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  • Writer's pictureEva

my experience working at anthropologie

the fantasy of $30 candles and $100 leggings could only last so long for me...

i thought it could be funny to blog about my experience working at Anthropologie. lots of people ask me what that job was like and why i decided to work in food service after working in retail. so let me just explain–

i was hired to work at Anthropologie as a seasonal employee in October of 2017. it was senior year of high school and i had just quit my first job at Chipotle. i was DONE slinging burritos and DONE smelling like beans. the thought of working in retail was initially exciting to me. not to mention the fact that the store always smelled like flowers and old lady perfume. i'm a good sales person i'd like to think and i thought i would be a pretty good rep. for the brand since i'm like a mixture of boho, little goth, and definitely girly.

there were some good things i liked about the job. i liked working in the dressing room and helping style customers. that's really the main draw of the job is that you're out here helping women find the perfect outfits and it's fun! i liked recommending certain products and especially during the holidays putting together little gift bags. it's fun to dress up and look cute going into work. you smell like roses and you look like a fashionista.

when you get hired, they make you feel really special at first. like you are a part of this team of "boss women" who are here to empower others through high fashion. in the back room they have cute employee challenges (sell this $10000 dress and get a free mini candle) and "mood boards" that are set to inspire us to keep up with the latest Anthro-trends. i won't lie to you, i was sucked tf in. it feels so magical when you start, like you are just working in this beautiful fucking environment with beautiful girls talking to beautiful people and you're looking beautiful too... but after literally a month REALITY set in. and that shit did not smell like Volcano (the Anthro signature scent ofc)...

i think my biggest issue with Anthropologie was that i didn't really become close with that many of my co-workers. i met one woman named Nancy and she was by far the coolest lady i met in the place. she had incredible fashion-sense and always was my go-to girl on the job. she made me feel welcome and supported which i rarely felt from anyone there, especially the management team. for me, the job could be incredible, but if the people suck then the job's gonna suck for me. that's really what did it. most of the other girls working there were in there early-mid twenties and were the type to get brunch with their sorority sisters on the weekends... i just couldn't relate to many people there. the people i did get along with i now follow on socials but we don't talk otherwise. don't get me wrong many of the girls were nice, we just didn't have much in common.

the second biggest issue was honestly the brand itself. i fucking hate that we never sold anything past an XL and everyone who shopped there was a fucking size 2. it made me incredibly uncomfortable. there's also a weird dynamic when it comes to finding "Nicks" or people that steal from the store. there were times when people would call out a Nick and it felt racially motivated to me. they'll never admit that but it's impossible for people to not stereotype and that was definitely at play when it came to people who stole. there was never a conversation about this or about inherit biases with the team.

the third biggest issue was PAY. i got paid literally $9 an hour. NO tips. NO benefits. they get you in the first month by telling you about all the incredible "deals" they have for employees. meanwhile you're just funneling your hard earned cash BACK IN to the fucking company. it's hilarious. the only upside i can see to make this kind of measly pay is if you actually are Nancy. you don't depend on the $ but you have access to the amazing deals. otherwise, working in food service i made A LOT more money. working in retail also sucks because you inevitably have to buy food on shift or bring food with you. the breaks were short and they always made you clock in and out in between. i felt that just buying food was wasting my money and in ADDITION to that i actually received snarky looks from people when i came in with mcdonalds or fast food. i'm a fucking poor teenager for christs sake. i won't be ordering a $30 blackened salmon salad from Terrain...

i honestly just felt super uncomfortable there and like i couldn't be my authentic self. i smoked cigarettes at the time and i had my manager literally tell me to stop smoking which i agree and did but like DAMN or i had people look at me funny for wearing my tall doc martins on the job. it just felt so judgemental and weird. i hung out with one girl outside of work who i actually knew before the job and otherwise no one was really there to make friends with me. i also could straight up never talk to the management about anything. communication there was so awful. two weeks into the job an assistant manager asked if i wanted to stay full time. i said yes and once January rolled around and business became slow, my general manager out of the blue without any warning was just like "today is your last day!" i had literally no idea. thank god i'm a kid and not some adult who needs the money but like wow. they never wrote me a recommendation letter like i asked them to. it was just straight up ridiculous.

i don't regret my time working there because i learned a lot of valuable skills. i bought a lot of sick expensive clothes for 60% off. i also learned that behind every fantasy is a plethora of bullshit. i'd much rather work openly in the bullshit!! i love having a work family, i love serving customers, i love my two coffee jobs and i wouldn't have it any other way.

Photo by @courtneykennedyhackett

what jobs have you had? leave a comment



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