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Working in Retail is the Best and Worst Job


This August marked my two-year anniversary of working in a clothing store and let me tell you, it’s been one hell of a ride. The things you see, the people you meet and the experiences you have are enough to make quite an entertaining reality show. Keep on reading to get an idea of what working in retail is really like.


When you’re forced to interact with strangers for hours on end, you learn how to become a people person.


Employees come and go in a clothing store; every couple of months you’ll have a whole new crop of associates to get to know and befriend. I’ve made so many friends at my job and when you like the people you work with, it makes those boring shifts go by so much faster.


There’s definitely tons of customers who will get on your last nerve, but for every five annoying customers, there’s one customer who will make you feel like your time working there is worthwhile. When you can help someone build an outfit or find something for them to give as a gift, there’s an inexplicable heartwarming feeling when they express endless gratitude.


Even if you’re not that into fashion, you’ll learn how to put together the cutest outfits for every season. All your selfies on Instagram will be filled with comments complimenting your killer outfits.


That employee discount tho.



Standing around folding and refolding the same pairs of jeans and sweaters for hours on end really takes a toll on you.


Speaking of refolding things, don’t even get me started on all of the customers who mess up an entire pile of clothes, instead of taking five seconds to flip the pile over to get their size off the bottom. This turns into 40 minutes of work for the poor associate to fix it.


You’ll encounter countless customers at the register who will insist that they should receive a discount on the full-price shirt they’re trying to buy, because they found it “mixed in with clearance.” Sorry lady, I’ve already put that shirt back 37 times today and I know for a fact, it’s full-price in the front of the store.


Say goodbye to free time on the weekends and holidays! You’ll go to school all week and then slave away at work on the weekends. Fourth of July fireworks? Nope. Thanksgiving dinner? You wish. Christmas Eve celebration? Not a chance. Working retail is basically like signing your life away.  


The store will close on time, but you don’t get to go home. Where I work, we close our doors at 9:30 p.m., but between inconsiderate shoppers, the piles of clothes we have to fix, everything we have to put back, and closing procedures, we won’t actually leave the store until around 10:30 p.m..


Working retail is an adventure in and of itself. You’ll learn a lot about both yourself and society as a whole.There are times when I definitely consider quitting and storming out of the store like a madwoman, but then I remember my employee discount and how much I love some of my coworkers. In retail you really have to take the good with the bad.

As a journalism major and creative writing minor, Allison is all about everything reading and writing. Along with writing for Her Campus, Allison also writes for and is the editor of the features section of Hofstra's newspaper, The Chronicle. Fun fact! Her favorite way to start the morning is catching up with the important news of the day from her favorite email newsletter, TheSkimm. Want to be in the know too? Sign up for TheSkimm! http://www.theskimm.com/?r=93ac39ca
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