Perks of working retail

Perks Of Being A Retail Worker

I love folding clothes for four hours... most of the time ;)

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There are many perks to having a retail job (a job working at a clothing store).

The first and foremost is I get a fabulous discount on the clothing at the store I work at. It varies from store to store, but my discount is 50% off any item that is not already marked down.

I've bought some really cute things with this discount, but I haven't turned into a shopaholic…yet. God help my budget if I do.

Another perk is I get to listen to music while I work. Listening to music helps me relax and listen to the popular songs on the radio. Nowadays, I often choose to listen to my own music choices and favorite songs instead of trying to branch out.

The place I work at helps me listen to music that is not only peppy, but it is usually family friendly. I appreciate both of these aspects in their song choice, which leads to me wanting to dance while answering costumer's questions.

But the best perk is when I fold the clothes on the sales floor.

You might be thinking, "Wow, she just said she likes folding clothes. What a boring thing to like."

You are right, folding clothes for four hours straight does not sound appealing to most people. But when I got this job, I understood that work would probably be really boring. A perk to a job being really bored is it helps your mind wander on interesting story ideas, memories, and even future events. Doing routine work for hours on end is actually something that helps me 1) get a paycheck 2) fill up my resume and 3) become a better creative writer (due to the whole "mind wandering" thing I just mentioned).

Folding clothes for four hours straight (my usual shift time) has another very important personal perk.

I get to see something messy turn into something clean in a very short time span.

In other words – I can see that I have fixed a problem during my shift at work.

That is highly rewarding for me. I often feel very unorganized in my life at home. I write story ideas on post-it notes that often get lost in my class notes. My futon in my room is often covered in haphazardly stacked outfits and pajamas I decided not to wear yesterday or the day before, and my desk... Well, it's more of a magnet for junk mail than important schoolwork.

It is really nice to see the sections of the store I work on go from chaotic piles of jeans on tables, sweaters being balled up on the sales floor, and dresses halfway on their hangers (and halfway off) become a cleaner environment – and that's all because of me.

I don't know about you, but life is complicated, and often times I try to fix problems that are also complicated. Complicated problems take time, like moving on after putting down your dog or recovering from a disappointing experience (when your crush shares he/she doesn't like you back).

When I go into the store, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to fix a little problem while bopping to the great music. It's going to take some focus and attention, but man oh man by the end of the night, I AM A PART OF A SQUAD THAT MADE SOMETHING MESSY INTO SOMETHING CLEAN.

(My all caps are meant to convey excitement, not the tone of yelling. Just so you know.)

It feels good, like hey – this worked out, so all the other messes in my life will work out, too. It fills this little heart with hope.

… But even though I like cleaning up messes, please don't intentionally make a mess while you're shopping.

Below are some examples of how you can help workers like me out while shopping:

If you were shopping in the toddler section and decide that in the women's section "Naw, I don't want this pair of pants for my 12-month-old," please don't dump that small pair of pants by the women's jogging shorts. It just confuses me.

If you knock something off of a rack, then pick it up off of the floor and put it back.

This is the most important piece of advice though – which is funny that this has even happened more than once.

****If you bring a Starbucks cup into the store, don't hide it behind the denim section or behind one of the tables with clothes on it. Just throw it away outside of the store. This has happened way more times than it ever should have.

Don't do it.


With much love,

Brooke the Working Girl

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10 Abnormally Normal Things About College

Some stuff just doesn't fly in the real world.
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College is a weird, weird place. For whatever reason, the young adults who are supposed to be cultivating their minds with all of the worldly knowledge available to them, seem to get away with quite a bit using the justification "it's college." Even the best students live abnormally while on the alien planet that is a university. So, while to us college students it may just seem like another day, here are ten things that are only normal in college.

1. Straight up theft.

In the future, if I walk into my forty-something-year-old neighbor's home and see a collection of stolen signs, stuff from the local restaurant, and property from the construction site down the road, I would definitely be concerned about the character of my neighbor. However, in college, people proudly display campus signs, traffic cones, or dining hall napkin dispensers that they have impressively commandeered - it's a cheap decoration and a great conversation starter.

2. All-nighters.

Maybe with the exception of parents of little babies, very few people willingly stay up for close to 24 hours on end. In the real world, if a friend came to you and said that they literally did not sleep the previous night, it's completely logical to be worried. On the other hand, when a friend in college says that he was up all night you laugh a little, give him an understanding pat on the back, and walk with him to the coffee line.

3. Atrocious eating habits.

Sometimes you don't have time to eat. Sometimes you order pizza at 2 in the morning. Sometimes you eat three dinners. Sometimes you diet. All I can say, is thank goodness that our metabolisms are decently high at this age.

4. Breaking and entering.

In high school, you hopefully knew everyone who entered your home. After college, hopefully, that's still the case. However, when you live in the middle of thousands of bored college students, people knock at your door, walk into parties, cut through your yard, and stop by without invitation or hesitation. It keeps life fun, but still not normal.

