How To Survive Working In Retail

How To Survive Working In Retail

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I have been working in retail for almost a year now, and I’ve learned a few “tricks of the trade,” if you will. I would like to begin by stating that I genuinely enjoy my job, and I am so lucky to have such an amazing manager and co-workers. I understand that not everyone is as privileged when it comes to obtaining a job in retail, so I would like to give you some tips on how to survive working in retail.

Smile. Always.

Just do it. It doesn’t matter how bad of a day you may have had, or if you didn’t get much sleep, or you have a headache and you just do not want to be there, whatever it may be, you have to smile. Your shift will go a lot more smoothly. When a customer walks in the door and is greeted with a smiling sales associate (as long as you’re not being creepy) they will feel more at ease and will hopefully be in a good mood. You don’t want a cranky customer. Don’t just smile when you greet them, but also when you go to check them out at the register. It’s simply being a polite sales clerk. This is followed by…

Always apologize when a mistake is made.

It doesn’t matter if it was your fault or not. Apologize. “You rung me up for $19.99 but the sale tag says it’s $16.99.” “Oh, I’m sorry about that. Let me fix that for you.” Or, “I was here earlier today and was sold a pair of shoes but they are two left shoes.” “I’m so sorry about that. I’ll take care of that for you.” Mistakes happen; we’re human. Most of the time the customers will understand that and sometimes they won’t. Just apologize, take care of the problem, and move on with your life.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Seriously. To be able to work in retail all you really need is to be of legal age to work and watch a few training videos. This means you are not prepared for every obstacle that may come your way. For example, the register may decide to stop working and you have a line full of impatient customers. If you have never had this happen then you’re going to have to ask for help. Stuff happens.

Learn where everything is in your store.

This is a must. Your manager should tell you when you first get hired where the bathroom is, men section, women’s, kids’, etc. Just make sure you are paying attention to where all the merchandise is so when a customer asks you where something is you’re not just standing there with a blank expression. Also, know where the emergency alarms are at in all ends of the store. Know where the key to the restroom(s) is/are (employees and public). Know where the cleaning supplies are, extra staplers, scissors, promo signs...just know your store inside and out.

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

Just kidding. I was just making sure that you’re still paying attention. Most of the time the customer is not right, but you still need to keep that smile I told you about on your face. I have seen customers put clearance tags on merchandise that is definitely not a clearance item. Or wanting to exchange a well-worn and completely inextinguishable pair of shoes for a brand new pair of shoes. Or the customers who try to use an expired coupon. "I just got this in the mail so you should be able to take it."

Do not get mad when a customer makes a mess.

At least don’t make it obvious to the customer. The way they see it, it’s your job to clean up after them, and you have absolutely nothing else to do than to clean up their messes. They wreck your displays, pull shoes off the shelves, unfold the shirts you just folded, etc. It happens. Deal with it.

Prepare for this joke that customers love to use...

Accept that you will sometimes have to stay late and work holidays.

You work in retail. You will be working holidays. There is no way around it. Also, some nights you will have to stay late. There will be customers who come in 3 minutes to close and stay until 15 minutes after and then you will have to clean up after them and then continue with everything you have to do when closing the store.

You and your friends will be on completely different schedules.

Say goodbye to your social life.

Window displays and sign work will be the bane of your existence.

That is all I'm going to say about that.

Once your shift is over do not think about your job.

My manager tells us, “When you’re at work you focus on work. Once you leave the store don’t think about it.” She’s right. If you leave work stressing about how you could have handled something differently, then you’re just going to ruin your night and dread going back to work the next day. It isn't often that you have a crazy customer who wants to yell at you until he gets his way. Most days you deal with normal people who just want to shop and go along about their lives. You can do this.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.ixdaily.com/grind/703e15ce9db9e3f45cd3f2fb1987ed66bdbee367

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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To My High School Self, There Are Some Things You Should Know Before You Grow Up

College isn't always what it seems, girl.

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If a miracle occurs and you can read this before you go to college, please do, and if not, this is the perfect excuse to let some thoughts out. High school may seem bland, boring, and lonely, but you'll miss it sometimes. Yes, college can be great, and you meet some awesome people, but it is harder than anything I have ever done. That doesn't mean to not attend college but to be aware of what you are getting yourself into.

Science courses are challenging and at times, even with hard work, it seems like you still aren't working that hard. This may seem bad, but it builds toughness and character, if only I could control it better. But don't worry, everyone has demons and struggles; some are better at hiding it than others. Take science APs — yes, it will be a pain, but it'll help you out so much during college and you won't be wondering why you never did.

Be proud of yourself for dreaming bigger than the Sunshine State for there are great things here. You are so close to NYC (even though I never go) and live in a state where the weather is always changing. I have seen snow for the first time, and let me tell you, while getting your feet wet with snow isn't good, it is so beautiful and fun to walk on. I have even gotten into my first snowball fight, although I think I lost.

Most of my classes are great and interesting, but there are a few that are unfair. Luckily you will meet someone amazing that will be really helpful (more on that later). Oh, and remember how you wish you had a larger Jewish community? Well, look no more. Here at Stony, there is an amazing Jewish community with some of the best people you will ever meet and people I hope to never lose touch with because they are so special. Without these people, I don't know how I would survive college.

Many of these people have become friends and mentors which is amazing when you have a class with them. No matter what, stop chasing and flirting with guys that are long distance and aren't interested in you. I'm not going to reveal any details, but you will meet a man that is special. While he is not perfect, he is an incredible man and even with all the stress still finds time to help me out and make me feel like a queen. We have our ups and downs but we complete each other so well.

One last thing: don't forget to read your books because you won't have time in college. I love you. Remember that you are amazing, beautiful, smart, and please keep on being you. Try to like veggies and working out.

Good luck.

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