My brief stint in the world of retail taught me a few things and I thought I'd share them with you, my faithful readers. Here they are in no particular order:
There are rude people in the world.
That may not be a "newsflash" but I was stunned at how many rude people are out there. Truly. The inconsideration of most of the general public was astonishing. People--not just children--knock things off shelves and hangers and never pick them up. Some even walk over items laying on the floor. Shoppers unfold towels and T-shirts and blankets, look them over, then shove them back on the shelf without even attempting to re-fold them. Vast numbers of people take umpteen items to the dressing rooms to try them on, only to leave them lying on the floor, hangers strew about haphazardly. Some shoppers even rip open plastic packages to see if the underwear or socks will fit, apparently decide they won't fit, then leave the unsalable and torn package on the floor. It was unbelievable.
Retail employees are underpaid and overworked.
Again, this is not a "newsflash" but as one who had really never given it any thought, I was surprised at the amount of work they are expected to do for so little money. It is truly a "thankless" job.
30 minutes after closing
Do you know what happens inside the store for the next 30 minutes after the store closes? The poor, tired, underpaid employees re-fold everything all those thoughtless, inconsiderate shoppers unfolded. Yes, every employee, no matter what department they work in, are required to stay 30 minutes after closing to help fold. Even on those ridiculous nights stores are open until 11PM or midnight, you will find weary employees folding towels, a gazillion T-shirts, rugs, baby clothes, jeans, jeans, and more jeans. Everything must be put back to right so that the next day all those thoughtless, inconsiderate shoppers can come back and unfold them.
I hope I never, ever have to work in retail again. But I will tell you one thing: My respect and admiration for the people that do has grown exponentially! I will never again take for granted a nicely folded shirt or pair of jeans next time I go shopping.
I hope you won't either!