Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail
When journalist Caitlin Kelly needed to supplement her freelance income, she turned to Plan B: a part-time job at a North Face store in a wealthy New York suburb— and wrote a book about the experience.
She joined the tribe of15 million in the USA who work in retailing, even though the median wage is $ 8.92 per hour.
“ These jobs are hard, physically and emotionally, and they don’t pay well,” Kelly said in an interview, adding that what shocked her most about retail life was how rude and unkind people were to those who were just doing their jobs. Though initially happy in retailing, Kelly, 50, writes that by the time she quit— burned out from the low pay, the dull and hard work, and the remote commands from corporate— she had concluded that the brutal business could be run better if retailers hired carefully, trained their staffs, paid their associates— especially productive ones— better, and linked managers’ pay to employee retention. And if customers were more respectful.
“ This economy is based on consumer spending,” Kelly said. “ Why does ( working in retailing) have to be so brutal?”