Mental Health

Positivity in Retail

Working in retail is brutal. Employees are tasked with not only providing amazing customer service but also do various tasks while doing so. It’s no wonder that many employees always look angry, upset, or depressed.

I, however, have realized that if you think and act with a positive attitude, everything seems to go a lot smoother. For the first couple years of working retail, I had always let the mean customers, coworkers, and everything outside work get to me. I no longer am able to work in retail because of my health issues, but I wanted to share the experiences that I had in the five to six years I spent in retail. Since I had a lot of physical pains that I experienced, that felt worse than many others, many days working in the backroom at SEARS dragged on. The only thing that got me through it was the reminder that I would get paid after all of my hard work.

When I began working at ROSS as a fitting room clerk, I associated with customers a lot more than I did previously. At first, I was very shy and timid. While I worked, I realized that when I put on a smile every day the customers smiled back. I interacted with them constantly. When I gave them a “have a nice day/night” after they were finished trying on clothes, I saw their eyes light up. When they approached with a sad or depressed expression I could see it change to a lighter, happier tone once they left.

During the dull, dragging days and nights where there were hardly any customers, I kept my mind and body busy. My mind was always on stories or my future as a writer. To ignore my physical pains, I paced around the podium at my station, danced with the music playing on the loudspeakers, and when there were clothes on my rack I went off a few clothes at a time to put them back. I also spent time going down aisles making sure everything was neat and tidy.

Many employees complain about the amount of work to do in retail jobs like I have had. In my experience, time usually goes faster when you’re busy. Positivity is key when working in retail, especially when you have disabilities like mine. It makes the managers, and everyone else important overlooks what you cannot do and commend you for what you can do.

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