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*UPDATE: I left my retail job, and my depression has gone down a lot. I only have a bad episode once in a while now. There is hope.
Before my alarm even goes off, I wake up and I’m unhappy. I feel this heavy, dark energy underneath my skin that’s trying to escape from my chest.
I look at myself in the mirror one last time before I leave my house. My hair and outfit are acceptable. My breath is minty fresh, and the circles under my eyes aren’t that noticeable, right?
I kiss my dogs goodbye and drive off towards work. Less than 15 minutes later, I pull in the parking lot and sit in my car as I try to soak up as much of the world around me before I enter hell.
My car door thuds behind me as I slowly walk to the doors. I grip the handle and exhale my way inside.
I wait until the last possible moment to clock in. And just before I leave the break room, I wipe the sadness from my persona and put on my best retail face.
The whole time I’m out on the floor helping customers, I can’t help but think how much retail is adding to my depression.
Why Your Retail Job is Making Your Depression Worse:
1. We’re beyond stressed 95% of the time
With retail, there is honestly no downtime. It’s one thing on top of the next on top of the next. It’s definitely not just about emptying out the fitting rooms and checking people out at the register. There is seriously so much more to retail than customers realize.
The worst part is that I don’t even get to take all my breaks, because the workload is always so heavy. Let’s not mention that I don’t even get a fully uninterrupted lunch, because somebody always has some type of question for me. “Meagan, where are your mockneck sweaters?” Or my favorite, “Meagan, can you go ring at customer service?” Even though they just said that I could go take my lunch.
I try so hard, but I can’t ever escape my job. I’m constantly taking it home with me, and I don’t know how many times I wake up during the night because I’m stressing about my job. It’s so unhealthy.
2. We’re so underpaid, it’s embarrassing
For the amount of work we have to endure, we are severely underpaid. We work in service too, but unlike waiters and hairdressers, we don’t get tips for our efforts. We just get minimum wage and no praise for it.
Before taxes, I only make $14,000 a year working at least 40 hours a week. Can I really survive on that?
That just makes me resent my job even more, and it honestly just makes me feel so stuck, which is why I decided to express these struggles through my blog.
3. We sacrifice so much for so little
Let’s stop and think for a moment. How many holidays have you missed? How many family gatherings have you been MIA?
Ever since I started my retail job, I’ve missed pretty much all of them. Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. You name it, I’ve missed it. And for what? So someone else can bring home a new, materialistic shirt that they don’t even need?
I’d rather be spending time with the ones who love me. Not the ones who take away my holidays.
4. We don’t even know what happy feels like
No matter what, a customer will never be completely satisfied. They take their frustrations out on us and give us attitude when we’re just trying to genuinely say hello. If all customers do is complain, how am I supposed to enjoy helping them out all day long?
On top of that, nothing is ever good enough for my managers. We scored 79% on our customer engagement survey, but guess what? We knew we had to score an 85%. If my managers can’t even appreciate the hard work I do for, how am I supposed to feel appreciated?
How am I supposed to feel worth it?
5. We lose all faith in humanity
Customers treat us like servants. We’re beneath them and we’re here only for them.
I’ve literally had to price check every single item at the register and make a yes and no pile for the customer, even though there are price scanners all around the store.
I’ve literally had to stand at the register and get yelled at customer after customer because the entire district’s system was down and we could only accept cash and check.
I’ve literally had to take a shoe box off the shelf, get down on my knees, and put the shoe on the customer’s foot.
This is not the life I envisioned for myself. All I want to do is enjoy the people I’m living in the world with again. All I want to do is like people again. All I want is to be happy again.
Do you work at a job you hate? Tell me below!
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