From Sacramento, CA — 11/10/2009
Like most have mentioned already, the pay is horrible for associates here. This is a retail job and the majority of hires are out-of-high-school or college students who simply just need a job. Considering that, you can get paid minimum wage working at other retail stores that are less stressful and requires less sales. That is why I believe associates here are being underpaid, because we are constantly pushed to sell, sell, sell. We are even taught sales tactics, specific phrases to say, and specific things to do in order to get sales.
A lot of times customers come into the store thinking we are on commission and they want to mention our names to the cashier so that we get the commission, BUT unfortunately, we always have to tell those customers that we are not on commission. That is one reason why I just stopped caring to work so hard, because I know it's not worth it. I mean, if the customers already assume we are commissioned, that must mean we certainly deserve a higher pay than minimum wage or if not, at least get commissioned.
I think the main reason why every associate, regardless of work experience, get paid minimum wage is because they expect workers to come and go. They know that a lot of the associates are just simply there for a job while still in school and not necessarily there to grow with the company. However, I do agree with some of you that if the pay was higher or if we were commissioned, there would be less turn over and some associates will actually consider a career with the company AND the management wouldn't have to spend their time interviewing more applicants and doing more on-boardings.
When I first started, I was paid $.20 above the minimum wage. Yes, just $.20 above minimum wage. But it didn't bother me much because I just needed a job and the money that I make here is just disposable income to me since school financial aid is already covering my living expenses. Then as time went by, I started realizing that the pay is very bad for the job that we actually do. And the economy started going downhill, so did our hours, and so did my disposable income. It's pretty bad and the Victoria's Secret store that I work at is a high volume store too.
When it comes to respect, I guess it's okay. A lot of you complain about the bag search every time we exit the store, but I did find out that some other retailers do the same thing too, so it's no big deal. But I do agree that it's quite embarrassing doing it in front of customers. I'm always thinking, "Okay, do the customers think I was stealing, that's why my manager has to go through my bag?"
I actually feel like I'm well-respected by my management team. BUT there was one manager out of my many managers, who I just hated and I knew she hated me too. We never confronted each other about this hatred. I don't know if she can tell that I despise her, but I can definitely tell from her eyes that she hates me. I'm the kind of person who gets along with everyone. I've never, ever had a problem with a co-worker or manager before in my years of working here and prior to this job. But this manager I just hated with a passion, and she was my direct manager too. She watches every associate so closely like we're stupid little 5 year olds. It's intimidating. She even tries to sugar-coat her words so that you won't know she's really insulting you. Yeah, I don't know why she doesn't like me, but I do know that I'm not the only one who doesn't like her. And she is the only manager that I feel like I don't get any respect from. I feel like she will actually humiliate me in front of customers. Other than that, my other managers are the best anyone can ever have.
Associates are all part-timers and thus, no benefits. I mean, the 30% discount is okay but you can't even use it on top of other sales. And sometimes, the sales is even better than your discount. I think that if we can use our discount on top of other sales and promotions, the company would generate even more money.
One other thing that sucks is that associates can't use any of those coupons. The only coupons we can use are Pink Nation coupons, birthday wishes, and reward cards. BUT, we can't even use them on top of our associate discount. We either use the coupons OR our discount. But sometimes the managers forget or or the new managers just simply don't know yet, and they let you slide.
We used to get EVERY new product for free so that we have personal testimony when it comes to selling it to customers, and new products are always coming out every month, sometimes even a few times a month. Now, we are not even eligible for every new product. Only select new bras are given to us for $15 and select beauty products for free or sometimes $5. As you can see, everything's just getting worse and worse.
Associates don't ever get fired at all unless they steal. If you are not a good worker, you just won't get scheduled at all and be kept on on-call.
I absolutely love how this job can work so well with school. Scheduling-wise, this job is perfect for college students.
Very rare chance of moving up and you'll realize that managers are always transferring around. Even if you do move up, it's a super slow process.
LOCATION: No complaints.
I love my co-workers there. I have nothing bad to say about them. Some of them may not have as much product knowledge as others and some may be better at selling than others, but I haven't had a problem with any of them.
I think it depends largely on the management team. If you have great managers, you will have a great experience working there despite the need for you to sell. The only thing I appreciate from this job is the sales training they give you. You will definitely be better educated/trained and will also help you get other great jobs that will pay you more.