1. Hello all!

    Just wondering if any of you worked in retail? If so, where and what were your experiences like?

    I worked in Anthropologie in college, and that was the first and last time I will ever work in retail. As much as I loved the store and the people I worked with, customer service is not my forte...mainly because most people were incredibly rude. Because of my experiences, to this day, I consciously try to be nice to every SA/customer service rep. If I am trying things on somewhere, I make every effort to put things back on the hangers and racks. But that's just me.
  2. I worked at the Body Shop, and I've never had any one be overly rude to me.. but I was only there seasonally.

    Most of my work experience is in customer service, and yeah, it's been pretty rough. I worked at a major tourist attraction for the last five years, and those summers were pretty hard to get through. But hey, it fueled my retail addiction !

    And YES ! I try extra hard to be nice to front line staff, because I know they really have the short end of the stick.
  3. I worked a lot of retail in high school and college. Worst by a longshot was Sears...they were crappy to their employees and the customers in general were pretty awful. One woman tried to return a pair of boy's pants that were filthy and smelled like he'd been rolling in cow manure. Back then (late 70's) Sears also used to engage in "bait & switch" advertising. They'd often run out of the advertised sale items and either offer something more expensive, or of lesser quality for the same price than the item that was on sale.
  4. I was director of merchandising for Tiffany & Co. for several years. I really tried to stay away from the customers! I figured the SAs were paid to deal with them and I was paid to deal with the SAs! Every time one of the SAs would offer to put me on the phone for an explanation, I refused. I did find plenty of times when customers wanted outrageous things -- a woman was wearing a piece of custom made jewelry WHILE she had her purse snatched...therefore, the jewelry left her with a bad feeling and she wanted her money back! Does that make any sense?

    That being said, I understand how the customer should be served and I am very demanding (and insist on going up the chain of command) when I don't get what I feel I am deserving. But I am very loyal to my SAs, try to give them as much business as I can (don't get me started on my Bergdorf SA who dawdled in gettin' her butt to the mens store for me and now can't get me the cufflinks I want for my husband!) and respect them as people. With a good relationship, its win-win.

    BUT, I don't know that I will EVER be cut out for working on a sales floor!
  5. I worked at Wet Seal for almost a year while I was in undergrad. It was mainly to cure my boredom and to gain some work experience as well. The pay was really s**ty because I was only a few cents above from earning minimum wage but that's what happen when you have NO job experience whatsoever. lol At first, I really enjoy greeting people and giving them any customer service they asked for but after awhile it's just started to get to me, especially on the weekends, big sales and during holiday hours. It was just too much standing around and kissing up to people. And I especially hate "closing" where you have to put away the "go-backs" and reorganize the floor. I'm glad that was my last retail experience but hey, it definitely beats working at the McDonald's. I guess retail just ain't for me afterall. ;)
  6. My first retail job was for about a month at the Gap right before college started, and that was horrible, the managers were like brainwashed Gap zombies. i will never work clothing retail again.

    right now, i'm a sophomore in college and work at Best Buy. i sell appliances and actually like it very much. everyone that works in my department is really awesome, the department heads are more like friends than bosses, and there are really only a couple of people in the store i don't particularly like. i'm a born talker, so i don't mind customers and people here are generally very polite and understanding - it's a regional thing. i don't like holiday time, though, because now our hours are really long and that's kind of boring after about 9 pm.
  7. My first retail job was in high school. I worked at By George, an eclectic designer boutique in Austin. GREAT experience working there. I loved it and my love of fashion only grew while surrounded by the beautiful merchandise. And the celeb spotting wasn't bad at all. In my course of working there, I helped Sandra Bullock on several occasions, Matthew McConahay, Eliza Dushku (Tru Calling) and Shaun Colvin. I'm sure some of you in LA have plenty experiences helping celebs--but in Austin it's not an everyday occurence. Once in a while, I would have to deal with a nasty customer, but I'm good at smoothing things over with a smile on my face. .

    My most recent retail job was at Chrome--an uber trendy boutique in Texas. I had fun merchandising there and loved having control of the visual aspect of the store, but after six months, I found out that they were paying me minimum wage when I was told I was making way more than that. So, after they repaid me what they owed, I quit after a year of terrible experiences. I basically learned everything I don't want MY future store to be like--unorganized (no inventory), inconsistent (no guidelines/training) etc.. Because the store was in a college town--sooo many girls would try to return clothes with beer stains, cigarette stench, etc. and claim that the item was damaged. Some of the sob stories were absolutely rediculous. Call me evil, but I actually took some joy in turning those girls away.

