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Escaping Chronic Retail Frustration

Anyone who has worked in a retail or hospitality industry knows just how real the frustration of those working in that industry can be. Slave-driving managers, long workdays, and those bad apple customers can build a very singular kind of angst that turns many off the industry altogether. However, here, we’re going to look at how you can manage it and ensure it doesn’t weigh on you even when you’re outside of work.

I worked in retail for over 10 years and I have seen it all and cleaned it all up too. I have worked as a cashier, customer service and a sales person. If you work retail you know that means I did alot more then that. Working retail or even fast food for that matter is not for the faint of heart.

Photo by HeikeSchauz

Know how not to cope

First of all, finding some ways to manage your stress is essential. From meditation to exercise to an artistic pursuit, a way to center and find yourself can help you shake off the frustration you bring home with you. It’s important to identify unhealthy ways to deal with stress, too, such as drinking, gambling, stress eating, and so on. These can only lead to more stress on their own, compounding your problem further.

Look to your coworkers

One of the best things about any retail environment worth staying in is the brotherly/sisterly bond that builds between you and your coworkers. The unique sense of shared strife, the inside jokes, and the relationships you build with your coworkers can make a shift go by oh-so-much-quicker. The Muse has some key tips on how to find the people who can become your friends at the workplace. Having someone who shares in your frustrations and, maybe, has some of their own tips for dealing with it can make the load much easier to bear.

Vent, share, and gossip

Gossip isn’t all bad, in fact, it has been found that it can be quite healthy for you. You might not like airing your dirty laundry in public, so to speak, so online forums can be a fantastic way to do it anonymously. Even seeing other retail/service workers who share in your trails, such as the excellently scathing Arlington News Network, can show you that you’re not alone, too. The main takeaway here is that it’s not good to keep your feelings consistently bottled up and to pretend they don’t exist.

Reward yourself for a tough day

Keep a “open in case of emergency” candy drawer in the home. Make a habit of buying a cinema ticket in advance for when a particularly stressful workday finishes. Devote an hour to reading in peace and solitude after your shift finishes. There are plenty of ways to reward yourself for getting through a tough day, as Bryn Donovan explains. What’s important is that you find a quick reward that can help you reconfigure your head after a tough day at work so you’re not dwelling on it for the rest of the day.

Just as importantly as any of the tips mentioned above, you need to consider whether your current career is right for you. Some people simply don’t have the patience and ability to compartmentalize that is necessary for a long-term career in retail, so you may want to think about whether you should be considering a career switch.

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