After working for two big-box retailers for a total of two years, I suggest that everyone attempt it at least once. If not for the work experience, then for the networking between fellow employees. You could learn a thing or two about anger management or bond with someone over your dislike of a certain coworker.
Regardless of the retailer, most of the employees fit into the six categories listed below.
1. The Party Girl
She'll be walking into work at eight o'clock with her thick rim sunglasses, carrying her venti iced latte in one hand and her iPhone in the other. As soon as you greet her, she'll begin to tell you how hungover she is and how she only got four hours of sleep. You'll ask her what happened and she'll give you a play-by-play of how the entire night went down. Mouth wide open and dirty details spilling out, you'll sit there having a full conversation in front of customers. She'll finish her dialogue with a snap back to reality and request for advice. She'll never listen, no matter how hard you try.
2. The Player
He walks down the main aisle like he owns the place and doesn't look in your direction unless ordered to by an authority figure. He puts a pen on top of his ear like an accessory and never once uses it to write. He talks using minimal words in an attempt to sound mysterious but sounds unintelligent instead. You'll get his attention by correcting him when he's wrong. He'll try to get your number, but you'll politely decline because you know he's already talking to two of your coworkers.
3. The Druggies
They're spread throughout the store, treading quietly, hoping no one notices when they sneak to the employee bathroom to vape. They don't meet their job requirements, yet never get called out. They're constantly on the prowl for new customers. They'll tell you in great detail about each and every one of their drug-related experiences. You'll ask them if they've considered quitting, but they're already too addicted.
4. The Nuisance
She acts as though she's your supervisor, yet holds the exact same position you do. She's quick to point out your mistakes on the job while continuing to ignore her own. She'll leave early on a weekly basis because she's not feeling well. She'll disappear for hours and come back just as you've been asked to finish her job. You'll confront her about not cooperating with the team and she'll go straight to your supervisor to complain about you.
5. The Snitch
She'll get on your good side and act like your friend. You'll take breaks together, complete tasks together, and even hang out after work a of couple times. She'll tell you everything she dislikes about a certain coworker. You'll do the same because you thought you could trust her. Turns out, you can't. Every little piece of information you told her ends up circulating throughout the store.
6. The Best Friend
She'll be one of the first people you meet during your training. She'll be the one you can relate to on all things happening in your life. She'll be the one you can trust with work and personal secrets alike. She'll be the only one supporting you when work brings you down. You'll become best friends in a matter of months, bonding over work trauma and coffee therapy.
Working retail can be stressful and your coworkers can make or break your motivation to be present. Whether they're in or out of your personal life, they contribute to stories that you can tell for years to come.