Friday, November 27, 2020

Retail Therapy


 I worked in retail for 9 months one year.  We had moved from Florida to Kentucky - J had started his work at the University, I had a year to go before I could start graduate school, I needed something to do, and some income.  The first place that hired me was the ladies shoe department in a massive department store.  It was an experience that changed my life in weird ways.  

I guess I had always been a bit of a shopper, with a day out shopping in the city being a major event when I was growing up on the farm.  When I settled in, in Orlando, shopping became a hobby, and something I would do if I was feeling stressed or overworked (and there was a lot of that.) 

My time in retail taught me a few lessons.  NEVER pay full retail.  Everything goes on sale sooner or later, but on sale is not what you want, clearance is what you want.  Even better clearance on sale.  I need to be selective and shop out of season, but there are some real bargains to be had.  

I remember working retail in the holiday season. I showed up at 5:30 AM for the store opening the day after Thanksgiving, we opened at 6:00 AM, there were people waiting outside the doors, it was the only time security had to let staff in, and keep people out (if you know what door it is, most department stores have an unlocked door about 18 hours a day.) The sales were really not that great.  We brought in a lot of cheap merchandize, to sell cheap during the holidays.  Cheap goods, cheap, are not a good value.  

I will say, that everyone should work retail at some point in their life.  It gives you an understanding as a consumer of what to look for in value. It is also a lesson in how to treat those who are there, underpaid, trying to help you find whatever you are looking for.  A hint, treat them well, and ask, they will tell you what the bargains are.  

Have you ever worked retail?  

22 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more with this post...everyone should work retail once.Between sale and my discount it's how I got my whole wardrobe...cashmere and designer clothes!!!!!!! And you definitely learn how to treat people.

    That said...im enjoying this holiday season without the deadlines, rush, decking the halls for two stores, crazy work schedule, getting up at 4am...for the first time in 28 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. You started working when you were 4?

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    2. Aren't you sweet!!!!!! But i ain't so young as I look.

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  2. Does working in a fast-food restaurant count? Except for bargain hunting, I expect the customer-employee dynamic is similar.

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    1. I never did restaurant work, I agree on the customer service side,

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  3. I worked briefly in retail when I was young but the Little Hitler did not agree with the customer is always right.

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  4. I worked one holiday season in the ‘70s at Macy’s. Two months on the Men’s Fragrance Counter. I didn’t mind it entirely. I didn’t learn much except how to arrange the bottles on the counter... and that you see some of the worst in people when they’re gift shopping under pressure.

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    1. My bottles are never arranged properly. The biggest scandal in the store that year was the staff in fragrance were running a return scam, a couple of them were arrested.

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  5. Nope. Have never worked retail but have many friends who have. It’s HEAVY. My one friend says that everybody should work either retail or be a server once in their lives. Thankless occupation ps.
    And I only buy clearance. I loooove retail therapy, so I need to keep it under control.

    XoXo

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    Replies
    1. I am glad I did it, also glad I didn't make a career of it.

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  6. No, I have never worked retail. And, I used to be an avid shopper especially for shoes. But, I've never been a "black Friday" shopper. Only once did I shop the day after Thanksgiving. That was probably 35 years ago. I've never done it since.

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    1. I avoid shopping, except for groceries, between now and the middle of January, extra easy this year.

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  7. TODAY IS BUY NOTHING DAY!

    my first ever job (age 16) was in a 5&10; I had to dust shelves (I H8 HOUSEWORK!) and they made me follow the customers around the store (theft prevention? the customers were damned annoyed). they also paid in cash, the better to avoid the IRS. I didn't last long there.

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    1. I AGREE on BUY NOTHING DAY! Sounds like a miserable place to work.

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  8. I have never worked in retail, and, perhaps I am THAT weird gay, I don't like to shop.

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    1. The older I get, the less I like the Mall. Grocery shopping, I enjoy

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  9. i worked retail for almost 10 years and thought it was my only career option. A way out opened and I took it and never looked back. The thing I hated most (aside from bady pay and mean and rude customers) was never having a steady schedule, and always working weekends and holidays when all my friends were off.

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    1. The hours and schedule were painful,

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  10. No, I've never had to work retail. When working my way through university, my time in the pink collar ghetto was spent largely doing assistant and secretarial work.

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    Replies
    1. The people who really get the work done in a lot of offices.

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  11. no I have not.
    I am not a good shopper. You inspire a blog post. I hope the reasonable Attorneys fees are not too steep this time of year.

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