So I was shopping at Muji yesterday, one of my favourite places to buy things and was really peeved when I realised all the staff had changed over and the new guys were the archetypal nightmare shop assistants; ignorant, unhelpful, disinterested.
That got my thinking all about my experiences in retail as a customer and when I was younger, as a shop assistant. God knows some nightmare customers exist but one thing I found from a very brief stint on a make up counter (when I was at University) was just how bitchy and awful the staff could be to one another!
I worked in a big department store (clue: HOF) and for a brand that wanted SA’s to push for sales like mad (clue: BNFT).
Customers could be difficult, but not nearly as difficult as the floor manager who stalked you constantly, the area manager that explained how each customer should be pushed at minimum of 3 items and if they didn’t yelp with pain, you kept on going, and the girls on other counters (the one on Aveda was especially evil) who deliberately wouldn’t help you with anything (like, how do you work this till?!).
Ok. I lied. It wasn’t a “stint” cos I lasted a day there. I did nearly faint after a whole day on my feet and got a free coffee out of it even if I didn’t get paid.
No make up allowance was worth that suffering.
Which leads me to a very specific question….
When you have been on a make up counter, or indeed any store shopping, have you witnessed staff bullying or harsh managers having a go at staff in front of you? (Told you it was specific!).
I ask this because it has happened to me a few times, once in my beloved Selfridges and it really put me off going back for a while.
It was a scenario where a member of staff serving me got told off unfairly by a scary bulldog of a managaer and I didn’t know whether to say something or not.
…because if you’ve ever worked in retail, you’ll know that bosses can take things out on a member of staff long after you’ve gone home. But at the same time what’s right is right.
I had an experience in Primark where a manager went nuts at a member of staff who was asking a question about whether something was ok to exchange or not. I mean, she freaked out completely in front of a queue of people, screaming at the top of her voice, calling the girl an idiot and a tame wasting *insert swear word*.
Yes it was a big queue and clearly she was stressed but that was no way to behave – ever. Nevermind in front of customers. I emailed Primark head office but never heard back. So…
What’s your take on this?
Would you stand up for a member of staff who was being harrassed by their boss in front of you?
Or would you leave them to it?
Any experiences of this yourself?