Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sundays

I have many fond memories of working in the West Town Mall. Not all are bad, in fact most have been fun and have helped mold me into the person I am today. Over the many years of working in retail I have made many forever friends and forever customers. Bosses that have truly taught me what being a good manager is all about, and some that have taught me how not to manage. 

The store that I work at currently is crazy busy and could always be stressful, but it is not.  We have a great team of people working toward a common goal. That common goal may not always be the right one, making money, but usually to get the store straight and all the clothes that have been tried on put back into the proper place. Working toward a common goal with people helps moral and everything get accomplished quicker, however, it can also be inspiring and build good relationships with people. The networking alone I have gained from working in retail has shown to be invaluable. Besides any good manager knows that the good people you want to keep usually don't stay around for that long because it is easier for them to get promoted and go on to bigger and better things. The point is that my work in and of itself is not always so terrible, it is just situations that happen can be terrible and annoying.

For example, it is annoying when people try to come to the mall at 5:55 on a Sunday. Come on everyone. I know for a fact that the mall has always closed at 6:00 on Sundays so I don't feel like this should be a surprise for anyone. I also should not get dirty looks when I tell someone that is trying to come in at 6:05 that we are closing. I mean hello it is Sunday after all. I like to have family day on Sundays too, and if I could be ruler of mall hours the mall would be closed on Sundays just so everyone could have a day off in the week. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Inconsiderate!!!

At work!!! Asked a lady 3 times if I could help her out, standing 2 feet away from her. I asked 3 times if she needed help with jeans she was looking at, every time she ignored what I saying until the 3rd time her mom said we are just looking! As she continued to tornado through the jeans and talking about what size she would wear because she didn't know the conversion in our store. I still offered and told her what size she would wear, she then told me that I was incorrect. Questionable!!! I work here you don't! Did no one ever teach you that ignoring people is RUDE!!! Also if you are not spoken to and ignored then we are then we are accused of bad service! How does that make sense? Just to let people in the nonretail world that we do have people come in that are secret shoppers and we are graded on the experience that they have. Of our scores are bad the whole store gets a write up! Also it does do something to ones self esteem when they are ignored. The most frustrating things when people enter a store and ignore the greeter! We are just welcoming you to our home of work , not trying to sell you something off the bat! Clearly customers need time to shop before they have questions! So anytime, in a store or not, of someone says something to you reply back!!!

What will be coming this week???

Please anyone feel free to comment and leave stories as well! Even of you are a customer! It always helps to have a different opinion!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

more than PLAY

This week was a reminder of how many things that retail workers have to do that people do not see to keep a store successful. We always have new and improved crazy stories, and a days routines will never be repeated the same way another day. A plan is always in a managers heads on how the day will go, but the unexpected always happens, I guess we could say unexpected is routine.

I received my schedule from work with one shift being from 8:00 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. Why, you ask. Well see there are these things called floor sets or planograms. This is where everything in the store is moved around to reflect current fashions, climates, and trends. They are planned for the same dates for every store in the company and is an important system put in place too set the store apart from others. In some stores it can take up to 4 days for one to be complete and is hard on our bodies to back to a normal routine. We love this time because we see the new product and it is a time where there are no customers so everyone working can socialize freely. Just know this is hard work. We often are girls lifting boxes that weigh up to 50 lbs, moving and climbing ladders, and measuring where to put the face out for proper height. Sometimes we are treated like we do not know anything but play in clothing, but trust me an average person would not even begin to understand how to read the floor set. So just for the record we do a lot more than play in cute clothes all day. May I also note that anyone that works with clothing usually finds it hard to laundry because we feel like we do it all day any way, folding, hanging sizing , straightening, we don't have the will power to do it when we get home.

I also had the opportunity to clean up turquoise sparkle nail polish that broke and sprayed everywhere. The girls were so apologetic and offered to help and because they were so nice I said do not worry about it we are getting paid to clean it up. However, if they had an attitude I would have still cleaned it up, but I would be putting those girls on blast instead of saying they were super nice. The nail polish is obviously not the first thing that has been spilled in 12 years and I was reminded of the baby that pooped on our floor. See you wonder how this happens, right? Well there were two ladies shopping, one of which had about a six month old child. They were shopping for something to wear out that night so they could "get lost" as one said. Before they ran out one of the ladies informed one of the associates that her baby had "boo booed" on the floor. The associate came to tell me and she also explained then  the baby didn't have a diaper on. Really, really??? Shopping for clothes to wear out with a baby that doesn't have a diaper on. I cleaned it up and it was terrible.

We aren't teachers that deserve to make way more money. What we do deserve is more respect from customers that think we are there just to look pretty. We clean and do things that no one ever sees so that you, the customers can have the best shopping experience possible. This includes disciplining associates and sometimes firing them because they are affecting your shopping experience. Which is the least fun part of our job, even over cleaning poop.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Uncontrollable

I work in a retail store, this also means that their are many things that customers think we who work in retail control, but in reality we do not. Our corporate offices are usually somewhere on the West Coast. Our closest connection to our corporate office is most likely,  a DM who doesn't even talk to corporate, that District Manager talks to the Regional Manager who then can call up corporate any time. My point is there are somethings that retail associates can not control no matter how much we wish we could. The cruel reality and truth is all we as associates can really control are our smiles, customer service, and product knowledge. Anything beyond that, more than likely, is not left up to any of the managers of the store, but only corporate and they will make the decision for all stores not just one. If you as a customer had paid attention in college you would know that... Uncontrolled circumstances and corporate policies are not anyone's fault that works at the store, try not to take it out on us.

