How I’m feeling this morning.
Working part-time retail is a really crazy thing after having a salaried teaching job.
I used to get paid the same amount per month, so I could work 40 hours a week or 80 hours and still get the same amount of pay. There was more incentive to work longer days because it was to improve my class and improve my school. Now I work maybe 20 hours a week, and get paid $7.75/hr.
We are not allowed to do any kind of overtime work after our shift finishes, and if we do, we have to do it off the clock. I never thought at 7.75/hr the company would have to worry about pinching pennies, but they do by telling us things like, all 5 hour shifts must take unpaid 30 minute breaks or you’ll be reported.
And then the kicker! During our 4.5 hour shift (after you take out the lunch break), we’re asked to do a whole LIST of things that we could probably finish if we didn’t have to worry about customer service and making coffee drinks and keeping the store in a functional state. At the end of our shift, if the things aren’t finished, we have to report them as unfinished and somehow it’s our fault.
Managers at part-time jobs sometimes take themselves too seriously. It makes sense because it is their full-time job and they are responsible for keeping the store in order. However, I am coming from managing a classroom with 20 four year-olds. It’s not the same as managing a store, because no one in a store is going to pee themselves, bite someone, cut someone with scissors, throw a chair across the room, and have it be your fault for not being attentive.
That’s why I can’t handle the constant condescension from managers towards employees. Yeah, you’re in charge, I get it. I’m also not an idiot.
The moral of the story: going from a salaried job (dare I say real job ) to part-time is like a culture shock of its own. Don’t get too invested and take everything at face value. Don’t trust anyone to be looking out for your best interests, and fight to be taken seriously.