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Date: 03/22/14 12:30 PM

34 Responses to My Life As A Retail Worker [Pic+]

  1. Profile photo of llaa
    llaa Male 30-39
    1664 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 11:27 am
    Link: My Life As A Retail Worker - Journalist Loses Job - Works Retail - Notices Deceptive Work Rules
  2. Profile photo of Squrlz4Sale
    Squrlz4Sale Male 40-49
    6230 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm
    Wow-wow-wow! I`m only one-third of the way through this, but I have to cheer this sudden burst of great content. *The Atlantic* on IAB? Have I died and gone to heaven?

    This, along with the *Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments* post, has made my day. 4 stars! :-)
  3. Profile photo of carmium
    carmium Female 50-59
    6381 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    Good story. It gave me flashes of my after-school career as a stockroom "boy" for Woolworth`s. Nasty managers, low pay, unpaid OT, and a profound conviction that I would never work for a retail chain again.
    (They could specify jobs like "stockroom boy" back then, but I had an in thru my grandmother, who worked for WW.)
  4. Profile photo of CreamK
    CreamK Male 40-49
    1423 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 2:27 pm
    I agree, more quality content like this on IAB would be much appreciated.

    On that article, it took me a long time to realize getting ready for work should be done inside your working hours.. Pretty much every employer demanded that when the machines starts spinning, your are getting paid from that second onwards.. Also flexibility often goes in one direction only, doing overtime without pay but not been able to come in later the next day: standard practice. Later when i got to a job where things were done right, it was quite a revelation... You know what made that difference in that workplace? Unions and regulations...
  5. Profile photo of Gerry1of1
    Gerry1of1 Male 50-59
    36201 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I know the feeling, having lost 2 careers to illegal aliens. Either way it`s starting all over again all over again.

    If it were to happen a 3rd time I`d just rob a bank then sit down in the lobby and wait for the cops. Let the gov`ment feed me in prison. Free food and housing, plenty of drugs available I hear and no drug testing. Win Win
  6. Profile photo of shamrock1014
    shamrock1014 Male 40-49
    313 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm
    Just a whiny article from a woman beater.
  7. Profile photo of TheZigRat
    TheZigRat Male 50-59
    2210 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm
    Working in retail sure beats my previouss job working as a rehab manager for a crooked organization., There you were saleried only when working over your scheduled 40 hours. If you worked less then you were paid hourly. We were required to work 48 hour shifts each week but were only paid 40. This extra work involved heavy packaging and assembling and was over and above or already heavy workload. Any of our actually assigned tasks such as reports etc we were expected to work on at home without pay.
  8. Profile photo of xavroche
    xavroche Male 30-39
    819 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm
    While I was doing my undergrad I worked in the service industry for a while. Not only was the pay horrible, but we were normally paid an hour less daily. I also remember calling in sick and subsequently being punished by having shifts cut back the following week and being given the worst tasks in the following days.
    I can really relate to loyalty being asked but not given, and also I remember that given the poor work conditions, it was surprising how emotionally invested I found myself at times.
    I now work in radically better conditions and with much better pay. I guess there is some logic to it: since then I finished my undergrad, accrued experience, and completed two separate graduate degrees.
    But on some levels I do sometimes wonder if there is really an ethical justification to the gulf that exists in both work conditions and salaries between minimum wage employment and graduate level employment.
  9. Profile photo of jamie76
    jamie76 Male 30-39
    2346 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 5:55 pm
    first off, I never liked Romney at all and what the reporter said about him was VERY true...he could have phrased it better but they guy hit his wife...stopped reading right there. i don`t have any respect for anything a woman beater says.

    period.
  10. Profile photo of maggierose78
    maggierose78 Female 18-29
    688 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 6:13 pm
    This gave me flashbacks from working at Wal-Mart. If you worked over your schedule, instead of paying you the money, they would simply ask you to take a longer lunch break. If you were late getting back from a break, you would get a snide remark. I eventually gave up trying. The money was okay, but how it made you feel in the long run wasn`t worth it. Yes, the company valued loyalty, but only loyalty from the employees. Yes, the company valued hard work, but only hard work from the employees.
  11. Profile photo of Daegog
    Daegog Male 30-39
    1298 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 7:09 pm
    He is old enough that he SHOULD have known better than to write that about romney (even if its readily apparent).

    As far as the wife beating, meh. Never a good thing to beat on women, BUT i dont know the circumstances, so i will try not to be self righteous as others (for all i know she was gonna stab him with a knife, in which case punching a chick in the face is better than a knife in your ribcage).

    As far as retail work, its PRETTY much modern slavery. Maybe even worse, because you think you can get out of it, or it will get better, when it just never does.
  12. Profile photo of piratefish
    piratefish Male 40-49
    675 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 8:15 pm
    Sadly, from what I have read and have seen first hand, there are literally millions more Americans in the same boat; former professionals who have lost their jobs for one reason or another (most because of the last recession) and have struggled to find comparable work again. I personally know of more than a half-dozen people in his boat, and who have been for most of the last 5 years.

