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I worked at Bed Bath & Beyond part-time (Less than a year)
It's nice to have 20% off the merchandise, but when you can download a 20% off coupon from the internet, or get them sent to you several times a year by email, and you see paperwork that shows 75%-85% markup on all merchandise, it's not really that much of a perk. Oh the mandatory 15 min breaks every 4 hours are nice I guess, but the job is so exhausting you need to sit down every 4 hours for sure!
They say from the start they are all about customer service, and that ONE customer standing in line is considered a lineup at the cashier, and they never want customers (a customer) to wait in line, but then managers cheap out and only schedule one worker on the Customer Service desk every am, ("it's not very busy" they say) so any time there is more than one person in line, she is on the walkie calling for backup help. When it would be totally fine to help one customer, then the other, rather than make it a whole big deal, have the walkie involved, someone else comes running, calls the 2nd customer to another till, has to log into the till, is out of breath, half a mind on what she was doing before she was interrupted. And by then the Customer Service girl is already done with the first customer and could have been halfway done helping this 2nd customer. Who now has to wait for me to log into my till and switch gears from floor to cashier to help them. It's a very weird policy. So if you are on the floor, like I was, and you inevitably hear the call for backup cashier, in the middle of helping a customer, you have to disengage, say on the walkie you're busy, and hope someone else goes. if nobody else does, and the girl at the front calls again, you have to leave your customer and RUN to the cashier, check out one, maybe two people, and then go back to the floor, where your customer has probably moved on, but you have no idea if they got what they were looking for. It's the WEIRDEST policy. Very stressful too, because you are constantly listening to the walkie, so not really present with your customers on the floor, and always being called away from what you are doing. Also in the morning, you have to restock the shelves. Another weird policy. if they sell ONE towel, someone in the stockroom pulls another one of those towels out, puts it in a shopping cart, and you in the morning, on the floor, have to put that one towel back on the top of the pile, so the store always looks super full. It's so inefficient though. So I am doing that, rather than walking around greeting customers and asking if I can help, if I can help them spend money? VERY often I had customers complaining to me that there is nobody to help them. That's cause a) management has decided morning isn't busy so they don't need to hire too many people b) my time is better spend restocking one towel here one towel there than helping them and c) I'm the backup cashier because I'm the only one on this 3,000 square foot side of the store so I'll have to run if I get called. Sorry Mr Customer! But Customer Service is our #1 priority, really!!! SO WEIRD!!! And the training is so extensive, it goes on for DAYS. For minimum wage retail job!!! Seriously? I have to do that TOO?! At the same time that I'm expected to do those other things? for minimum wage?? I just don't understand why they don't have another cashier on, for minimum wage, to stand there, relaxed, smiling, ready to help customers, so that I can remain on the floor relaxed, smiling, helping customers. There would be way more sales and way happier customers. SOOO often, I get called from the floor to the till, and I get there, and there are like 8 people standing around customer service, and ALL the tills are empty. It looks SO BAD ON THE STORE!! And the customers inevitably ask, after I've gone up to one and said, "I'll help you, come over to this till" then I run behind the till, log in with the like 10 clicks it takes, then started helping them, they ask, "Why is there nobody on cash?" It's embarrassing really. But BBB is still expanding, bringing in Bye Bye Baby apparently to Canada, so I doubt they'll change. So just don't work there!! It's a VERY stressful place to work. My manager also had no emotional intelligence or managerial skills, was one of those people who only ever pointed out what you were doing wrong, never complimented or gave positive feedback, (manager training BBB?) she was a totally different person in the interview with me (charming, lovely, told me 20 hours a week would be no problem) than she was in person. She was awful, so unkind, and I literally had so much performance anxiety from anticipating all her negative comments, after a few months there that one day I just phoned in (got another manager thank gawd) and resigned. I would never recommend anyone intelligent, sensitive, anyone who sincerely loves giving great customer service as I do, EVER apply to this horrible company.
Advice to Management
Read above VERY carefully. Also, be clearer about the fact that you can't even guarantee the 15 or 20 hours part-time people expect. That it will change every week, but you don't do the schedule until a few days before, so hopefully the applicant has A SECOND part time job that they can call at the last minute and they'll give you hours, cause BBB can't guarantee it and they have no idea what it will be week to week, and it's all done last minute, depending on sales revenue I can only guess. Also, maybe let people get comfortable with one thing (working the floor and helping customers) before piling on the paperwork and online ordering and stocking and all the other things. Maybe don't do ALL the training at once, day after day. It's exhausting, stressful, and without practicing and gaining experience and confidence, you will just create anxious, hesitant employees who will be unable to help customers in a relaxed, pleasant, informed way. Also, teach your managers that before they criticize, they should compliment. As in, "Great job how you stocked the towels today, it looks great! I'd love to work on your online ordering, could we spend some time doing that today?" You know, basic stuff. Your managers could really use it.