Things I Don't Miss Working In Retail
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Things I Don’t Miss Working In Retail

by Anna Nuttall

Tomorrow will be a complete year since I left that retail job, I’m a lot happier person and I now LOVE my Friday and weekend. I also now can reflect on my experience at retail and here is a list of all the things I don’t miss working in retail.

I used to absolutely hate Friday…

I was the bear with a sore head, the complete Friday Grinch; just ask my husband and he would tell you that I was unbearable on Friday. While most people were celebrating that #fridayfeeling – for me it was the #fridaydread. As most people were celebrating the end of their working week, mine was just beginning. I had people saying to me, ”you should be happy it Friday,” when I know I was anything but happy. Why was I so unhappy on a Friday? Because I knew that was the day I have to go back to retail job and start my working week, I knew there was an invisible string pulling on me and I had to be there at 5pm on the dot.

I would dread my weekend as well, like literally break down and cry. You must be wondering what was so bad about my weekend? Ok picture this scenario, you are on the desk with hundred and thousands of people all crowding at you talking at once, you are there on your own and no one will help you. You will have people screaming at you, throwing stuff at you and at lot of huffing and puffing. That was my weekend at my retail job in a nutshell, it was a place of hell.

The Customer Is Always Right
We’ve all heard this?  Ok, well those of us working in the retail know that actually the customer is USUALLY wrong and it’s a very outdated saying. Oh boy! you really do hear and see everything that a person can spit at you. The amount of time I would calmly informed a customer that the price on something say a tin of biscuit is wrong and the correct price on the cash drawer is correct, is enough time to travel round the earth 300 times. There be some who would just except they go the price wrong and get on with their day, and there would the one who would demand to see a manager and would threaten to sue the company as the price is all wrong. They were the one who gave me the biggest headache.

The Evil Corporate Overlord
I think we all encounter the evil corporate overlord, a Darth Vader with high heels and a clipboard. The one who isn’t afraid to punish you if you do something human error-wise, it would be that person who would silent observe you with their piggy eyes and making notes on their clipboard. I had one who I was convince this person was the living off-spring of Darth Vader, and I knew from the moment this person laid on eyes on me, we would be completely enemy.  I always try to be nice to people – even to my enemy, but nahhh this person straight-up hated me, you can see it the way this person spoke to me, she just didn’t want to help me from the get-go. Made working environment very difficult.

The Bonus Culture
Not all retail has end of the year bonus, but mine did and toward the end of me working there, I was convince it was a way to entice us to keep working there forever! Every conversation all year-round was based on the end-of-year bonus, “oh no we don’t want to fix cash drawer number 15 as that would be money taken out of our bonus“. Everything was about the bonus, it was all about how much money can they invest into the store without affecting the bonus. It became unbearable. Which does bring me to my next point…


The Performance Meeting

The kind of meeting where you are taken away from the shop floor to sit down and listen to the evil corporate overlord explain to you about the store performances. Now this might be interesting to some who enjoys listening to facts, figure and business chatter; for me I seriously couldn’t care less. And also the kind of performance meeting how the company is changing, when you know that nothing is changing and everything is staying the same. What use to make me laugh is the fact that after the performance meeting – there would be a meeting about the performance meeting and then a newsletter, I got the point first time around.

The Back-Stabbing Friendship
Kids, if you think school/uni/club/etc is bitchy and back-stabbing – oh man wait till you enter the work place. Working in retail, you genuinely meet some lovely people; I mean I met Richard while working in retail. But there are a few who don’t mind to back-stab you to get ahead. The real ambitious kind who can picture them self with a shiny manager badge and a corporate car. The kind who is nice to your face but bitch behind your back, and also the one who don’t want to be seen dead with you outside of work. Yes, I had a few of these. I eventually just laugh it off and ignored them, working there for me was about earning money – not building a social club.


Christmas/Easter/Bank Holiday
I never actually dread Christmas/Easter/Bank holiday, I mean who does? But I never could properly enjoy that time of the year due to it being the busiest time ever. People truly goes crazy during that time of the year and this is for me when you really discover everyone’s true colours; both the public and your friends. You’ll find out which of your friends are lazy and do bugger all while you’re the working your arses off. And the public and see how greedy and money-hunger seem to corrupt a person.

Appearances Is Everything
If you’re lucky enough to get to wear your own clothes in a retail job, then really do count yourself lucky. Throughout my time in retail, I wore a uniform. I hated it, The trouser and shirt was always too long and too stiff to move about in. The corporate overlord will take delight in the fact that your socks isn’t black when they should be or you are not wearing your name badge. This particular retail job I worked in doesn’t allowed people to dye their hair, what that is outrages! A woman who worked with me dyed her hair pink  – like bright pink! She was doing it in aid of cancer research, so a noble cause would surely bend the rule a little bit, right? The next thing I knew she was crying her eyes out over the facts she was on discipline and had to dyed it back to ‘more business-respectable’ colour to keep her job. I really felt for her.

