I will never go back to working in retail. I feel that expectations will rise exponentially for each salesperson.
With the results of the virus taking down in person shopping, one can only imagine the fall out for department stores and small retailers. The management will expect too much of their workers. I am sure.
They have lost so much money, how will they staff their stores. Skeleton crew? They already had a skeleton crew before the pandemic at the stores I worked at. Beware, they will have you packaging online orders, sales to those customers who brave the risks of coming in, who knows, cleaning, taking out the garbage?! Who knows.
Will for instance, Macys have the grace to go back to full customer service with the appropriate amount of salespeople and other staff to make the shoppers happy. Will they make sales back into a respected vocation for their employees and pay them as the professionals they can be? Will they go against the grain and succeed over other retailers? I’d like to see it.
What will happen when this crisis with the Coronavirus is over? Will these retail establishments be able to reopen? Recently Macy’s put their employees on furlough. My dear friend is an employee there. She is unable to get through to the unemployment website in our state. Luckily she has a well-to-do husband and is secure financially right now. But what about those who have now lost their work and cannot access any funds through unemployment or other gainful employment (maybe from home.) I know the President is working on this, but it is just not happening quickly enough.
Psychology Today recently reported that loss of a job could have a more lasting impact on a person’s outlook than a divorce, death of a spouse and even the vast majority of extremely stressful life events.
So that is what we are seeing across the country, protests so people can get back to work. What will companies adopt as their policies toward employees now? Will they empathize with them and make them safe? I hope so.
So lately I am reading about how people are angry resulting from the fear and unknown that the Coronavirus has brought. The businesses that are still open have been negatively affected. I am reading about the plight of the workers who have to face customers every day at Whole Foods, owned now by Amazon.com. I feel sorry for them because sick time was never put into effect before this virus catastrophe. The customer service staff is having problems with nerves, fears of coming to work, etc. It was reported that some employees are spending their lunches crying because of the customers’ attitudes. At this time life is hard but at least most of us can stay at home, imagine how the retail workers feel.
I will never pursue a job in retail or customer service again. And the reason is that over and over it has been shown that the “powers that be” in these companies do not care about the welfare of the mid to lowest employees. I am talking about the employees that make their companies successful. I worked at QVC in Virginia and had to put up with bullying by customers and by supervisors. One supervisor even told me I was a rude person! Of course she never admitted that. I just felt why should I be bullied by a bully, a person who’s movements remind you of an x-gang member?
Recently I read an article with ratings of highest to lowest job satisfaction in various careers. I am not sure if it was indeed.com, or glassdoor or another online source. But low and behold, the lowest rated was sales. Sales which of course includes, retail sales.
I began my career in this field in the 1970’s working at Macy’s. It was a wonderful experience back then. Since that time, it appears the work has become stressful, instead of fun. Its gotten to the point that locally in Virginia where I live, Macy’s is advertising to hire you even if you have a criminal background!?! The last time I worked there was 2018, through the Christmas holidays. The experience for me, an older lady was unbearable. I had a “20-something” lead who would stand there in the morning or at the end of the night looking at her iPad when I was doing all the physical work of taking jewelry trays out to the cases or putting them back in the vaults. It was exhausting, especially when you work at night and then have to come in the next morning. The only job worth having in a department store in my experience is in Cosmetics.
The reason we leave these jobs is partly due to the pay rates. It is impossible to earn enough money to live on. In addition, hourly rates are not set but subjectively determined by your prospective department head. In retail, your experience is irrelevant especially if you appear older. The hours are too flexible with no continuity from one week to the next because the hours are created by the computer. What happened to set hours? Such as MWF or T Th and one or two weekend days for part-timers?
Most recently, I was working for JJill. A job filled with exhausting, unbearable tasks unrelated to helping the customer. No matter how many hours you work, unless you are the manager or a “lead,” you are “running around like a chicken without a head.” You work from the time you walk in the door until the time you leave. You spend your time steaming clothes, throwing out the garbage, vacuuming, dusting and any other task they can think of, even mopping the backroom floor! During your training, you are micromanaged and watched to see where you are and what you are doing. Again, this is regardless of how much experience you have under your belt in retail.
Next time I will introduce you to the worst job I have ever had which was in Customer Service at QVC. Hard to believe it could be worse than what I have already presented here.
I was watching Charles Payne on a Business network before the holidays and was pretty “thrown” by his comments about retail workers. He stated that they were “low skilled workers.” I guess he doesn’t know that many people work in department stores and other stores to supplement their incomes and/or after retirement. Many of them are former teachers, or former business owners in retirement, and other professions. When you enter professions in sales, there are specific trainings. Think about women and men who sell you your cosmetics and perhaps fine jewelry. They are unable to sell to you without knowing the benefits and values of the products and jewelry; They were trained thoroughly and in detail! In addition, their people-skills are highly honed. No one wants to be devalued as a worker or individual.
I will appreciate any comments or experiences by others on this subject matter, I will be getting into other areas of employment later. Soon I will present the subject of how work can create chaos in life because of work requirements, scheduling as well, and how difficult that can be for everyone.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16 NIV
” Be an outcast; Be pleased to walk alone.” Alice Walker
I can certainly relate. I have never felt that I fit in, I remember this feeling even as a child. But I don’t want to “walk alone.” My goal is to be of aid to other people I meet along the path…
“Eccentricity is not, as dull people would have us believe, a form of madness.” Dame Edith Sitwell.
Of course, yes. My father was eccentric, my great aunt and myself. Proud of it!
“Personality … is an act of high courage flung in the face of life.” Carl Jung.
” Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything and love is all there is.”
“Life is too short not to do what you love.” Robert Holden
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau
“To live your purpose you have to dare to be even more of who you really are.
What does that mean to you today?” Robert Holden
I am in the process of rediscovery. Are you?