am I will be more than happy to assist you when my front cashier gets here; she should be here any minute.”
Finally, at 8:07 your front cashier walks in and mumbles some type of apology. She is in no rush to come relieve you as she slowly makes her way to the time clock. As you make your way to help the waiting customer you hear “Management to receiving.” At this point you realize how much you love your job. While giving the best customer service you can to that customer, you have two other customers ask you to help them find something. All of this could have been solved by having employees that could get to work on time.
At 8:20 you finally get back to receiving. Luckily it is the Pepsi Vendor who you are good friends with. You are thinking you finally have a minute to relax and shoot the shit with a friend when you hear, “return at register 1.” You make your way to register one and the customer explains to you that the .25 coupon was not rung up correctly. Unfortunately, your corporation has made it impossible to do a refund without canceling out the entire transaction. You explain this to the customer and she asks “isn’t there an easier way?” Yes, there is; take the quarter and stick it up your ass! Instead, you ring up all 22 items she bought again and make sure to ring up the .25 coupon at the end. It takes ten minutes for her to save .25, but I am sure it was worth it.
You then realize that you left the Pepsi vendor in the back and you need to let him out. As he is leaving you both joke around about how great your jobs are. At this point it is now 9:00 and you have yet to do any of your morning management duties. As you go back to the office a customer asks you where the Depends are. You gladly show him that they are approximately six feet from his face! While doing some work in the office, your boss mentions that you need to get some of the inventory out of the stockroom. YES!
As you are filling up your cart with Campbells Tomato Soup and Hunts Tomato Sauce you are asking yourself “where did I go wrong?” I KNEW I should not have skipped that Managerial Accounting class my junior year! After you have your pyshcological battle you continue forward and stock merchandise on the shelves. After doing this for several hours you decide it is lunch time.
After heating your meal in the microwave, you sit down and take a bite to eat when you hear “management needed at the front register.” Well, this should be quick and then I can come back and finish my meal. On your way to the front register, another customer asks you where the twin pack erasers are that are on sale. You are extremely nice and walk her to the stationery aisle when you hear “management needed at the front register.” When you look at the front register you see three extremely upset customers.
As you try to fix this situation, an employee is asking you if he can go to lunch. You really don’t give a shit what he does at this point, you just want to get these customers out the door. The same damn coupon situation that happened this morning happened again but now there is a line of people. You go through the same exact process that takes about 10 minutes. It has now been 15 minutes since you took your first and only bite of lunch. After FINALLY getting all the customers out the door, you return to your lunch 20 minutes later. When you sit down and take bite number 2, you hear “management to receiving.” It doesn’t get any better than this!
At this point, you pick up your lunch and throw it in the trashcan. “I am fed up with this, why the hell can’t my boss get some of these calls?!?” You return to receiving and the warehouse truck is there ready for you to unload 400 pieces of inventory. As you are unloading the truck, you get a phone call. An employee is explaining to you that she cannot come in tonight because her brother’s ex-girlfriend has a flat tire two states away. You explain to her that this is not an excuse and she proceeds to tell you she is already two states away. At this point, you just want to get the truck finished, so you make a mental note and say fine.
After the truck is completely unloaded, two hours later, you try to get a full meal in. You actually get to sit down for 10 minutes and enjoy your one full meal of the day. After you finish eating, around 3:00, your boss mentions that the entire truck needs to be put up today. Once again you are thinking, why the hell did I go to college to put up baby diapers? You keep your mouth shut and press on. For the next two hours you put up tote after tote and at one point you are tempted to just walk out. You don’t though as you know you have bills to pay and you can’t just quit your job, right?
At around 4:45, you start to clean up when you notice two kids on the toy aisle destroying absolutely everything while their mother is on her cell phone. As your boss walks by, he mentions that the aisle needs to be cleaned up before you leave. As you are cleaning it up, the kids continue to play with the toys and sit on the whoopie cushions. Finally, at 5:15 the mother tells the kids that they need to go. It takes you another 30 minutes to clean up the aisle after the disaster.
At 6:00, you finally get the chance to go home. You are extremely hungry as you have only had one meal and you are physically dead because you unloaded AND put up a warehouse truck. One of your old friends calls and asks you to go out tomorrow night. Luckily for you, you get to close the store tomorrow night so you apologize and say you will make sure to go out with them soon. In the back of your mind, you know that you will rarely get a chance to see your friends as the schedule is horrible.
As you drive home you think that it might be time to quit, the sad part is that you realize today wasn’t even that bad of a day; Christmas is going to be 10 times worse! For anyone who has worked in retail management, you know EXACTLY how I feel. Luckily for me, I QUIT!
Sourced from Jesse Wojdylo on Google+