Malled: My Un­in­ten­tional Ca­reer in Re­tail

USA TODAY International Edition - - Money - By Caitlin Kelly ( Port­fo­lio/ Pen­guin; $ 25.95; April14)

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?”

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