It’s not all cash registers and mannequins

Senior reflects on job in retail


Piper Spaulding

Senior Abby Hill checks out a customer at Raquet and Jog.

Story by Abby Hill, Public relations editor

Working in retail isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Your paychecks seem to go right back to the store you work at, you get cussed out for things beyond your control and you’re constantly helping the people you know.. even the ones you don’t want to help.

Obviously there’s more than just socially uncomfortable situations, folding over a hundred shirts a day is another perk of this fast pace lifestyle. Barcoding hats, socks and koozies in a matter of seconds is a life skill that many should learn.

There was a moment while I was working at Texarkana’s locally owned store, Racquet and Jog, where an overweight man was trying to sell the store his nutribullet. I was the lucky worker who got to help him. He explained that his wife left him, and the nutribullet is all that’s left of her. After explaining to him multiple times that we can not take his nutribullet, he stormed out of the store yelling obscenities at me while he left. People are great.

Another time I had to help a beautiful costumer who was convinced we stole her sunglasses from her when they were in her purse the entire time. She stormed around, pointing fingers at my co-worker telling our bosses that she HAD to have taken them. The amount of respect we receive as workers is magnificent.

Although these colorful experiences aren’t pleasant to deal with, working in retail has taught me a lot of life lessons.


  1. You can not live off of minimum wage. I cringe of the thought of a single mom trying to support a household off the $7.50 an hour wage. I hardly have enough for gas and food for the month, and I don’t have to pay rent or bills.
  2. It’s really easy to talk to people. Although, there are a few disgruntled customers every now and again, it’s simple to connect with people of all ages. Just be yourself.
  3. People are easy to persuade. Just sound like you know what you’re talking about and act like you love the product you’re trying to sell. Anyone will buy a product that seems worth it.
  4. It’s totally cool when people older than you call you “Ma’am.” And it’s cool when they’re younger than you. It’s just cool to be called “Ma’am.” It’s always nice to be recognized and showned respect.
  5. Never be too shy to ask for something from an employee. They’re there to help. It’s kind of their job.
  6. The best leaders are ones who know how to motivate you. My bosses know that to motivate me they need be extremely positive in lifting me up and pushing me forward.
  7. You are capable of way more than you think you are.

Although there are thousands of times that disrespectful customers ask for help, there is two grateful ones for every disrespectful one. There is also a great sense of fulfillment that comes from helping someone, especially those who praise you for it. So don’t just smile at your paycheck, smile at the people who help you get it.