Yes, so for those who don't know before this cleaning job I am currently at in my little town, I worked at a big Poundland down in Newcastle. Other than that, in the retail sector I have also worked for New Look and Asda...so three very different types of stores.
Anyways you all know the reputation working in retail has and by that I mean how customers can be mean, rude and downright disrespectful to a lot of workers. This was especially prominent in a 'bargain' store where people seemed to assume that by working there I was uneducated or an idiot.
However I also had some really good times while working at Poundland and I want to share a few of those with you today.
One of my all time favorite memories had to include a dog didn't it?! In my position I was responsible for the clothing, DIY and Pet isles, can you guess which was my favorite haha. Well when stocking up pet I'd often get talking to different people about their animals and what they were buying etc. One lovely lady was stocking up on treats as she was going to soon become a rescue Mama of a dog from Romania. She stood for ages talking to me, telling me all about the process and the dog that would be coming to live with her soon and promised that when she arrived that she'd come back so I could meet her. I loved talking to her and hearing the story but never really thought she'd come back. To my surprised a good few weeks later I was tapped on the shoulder and she said 'We got her! She's outside :)' I literally dropped everything and ran to the door, dropped to my knees and had lots of doggy love from the sweetest little rescue ever - it made my day.
Not only that but the lady must of appreciated my enthusiasm too as I was complimented by her to fellow staff members.
Another great, but sad memory is that of an old man. If you know me you know I have a weak spot for old men and not in a weird way, but since I lost my Granda I just find myself like that.
This was a morning that I was working on the clothing section and a sweet old man came tottering round the corner from the health and beauty isle looking a little lost. I asked him if he was okay and he asked if I wouldn't mind helping him finding a few bits. I hopped down from my stool and spent about 10minutes with him picking up the bits and pieces he said he needed. Once we'd completed his list he stopped and put his hand on my arm and said, 'Thank you very much for taking the time to help a silly old man. I lost my wife a few weeks ago and she used to do all of this shopping and stuff.'. I filled up, tried not to sound too emotional when I gave him my apologies for his loss and told him it was my job to help. But he proceeded to tell me that no one had helped him or given him as much time as I had.
It made me feel bad that not every retail assistant fulfilled their job description to the right standard but I was happy to have been able to help him.
Lastly I'll include a little funny though slightly embarrassing for me! I am the type of person who just cannot be rude. When a customer is talking to you you cannot just say, sorry I'm busy and leave - unless of course you've been called to the till or something. So when a guy from Africa wanted to get my opinion on his poetry/song (that just happened to be about 10-15 minutes long) I listened. Other staff members would come by and laugh behind their hands as he sang and I stood there listening. He was so passionate and genuinely wanted my feedback, especially on pronunciation of words and if he was using the right words with English not being his first language.
I think all in all I probably stood talking to this guy for at least 35 minutes and he probably would have been there longer if a member of staff hadn't come to ask me to help with another customer, but I really didn't mind. Before my social anxiety got worse I loved meeting the vast diversity of people I did and personalities like this guy not only made my shift go faster, but with a smile too.
I met many other fabulous people during my just under a year stint working for Poundland...obviously there were the awkward, sassy customers too but they aren't worth remembering. If you have worked in a retail store before I'd love to hear about it, especially the good memories so please share them in the comments :)