1. Your diet is challenged every shift.
Even the most disciplined folks will struggle to eat decently. There’s just no avoiding that food court with its wide array of delicious garbage foods. Panda Express over here, Sbarro over there, Arby’s and Burger King and Chick-fil-A, oh my! Enjoy that inevitable, incurable addiction to Cinnabon.
2. Sometimes you have to eat alone in aforementioned food court like a loner.
It’s okay; everybody has to be Steven Glansberg once in a while.
3. You have to be harassed by kiosk employees who are relentlessly trying to sell you a phone or a phone case or cheap jewelry or a foot massage or a shoeshine or rub lotions & creams on you.
HEY WHO’S YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER? HAVE YOU CONSIDERED T-MOBILE? WHAT’S YOUR PLAN? WE CAN OFFER YOU UNICORNS & RAINBOWS & PIZZA & UNLIMITED TALK & TEXT. The worst part is that these workers won’t recognize you because they have such a high turnover rate, there’s a new employee at it every week.
4. Working in a mall from November to December is like being paid minimum wage to live inside of an actual nightmare.
If you’ve ever wondered what the zombie apocalypse would look like, check out any retail store at noon-ish on Black Friday. There may not be flesh-eating monsters but you’ll see the incredibly messy aftermath of shoppers who tossed dignity aside (along with items they decided not to purchase) in exchange for 40% off. Oh, and this’ll continue throughout the entire holiday season, hooray!
5. It destroys your desire to interact with people.
When you spend a large chunk of your days encountering all of the worst individuals (murderers & people with “trust no one” tattoos excluded), it makes you want to be alone. Isolation will always be more appealing than rude, socially challenged customers.
6. It’s a daily struggle to not put every cent you make directly back into the mall.
Every single time you leave work, you’re forced to window shop and how many times can one walk past a pair of pants or shoes that they like before they disregard their budget and make an irresponsible purchase. It’s kind of cruel, honestly, but all you can do is pray for your debit card.
7. You frequently run into friends who aren’t working and want your shift to end immediately so you can hang out.
Go ahead and pretend to be busy folding the same jeans for 20 minutes while you chat with your pals, but it won’t fulfill your desire to take off that name badge and be done for the day.
8. The mall is typically flooded with noisy and/or disrespectful 12-year-olds who’ve presumably been abandoned by their parents because of their incredibly obnoxious, horrible behavior.
Basically every Friday after school gets out, the mall feels like there’s a casting call for one of the boot camp episodes of Maury. Sadly, nobody will scold those rebellious street youths as they so deserve.
9. Hours are always crappy, especially when you work retail.
Here’s a 4-hour shift on Saturday night – it’s long enough to kill your social life but also you’ll only make 28 bucks. At some points it feels like you’re just employed so you can make enough money to travel to work. How are you supposed to buy all of the exquisite treasures you spotted in those windows when your paycheck is only good for a half tank of gas?