Today is my very last day working at my retail job (at least until second semester). I am fortunate enough to have my parents paying for my expenses first semester of college so that I can get used to the new life. So, for the first time in a year and a half I’m not going to have a job and honestly, it’s going to SO weird.
If you guys don’t know, I work, or workED, at Tillys clothing store. If you don’t have one near you or haven’t heard of it before, it’s basically just a clothing store that sell for little kids and adults. However, the adult section, in women’s at least, is junior cut so if you’re used to shopping in a women’s department somewhere else you usually have to size up because things typically run smaller.
Now for my experience working retail where I had to interact with people all of ages.
The best part overall about working at this particular store is everyone that I’ve gotten to work with. These people are honestly so incredible and I was so lucky to have had a first job like this. The good outweighs the bad always at this store. I made so many really great friends while working here and I never felt like I had to compete with anyone. I feel like typically at other jobs people are in constant competition to be able to promote, but that just didn’t happen at our place. I mean, people promoted but it was more likely for everyone to be proud of them than jealous. The age range of people that work there was about 17-30. But to us, it felt like their were no age gaps; we were just friends.
Customer wise sometimes it was bad, of course, but sometimes it was great. My favorite part of the customer experience was helping younger girls that enjoyed my company. I loved getting little kids that wanted my help and wanted me to pick out their clothes for them. It was always really cool to be able to make them feel confident and happy in their decisions. I also would always get lots of questions from kids that were just starting high school or even middle school at the same places that I went to. They wanted to know everything that they needed to know about their new schools and I loved being their information source.
One time I was working at the cash registers. Behind the registers we have a huge wall of backpacks and during back to school time we sell them really well. One day I had a little boy come up to me and he was going into 7th grade. He had SPECIFIC requirements for THE prefect middle school backpack. It needed a water bottle holder, back cushion/support, had to have lot’s of pockets, and needed to be blue or black so that his new lunchbox a hydro flask would match perfectly. I told him that I just saw a new shipment of a particular kind that had everything he needed. When I pulled this backpack out his eyes LIT UP. He was so happy that he could get everything he wanted and it honestly made my entire day.
He says, “OMG this is EXACTLY what I wanted! Thanks girl! You’re the coolest!”
My heart MELTED. And just little things like that was what made working there all the worthwhile.
(this is what I looked like)
But, with the good, comes…
Before I continue, I’d like to point out that in no way am I bashing Tillys or anyone that works/worked there. Their were always more good experiences than bad, but there was some bad things.
Please do not get me started with crazy moms with coupons. OH MY LORD.
(btw I’m going to use the name Lisa to indicate crazy mothers. this was not a past customer that I knew, just the first mom name that popped into my head at this time)
Lisas. Multiple Lisas. This is the hardest thing about working retail or any service industry really. These ladies are C R A Z Y. This really be your customer service face when they start being rude or just weird.
“I just work here”
-any employee anywhere ever
Sometimes I think that they’re out to get us, really I do. I cannot do ANYTHING about your expired coupon and you know what, NEITHER CAN MY MANAGER SO DON’T ASK.
We have had customers that just throw fits over things like this. We had a lady one time that cussed at one of the other girls that I worked with to the point where it made her cry. WHEN WOULD THAT EVER BE OKAY?!
Theres always going to be some irritated customer that comes in for nothing more than to just pick fights and argue for their own personal enjoyment. It is something that I will NEVER understand. If you come into a store already mad at people and nothing even happened, why are you even coming in?
We have had people that come in and tell us how we look or what we wear isn’t work appropriate. Need I remind everyone that we don’t have uniforms and we can wear pretty much anything unless it says a brand that we don’t sell, or it is too dressed down. We got emailed one time that a girl with colored hair was “out of dress code”. BECAUSE SHE HAD COLORED HAIR.
My last complaint is weird men/guys. If you’re a younger girl or honestly just a female in general. You will get hit on. You will have a guy that comes in and does not want to talk to ANYONE else except for you because they literally want you. Sometimes its flattering like, “Aww they think I’m pretty or nice”, other times its really weird and just not a good time.
FUNNY STORY TIME:
I had a guy one time who was probably around my age come in and tell me he needed to buy some stickers. I have no idea what his name was nor would I want to say his real name so lets just call him..”Jake.” Jake started talking to me as I was pulling stickers out of the case for him. He wanted a read “It’s Lit” sticker for the back of his car. As I was getting it out he goes, “It’s for my car”. I said “Okay.” and just continued about ringing him up. THEN. THIS BOY SAYS, “I could pick you up after work and take you for a ride if you’d like.” HAHHAHHA. I said “No thank you, I have boyfriend.” Then he proceeds to keep talking for god knows why. He says, “Well can I have your number for when you guys break up?” I said, “No thank you.” Then this little weirdo says, “Well what if your boyfriend is a girl?”
WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
After that it was literally just me telling him he couldn’t have my number and him just persistently asking until he finally left. PEOPLE ARE SO WEIRD.
But like I said, nothing bad or weird that happened was because of a coworker. It was always because of a customer. If you guys are looking for a first job and want it to be in retail, I would 10/10 recommend Tillys if you have one near you. It was one of the best things that I could have done and I loved every second of it. I hoping to come back and work my off seasons a my store and then during school my second semester, transfer to one a little bit closer to me.
Thank you guys for reading my retail experience! I hope this gives you an idea of what working there is sort of like.