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As you may have read in my ’27 Random Facts About Me’ post, I recently quit my retail job where I worked for 5 years. Retail is draining. It’s a lot more work physically and mentally than most people realize. And the pay, well, it’s practically a joke—or at least it should be. I didn’t work in the fitting room every shift, but I was put in there more than I would have liked. And let me tell you, there is a reason no one ever wanted to work in that part of the store. Here, I will share my own personal experience working in a fitting room: Confessions of a Fitting Room Attendant.
1) Yes, I have to stand here all day. It is boring. But on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it’s crazy-busy and instead of being bored, I am overwhelmed and the fitting room is under-staffed.
2) I know it seems a little ridiculous that I have to take every single piece of clothing from you to count, even if you only have two items. But trust me, I don’t like it any more than you. Having to ask you to hand over your items makes me just as uncomfortable, if not more uncomfortable than it does you.
3) No, I don’t think you look like someone who would steal anything. But my job isn’t stereotyping potential thieves based on their appearance, it’s getting you in and out of the fitting room as efficiently as possible. This includes counting each item you have.
4) I know that after being in the fitting room awhile trying on clothes, all you really want to do is get the heck out–whether you’ve found something or not, but I still have to count each item you have—just as I did when you came in.
5) Counting your items on the way out might mean you have to wait thirty seconds if I have a line. So please, just be patient and know that I will get to you as soon as I can.
6) I gave you a number for a reason—to know how many items you brought in with you. Please make sure you have this number upon exiting. Because if you don’t, I have to make you wait there and then go back and look for it myself, which is a pain for both of us.
7) I know you’re not exactly happy your clothes didn’t work out. I feel the same way when I spend time looking for things I expect to look amazing on me and then don’t. However, please don’t just throw your inside-out clothes at me and vanish. It might seem like I have nothing better to do than fix every piece of clothing you rejected and hang each item up, but fitting rooms are a busy place. Even when I don’t have any customers ready to try on clothes, I still have a ton to do. This includes organizing everyone else’s unwanted clothes that actually were hung up, calling other sales associates to come get all these clothes I’m now drowning in, plus letting the lady in stall #2 know how amazing her Michael Kors dress looks on her.
8) I know you had a busy day and 9 o’clock was the only time you could fit in shopping, but it’s also closing time for us. Please don’t push your cart—full of 20 items to try on—into the fitting room five minutes before we close. I’ve also had a long day and I just want to go home. Long after you’re gone, I still have to fix and organize all of your rejected items before putting them away. And that’s on top of my long list of regular closing duties which includes vacuuming, dusting, cleaning mirrors, and checking each stall for price tags that may have been ripped off clothing and stuffed in obscure places.
9) I don’t make the rules, I just have to follow them. And yes, some of them
are seem stupid and pointless. Regardless, they are there and it’s my job to make sure they are followed. Managers tend to be very strict with fitting room procedures as this is a high-theft area. Please cut me some slack and try to understand that I’m just doing my job.
Have you worked in a fitting room before? Share your experience in the comments!