25 May 2018

Working in Retail

Highcross Leicester

When I was a younger I always had the impression that working was going to be more fun than school. I mean one could hardly blame me, I was a little school boy still trying to figure out and explore the vast world beyond me. It's not easy being at school, having to pass spelling tests and arithmetic tests. I was hardly a child prodigy when it came to studying. Easily bored, easily distracted always looking to avoid having to sit for hours on end staring at a book which was seemed nothing more than an ocean of meaningless words to me at the time!

Then I guess comes that point of life after school, the point where you move onto college or sixth form and some or most of your friends around you start getting weekend jobs. Wonderful for them, I thought. While I secretly sat there smug, knowing that all I had to do all weekend was relax and unwind from an hardly busy and rather uneventful week at college. At the time, this made me feel rebellious, I felt I was bending the norms of life by avoiding working. I was only 16 or 17 years of age at the time and occasionally I would boast that I have not worked a single day of my life. Of course, this was me not realising that at the ripe age of 16/17 one hardly has lived life enough for this to even be considered a mediocre accolade.

Don't get me wrong, I did participate in school based work experience, however being placed at a humble community pharmacy was hardly going to be a challenge for my sponge like brain. What I'm trying to say is that I didn't do much more than deliver medicines to the homes of elderly residents and dust a few shelves. Though, in hindsight I was treated rather well by the Pharmacy owners. Nevertheless with such little 'real life' work experience I trotted on from college to university.

Looking back at the last three years of my life, I can say with a high a degree of certainty that I have undoubtedly developed and refined myself as a person. It was nearing the end of my first year of university wherein I had the desire to find myself a humble job. Surprisingly, this desire was sparked by my thirst to gain some practical customer service skills as opposed to the aim of finding a means to partly fund my all to lavish lifestyle.

And then began the hunt for the perfect job. After having failed in the online aptitude test section of the job application at high street brands such as but not limited to McDonalds, Sport Direct, ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury's I was starting to lose hope. Application upon application all I was encountering was failure with not an inch of success within my grasp. However, I had firmly resolved to find myself a job in the retail sector. I decided to make a last ditch attempt by applying to Primark and the rest is history. I landed the job.

There is something about the world of retail that has always truly intrigued and fascinated me. I am not quite sure whether it's the idea of having access to a warehouse full of goods to sell for profit, or whether it is the elaborate inner workings and organisation of such businesses. I cannot say with certainty.

I always say that hindsight is a wonderful thing as it enables ones to look back and reflect upon's one life, allowing one to learn from mistakes as well as celebrate the '#GoodOldTimes' in ones lifetime. Working within retail was definitely a huge learning curve of my life. Though I learnt various skills such as time management and how to catch busses to get you to work on time, most importantly however working at Primark taught me the value of patience. This is mainly because my shift consisted of fours of continuously folding and displaying garments, only to be ruined by the touch of human hands a few minutes after I had finished.

They say, ones experience in life definitely helps shape and form ones outlook on life. Above all working in the retail industry helped understand all the hard work and time that goes into the day to day upkeep of a shop floor. I must confess that though it has been over 2 years since I ended my employment at Primark, each time I walk into a shop I naturally put things back into place after I take them. When it comes to clothes however, I refrain from touching them at all unless I am confident that I will be able to fold it properly.

Working in retail was a learning curve!


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