THE LINE TO CHECKOUT

So my dears, you came to the mall on a Saturday at 2:00 and mad there is a line to wait in for 10 minutes.? You are the grown up that made the decision to come shopping during a peak hour on Saturday when everyone else is at the mall. Try to remember that this is no one's mistake but your own. If all of the registers are being used to ring customers it should be clear we are doing all we can to take your money. An irate customer telling us how our line is to long also usually ends up with some register catastrpphe. This is when our INTRANET goes down and will not take credit or debit transactions or when an associates receipts stop printing. Anything that can go wrong with the registers will when 20 people are waiting line to purchase their items.  There will be a manager up there in no time troubleshooting to fix the POS problems, and we already feel anxious like their is an elephant on our chest. We know that this computer malfunction can cost us money and impatience from the customers, this makes our heart rate go up and when this happens it is almost certain the manager on duty will have to take a break to recover. Please try to smile and be patient and remember a time when you felt like that. I promise you will be much more understanding, and a smile always helps. Computers are great when they are working, a pain when the mess up. Patience is a virtue, next time this happens please be patient. We do everything we can to make it right.

TIP: Do not go to the mall when you are in a hurry


STORE POLICY:FINAL SALE

for everyone who is not aware the definition of the word final is defined as followed:

Adjective; Coming to an end of a series.

Also means no refunds, exchanges, store credits, or suck it up you are stuck with it after that receipt prints. This is why we as associates make sure you are informed by telling you at the cash wrap, printing on the receipts, posting it on our website, and posting it on the SALE marketing. This information aids you to make a decision to buy or not. Please understand we have done everything we can, and please do not be upset that you made a bad decision which you simply cannot live with it. It's just a shirt or something, a material thing that really in the long run means nothing.  Please do not cause a scene and take it out on a retail worker because you, a customer, made a bad decision for yourself. I have tried and tried to figure out how a customer should be right in a situation like this, I cant seem to.

Stayed tuned for next weeks, it is sure to get CRAZY!










Sunday, September 2, 2012

RETAIL - What would you change?

  I have worked in retail for 12 years coming November, and I have loved every minute of it, even the bad ones because every bad one taught me something valuable. My blog will be written about what it is like to work in retail, specifically in a ladies clothing store. To regular customers that have never worked in a shop selling ladies fashions this may not sound exciting for you to waste time reading and could upset regular mall shopppers. To anyone that has shared the experience of sorority girls shopping for thirsty thursday outfits or moms literally going ballistic on you because we don't have her daughter's size in the only shirt she seems to want out the other 1,000 shirts carried in the store. YOU WILL LOVE THIS!! Stories of any sort I welcome and I am sure others do too. So for the beginning of this blog I took a casual survey of my coworkers and friends and asked, 

"If there was one thing you could change about working in retail what would it be?"


We want to ba able to talk to customers how we want.

Though we understand that this is never possible because we would no longer have jobs, it would be nice t be able to treat customers the way they treat us. We all know we could never do that because it would lead to failing business among many other things, so if you are reading this and your are a bad customer do not fear we will still be nice.  Question this, why is it ok for customers to have no manners and we still have to smile and be polite even though a customer may have hurt your feelings so bad that you want to run and cry, but all you do is smile and say have a nice day. I once had a lady come into the plus size clothing store I was working in and buy some items I helped her pick out. As I checked her out she asked me, "Do you ever get tired of being that fat? I mean I just feel its disgusting." Really??? I replied no I am great, I have always been this way and I feel good about myself. Thanks, have a nice day... Then I walked to the bathroom to calm down because what I would have said, "Your mouth is disgusting, sorry you hate yourself. Thank you, have a nice day."

We want a better discount.

  Really anything less that 30% is just a smack in the face. Just like other jobs, managers of retail stores, we spend more time there than we do with our families. We are all expected to be fashionable and look the part, and be up on the next new thing. This would be so much better if we could just have more discount and would boost morale so much! Not to mention make more money for the store.

Black FRIDAY and HOURS

  Do we really need to be open 24 hours for BLACK FRIDAY??? What about our holidays?? All corporate employees are off throughout the holidays. I am not saying we shouldn't be open, but maybe be open 8a.m. to 11p.m. instead of 12a.m. to 11p.m.? Really???? 
  We could also go on and on about how the mall managers make us tromp through the most dangerous conditions to come to work and just stand there because no on is out shopping, they are all home and safe. What a waste of money for everyone. Just to let everyone know that when a store doesn't open on time that store gets a fine. The fine is determined if the mall is open the stores should be too. So someone has to go in when the roads are iced over to open risking their life and their cars life to make it there so the store doesn't get a fine and so no one gets in trouble with corporate for not opening.
THE BEST IDEA: Opening at 12 on weekdays would save a substaintial amount of money for companies and the malls. That is still 70 good shopping hours compared to 82. If you can't do your shopping in 70 hours I recommend a thing called the internet because we don't want your crazy butt at the mall anyway.

The truth is that there is never a dull moment in retail, and I am very excited about this blog. I wonder what will happen this week at work.....