    Yeah, retail's a *****, but it's such a great experience for someone like me, who want to work in the fashion industry.
  8. Oh IssMom ... I knew I liked you immediately!!!!

    Gosh, if I worked retail (especially jewelry), I would never bring home a paycheck!

    I have a lot of friends (and a cousin) who work retail (a lot of them for more upscale places like Barney's, Neiman Marcus, etc.). I am CONSTANTLY appalled at how badly they are treated by so many customers! It's "do this ..." or "do that ..."; I would never be able to put up with that ... I would mouth off and get my pink slip. I believe in the old adage "you get more honey ..."; there is really no need to be rude and nasty. Now, that's not to say that I haven't had run-ins with S/A's that have been extremely nasty to me even before I've opened my mouth! When this happens, I usually put the item down and walk out. I have to put up with SO much B/S in my job that I sure as hell don't want to put up with it when I'm doing one of my favorite things - SHOP!!!!!!!! ;)
  9. I don't work in retail, but I really enjoy reading horror stories about crazy customers on this site:

    It's crazy, some of the stories. My favorite is about this one guy who was so upset that a store didn't have a customer suggestion box, so he stormed to his car and came back with an empty Kleenex box and slammed it on the counter and stormed back out. The confused staff looked inside the Kleenex box to see he had written a nasty note, crumpled it up and put it in the box.
  10. I have never worked in retail but have seen what customers do to SA's and cashiers. I make sure to commend them on their patience when they are in a no win situation with a rude impatient customer and even make sure a higher up knows how well they handled the situation! I would have to pop the lady in the nose in Victoria Secret who yelled at the cashier because she was asked if she would like a seperate bag for a second purchase...ewwww I say...get a grip and act appropriately...should that woman stayed home? pms maybe? yep!
  11. right after highschool i got a job doing sales at the gap! right at lincoln center. and it was busy as all hell, and boy did i get some good stories from working there. the managers were totally nuts. they couldn't believe i was putting my school work as priority over the job. and then there were the nasty customers (i totally was against working the cash register, i made the excuse i was too short and couldn't see over the counter.) and then there were all the incidents where we had customers coming in and stealing a lot of merchandise. they don't pay you enough to stop a robber. heck no! i lasted all of 10 months, which was a long time for gap. the turn over was every 3 months.
  12. OOoooooh ... I bet that's a good read, I'll have to look at it. My favorite story is from a friend that works at Barney's. These two girls were trying on dresses for the Prom (nice to have that type of money at that age!). Anyhow, one says to the other "oh, I wonder how it would look with my hair up ...", to which the other immediately rips off her thong panties and throws them to her friend, replying "here, use this to put your hair up ..."!!!! :blink: :smile:

    My friend just shook her head (she's seen it all by now!).
  13. Oh my, they must have been on something. But I guess the next time I can't find a hairtie, I'll try using a clean thong. Maybe it's an old hairdresser secret.

    I read the Customers Suck community regularly - and while some of the stories about terrible customers are dead on, some of the retail workers are just too picky. Retail workers are definitely underpaid and underappreciated, but that does make them very impatient with customers. They often complain in there about the "stupid questions" that customers ask. Reading over their complaints, I realized that I have often been one of those stupid customers. I have some pretty ditzy days, and I hate to think that I offended someone when I asked a question without realizing there was a sign right behind that addressed it.
  14. i worked retail all through high school and university and i loved it..probably because i could shop at work. i worked for "the bay", a mid market cdn dept store, which was trying at the best of times...a very loyal clientele, but also very price conscious. i worked in a few departments, but my fav was the china dept. i amassed a great collection of denby by the time i was 19. then i went on to work for an upscale cdn cookware manufacturer. it was so much fun. i loved the people i worked with and our customers too. i did a lot of the ordering for the store, which again i loved because it was shopping at work. so, now i have an amazing kitchen..and a wealth of knowledge, but i rarely cook. i think my retail experiences turned me into a shopaholic, but if i could make as much as i do in finance, working in retail i'd do it in a minute...maybe later in life i'll have my own boutique :biggrin:
  15. I am doing a research project into retail right now. At first work totally blew, however once probation was done and my co-workers accepted me it isn't so bad. The customers I could care less about, at least the nasty ones, if they start getting belligerent I refer them to my manager. The customer thinks that they have the upper hand there blah blah, but after they leave the entire store just talks about how much of an ******* they were.

    I work in fine jewelry, and most of the customers especially around this time of year are desperate men. They haven't given me too many problems.

    I must say though, if I actually had to consider that a serious career I'd shoot myself. Not really because of the customers, just the damn case counting!