Trying Retail

Today is Black Friday, Nov. 28, 2014 and I am going to try seasonal work at Kohl’s. I am not really sure how I got this job……..

Terry said he was going to apply to do holiday work at Costco. That got me thinking, I love to shop at Kohl’s and seasonal work would give me the discount. Looked on line but the Orange County Kohl’s did not seem to be hiring. I did not really care, it was all out of curiosity, so instead I did the next best thing and went to Kohl’s to go shopping. While there I chatted with an acquaintance who works at Kohl’s and mentioned that I was surprised that Kohl’s was not hiring. She was surprised also, saying they were indeed hiring. She asked me if I wanted her to put my name in as “friends and Family”? I said yes and gave her my phone number. A few days later I was called and asked to come in and fill out some paperwork. I arrived at Kohl’s expecting to fill out a background check and be interviewed. But no, instead we were (about 12 of us) hired as we walked through the door and were told we would be paid for filling out about 2 hours of papers. The manger insisted we all fill out the same part at the same time so that is why it took 2 hours. There was a youngster sitting across from me, this was going to be her first job. Every time she paused and looked confused I helped her out, nice girl. At the end of the two hours we were given a lanyard with our nametag, an employee ID number and told that we would get a phone call with our first hours. We would be working a few hours bagging for the cashiers. I double checked to make sure that they would read the hours limitations I had written on my form and then headed home, confused but pleased.

I received a call telling me my hours would be from 5:30 to 1:30. “AM to PM, right” I inquired. Oh no I was told, PM to AM. I explained that I had written on my form that I could not work after 10pm. I am too tired at night, but I could come in early in the morning. I was told I would receive another call. After several days I did receive a call from the manager who had signed us up. She asked me about the time. I explained I could not work after 10pm and that I could come in very early if needed. She checked her schedule and offered me 7 to 2. Am to PM I asked? No, PM to AM she replied. I again explained I could not work after 10 pm. She put me on hold, returned and asked me how late I could work. I told her until 10pm. She asked me to come in on Black Friday from 2pm until 10pm. I agreed.

 I was surprised to receive an 8 hour shift but very curious about this experience. My last retail job in clothing was in 1973 and the last retail job of my life was in 1976. This would be interesting and probably save me a fortune because I usually shop on Black Friday. I wish at one point I had remembered that curiosity killed that cat.

I had Terry drop me off on my first work day. I was about 40 minutes early, which is very typical for me. I asked an employee where I should go and she sent me to the upstairs break room. Once in the workroom I sat at a table with other associates and listened to their chatter. They discussed the long wait to pay, currently about 2 hours. They told each other how tired they were, and then talked about hopping to get some overtime hours. The first thing they asked everyone who came in was “when did you start, when are you off?” As 2:00 approached I asked them when I needed to do. I was told to check the schedule, and though I did find the name Robin B, the hours had no relation to when I was working, so it wasn’t much help. They explained the time clock and told me to clock in, get a walkie talkie and then press the button and say “E2, Robin Ballard checking in.” I did not really want to get a walkie but did so. I could not figure out how to get the ear piece to stay on. A nice lady showed me and when I still couldn’t do it she put it on my ear for me. I clicked the button and said E2 Robin Ballard checking in. A voice said “who?” I tried again and again. Finally one of the associates suggested I go down to the floor and ask for an assignment. Once downstairs, I asked the person with the clipboard who sent me to someone else and I was finally told to do take backs. Of course I had no idea what this meant and had to get clarification. I was to collect rejected items from the registers and walk the stuff back to the dock. As I was working one of the associates complained because he did not have a walkie talkie and needed one. I happily gave him mine and “forgot” to ever replace it. I did not think it would be appropriate to blog my adventures as I worked so I just typed quickly during my breaks and lunch.

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Dressed in the required Black and Red, my lanyard and name tag around my neck, I am ready! I think.

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