- Multinationals -

My two weeks experience in retail hell.

Posted by: Shaun ( Burger King, USA ) on February 27, 1999 at 01:36:26:

In Reply to: Trust me....retail SUCKS! posted by Hugh Morris on February 26, 1999 at 18:08:54:

I, too, had a brief experience in the retail department store business, and I hated every minute of it.
The story starts in May of 1995, when I was 16 I got my first job, at a Burger King. I couldn't wait to turn 18. It is illegal for kids under 18 to work after 10pm, and I thought it would be real fun to close. So for two years I waited till I was 18 so I could close too. In that restaurant, it is the closing employees who clean up the whole restaurant after close, and I actually thought it would be fun. After one month of closing, I hated it.Then my family moved two hours away so I had to quit. I vowed I would never work in another fast food restaurant again. I guess that I was dwelling on how much I hated to close so I forgot about how much fun I used to have at work.
So we moved. I got a job at an Ames department store, thinking it would be a fun job. I was never more wrong about anything. It was the boringest job in the world, what I did. It was my job to walk up and down the aisles in one section (one day it was the car accessories section, next day it was sporting goods etc...) and make sure all the merchandise on the shelf looked presentable. They only stocked the shelves and racks 1 or 2 or 3 items deep (even though, in many cases the shelf and racks could hold 10 items deep)and it was my job to pull everything to the front of the shelf/rack so it looks full and stocked, but really isn't. I also had to answer customers questions and show them where what they're looking for is. Whenever they asked if we sold a particular item, sometimes we had what they were looking for, but 3 times out of 5 I had to tell them we don't sell that and they should try K-Mart.(This was at the advice from my co-workers and boss)
The highlight of my day was at the end when I had a shopping cart full of returns I had to put back on the shelf.
I remember one day, in the pets section, there was a birdhouse that looked like a barn that was on sale. We only had one left and an elderly woman said she won't have the money till tomorrow, and she wondered if she could hide the birdhouse behind other stuff so no one else would see it and buy it till tomorrow when she can get it. I said I don't care, because I really didn't care for the job, and I couldn't tell the old woman no. A second later, one of the middle-aged women who has been working there for 20 years came running around from the next aisle over telling me she overheard and said I can't do that etc... but I didn't care, I hated the job anyway. Another time, I was being taught stuff by the 35 year old guy that had the same minimum wage job I had when a 50 or 60 year old woman asked him "where the phones are?" He asked what kind of phones? And she said the kind you talk on. At this, he becamed enraged and screamed "I don't know if you are looking for a phone to buy or a payphone to use, that's why I asked!!" He yelled a little more and cursed a couple of times at this poor old woman before he left, leaving her shocked and speechless. She asked me his name and since I thought he was in the wrong, I gave it to her. Later that day (or it may have been the next I don't remember) the manager gathered us around and reminded us that if any employee yells at a customer or treats a customer badly, we would be fired. I couldn't help but wonder if it had something to do with that old woman.
To make a long story short, I only worked there for 2 weeks before I quit and got a job at Burger King. I loved this new BK, and I even enjoyed closing, because at this new one, employees only stay for 5 minutes after closing to clean because there is a cleaning guy that comes after close

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