The most startling thing about working retail is how your coworkers treat you.
You can meet some of the nicest, generous people working minimum-wage for a retail giant. And you will also meet some of the oldest high schoolers of your life.
I’m not talking about high school kids who are super seniors but trying to get out into the world. I’m talking about the people who, for no reason, choose to hate your guts and willingly make your job 20x harder than it needs to be. Especially when you need to communicate with these people regularly.
I currently deal with 4 of these people; two of which graduated school just a few short years ago, and two of which have decided to act like high schoolers, at their job, well into their 40s.
Now, this kind of attitude surprised the shit out of me because before I worked retail, I was a file clerk/admin assistant for a local contraction company (i.e. a construction office bitch). I had absolutely no problems with the other office workers and the field employees (all the service guys and the construction guys), whenever they came into the office they were more than respectful of me and the other ladies in the office.
Since working retail, I have been threatened to take our dispute ‘elsewhere’ because I laughed at a joke made at one person’s expense because the joke was made by a salaried manager and I was nervous. What else am I supposed to do when a salaried manager, who can make or break my day, who can fire me, who can write me up for any little thing, makes an inappropriate joke? Nothing. I can go to HR after the fact, but not during.
I have been told that, while working on a special project for my department, one of the previous managers over my department thought I wasn’t doing a good enough job and that if I had just ‘done it sooner, you wouldn’t need help’. She said it to my face, after I was not told that I needed to come in early to help with a different project. She has since been extremely cold towards me.
And a different manager who previously was over my department, but still works closely with mine, refuses to communicate with me about anything. Just last week, she purposefully neglected to tell me about some boxes that needed to stocked that had accidentally ended up with her freight. She was less that 10 feet away from me in the backroom and didn’t say shit. Not a single word. She left my freight on the floor in her area and neglected to tell me that it was even there. I only knew about it because I was 10 FEET AWAY FROM HER AND HEARD HER TALKING!
Now, I can theorize why these girls are all mad at me. It’s not hard to do. But this is your job; you shouldn’t be causing drama and being completely immature just because you’ve been there however long or your apathetic about your job. Just because you don’t care doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t. I have bills to pay, college to attend, mouths to feed, etc. I can’t afford to settle this shit like I did in high school where I had no qualms about calling you out in public and calling you on your shit. Hell, I was constantly ready for a throw down in high school. But I’m an adult now and willing to have sit downs and communicate where these animosities are coming from so that I don’t hate coming to my job every single fucking day.
I think the worst part is that I’m not the only person these bullies target. The two younger girls I work with are now targeting two of the other girls on their team. Why? I can’t tell you. The two innocent girls come in, do their jobs, go home. They are just like me, trying to pay their bills and keep their heads afloat. They don’t start shit and they really are nice girls. But these two drama queens have decided they are the next best thing.
It’s absolutely ridiculous how people can get away with acting like this. And whenever I communicate that I’m being treated this way to my managers, they just shrug it off and tell me ‘you’re young so you have to learn to be the bigger person’. No the fuck I don’t. I am the bigger person by coming in every day, trying to be polite and courteous even though I really want to throw blows. I already am the bigger person for pleading with my managers to set up meetings with some of my colleagues so we can all get on the same page and clear the air. Just because my managers don’t do anything about it doesn’t mean that I’m not trying or that I’m not being the bigger the person.
But then again, why am I, the twenty-something having to be the bigger person to a forty-something adult woman who has no right to treat me the way she does.
Maybe I’ll start being the bitch I was in high school and show them I mean business, because apparently civility and honor mean nothing to these people. And they’re about to mean nothing to me.
Have you ever dealt with people like this while working retail or is this just my store? I would love some feedback below!