Working retail: retail vs the real world…

Working in retail is like working in a whole different world.

It’s a world of perpetual smiling, nodding, and degrading yourself for the customer.

It’s a world where ‘professional’ is thrown around like salt on fries.

There’s nothing professional about it, honestly. How is it professional to ask children to show up and then refuse to tell them the rules of professionalism, subjecting them to a trial by fire?

How is it professional to ask that only certain employees can dress for the environmental conditions, while asking more who deal with those same conditions to wear other clothing?

How is it professional to allow dating within the company, but only until one party of the couple is promoted from their own hard work and dedication?

How is it professional to allow some employees to bend all the rules but some still have to follow them to the tee for no reason other than the managers have an attitude problem?

I worked in the real world. I worked in an office where I was required to be professional. I was required to wear a certain dress code and act a certain way based off my position. I understood that going into that job. I understood that I couldn’t wear certain clothes or talk in a more casual way and I knew that I was getting paid to act that way.

In retail, not only are you not paid enough to really care how you act but, with how stressful it is dealing with not only your customers, but fellow employees, people wonder why there are some many stories revolving some of the biggest retailers in the world.

I can’t comprehend how consumers still choose to shop at these places that are obviously horrible to work, let alone shop.

My own parents continue to shop at a retailer where not long ago, people experienced domestic terrorism and died from gun violence. My parents weren’t apart of the tragedy, but they still choose to shop at the place where things like that happen.

Maybe what I’m trying to convey is that as consumers, we can end this cycle of high school drop outs being underpaid and underappreciated, just by taking our business elsewhere. We can end this cycle of poverty where the CEOs of the big retailers take so much of the profits and the low-level employees struggling to make ends meet between 2-3 jobs by refusing to give these people any more of our money.

And I’m sure some of you are thinking, but don’t you work at one of those places? Won’t you be affected by them losing business?

Sure I will, for a little bit. But I can always find a new job better serving my community and existing outside of the drama and hysteria that is retail work. Or I’ll die from homelessness after 6 months without a job. But either way, I win in the short term.

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