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Life of a Retail Worker

Inside Story

Reading the title, you might assume this is a story about a retail worker complaining about their job and sure, depending on the perspective, it could. Any job has their difficulties but for those of you who don't understand what's happening to the retail world, I'll explain it to you.

I've been working retail for at least 5 years, going on 6, and in the past 2 years or so a lot has changed. Company policies, new hire procedures, protocols the corporate wants to make sure all the stores are following. About a year ago a new buyer bought out the company that I work for, name will be anonymous so no slander or backlash happens. With this buyer came a new thing called "conversion," and what that means basically is the number of purchases that are made per people who walk in the store in the span of an hour we'll say.

For example: 10 people walk in but only 6 purchase something, that means 60% converted to a transaction. That became the focus of the store; there wasn't a balance for anything else, this was our number one drive. If you worked in services for example, you were a tech person or delivery person and had to focus on your own sales you had to do that while still driving for conversion. If you saw someone start to walk for the door empty- handed, you had to attempt to stop them before leaving to make sure you did everything in your power to get them to purchase something. Now if conversion was not met in a week, managers would hear it from their boss, which in turn made the associates hear it from the managers, stores would lose hours, and in turn associates would lose hours to work. Either driving them to another job or attempt to stick it out and hope for the best.

Now along with conversion came: customer emails added to the system, and selling we'll say a crate kit which would have a few samples of products and coupons for the store. Each store is given a goal of how many emails they should get a week, along with how many crates they should sell. If you didn't do this than again managers would hear it from their boss, and so on. If you as an associate didn't meet the requirements then your job would be threatened. You would get a write up and if you got 3 within the span of a year for the same thing, you'd be let go.

Reading that you might think "well it's part of the job, you have to do it," yes you would be right, it is part of the job. Despite your managers seeing you do your job and attempting to get those emails and crates but to no avail do customers add them a good majority of the time nor do they want the crates.

Some of the associates have dedicated their lives for the company to be given the short end of the stick. Like I said earlier, I know that all jobs have their downfall, but as time progresses with technology and being able to order products online versus going down to the store, it's making working retail extremely more difficult now versus 10-15 years ago.

I ask that you appreciate the work that associates do, companies are making standards incredibly harder to uphold and customers and managers who don't value their employees are being left with the ones who lack the motivation to actually care or do their job.

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Life of a Retail Worker
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