So as you can see, leaving retail completely saved my sanity, do you have anything else to add? Tell me, comment down below, Things I Don’t Miss Working In Retail….





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Leigh Travers 23rd March 2016 - 10:12 am

I worked in retail for years and do not miss it at all! It’s particularly nice actually having a weekend off now!

Roxie Ferguson 23rd March 2016 - 10:23 am

I don’t miss working in retail either. I liked working in the stockroom and shop floor but I found till work absolutely brutal. Customers can be so obnoxious, especially around the holidays, and working 10 hour days standing at the till point all day plated havoc with my back.

Roxie | The Beautiful Bluebird

Anna Nuttall 23rd March 2016 - 10:44 am

Hi Roxie, that one thing I didn’t include in my list – the standing up part. Omg yes it cause havoc to my back. There was one time after a difficult period health wise I asked to sit down on till and they said no and to told me to stand on the desk, I burst into tears and they completely ignored me. So much for helpful management.

Fashion Du Jour LDN 23rd March 2016 - 11:06 am

I hear you!!! I worked in fashion retail before and during uni as a way of helping myself through…but that was deemed almost unacceptable to have “outside aspirations”?! My boss was an utter cow to me because she didn’t like that I had been there a bit longer than her or that the visual merchandiser liked my style! She made me work holidays before anyone else because I didn’t have kids?! It was always when essays were due too. Working Boxing Day made me hate the human race, rudeness everywhere!

Here’s to getting out! Thanks for sharing!

Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN HQ x

Helen 30th March 2016 - 9:53 pm

Oh no, poor you! I have also come from a retail background, I dabbled a bit in the fashion side of things but then worked in the pet industry and loved it, I was in management and really did enjoy my time in retail but decided that I needed a different direction in life and am now a nurse! I’m pleased to hear that you are happier now, I do think that retail is very hard and working every weekend or at least 1 day in a weekend takes its toll. Thanks for linking up! #bestandworst

jaklumen 24th April 2016 - 8:18 pm

I recall the late George “Doc” “Rhino” Thompson (author of Verbal Judo)
relating a story about being in a presentation where a guy was telling
about this urban legend I’d heard before. It was some story about an
old lady returning some tires (tyres) to Nordstrom’s– Nordstrom’s
doesn’t sell tires. He had been telling this retail tall tale for the
sake of “the customer is always right”; apparently so it was right to
give a refund for items the store didn’t carry. Well, ol’ George stood
up, and said, “No, the customer is NOT always right- sometimes the
customer is WRONG,” but then went on and explained how he’d resolve the
situation, making connections with a neighboring business. Some might
protest “you don’t lead your customer elsewhere!” but he insisted this
helpfulness and courtesy would lead one to come back. Concept of
abundance instead of scarcity, if that makes sense.

Sheila Jo 8th October 2016 - 5:30 pm

Every job comes with a particular set of headaches, but I suspect working retail on Black Friday is one of the worst! Kudos to those who get through it and maintain a shred of sanity!

Callie 8th October 2016 - 10:47 pm

So true! I worked retail for SO long and was so happy to finally get out of it last year!

Jennifer 8th October 2016 - 11:22 pm

You are a girl after my own heart. There is not one thing I miss about working in retail. I hated every second of every day I had to work in that God awful environment! xo

heidi 8th October 2016 - 11:54 pm

I hated retail too and I have worked in clothing and grocery retail and merchandising, yuk yuk yuk

Marsha 9th October 2016 - 1:09 am

Sounds like a sucky place to work! I don’t miss retail myself, especially being on my feet for hours!

Tara Berries 9th October 2016 - 1:56 am

I have never worked in retail so it is interesting to hear the other stories of those who have.

Niki @ Toot's Mom is Tired 9th October 2016 - 3:20 am

I feel you on this. I didn’t work in retail per se. I worked at a movie theater from age 16 to 25. I became a manager when I was 22. For 9 years I worked every holiday and every weekend. It was hell. On Christmas once, there was a customer that was yelling at me for some dumb reason like they couldn’t find two seats together when they showed up 5 minutes after the movie started on the busiest day of the year. I straight up told them that they get to spend Christmas with their family and I have to spend my Christmas getting yelled at by customers for minimum wage.

Patrick 9th October 2016 - 6:44 am

I can totally relate as I work retail and you listed everything I hate about my job!

Kitty Colbert 10th October 2016 - 4:43 pm

Completely agree! I had two retail jobs, one more horrible than the last. It was absolutely soul destroying and depressing. I lost all confidence and was stressed to the max -all for just minimum wage. Managers in jobs like these always have you believe the job is a matter of life or death, but then when you leave you realise it’s just a job and not worth your happiness… I think I would actually rather sort through garbage than ever return to working in retail! It makes me appreciate staff more though when I am shopping. Like if there’s a long wait at the till or they are taking ages as they are training -I never get angry, I just feel so sorry fr them.


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