Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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The Life of a Retail Manager

on September 22, 2013

In case I haven’t shared that part of my life with you yet, my husband is a retail manager. Has been since he walked across the stage in the funny hat way back in the day. I won’t totally out him on his age, but it’s over 20 years. In his early years, he worked for a company that liked to move him. A lot. He lived in 11 cities in 10 years. Seriously. A crazy amount of moving around. Is it any wonder that he can’t recall anyone from those times? When you’re in a city for scarcely 4 to 6 months, give or take, making friends is tough.

Yes, we met in retail. We were both working at a store, long story, another post. If you’re lucky enough to never have worked retail, it’s a difficult and thankless field to be in. The customers are cranky. Management is cranky because your payroll is through the roof or sales figures are in the toilet. It’s not for the faint of heart for sure. There are moments of happiness, when someone expresses their gratitude when you help them in some way. But mostly, it’s people just looking for someone to bitch at when they can’t bitch at their spouse. It’s difficult to be someone’s whipping post when what they’re dealing with truly has nothing to do with you. Or maybe even the store you’re at.

One day last week, my husband was on his way out the door when a customer stopped him. His name tag reads ‘Store Manager’, so it’s not much of a stretch when someone asks. Here’s how it went down (pretty much)

Man: ‘Are you the store manager?’ in a growly and very unhappy tone.

hubs: ‘Yessir. I am. What can I help you with?’

Man: ‘I have shopped at this store for years and never, NEVER have I been treated the way I was treated today. I am extremely unhappy.’

hubs: ‘What is it you need? I’ll be happy to help you.’

Man: ‘I was in the shoe department and I asked one of your employees for help. AND THEY JUST WALKED AWAY!’

Hubs doing a mental headshake at the possibility. preparing for the ugliness that will surely follow. ‘Alright, let’s go see if we can find what it is you’re looking for.’

They head to the shoe department, hubs mind is going 90mph all the while. They arrive in the shoe section, the man gives my husband the name of the product he’s looking for. They walk to where the shoes should be.

Man: ‘There are your people right there!’ the man points to a cluster of people at the end of the aisle who are standing around chatting.

Hubs-mental head shaking again, almost becomes a spasm at this point. Keeping a straight face carries a high degree of difficulty right now.
‘Uh, sir? Those are customers.’
The shirts this group of people is wearing is the same color as the store employees uniform! He’d mistaken customers for employees and got mad as hell when one of them wouldn’t help him! Hubs helped the man find what he was looking for and they went back to the front of the store.

When they arrive he begins again on my husband.

Hubs: ‘Is there anything else I can do for you?’

Man: ‘My wife was having trouble getting help too.’

Wife: ‘EVERY TIME WE GO OUT YOU START AGAIN WITH THIS! I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE DOING IT HERE!’ and she proceeded to dress him down at the front of the store.

I’m sitting here w/a grin on my face shaking my head all over again. And all I can say is, some people. So the next time you think your job is tough, be glad you’re not in retail. It really is a dog eat dog field.

 

 

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4 responses to “The Life of a Retail Manager

  1. I work for a national Home Improvement chain and find this post very entertaining. I am working towards management in this store and already have had scenarios like your husband has had, The general public can be, say “interesting” at times.

    • Thanks for stopping by. Yes, interesting puts it mildly. I worked retail for a number of years as well. Best of luck in achieving your goal. Retail is difficult, but it also has its rewarding moments as well. Like when someone is recognized for their efforts and promoted. My husband always enjoys that part of it, developing people into leaders.

  2. Nicole says:

    My husband is a retail manager, also. In enjoying reading your blog tonight. Sometimes I feel like no one gets what it’s like to be married to a store manager, especially as I’m dreaming about vacation in the middle of black out season. Thanks for the encouragement! It’s not all bad, but sometimes it feels like they live there!

    • Hi Nicole! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I feel your pain. I would love to take a vacation over Christmas break, or maybe late summer, but until he finds a M-F job, or retires, it just won’t happen! It isn’t always easy, but my husband enjoys what he does and has found a company that he likes, which is huge. He’s worked retail his whole life, so I’m used to the wild schedule and retail widow=hood over the holidays. Just remember, you’re not alone!

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