5. Calling mom when stuff goes down.

I really doubt a time will ever come that I don't need to call my mom for guidance on how to do something. But, hopefully the frequency of those calls with go down a little bit post-graduation. Maybe after four years of doing it on my own, I'll know how to fill out government forms, cook real dinners, and get stains out. But for now, I'm going to keep calling while I still can without seeming totally pathetic.

6. Being intoxicated at weird times.

Drunk at noon on a Friday is the quintessence of an alcoholic at any time - unless it's college. Not that this is necessarily a good thing, and it certainly doesn't apply to everyone, but there aren't many other places where people would instantly assume someone is intoxicated if they're acting even a little weird. I've even seen people drink in the library....

7. The messed up dating scene.



There are people who meet the love of their life at college and live happily ever after. They are people who meet the supposed love of their life at college and never talk to them again after Sunday. There are people who use Tinder. Hormones are high, freedom is bountiful, and football players are cute - what else needs to be said?

8. A warped sense of time.

The career I'm pursuing will require me to be at work by 7 am, five days a week. I am fully aware of this. Now, will I enroll in an 8 am next semester? Absolutely not - I'm not a demon. In college, nights often start at 10 p.m., dinners are eaten at 4, and mornings can begin anywhere from 8 to 2. We don't get that whole 9-5 idea.

9. Costumes... for no apparent reason.

High schoolers have a dress code. Adults have dignity. College students have fun. Here, people will wear a corn costume to get on ESPN, a fanny pack to get into a fraternity, or a tutu to match a theme party. Is it actually a weird thing, though? No one even blinks an eye.

10. Insanely close friends.

Name another point in your life when you live with your friends, study with your friends, drive with your friends, eat with your friends, go out with your friends, and even grocery shop with your friends. I'll wait. At college, it's easy for friends to seem like family because you're with them constantly. Love it or hate it, it's weird about college.

So, enjoy this weirdness while you can - it won't last forever!


ALSO SEE:

Uncensored Roommate Confessions!

Cover Image Credit: Matthew Kupfer

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Retail Stores Keep Dying And It Might Be Too Late To Save Them

The world's retail giants are slowly being slain one by one.

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I arrived to work one evening in late December 2018 expecting just an ordinary shift.

Everyone who was working that night had been called to a meeting to discuss that evening's plans. Before the meeting ended, my AP manager (whose job I still know nothing about) informed us that he was leaving the store next Friday and that we should all look for jobs somewhere else.

At this moment, I knew our store would end up closing down.

I worked at a Kmart that had been around since the 1970s. I used to go there when I was younger and buy things like video games, toys, and even VHS tapes. After a certain point, I didn't really buy anything from there anymore. One day I walked in and found out that they had completely removed the video games section in expectations of shutting down soon. But that wouldn't happen for another three years.

I'm currently unemployed. So are many others as a result of retail giants like Sears, which owns Kmart, going bankrupt and shutting down.

This has been a huge trend within the past decade. With the rise of Amazon and the evolution of the internet, it is becoming harder for retail stores to make money. The video game section removed at my Kmart was probably removed due to not making enough income to justify keeping it.

Right now, I can open up my phone, select the PlayStation app and purchase the newest "Call of Duty." This takes less than 5 minutes to do. Now if I wanted to go to my former Kmart and purchase the newest "Call of Duty," I'd first have to walk to the video game section in the back of the store, get an employee to unlock the case it is in, then stand in line to purchase it.

Depending on how busy it is that day, this may have taken over 10 minutes. The convenience factor is a big reason why something like Amazon has thrived.

You may not be able to get what you want right away, but you also don't have to deal with annoying shoppers and long lines.

At one point, Sears was basically Amazon. It had a large selection of merchandise within the Sears catalog, which at one point was the equivalent to Amazon's website. Unfortunately for Sears, they were overtaken by Amazon and many other retail chains because they were too slow in taking their catalog online, allowing you to make purchases online as Amazon does.

Sears has declared bankruptcy and will most likely be gone in a year.

Sears will not be the only retail chain to potentially close.

GameStop has not declared bankruptcy yet, but it may by the end of this year since they are slowly losing money. Other stores like Family Dollar and Gymboree are also losing money, which has resulted in the closing down of multiple stores.

I don't want to make it seem like Amazon is this big and evil company that is solely responsible for shutting down the poor, innocent stores. These stores, especially Sears, had their chance to adapt and failed.

GameStop, in particular, has been constantly made fun of for how they force their employees to annoy customers with questions about video game pre-orders. Did they ever fix this issue? Of course not, and now there are tons of articles speculating about how they may go bankrupt.

Not adapting to sell online isn't the sole reason for these retail chains failing as a business. But the fact that they don't listen to their customers could also have contributed to their downfall.

In the near future, I don't think there will be that many retail store chains around anymore due to poor business decisions and Amazon. Shoppers have asked for convenient shopping experiences and they now receive them due to the evolution of the digital marketplace. This wish for convenience may have doomed retail stores, since not all of them can really keep up with a company like Amazon.

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