Ah, part-time jobs. We hate them but we need them, and as the broke college students that we are, it’s just a bitter pill that must be swallowed. I think that while bar work has its obvious cons, that being dealing with woeful drunkards, retail work is a lot more than sitting behind a till and scratching your arse.
Working up to 10PM, furiously texting anyone who will buy you a fifth of vodka so you can go out feeling like a solid 8 when in reality, you’re probably a strong 3. You then forget about your miserable job, only to be rostered down for a double shift the next morning for 8AM. Lovin’ life.
Lower again if you have no experience. Thankfully it has since gone from €8.65 to €9.25, ‘cos every little cent counts when you’re stealing toilet paper, pasta and tins of beans from mother dearest. That being said, being paid €9.25 for dealing with stupid assholes makes you wonder why you don’t just tear your hair off your scalp and gouge your eyes out.
They can smell fear, and you can smell them. They know everything that you don’t know and more, and will not let you forget it, ever. The sound of their footsteps can cause a mini heart-attack, especially when they’re pounding towards you after you’ve been pretending to tidy the magazines and newspapers for the last 45 minutes.
Another shit aspect is how managers set the rosters. The common method of creating the most productivity would be ensuring that your employees are happy, right? WRONG. You will most often than not find yourself working with the people whom you are the least compatible with, be it the sullen, silent grump, or the stuck-up bitch who’s worked there since the Stone Age and feels shamelessly entitled to everything. The only time you’ll see your amazing work buddies is when you end your shift and they start theirs. Heart-breaking, to say the very least.
Imbecilic methods of payment
“Can I pay part cash part card?”
WHYYYYY do you have to be so AWKWARD?! I can barely work this till anyway never mind trying to make sure I don’t accidentally take €500 because I added an extra fucking zero to €50! Also, shout-out to the dumbassery of those who decide to empty their pouch of brown cents and other shite out on the counter and expect you to count out €35 in 5c coins when there’s about 100 customers in line. Pls stop.
You were cornered and asked to stay on the extra shift. You dither but eventually agree, ‘cos you need the dolla dolla. But when the time comes, you feel sick at looking at the rest of your colleagues go home while you take a break before starting again. You ask yourself the same question every time – WHY THE FUCK DID I SAY YES?!!
You’ve worked long shifts 6 days in a row, so you decide to relax and sleep in on your day off. Except it’s never your day off because the manager will shamelessly call you and TELL you to come in, because there’s lots of work to be done. You internally scream for a solid 1.5 seconds before agreeing to come in, and then proceed to smash your phone against your wall. Anything to stop them calling.
This is the big one…
Yes, of course it’s one of my daily goals to pick up the coins that you just dropped past my outstretched hand and walked away, to be ignored when I greet you with a smile, and ignore me when I offer you a clearly-needed bag for all your stupid shit.
Another one of my daily goals is to try and do the maths CRAZY FAST in my head, because you’ve decided that you suddenly want to give me 14c after YOU CLEARLY SAW ME type in the amount initially given, and open the till. I also love for you to grow impatient as my stressed addled brain is trying rapidly to sort your change, while thousands are queueing behind you and the manager is embarrassed by how dim I am.
Second last daily goal is having to take a deep breath and restrain myself from strangling you, because you insist that an item that is virtually non-existent was on the shelf ‘the other day’. Yes, of course I’ll check the back, ‘just in case I missed it’. I KNOW THE STOCKROOM BACKWARDS, but you don’t think that’s necessarily true, despite me working here longer than spending time in bed.
Finally, my last daily goal is enjoying the same frivolous witty quips about me taking my first sip of water in 5 hours, seeing as ‘I must have nothing to do!’, and also when stuff won’t scan, it is ‘a freebie so’. There is also the mundane ritual of discussing how terrible the weather is, how Ireland is a shite place to live in, and customers screaming at me after discovering they were overcharged 20c. However, my grim personal favourite is the drunk and/or high customer staring morosely into your eyes and slurring how good people can also drink crates of beer by themselves, while I sincerely hope that you do not vomit or breathe in my direction.
…Fuck off. Seriously.
So, all in all, cut retail workers some slack, ‘cos they’re the people you need at 9:59PM when you’re out of milk and biscuits.
What other shit do retail workers have to put up with? Share in the comments below!
Featured image source: pinterest.com
BA student from the University of Limerick on the Emerald Isle, tea addict, and lover of dank memes.