From Maine — 09/03/2010
I've worked at Abercrombie and Fitch for a couple months now. To be honest, for all my complaints, I am still happy to have had a job there. Let me break it down by categories to give a little better idea on how it all goes down.
Pay: It's shit. But, to be honest, its a job and it is not McDonalds. From discussion between employees who have been there for 3 plus years, pay raises uncommon. At $7.50, its gas money with a little fun on the side. But when you have two jobs, it covers travel expenses.
Respect: Interesting one here. Respect amongst employees I found to be plentiful (in fact, many of the people I worked with were very smart and sweet). If you pulled your weight, then you were respected. Managers were pretty chill, thought they let their frustrations show and sometimes that made situations a little awkward. The age difference between Models, Impacts, and Managers is practically non-existent, so sometimes its a little hard to think of them as your boss-man.
Benefits: Lets be honest, the only one you get is cheaper clothes. Have to be careful though, you can easily sink a two week pay check in clothes.
Extra Benefits: Chicks dig the fact you work at A&F... by far superior to the cheaper clothes you get.
Job Security: Meh, do your job and nothing bad will happen. Written up three times and you are fired. Just short of house burning or family dying, there is no compassion. There are plenty of beautiful people in the world, so they will have no hard time finding someone to replace with you.
Work/Life Balance: Time availability is glorious. Working multiple jobs is easy because you can practically tell em that you can work twice a week and they are totally down with that. Hence the issue managers have with people missing their shift... they model/impact picked 'em essentially. That being said, closing shifts are terrible and you can instantaneously detect where A&F has cut corners. There are normally 2 or 3 models, 2 impacts, and a manger on duty. Impacts are busy working their asses off in the back, and manager is doing closing math. Models are stuck cleaning up an entire store. We never made the 11 o'clock punch out time. Luckily, mangers dislike being around that late as much as the models.
Career Potential/Growth: Its a part time job... you aren't going anywhere unless you are a manger.
Location: In the mall. Some love it, some hate it. I didn't care. It was relatively close to home (15 minutes) so no real biggie.
Co-Worker Competence: I used to hate it when my fellow co-workers cut corners. Though it rarely happened, it used to drive me up a wall. I would say it only happened 15% of the time, and it was always from the same people, but through process of 3 write ups, they were normally gone within a month or two. Rest of the folks were great, and I love hanging out with them. They taught me everything I needed to know when I was the new guy, and always helped out.
Work Environment: "... it comes naturally, when you're with me..." Face the music, literally, It will get stuck in your head, you will sing along with it randomly, and you will be made fun for singing along. On the brightside, everyone you work with will sing as well. Music is so-so, but hearing the same 20 something odd songs will play on the nerves. If music is really that important, work at Hollister... but if you are picking a job by the music they play, you are either a teen girl in middle school, or not deserving of a job. The smell is something to get use to, but you will. On the flip side, I have had girls bury their heads in my chest and comment "sooooo gooood". You will work with poor customers who will ruin your hard work, but you also serve some very interesting, beautiful, or fun people as well... and you will get phone numbers (live it up).
Conclusion: Great part time job. Terrible if you are trying to survive on the money as model or impact... so don't. It was worth the social boost it got me in and out of work. Great at giving you a sense of fashion, especially considering I bought most of my clothes from the cheapest places possible. A&F is also a great start on a resume if you did well and your mangers are willing to brag about you. Oh, and did I mention a social/ego boost?
Ten Tips to Do Well:
1.) Respect your managers, they are more willing to give you leeway and hours if you make them think they are the big boss-man.
2.) Respect the Impact guys and gals. Their job is hard enough and they get paid the same as us models... dont stack more hassles on them
3.) Say the damn tag lines. Yes it is hard telling a grandmother that your jeans can make em a star, but you get secret shopped, and it sucks getting a low grade.
4.) Be friendly and a little flirtatious. It gets people to enjoying coming to A&F, makes them feel obligated to buy your clothes, and sometimes you get a cute girls phone number (thats the main reason).
5.) Dont get beat up when you watch the stack you have just folded get dominated... just smile and move on.
6.) Work is work... work hard.
7.) Bring an MP3 player for the closing shift. It makes the long period that you know is going to go on after 11 that much easier.
8.) Try to get register... by far the best position for a model.
9.) Get to know your co-workers and their names. Its tough in a store of 80+ people, but it will make your day go by that much faster when you get that small social time.
10.) Be optimistic. Gets girls (or guys), you become well liked, and it will make your time at A&F enjoyable.