Teenagers who want to start working and stop relying on their parents’ money often work local fast food and retail jobs because they are the most readily available. Unfortunately, neither retail nor fast food jobs have a great reputation - workers are tired, overworked, and underpaid.
As a customer, you see retail workers dawning a happy smile that stretches from ear to ear, moving fast, and chatting with others. They help you with what you need, but who is helping them?
In retail, your managers may schedule you to work before opening, after closing, or all throughout the day. At most stores, you’re constantly on your feet, greeting customers, working the cash register, or restocking. Prolonged physical exertion can take a toll on your body and mind. Before you go to apply, consider whether or not you can handle the pain.
People can be rude; they may go out of their way to hurt you, when you’re just trying to help them. You might want to walk away as you feel tears rush to your eyes, but you’re working, so you have to grab a tissue and dry your tears. Your manager may yell at you because you put something in the wrong spot or spoke in a harsh tone. It goes without saying that working in retail can take a toll on your mental health.
You have to be ready for anything and everything. It takes a lot of willpower because, at the end of the day, who is thanking you?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, around 4.2 million people quit their jobs back in 2021. At least 600,000 of them were retail workers. The main reason why they quit? They weren’t getting paid enough. Most retailers pay their employees less than $8 an hour. Even $15 an hour isn’t enough to afford rent in most states.
Retail takes a toll on not only the workers’ mental health, but also their physical health and safety. In 2018, around 400,000 retail workers were injured due to a lack of safety precautions in the workplace, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many injured employees had to take off work. Most people cannot afford that loss of income, unless they’re living under someone else's roof.
Let’s talk about holidays. Why do retail employees still have to work on holidays? Christmas is meant to be celebrated with family. Thanksgiving should be spent at home. Yet, many retailers still schedule their employees to work despite the occasion. It’s ridiculous and painful. As human beings, you have every right to take some time to relax, especially when it’s a holiday.
Mental health is important. Working can either lift your spirits or pull them down. Grueling work can give young retail workers a complex; they may have a negative attitude towards working at their next job. According to Retail Insight Network, retail is the number one occupation that has the highest rates of poor mental health. That is proven more and more everyday.