    What makes this especially difficult is knowing that there are a completely different set of rules for the owners and managers (or executives). Despite the fact that there is literally no way for them to keep their companies afloat without the help of thousands of low paid workers, they still feel justified in giving themselves obscenely high wages and generous benefits. And, of course, they`re quick to point out that it`s about supply and demand for the respective skill sets. Well, BS! I have worked for more than one incompetent schmuck.
  13. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    5877 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm
    Translation: I was a protected class with no marketable job skills, until my racism was so overt that even my racist bosses couldn`t defend me, and I found out that real work is HARD.

    When he outlined that particular requirement, my civil-rights brain - the one that was outraged
    Too dumb to realize that the 4th Amendment sets limitations on the government, not private employers.

    in retail no one sits. Ever.
    What? You have to WORK to earn a paycheck?

    I clocked in a few minutes after the start of my 3 p.m. shift,
    What? They get UPSET when you`re late?

    Sorry, could only take just so much of his whining.

    We get it, he is better than his job. He used to be special, he was a minority who insulted the right people and could get away with it. Until he went too far and now actually has to work for a living.

    Suck it up. You`re attempt at Self-righteousness and/or Sympathy are pathetic
  14. Profile photo of OldOllie
    OldOllie Male 60-69
    15844 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 9:50 pm
    Yeah, what MeGrendel said.
  15. Profile photo of RytWing
    RytWing Male 30-39
    316 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 10:00 pm
    @daegog

    I work in retail and you are right. It is slavery. I get flogged and raped at the end of every shift and then they don`t even pay me. No...wait.. Your a moron. None of that is true.
  16. Profile photo of puppypaws98
    puppypaws98 Female 40-49
    8 posts
    March 22, 2014 at 10:39 pm
    Yeah, what OldOllie and MeGrendel said.
  17. Profile photo of Sleepyhallow
    Sleepyhallow Male 50-59
    1983 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 3:43 am
    I see the heartless "I-got-Mine`s" are out in force tonight.
    Glad you all admitted to not reading the entire article yet still seemed to have a fully formed opinion about it.

    You selfish, self-righteous jackasses never cease to amaze me with you sociopathically low levels of empathy for your fellow human being.
  18. Profile photo of paddy215
    paddy215 Male 18-29
    1677 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 4:00 am
    Journalist fired for being a racist with beater.
    Unable to get another journalism job because, shock horror, racist wife beaters is not the image most publications go for.
    Lies on CV to get what should be a minimum wage job in retail, gets paid almost $3 per hour more than minimum wage ... complains about low pay.
    Is expected to actually do the job ... complains about this.
    Struggles to make ends meat because he is making child support payments to his ex wife who he assaulted ... complains about having to support his child.
    Complains about not being allowed to take extra time at breaks and show up late to work.
    Leaves job he was lucky to get with zero notice, complains when the manager doesn`t beg him to stay.
    The only semi-legitimate complaint he has in the entire article is that employees were checked for stolen goods when leaving the store.

    Hopefully this summary will save someone else the time I wasted reading that article.
  19. Profile photo of Reignblazer
    Reignblazer Male 18-29
    2334 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 5:23 am
    Working in retail suuuuuuuucks so very very hard. Never again.
  20. Profile photo of LordJim
    LordJim Male 60-69
    6662 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 5:23 am
    I`ve had worse jobs.
  21. Profile photo of Mr_Pedo_Bear
    Mr_Pedo_Bear Male 70 & Over
    997 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 7:05 am
    What McGrendle, Old Ollie, puppypaws98 & paddy215 said.
    +

    He galls at the idea of having pride in his work. You shouldn`t feel ashamed whatever legal job you do as you`re being a productive member of society.

    He didn`t even have the courtesy to explain his no notice quitting in person. He phoned it in as it was easier for him not to confront the manager he was leaving in the lurch.
  22. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 10:13 am
    As far as retail work, its PRETTY much modern slavery.

    Bollocks.

    I work as a flunkey in a customer service/retail job. I`m paid 25p/hour (about 40c in your money) above minimum wage.

    It`s a crap job with ever-worsening conditions, no security, no pension, widespread breaking of laws designed to give employees minimal health and safety protection, etc, etc. It has no status. It doesn`t even have any stability, as we have to work whatever days and hours we`re ordered to work.

    It`s not at all like slavery. Not even vaguely similar. It completely lacks the defining feature of slavery - ownership.

    It`s not even serfdom. It`s true that my position in society is very much the modern equivalent of a medieval serf, but I`m not legally bound to land.

    It`s crap, but it`s not *that* crap. I`m a flunkey, not a slave.
  23. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 10:22 am
    He galls at the idea of having pride in his work.

    Wrong. He galls at the idea of having pride in being an exploited flunkey, at being proud of being inferior, at being proud of working without pay in order to better serve his master, etc. That`s a sign of manipulation and abuse and he`s right to be galled by it.

