Being a stock associate in a retail store has its upsides. You’re mostly hanging out in the back-store, listening to your own music, away from the demanding customers. You usually work on week days, because that’s when shipments come in. You get in the know faster, because you hear a bunch of management secrets!

But! It also has its downsides.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who cares about the cleanliness of the back-store, or its tidiness. I wish we could circulate in the back-store easily... That seems like a hard concept to grasp for some people.

Another thing is the lack of respect for the stock person. The rest of the staff works on the selling floor; they only have lunch in the back-store. Sometimes, they might not consider that someone IS actually working there and they leave their coat anywhere, their huge sports bag on the floor, a few shoe boxes on your stock table... THAT’S NOT WHERE IT GOES GUYS!

I feel so uptight talking like this and I really dislike having to tell people where to put their things. I feel like a mom and I’m just not ready for that step yet! To quote Monica in Friends: “So if you could just realize it on your own!”

I mean, isn’t it just respect and common sense? Have I been too well educated? Is that a thing?

When I was living in Vancouver, the same chain had hired the worst, most useless, un-logical “manager” ever. Once, I was OBVIOUSLY working at the stock table, SURROUNDED by boxes in that tiny back-store. I had so much to do, and they were pressuring me with their statistics of 100 units/hour or whatever unrealistic goal. He came in the back-store to get something and, on his way out, left a pile of clothes on my working table! Like, like, like it was somewhere to place anything at that moment! Arrrgggg! I couldn’t help myself. I made a scene, in my newly acquired english.

What you should do, obviously, is NOT to throw a fit. But you need to address it, definitely.

We sometimes think that because we are not managers, we shouldn't tell other people what we think is best for us, and for the team too. This, for example, is a matter of respect and teamwork. Nothing wrong talking about those things.

If you make sure to be tactful and honest, it won't create a problem. The most important thing is to use the words "I", "we" and "me" instead of "you". For example:

"I feel pressured and less respected when someone puts a pile of clothes on my table, and doesn't put it away. It would make me feel so much better if this area was left empty and clean".

"Every time there's a personal bag on the floor of the back-store, since I work in here, I really might have to pick it up at some point. I would greatly appreciate it if it was put in the right spot from the beginning."

"It makes me feel unsupported when someone leaves rolling racks, chairs, boxes all over the back-store, anywhere everywhere. I wish we could keep the place easy to circulate in."

And then you had: "What do you think?" Because sometimes people, especially if they feel attacked, might say they understood, but really they stopped listening a while ago. If you ask an open-ended question, they need to answer more than "yeah, yeah". They need to kind of repeat what you said and it'll stick better in their brain.

Have you noticed the words I used like "less respected", "pressured", "unsupported"? This kind of feelings in a work environment leads to immense amount of stress. And stress is the last thing you want if your goal is to enjoy the place you work. :)

Have you ever thrown a fit at a manager because he was being a rude, careless piece of garbage?! What happened then? Let me know in the comments!

Stock people, raise your hand! Does any of that rings a bell for you? Is the back-store the most neglected place in your store? Leave a comment below :)

With love and merriness!