Retail me, or retail me not?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (10 answers total)
I'm about ready to throw in the towel for my newish retail job.
I'm working for one of the world's biggest and most successful technological companies at one of their retail stores, as a general salesperson. It's been an amazing experience so far, in terms of personal growth and gained experience.
However, I'm ready to throw in the towel and just continue to job-search or go back to school. Think I'm crazy or weird? I'm sure you're not the only one. I'm going to explain why, and a bit of a backstory.
I'm deaf, and was struggling to find a job for about 1 1/2 years, so when I got the offer for this retail job earlier this spring, it was definitely a sweet offer and one that I jumped at immediately. The job has benefits, the pay is relatively good (for retail, anyway), and this company is pretty accommodating towards Deaf (and other disabled folks). I like and get along well with a majority of my co-workers. I love a majority of my customers; it's a perfect combination of working with people and with technology, two things I love. Pretty much everyday, I have awesome customers who make me laugh, or just really smile. Me making a difference does help. That's the good part.
Now, the bad part. It's such a chaotic environment, I barely have time to think or do productive tasks. Policies change constantly, product cycles keep refreshing, managers are hard to reach, and can be very cold and standoffish. I often feel left out in the flow of communication, especially due to the communication barrier that is present due to my Deafness. "You just said this company was pretty accommodating towards Deaf and other disabled people?" you may ask. True, at store or market meetings, and I do get equipment to communicate with customers. But, I feel left out from my co-workers (not their fault), and despite store-wide emails I send, which get ignored mostly (we're kind of into the 'team communication' effort at my store), people still speak to me. I understand it's human nature, and habit, but I can't read lips. I'm tired of being the 'bad guy' and having to repeat it. I'm tired of managers seeming to come across as cold or focusing on small mistakes instead of on the big picture and making a big deal out of small mistakes I've made. I'm tired of the general pretentious feel I'm getting from the company in general. I'm tired of walking on eggshells and having to deal with a chaotic, constantly changing environment. I'm tired of working so hard to impress management and have my efforts be ignored, with a few exceptions. I don't like the lack of a career ladder. I don't like my schedule being so inconsistent. I feel myself becoming worn down by customers continuing to ask me question after question. I don't like the lack of flexibility in scheduling. I can go on and on, but that's the gist of it.
Then, today, me and a manager had a small disagreement over something silly. I was told by one manager that I was welcome to charge my phone in the office. When I went in the manager's office to charge my phone, I was told by a manager not to do that. I was basically put on a guilt trip saying that I was putting them in an unfair position, that they didn't want to take responsibility for it, that kind of thing. It was very offputting and put me into tears, especially considering the mixed message I got by two different managers, and the lack of understanding from the manager I interacted with today.
I want to say that I'm a sensitive person. Maybe too sensitive for the nature of retail. I'm also going through some personal issues (therapy is being obtained, so please do not mention that), but when I first began, I was so motivated. I loved going to work everyday, actually dreaded leaving. I loved making a difference. Now, it's the opposite. My work and personal life is not balanced. I feel like I have nobody to talk with at work about my frustrations; like nobody will really care... it's always so crazy there, that oftentimes necessary stuff are forgotten. I also feel afraid to speak up due to being retaliated against.
I know the complaints I have above are mostly part of working retail. You may be thinking 'hey, welcome to the real world... be happy you have a job!' I feel too old for this kind of job (I'm in my later 20's). I want a stable, possibly federal job, and I've been job-searching. However, I feel guilty and unsure about resigning for the following reasons:
a) I don't want my family or friends to disapprove of me leaving my job.
b) I don't want to disappoint myself by 'giving up', especially so early. (Turnover in my job is often 1-2 years)
c) I was incredibly blessed to find this admittedly competitive job. In this economy, I should be fortunate to "shut my mouth" and just be happy to have a job.
d) Maybe it's too early to say? Maybe things will improve? Maybe not?
I'm a bit embarrassed because it's only been a few months and I'm already ready to resign. I see my co-workers and they all seem fine; they don't seem to let managers or fellow co-workers/customers upset them, and they seem happy.
On the other hand, I need to think of myself, too, and what I want. The trouble is, I'm completely lost, and I was considering this job a good 'step in the door' - now I'm not even sure I can really survive the next few months or even weeks anymore. I need this job for financial and growth/expansion reasons, however, so I'm really unsure what to do. It was already hard enough to find a job.
I know this was long, and I had to parse my thoughts a lot. I'm keeping this anonymous for obvious reasons.
Thanks for any thoughts or advice for this retail jockey. Any help would be really appreciated... I'm afraid I'm in over my head.