7 Things Every Full-Time Retail Worker Wants You To Know

1. We have a real job.

A lot of times people assume that working at a retail store isn’t really a “real” job. Trust me, anyone working a full-time retail job, is probably working 10 times harder than your 9-5 desk job. Not only are we pulling more hours for less pay, we’re physically putting a lot into it. However, we don’t want to compare both or say one is a harder job to perform…Just don’t judge us because we sell clothes.

2. We have the worst schedules.

I’m sure you guys have heard of the dreadful “Clopening.” It’s a closing shift, then proceeding to open the following morning (probably not even 8 hours after we leave the store). We get those at least once a month, and maybe once a week if our managers hate us. And don’t get me started with closing more than twice a week. We get home at 12 am if we’re lucky, and are too tired to get up early enough the next day to do anything productive. We also never really get a full weekend, and when we do, we’re trying so hard to soak up every hour of it that we end up more exhausted.

3. We deal with the worst people in the world.

Who knew that people were so sensitive to clothing? From complaining about long lines to the music being too loud, we deal with the worst people ever. I’m sorry lady, if you’re here returning, we’re so happy to help! But that’s why we don’t have more than 1 cashier—payroll can’t afford it. And when you’re the only manager with only 2 other people, you really can’t do much. So please, if you really need to return that cardigan from 2012 or buy that dress, wait patiently on line and we’ll be happy to help when we can.

4. We are team players.

I’ve met the most diverse group of people working retail. From the kindest, to the most arrogant workers, we slowly mature into being team players. Especially becoming a fulltime worker, you have to learn to set an example to work with everyone. Even that annoying girl who can’t stop talking about her boyfriend problems or the asshole trying to prove to everyone that he’s going to get promoted next. We learn to have patience, show kindness, and basically fake it till we make it.

5. We work pretty damn hard.

Most full-time retailers work 40+ hours while getting little to no sleep. And if you’re like me, you’ve put your work life over any social life you’ve tried scavenging for after months of cancelled plans. We’re passionate about what we do and we definitely don’t get it handed to us on a silver platter.

6. We dream of a normal life (sometimes).

After a long week of closing shifts or way too many 6 am shifts, we sometimes dream of a normal life. What it’s like to come into work at 9 am and leave at 5 or 6 pm to grab some dinner with friends. We dreadfully walk into work like zombies at 6 am and leave exhausted mid afternoon. We see kids coming out of school and realize we’re too tired to even do anything and roll right into bed.

7. We love it.

Even though we work our asses off, get bitched out by customers, and are physically and mentally drained, we love every damn moment. It’s a huge hate love thing we have going on with our jobs, but we wouldn’t trade it for the norm. I mean…we might if you offered us 20% increase, a moving allowance, and more than 2 weeks of vacation… but we know we’d get bored. We love that we’re on our feet constantly. We love that we can make peoples day. We love that we learned real life skills. And we love that we found something we’re passionate about. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog