Working in retail gives shoppers new perspective

Sometimes, you can find opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.

Last week, I wrote a column expressing my opinion of a rant on YouTube about this girl’s experience at Bath & Body Works. If you didn’t get the chance to read it, I basically said  this woman has no idea what it’s like to work in retail and shouldn’t try to get someone fired over two candles.

Read my column and watch the video; it will make much more sense.

Anyway, I forgot to mention I think everyone should, at some point in their life, work in retail or work in food service.

It gives them a new perspective about what it’s like to work in customer service and makes people more humble as customers. Even if you only work in a store for a month, you learn a lot from the other side.

I say this because I started a job as a sales associate in June.

Even before that, I worked at fairs over the summers throughout my high school years. Beforehand, I never really went off the handle as a shopper, but knowing what retail workers deal with made me a lot more patient waiting in line or waiting for my food at Taco Bell.

As the holidays are coming up, stores will become progressively busier as they prepare for Black Friday, last-minute Christmas shoppers and random passers-by who want to get good deals. Stockrooms will be full, emptied and refilled in a matter of one day.

As this happens, customers often seem to become less and less tolerable – whether it’s because they’re shopping at 2 a.m. on Black Friday or because the store just sold out of the last pair of shoes the customer was looking for.

Don’t even get me started on stores that sell clothes. Employees spend all of their time folding everything neatly only to have people tear through piles and leave them a mess.

You might wonder why I’m talking about all of this. Well, I’m here to tell you that opportunity is knocking.

Now that holiday season is upon us, many stores at the Millcreek Mall and across Erie are looking to hire people, even if they only want to work for a month or two.

If you have the time, transportation and have never worked in retail or food service, I definitely recommend you apply somewhere. Chances are you’ll get hired whether or not you have retail experience because most stores are desperate for the help.

Having this opportunity will show you what it’s like to work in almost any store and it will teach you what it’s like to deal with horrible customers as well as nice ones.

And if you like to rip apart piles of clothes to find your size, I suggest you work in one of the clothing stores.

If everyone in the country worked in retail at least once in their lifetime, we’d be a group of humble, less irritating consumers.



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