    You shouldn`t feel ashamed whatever legal job you do as you`re being a productive member of society.

    True...and completely irrelevant.

    He didn`t even have the courtesy to explain his no notice quitting in person.

    It was polite of him to give his masters anything, as opposed to just not coming back. He told them he had left and he gave them some notice - that`s plenty of courtesy in the circumstances.

    I`ve known workers who just walked out at lunchtime and never came back and I consider that completely understandable and sufficiently polite.
  24. Profile photo of Mr_Pedo_Bear
    Mr_Pedo_Bear Male 70 & Over
    997 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 10:45 am
    @Angillion “So, your new job,” he said, his irritation coming through the phone as he realized he needed to fill my shift for the week ahead.

    Where is the notice? It`s telling him I got a new job bye. That`s marginally better than just not turning up for work. He owes them nothing? The people who gave him a job when he was desperate and had nothing and complained at length about it.

    internal pride in my crappy menial job, almost against my will. So he resents the fact he had pride what did he feel pride in doing.

    I felt a thrill when Stretch gave me a high-five for taking an online order from a customer without screwing it up. I quietly exalted when I correctly diagnosed that a customer needed stability running shoes and not the neutral ones he wanted. I congratulated myself on my work ethic when
    Oh right doing his job well even if it below him as he obviously thinks yo
  25. Profile photo of Mr_Pedo_Bear
    Mr_Pedo_Bear Male 70 & Over
    997 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 10:49 am
    He galls at the idea of having pride in being an exploited flunkey, at being proud of being inferior, and yeah he considers them inferior. That`s one of his biggest issues. He believes he`s better than other people. Why I have no more sympathy for him than anyone else who would think the same. Anyone who chooses to go to work and not rely on other people when they have a choice not to is not inferior. And the problem with your thinking is who decides what is inferior profession? Manual Labour House building? Care home nurse is minimum wage aswell they inferior?

    There is nothing wrong in having pride in doing something well. Even if you hate the job.
  26. Profile photo of Squrlz4Sale
    Squrlz4Sale Male 40-49
    6230 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm
    I like this post a lot because it`s not clear-cut. There`s a fair amount of gray area here. I myself was a bit put off by what seems like some resentment on the author`s part regarding paying child support--and the spousal abuse thing certainly doesn`t gain my sympathy. At the same time, yeah--being at the bottom rung of the workforce at 50+ in America is a pretty horrible existence and it seems like more and more Americans are finding themselves there, for whatever reasons.
  27. Profile photo of Issame
    Issame Female 30-39
    112 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm
    All I see is a load of whining from a man who isn`t accustomed to working for pay.

    Many of us do, however, and reading excuses for being late several times? Pitiful.
  28. Profile photo of durdikkimeng
    durdikkimeng Male 50-59
    743 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm
    however, I’m just another overeducated, middle-aged, middle-class refugee whose last retail experience dates to the Reagan administration.
    EXACTLY.
  29. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 6:39 pm
    And the problem with your thinking is who decides what is inferior profession?

    The problem with your question is that it`s not relevant to the post it`s supposed to be replying to.

    I didn`t say anything about inferior professions.

    Also, working in retail isn`t a profession. A minor point, but it`s another indication of your lack of understanding of the subject.
  30. Profile photo of Angilion
    Angilion Male 40-49
    12390 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    Oh, and don`t think I didn`t notice that you cut out the references to things such as working without pay so that you could write things such as:

    There is nothing wrong in having pride in doing something well. Even if you hate the job.

    as if they were a conclusive counter-argument.
  31. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    5877 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm
    Sleepyhallow- you sociopathically low levels of empathy for your fellow human being.
    Why would I care to have empathy for a low-life proffesional race-baiter that got caught and now can`t handle real work for a change?

    Working in retail is easy. Being GOOD at working in retail is hard. Got hugged last night by a good friend who is working retail, and she`s good at it. She`s 19 years old, weighs 95 lbs soaking wet and is raising a child while working retail. HER I admire.

    This trash? Not so much.
  32. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    5877 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 7:54 pm
    Angilion-being an exploited flunkey
    Must have missed the part where he was held at gunpoint on the job.

    Angilion-being proud of being inferior
    His problem is he IS inferior in this job, but refuses to admit it. In his mind the job is `beneath` him. He believes himself superior, but is sadly mistaken.

    Angilion- better serve his master
    He didn`t HAVE a `master` in this job. He had an employer and supervisors. He`s just pissed that he can`t phone it in and get a paycheck for insulting his inferiors over a double-soy-milk-latte.
  33. Profile photo of Squrlz4Sale
    Squrlz4Sale Male 40-49
    6230 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm
    ~sips double-soy-milk-latte... throws acorn at MeGrendel~
  34. Profile photo of Grendel
    Grendel Male 40-49
    5877 posts
    March 23, 2014 at 9:12 pm
    Squrlz4Sale-throws acorn at MeGrendel

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