Retail and Workers

Retail is one of the most challenging businesses to work in because customers, managers, and staff create drama, the hours are insane, and the attitudes challenging. The workers in retail have a tough time because there’s a lot of hard work involved with not much pay. The pay is getting better, but it’s still a struggle. The stress is high, and the jobs are not always a career path. It’s hard to find work outside of retail when you’re already in it. I’ve watched the news and seen how so many businesses are struggling to find workers at this time. It’s not hard to conceive why. If you’re going to pay retail workers little money with minimal career progression, it doesn’t make it an incentive for you to get good workers. But the flip side of that is if you pay too much and you get people who don’t want to work, they get rewarded for doing nothing while the people who work hard are the ones making virtually nothing. It’s a double-edged sword anyway you look at it.

Restaurants are having a difficult time getting enough workers at the moment. Never before in our history have we faced such a crisis. I can understand why people don’t want to work in the restaurant industry. Some of the weight staff only make approximately 213 an hour plus tips that are a gross underpayment. The work is hard, the demands are even more challenging, and customers can be complete jackasses. If you don’t believe me, work in a restaurant setting for three days, you’ll quickly find I’m telling the truth.

I used to work for a restaurant that we had to split tips in. It didn’t matter who did the most work or the best work because everybody brought home the same. The idea was that it would promote teamwork, but the reality was that it enabled the fact that you will make the same as everyone else if you didn’t do your job. That’s one of the reasons that I have struggled with working with retail for years.

I’m seeing all these things about how workers are needed desperately. I’m going to be the 1st to call that the hiring process is complete bullshit right now. Companies have gone to Internet applications, and while that may save time, it’s also preventing many people from working. I can’t tell you how many places my friends and I had applied to when there was a supposed urgent need, only finding that we didn’t qualify or weren’t going to get the interview. It didn’t matter that we were all fully qualified for the positions.

Our system for interviews repeatedly breaks, and until we admit that, it’s going to remain a struggle to get good people to work. The main thing is that if you want a job bad enough, keep calling and bugging the places you want to work. And if no chance to interview when you were fully qualified happens, recognize that it may not be a place you want to work. Because if they’re going to slam the door on you before you even get an opportunity to express an interest, then it may not be a good fit after all. Sometimes if you want to work there, you need to make it known, and you need to keep calling and bugging them if you genuinely want the job.

You have to ask yourself if you want the job then are you willing to do everything you can to get the job, and why you want the job? And just because you get turned down does not mean that it’s not going to happen, it just means that your algorithm keyword programs designed to go through your applications didn’t like something you said. If you want it, keep trying.

But be aware that if you’ve worked in retail at stores and you left for any particular reason, you are only selling yourself short if you try to go back to those previous jobs. There was a reason that you left the jobs and the first place. I have a friend who is currently trying to go back to a place he used to work. He left on not the greatest of terms, and now he wants to prove to himself that he can go back. Why? They treated him like crap and used him for everything they could use him for, and he allowed it. When this happens, it’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re going back because we need a job. But going backward doesn’t let us go forward. There are often reasons we don’t understand why things don’t work out. Sometimes it’s not meant for us too. Sometimes it’s a matter of helping us to grow by having us get ready to move on.

If you’re thinking of a career in retail, let me give you a piece of advice. Unless you own the company or have married into it and gotten moved up through the ranks, you will have a more challenging time getting established in higher positions. Getting out of retail is not a simple task either. The respect that people and retail get is virtually none. The regular customers tend to act like we are not worth their time until they need us for some particular task or reason. But if you genuinely enjoy your job, then you may enjoy working with the public. I love mine because I get to meet the most incredible people, and my job is a mixture of retail and administrative. I’m highly skilled in these areas, and though I wouldn’t call my job a complete retail position, other places might. But I have been on both sides of the spectrum. If you decide to leave retail, you must understand if you try to go back into the world of retail, you will have a tough time getting out of it down the road.

So for the people who look down on those who work in restaurants and retail, let me remind you that these workers are the ones who make your shopping and dining experiences better. Yes, there are people who work in these fields that shouldn’t. That’s like any other job. There will always be people in positions that shouldn’t be. But there are many who work in the retail industry because they enjoy what they do. They are the folks who work their tails off to make a little bit of money. And when I say little, I do mean little because most of the companies out there do not pay more than just minimum wage. There are a few exceptions, and to those companies, I’m not talking about them. But what I am talking about is the cost of living has skyrocketed. Since our government has made unemployment so lucrative for many people, getting other people to work and jobs needed has become extremely difficult because they pay less than what unemployment pays. It’s pretty sad when unemployment paid more than what I make in a week. I can understand why so many people have opted not to go back to work right now.

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