For two and a half years I worked for a big box store, a financially failing big box store at that. I started off as a cashier and gradually moved my way around the store and up the ladder until the day I had to relocate. Now I am developing my career by holding a position of management in a retail setting, so let me tell you some things that I have learned.

Coworkers

I can honestly say I have enjoyed 90% of the people I have worked with, several of which I have developed personal friendships with, but that 10% that I didn’t enjoy was pretty intense. In general I would say there are three different types of coworkers you experience in the workforce: the one who doesn’t have a clue, the people who get it, and the know it all that can’t do their job.

The one who doesn’t have a clue typically has worked there for at least a few months and still hasn’t gotten the job down. If things get busy, they get frazzled, lash out, and have an awful attitude (which adds to their unappealing-ness). No matter how many times you help them, correct them, or retrain them, they just don’t get it.

The people that get how to do their job either show it or choose to be a slacker, but when the rush hits you know you can depend on them. They are educated, they are capable and they are the ones that make coming to work every day worth it.

Let’s talk about the know it all, I’m all for having an educated staff that knows what they’re doing, but what I’m talking about is the know it all that in fact does not know it all. These people typically want to feel some sense of superiority so they view anyone who can do their job as a threat and finds ways to show they’re more worthy (and normally end up failing). In my years I trained a lot of people, but two people stand out as unreceptive of my advice and took my level of experience and knowledge as a threat instead of a tool. I am a friendly person, I always offer my hand to help but these people do not want it. They would rather fail on their own than succeed because someone helped them, especially if someone more experienced helped them.

Customers

Again I believe that the customers that you interact with can be divided in to three categories: ghosts, pure perfection, and Satan.

The ghosts are the people who come in to the store and leave without acknowledging you and it’s like they were never there. Sometimes it is nice to have a customer come in and not bombard you with a million questions but it tends to get awkward when you extend a greeting like, “Hello! How are you today?” Their response is to act like you don’t even exist, you normally brush it off but it still hurts a little.

Customers that are pure perfection acknowledge your existence, maybe chat with you a little while and then say, “Oh, you look pretty busy, I’ll let you get back to work!” They keep the interaction short and sweet and leave the store as it was when they came in. These are the customers that you develop a relationship with, especially if they are regulars, and you can talk with about your personal life as well.

Just like actual Satan, these customers can come in many forms. The ones that ask a million questions and if you don’t know the answer to one question they discredit you completely.

“If I put these underwear on my dog and he runs around the neighborhood in them, will they be too stretched out for me to wear?” “Uhhh… I’m not sure but I wouldn’t suggest doing that.” “Oh so you mean to tell me you don’t know how to do your job? Can you get someone over here who does, please.”

The one who thinks talking to a manager will solve their problems.

“Well since no one knows if my dog will stretch out these underwear, can you bring a manager over here, please?”

Then we have the customer who doesn’t get the answer they wanted so they throw a tantrum and end up yelling or making a mess in the store.

“SO NO ONE CAN ANSWER IF MY DOG IS GOING TO STRETCH OUT THESE UNDERWEAR OR NOT?!?!” -goes in to the fitting room, opens up four packages of underwear, and throws them everywhere-

Thanks for reading, guys! I hope you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like it and follow before you leave. Look out for new content every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! 

– Mackenzie

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