Category: Cube2Box

20 Hours


20 Hours… Working for a corporation is good for the most part. They bring in the needed structure to the retail environment. They bring in the experience of nationwide experience. They keep the cogs going in the retail machine. With all that they leave out the needs of the individual store.

So back to my 20 hours, that is all the extra time I need at work to get my job done the right way. One extra person for 20 hours a week. At minimum wage that is about , ~$140 a week more to pay somebody to help me get the product out of the stock room and on to the floor where we could sell it and make more money.

I love my job, but this is the biggest thing that annoys me about my job. At this time the corporate overloads are unwilling to give us more time to get the product into the store. We are there to help the customers, but if the item they are looking for is stuck on a pallet in the back we don’t have the hours to send somebody back there to get it.

Cube2box 4 How to Get Through The Day


Working retail usually means a lot of standing around. You could be scheduled to work anywhere from 5-10 hours in a shift. If you are on register duty that means you will be standing around for a good portion of that time.

Tip 1 – Get good shoes. Don’t go cheap on the shoes. The padding and comfort of your shoes are essential in your ability to get through the day. You could be standing on hard surfaces such as concrete or tile.

Tip 2 – Move around. Don’t just stand there, move around. Even if it is just in and out of your register box when you have no customers it can help. If you stand in one place too long you can even faint.

Tip 3 – Find things to do. There is usually always something to do in a retail shop. Go as far as you can away from the register and do things. Put stuff away, pick up misplaced items, arrange the shelves. Do remember to keep an eye on the register though.

Tip 4 – Take your breaks You may not think that you need to take every break given to you and that fifteen minutes may not really help, but it does. Don’t just work through your breaks. Go and sit down if you can.

Tip 5 – Drink Water Water is an important part of your body. Most people don’t drink the amount they should be drinking. Keep yourself hydrated during the day.

Tip 6 – Don’t be afraid to call for help. Everyone working in the store should be able to help you. Don’t be afraid to call for backup. If you get a long line going it is better to call for help then to make the customer wait.

Cube2box 3 People Are Oblivious


I never realized how much work it is for some people to go shopping. I consider myself to be a pretty good observer of my surroundings where ever I may be and working in a retail shop has pretty much verified my awesome observation skills. One thing you will notice in the retail world is that some people are oblivious to their surroundings.

Do you have any carts, baskets, or in my region buggies. Yes, yes we do, you passed them on the way in to the store. They are located between our front door (the one leading outside) and the door leading into the store. I must get asked this at least once a day.

Now we have a savings card program in my store where you get the lower price if you have one of our company cards. This is a free program. There are signs for this program all over the store that use the program name.One of my tasks as a register monkey is to ask if people want to join this program. I approach this by asking if they have one of our cards by name, if they say no I say something like would you like one it is our free savings card. Half the time people have no idea what I am talking about. Other times I get responses like is it free or does it cost anything? Why no, or free savings card is totally free. I also get people who want the sale price but refuse to sign up for one of our cards. I can probably blame this one on telemarketers and spammers. People are so scared of their info getting out there that they won’t sign up for free savings on a program that won’t sell their info.

Do you have any dogs? Yes we are a pet store, but sadly we are considered too small a store to hold dogs for adoption. Some times this question comes from people walking into the store. I can understand that one. What I don’t get is the people who have walked all over the store looking for our dog adoption center, can’t find it, then they come and ask. Clearly they have circled the aisles and failed to find any sign of dogs for adoption.

The credit card shopper operated device is the most confusing piece of technology ever. Here is the process: You slide you card. Choose credit or debit. If debit you put in your pin. If debit it asks if you want cash back then how much if you choose yes to cash back. The next question asks if you want to donate a dollar to homeless pets, the final question is “Is the AMT OK?”. These are all yes or no questions. I would say at least forty percent of people will fail to get through this set of questions correctly. Some may be first timers to the store, others are repeat customers. The question order and content does not change. You can blame some of it on being in a hurry, sure, but it is a simple yes or no set of around five questions. Failure at a few questions mean canceling the whole process. Then you have to start all over again.

Writing checks. Yes people still use checks. Yes it always ends up being a commercial for a debit card. The main reason seems to be that people find it easier to use checks is that is the only way they can keep track of their money. I don’t really get it though there are enough budgeting applications out there you can even write down what you spend on your debit card in to your check ledger. The biggest issue with writing checks seems to be that people can’t remember what store they are shopping in. I know it can be a bit cofusing, but we do have signs with our name on it everywhere, name badges with the company name on our shirts with our company name on it.

The other issue is that nobody ever knows the date. I can get that, I usually have to look at the screen on the register to find the date.

Having never worked in retail dealing with every type of person out there I would never have believed some of these things. Now every day I look forward to seeing what people will do in the shopping process.

Cube2box 2 Retail People


There seem to be two types of people working in the retail world at least at my store.

Type one is just there for the paycheck, they show up do the minimal amount of work and go home. This is the type of person that would leave things sitting in boxes for days instead of simply taking the items out of the box and putting them on the shelf. This person complains about the hours they are getting, but doesn’t want to take on any extra shifts.

Type two treats it as a real job. They show up, they do what needs to get done, sometimes more, and then goes home. This is the person who would see the box sitting out in and make the extra effort to put the items in the box on a shelf. This person makes the full time list and ends up with the ten hour shifts who tries to give hours to the type one person for his/her own sanity.

I really want to be a type one, but I really can’t force myself not to try at work. It would take me more effort not to care about things than it does just to get stuff done.

Cube2box 1 : What To Expect From Your Retail Job

This is the introduction post to my series on moving from a cube or corporate job to a retail or big box job. In this post I will lay out what to expect in making the switch.

A college educated task oriented person is going to do great at a retail job. The mundane tasks will seem like a walk in the park to those of you that did well at your old job. The variety of the tasks available to you at a retail job will let you get out of the rut of doing the same thing every day.

Here are some things to expect:
You will see different people every day.
If you are in a smallish store you won’t be doing the same tasks every day.
You will probably have a rotating schedule.
If you are good at your job you will be asked to do nearly every job in the store.

For example one day you could be working the register, the next day you could be unloading trucks from the back, another day you may be redoing shelves and endcaps.

Your store managers won’t be used to the high quality of work that you are able to do with minimal efforts. Most managers are used to dealing with kids from ages 16 plus. Most store managers will have been with that retail outfit or a similar one for a while, some may have never even worked in an office themselves. Your office skills and ability to get things done in a timely fashion will amaze the average store manager.

Remember, one of the ways to get through working a retail job is to make every day an adventure. Show up happy and don’t think of it as a low end job.

Show Up To Work


During the recent Ice Storm in Kentucky several of my work colleagues decided to not show up for work. Some called in to let us know they were not showing up, others did not. Unfortunately a retail store run by corporate is not likely to be closed due to ice.

I can understand not showing up for work for a few reasons. No Power If you don’t have a cell phone, no power means no phone. It also may mean no hot water, no warm food, no lights to get dressed. Bad road conditions Ice and snow can lead to bad road conditions, but if you life within five to ten minutes of the store, please show up. It can also be scary to work retail and get into an accident. You may not have enough money to pay your deductible.

I work retail so other people not showing up means no breaks and extended hours for those who do show up. It also means poorer sales and a lower quality of service for the customers. By not showing up you are not only hurting your fellow workers, you are hurting your company. It would also be nice if you could call in within enough time to find somebody else to cover your shift. The person who opens the store does not really want to be the person who closes the store twelve hours later.