If you are in any of these Asian countries Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand or Hong Kong during this month, you will the experience their annual grand sales country-wide. Very much similar to the Black Friday in the States.
I’m in Singapore for a week and I am enjoying the shopping experience amid the elbow jousting and heavy shopping bags lugging. Although, I am busy burying my head in a pile of discounted wares, I do noticed that some of the retail staff are appearing overworked. They slouched at store area’s corners, one of them even nervously biting her nails, the heavy darken eyebags against their pale skin, their smile weary and tired, when they are called to attention, they reluctantly shuffled their feet painfully along to the requestor.
Please don’t get me wrong. I have been a retail staff years before and I have endured 12 hours shift, all the time standing in heels and watching enviously as others shopped with glee on a Saturday afternoon. But I remembered I always served my customers with a burst of energy. No doubt, once the shop shutters are lowered down, I’ll be kicking off my heels before slipping my angry swollen feet into the softest slippers, I’ll be loosening my tight bun that have caused me headache all day and I’ll be changing the ugly shapeless uniform for my tee and shorts before hobbling along to the nearest bus stop while my restless bored colleagues in the day would suddenly have boundless of energy to deck up in their glam dresses, planning for a late havoc night out.
As much as they are having fun, I don’t envy them, they put themselves through the dreaded day, demanding customers and deserved to enjoy a few hours of good happy time to paint the town red. For me, my happy hours when it’s my turn to serve the customers. So what’s 4 or 5 hours of happiness compare to my 10 hours of joy?
You see, I always dived into any of my job with feverish passion. I live by the mantra of making my working hours enjoyable if not, then at least less painful. How do I do it? I take an interest in anything and everything, turning myself into a sponge and absorbing everything in my way.
When facing a customer, I will smile my brightest smile and letting the shopper aware that I’m nearby for assistance while I busied myself with something else, all the while keeping my senses alert and my ears perked, my eyes sharpen. I have learnt to read up on body language during my rest days, any slight frown while she glance through the racks of clothes or a nervous bite on the lips, will tell me when do I approach her to assist.
When I’m not with a customer and there is nothing for me to do during low or zero traffic period, I’ll take the opportunity to learn where are the particular product place and in my mind, I’ll try to match two or three pieces together. I’ll also try out the product to make sure I know how it feels on my skin. If it’s clothes, I’ll try to memorize every design, where it’s made and what’s it made of. I’ll go into our inventory system to check the availability of colors and sizes. This is to ready myself to offer suggestions and information to customers without having to check all the time.
On my rest days, since I’ll have two rest days per week, I’ll use one of the days to read up on the latest fashion online and to watch sales videos on YouTube. This way I can make trend references to customers who can’t make up their mind. I’m also ready to upsell anytime by pairing up a top with the skirt that have caught her eye or that jacket to go with her camisole.
I am sharing this experience with you to let you understand that every job out there, you always can achieve more. I believe every job, any position, big or small, you can always innovate and push yourself further as long as you are passionate in what you do. I’m not enthusiastic about the 12 hour shift nor am I a trendy fashionable person but I have passion in the work I create which is serving my customers and sending them out of the store with their purchases and their smiles.
If I can do it, so can you. So boost up your creative juice today and think of little ways you can make your current job an interesting one for yourself. At the end of the day, it’s you who decide whether you are stuck with something you hate or turn it around to something you love for 8 hours.
After my experience in retail, I have sworn off wearing heels anymore except for special occasions.
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