Friday, February 18, 2005

My retail therapy!

As promised, i shall attempt to give you a little insight into my "Retail" career and its short comings.
I left school at 17, i had no intention of ever stepping foot into a college or University again. For me, my school days were over...yipppeeeeeeeeeee.
Unfortunately for me, i was not blessed with a mother that was maternal like in her personality. Even worse, my father appeared to be straight out of a Dickens novel..."children should be seen and not heard till theage of 25". So with this in mind, it is understandable that my parents threatened me to "find a job" otherwise i was not welcome living under their roof.
I was able to recieve a welfare benefit every 2 weeks whilst looking for work. My mother insisted i pay board out of this cheque. There didn't appear too much around so out of desperation and fear i'd be kicked out of home, i went to work at a printing firm. This was no ordinary print shop, no, this was where my mother weilded her stick. Yes folks "mommy dearest" was the print shops boss.
As you can imagine, my time with "mommy dearest" was short lived and if anything was going to motivate me into seeking employment elsewhere, it was the the thought of spending an extra 9 hours under "mommy dearests" thumb.
It was not long and i found my first retail job. I worked as a "checkout chick" in a small independant supermarket. At first i loathed it, but after a while i grew to enjoy my time there. I became quite friendly with a sales rep, who inadvertantly asked if i'd consider working for the same company as she, building display's in supermarkets, filling the shelves with the company's particualr lines etc..........YES!!!! I said.
I did this for about 18 months, worked hard and became well known in the stores i visited. The manager of a Safeway supermarket asked me one day if i'd consider taking up a position as "order writer". I would be responsible for ordering all the stock in the supermarket, and be paid handsomely. YES!!! i said. This was to be the start of 10 years in retail. From then on i worked in 4 other Safeway/Woolworths Stores, mainly as a dept manager of some sort. Whilst working, i eventually decided to go to college at night to obtain my degrees.
In my time i saw some things that not even i can find concievable, and for you my friends i will give you an insight ~~~~~~
I found a woman oneday deliberately breaking packets of biscuits so one of my staffwould mark it down.
Another woman i caught with her fingers in a tub of ice cream.
Another, sticking her babies dummy (pacifier) in a jar of honey
Another," " of peanut paste.
An old man with a trench coat full of tuna fish!
A young woman who took all her clothes off, layed out all the kitchen cloths on the floor in the aisle and proceeded to walk all over them!!!
I spent an afternoon running up a highway chasing a guy who decided to take the inside of a cornflakes packet out and fill the box with cigarettes, when the checkout girl picked the box up to pack it....they all fell out and he did a runner!!! I caught him, called the cops, where the guy claimed he could not speak english!!
I've seen a few cars drive through the doors!
Once, i went to over see a new store opening with a few other managers, there were displays in the aisles, and we caught men "dropping a load" behind them!!!
I have had customers bring back juice "thats been sitting in my car and now its all hot i want a refund".
I have had customers bring back meat that has never been bought in our store demanding a refund.
I have had the power go out and customers have taken off with shopping trolleys loaded......myself and a few staff chasing them.
Another peeling lids off of yougurts and demanding a reduction in price.
A store manager was due to retire after 40 years of service, with a huge pay out. He decided to steal a bottle of scotch to celebrate, he didn't cout on security catching him, he forfitted his payout!
Another of my managers was caught nicking flowers, he was caught by a security guy and was given a demotion to a very small store in the country.

This, is only a small insight into what i saw and dealt with, there is more..another time perhaps.


Blogger if_i_had_a_hammer said...

you hear a lot of shit about a lot of jobs but i swear, retail might be the most mentally taxing. you see shit that'll change you forever, man. i'll have to tell one of my stories some time.

7:41 PM  
Blogger magz said...

retail can be... interesting.. huh. remind me to tell ya some 'service' stories.. of bartending and cocktail waitressing.. picture, if you will...
magz.. in a skintite 'bunny-type' suit and 4" heels.. cocktail waitressing. lasted 2 days fore i dumped a salad on a butt pincher's head... course that was 20 years and 30 pounds ago... LMFAOOOOOOOO

2:44 AM  
Blogger Jack the blogger said...

Yeah thats right,5, we once caught a guy sticking pins through the packages of condoms. Another time someone changed the labels on the feminine hygene spray with the labels on Elmer's Glue. One time at band camp we switched the sugar with the salt,3, and don't forget about the time when,7, the bathroom was out of toliet paper and we replaced it with terri-cloth. In the women's dept,6, Gail the pinhead put itching powder in the bras,4, too funny 4 words.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Erratic Prophet said...

Fortunately, my experience as a cashier wasn't bad at all. I only disliked the assistant manager. He was rude and didn't bathe. It was hellish standing near him in summer.

My nightmare job was waitressing. I have the utmost respect for the wait staff at any restaurant I go to and try to leave a hefty tip because I was treated so badly as a waitress. I worked at a posh inn and if I wasn't fending off wandering hands, I was dealing with rude and/or cheap customers. I will never wait tables ever again.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

j~ do tell, i bet you'd have some rippers!

Magz ~ Heh..2 days you did well!!

Jack ~ Got a thing for numbers ehh Jack?

EP ~ I know, you guys in the States have it tough. Here, the pay is way better so the staff don't have to rely on tips.

4:56 PM  
Blogger riskybiz said...

I was a manager at a fast food restaurant about 15 years ago.
Some young punks were in the lobby scratching up the tables with crappy little knives when I approached them and told them to get out.
One guy swore at me and called me a racist. I looked him straight in the eye and told him "I'm not a racist, I hate everyone."
This punk(big guy by the way) actually laughed and liked me after that.
Dealing with the public is not a easy thing to do.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Risky ~ It sure isn't!!

11:03 AM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

LOL- gr8 post. Brings back memories, but like so some others here, my waitressing escapes far outstrip the retail experiences or was it just that I was paid better??? ;)

6:54 PM  
Blogger beFrank said...

Great post. Really sparked a trip down memory lane.

Quick high points of my career path.

Liquor store cashier (at 16)
Record store cashier
Record store assistant manager
Usher at movie theatre
Airport Duty Free Shop Cashier
Audio/Video setup tech
Public Access Television Manager
City CATV Assistant Supervisor
TV News Photographer (Bakersfield)
TV News Photogrpaher (Los Angeles)

Some days, I wish I had never left my first job.


9:15 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Bryan ~ with a list like that i bet you could share some stories!!!

GEL ~ I agree waitressing definately gets a bum deal.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

But waitressing pays a helluva lot better than retail...for similar aggrivation. I turned down cocktail waitressing. Not worth even more groping.

9:13 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Gel~ In Oz, retail and waitressing is pretty much on par with each other, as far as wages go. Waitressing here does not rely so much on tips as here in Aust we do not tip, therefore the wage is higher.

6:14 PM  

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