Misconceptions About Working at Hollister
Length: 969 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
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I am employed at Hollister Company, a clothing store that targets young adults, which is located in Colonial Mall Bel Air. When I tell people that I work there, they automatically assume that I fit the description of a dense, snobbish prep. Some people believe that I have a glamorous, easy job or that I am lucky to have a job that allows employees to dress very casually. However, these are a few of many misconceptions portrayed about this popular retail store.
It is true that a few of my coworkers carry the ‘holier than thou’ attitude, but for the most part, we are just an ordinary and down-to-earth group of people; in fact, a lot of us are downright dorky and are not the perfect models that we are portrayed as. Some people think that the employees at Hollister have no common sense or are slower-minded than the average person. I find this to be quite offensive, and I am sure that my coworkers agree because the opposite of this misconception is true. Most, if not all, of the employees are either in high school or college and are incredibly intelligent individuals.
Despite what some might think, this job involves more than just folding clothes. It takes skills and practice to learn how to fold the merchandise correctly while greeting every customer who enters the store. Many people think that we do not work hard and all we do is play and fool around. However, on a slow business day, like Monday, or a very busy day, like Saturday, we are folding constantly and if the managers catch us not working, they will find something for us to do or send us home. Some of the responsibilities that we have when working the dressing room make us feel like we are intruding on the customers’ privacy and make us very uncomfortable. For example, we are required to remove each item from the customer’s hands as they enter and leave thedressing room and shake each item for clues of hidden merchandise. Hollister also has what is called a jean goal, which means we are required to greet and ask all customers if they would be interested in trying on a pair of our jeans. The customers usually cannot hear us over the loud music, so we have to ask them a few times before they are able to understand.
Hollister is considered to be a cool, glamorous place to work. However, it is no more glamorous than working at any other retail store because we are responsible for taking out wet, disgusting trash, cleaning the toilets, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming the floors, and dusting from the ceiling to the floor. We even get to enjoy the pleasure of scraping gum off of the floors every now and then.
Although we do have the privilege of being allowed to work in casual clothes, there are so many rules in our dress code and appearance policy that it is not as easy as a lot of people think to dress accordingly. For example, we are not allowed to wear black; if an employee arrives to work wearing black clothing, he or she will be asked to change or will be sent home. We are also required to wear jeans to work because it helps us achieve our jean goal if we are seen wearing jeans, and we must wear a shirt that is one of the promoted colors of the current season. The young men are not allowed to have facial hair and must be clean shaven to work. The young ladies are not allowed to wear makeup or jewelry that could be considered unnatural. We are not allowed to wear closed shoes; we are required to wear flip flops, even in the winter. If an employee fails to abide by the appearance policy, he or she can be written up and eventually terminated.
Another misconception is that all of our customers are polite and wealthy because our prices are a bit high. The truth is that most are middle class and we have to deal with rude, impolite people on a daily basis. For example, if we are sold out of a size of a particular item, the customer will become cross and angry at the employee who lets them know that we do not have what they want. Once, I had to ask a manager to tell a customer that we did not have the size she needed because I was afraid that she might become hostile toward me.
A common misconception about Hollister is that we do not prosecute shoplifters, or that we do not care if employees or customers try to steal merchandise. We try to prevent as many shoplifters as we can, and our managers sometimes go to extreme, surprising measures to keep items from being stolen. When our previous store manager would catch a customer trying to steal, he would take his or her picture and post it in the stockroom for everyone to see. We had a manager who was known for making the customers empty their pockets or purses if the alarm went off when they were leaving. So yes, we do take shoplifting seriously.
Another false impression that I wish were true is that the employees enjoy great pay. The truth is that we do not get paid much more than the minimum wage. When hired, we are told that we will earn a pay raise every six months, but I have been with the company since November of 2004, and I have received only one.
There are many misconceptions about Hollister and the employees who work there. It is the best and most fun job that I have ever had, despite some of the not-so-positive duties.