Old Navy: Retail Hell

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This is a story for anyone who has ever had to work in retail, and to those people I say…

I am truly sorry.

I started at Old Navy in the summer of 2011. It was my first job ever.

My Old Navy was in a mall, around the corner from Target, and across the hallway from Auntie Anne’s Pretzels (the smell of delicious pretzels would waft through the front door and usually caused me to spend on hour’s pay on pretzels during my break).

Old Navy, with their pop-pants and puff coats.

That place was the best of times and the worst of times.

Working retail means that you spend hours upon hours folding tables and tables of the same shirt and then you get to watch as some middle-aged mom with her 3 obnoxious children comes and ruins the whole table.

I have seen a table go down in less than 10 minutes.

The worst was, when I first started working there, there was a wall called the ‘Fundamentals Wall’, which was just rows and rows and stacks and stacks of basic t-shirts that all looked the same. And they were arranged in such a way that it was impossible for anyone to browse the stacks without completely ruining them.

I would literally get put on a 4 hour shift just doing the fucking fundamentals wall. It was atrocious.

Old Navy really just threw you into the work. For the first month or so running clothes (which is lingo for just putting things from the dressing room back out on the floor) was terrible.

I honestly don’t know how some of these customers found these things. One random shirt, at the back of the store, under a table…I hate people.

Another thing that made me hate people…

Let me make a quick clarification.

We do not have things “in the back”.

I do not know who got it into their heads that stores miraculously have extras of every items stored in the back. It’s not wonderland back there. If we have clothes, we put them out so people can buy them. We don’t hide them away and save them for the people who are ‘savvy’ enough to ask if we have anything the back.

No, we do not have more sizes in the back, the sizes we have are out on the floor…you can try online.

Working the register was fun, except for the fact that then you were supposed to open Old Navy cards.

I didn’t want to force people to get another fricking credit card, but of course I had to pretend that it was the greatest thing in the world.

Register was fine, except when people were idiots:

“This coupon is expired, do you think you can still honor it?”
“Actually, the computer will physically not let my input that coupon code. I’m sorry, but there is nothing I can do”
“…are you sure?”
“Um, yes I’m pretty fucking positive. This computer is pretty basic. I can ring things up and take your money”
“Can I talk to your manager?”
“Yeah, for sure, but they are going to say the same fucking thing I have been telling you.”

And people need to learn to read signs.

It says 50% off women’s sweaters…no that means that it will not apply to your freaking children’s jeans. READ THE GODDAMN SIGNS!

And Old Navy was one of the bad ones because it catered to the crowd of moms and children. Housewives are always cranky and they think they know everything about shopping. My store also attracted entitled people. It didn’t take much to get someone to complain about something.

I was always having to get my manger for something.

On a lighter note, people making returns are sometimes comical.

There are those people that think you have purposely inflicted wrong on them when something they bought didn’t fit.

There are those people that are returning something that had clearly been worn and washed many times.

And there are people who apologize profusely for returning thing as if I may be offended that something they bought didn’t fit properly. It doesn’t affect me, sweetie.

As long as I get my paycheck at the end of the day, I’m fine with what ever you want to do.

But no…we don’t have it in the back.

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One response »

  1. I feel ya, girl. Retail can make you love people and hate people all in the same day! It’s been a long time since I worked retail, but I haven’t forgotten any of it! 🙂

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