5 Surprising Things You Will Learn From Working in Retail

Wednesday 15 January, 2014
Image Photo Credit: officialtherefromhere.com There are many things you can learn from having a part time job. But some skills can only be acquired through work in a particular field. Retail is just one of those sectors that teaches its employees about basic human mannerisms and behaviours by introducing them to the front line of business operations. Hannah* shares with OneShift the lessons she picked up from working at a major fashion retailer. The following list outlines a light take on the five life lessons you can only pick up from working in a retail position:

How to sugarcoat things

If you work in retail, you've probably had a customer ask you if they look fat in a pair of jeans at the store, or something similar. Even if said customer had love handles hanging down to his or her knees and you're tempted to advise them that it would be in their best interest to put that money towards a gym membership instead, you'll more than likely shake your head politely and assure him or her that your store's sizes run tight and they should go up a size.

Cleaning up after others

You will undoubtedly learn to fold and stack like a 1950s housewife. But the order will last no longer than the absence of customers in the shop. Then, your organizational display will be reduced to little more than a pile of mess. The good is, you'll get the opportunity to improve your folding/stacking skills every time someone else comes in looking through your little piece of art for the nonexistent size.

More often than not, the customer is wrong

We enter the industry with the opposite idea in mind but it doesn't take long to figure out that, contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right. In fact, you must do everything in your power to make sure you can prove this to the customer with a smile on your face and you will be a success in the industry. No, the item is not on sale, even if it was on the same rack as sale items. And no, we don't stock everything you've seen on the online catalog. Choose your battles wisely, retailers.

There is nothing 'in the back'?

No that hole in the wall behind every counter of every store does not lead to a magical portal that leads to every imaginable colour, style and size of shoe and clothing article. It's basically a closet with limited capacity and even more limited range of items.

The holidays are anything but the most wonderful time of the year

Working behind a shop counter during the holiday season can easily drive you crazy. I mean asylum crazy.  The experience will definitely open your eyes to the madness of consumers but it will also help you appreciate the whole thoughts and intentions behind the gifts, which is nice. *Name has been changed
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