For this essay, my task is to produce an essay explaining what my work experience week was like. Even though I can’t put every detail down, I will write about the most important parts of my week that will remain as good, and some also embarrassing memories. When I heard about work experience my first thoughts about it were, ‘what if Im not good enough. ‘ and ‘I wonder where I’ll be put. ‘ To say the least, I was very nervous. We had forms to fill in about work experience. I had to tick off what I would prefer to do, so I chose to work in retail and fashion. So I was likely to work in a clothes shop, ironically that’s where I got put.
I was now officially working in Burtons. I wanted to work in retail because I was generally interested in fashion, as at the time I wanted to become a fashion designer. I soon realised working in retail had nothing to do with the fashion itself, it did however, have a lot to do with business. At first I was a bit worried because I thought only men worked there, so to calm my nerves, me and a few of my friends decided to go and have a little look in there and see what it’s like. Luckily, I did see a couple of women in there so I realised that I wouldn’t be the only one. Besides, working with young lads weren’t going to be a bad thing was it?
As the time got closer, I had to start thinking about travel and what I’d wear there. These small problems were soon easily solved. I decided that I would get the bus there, but because I was placed at the Burtons in Bracknell, I would have to leave about an hour before starting time, as buses took about 40-50 minutes at rush hour. What I was going to wear soon became no object as I went shopping the weekend before. New clothes- every girl’s passion. So I was pretty much set; I had my clothes, my way of getting there, and everything I needed was organised.
Monday finally came, as I sat on the bus at 8. 0am, the nerves soon reappeared. For the next 40 minutes, I sat there thinking about what it would be like, but soon acknowledged that the majority of my year was in the same position as I was. I also recognised that it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought. So when the bus stopped I walked positively towards the shop, the funny thing was, I was slightly early, so I had to stand outside, I felt a bit out of place at that point, and im sure I looked quite stupid. It didn’t matter too much to me though; I just concentrated on making a good impression. So I stood waiting patiently for the grey, shutter to slowly open.
About ten minutes later, they eventually did. And the shop was up and ready for the day ahead. I stood up straight, and confidently walked towards the front desk where the employees were all gathered. I introduced myself and got fully acquainted with all the staff present. The manager, Andrea, gave me a brief introduction on what goes on at the store, and just small bits of necessary information id need to know to get me throughout the week like where my locker was based. She then sent me and another employee- Michael, down to the staff area to do my health and safety assessment, just to see what I knew about the process ………… but before I went to do the assessment Michael took me outside to see where I would have to go if a fire occurred. This didn’t take long.
After that I proceeded to do the assessment. It wasn’t very interesting, in fact, I actually almost fell asleep! Putting that aside, it was quite an eventful morning. Throughout that day, I just got to know a bit more about the staff; I also asked a few questions about the shop as well, one that I asked was if they had cameras in the store itself, and Richard, another employee, said to me “Would you like people watching you whilst you’re working all day? I don’t think I’ll ever forget that, in reply to his question, I said no.
So Burtons didn’t have security cameras? This led me onto thinking whether anyone stole from the shop. Surely they didn’t otherwise they would put cameras in, but I found out a bit later on that people do steal. This isn’t good for their inventory either. So throughout the week I’d hear one employee after another saying that they found a tag and coat hanger on the floor, this annoyed Andrea a lot. Another thing that annoyed Andrea was when a group of my friends all decided to come in and greet me on my first day.
I knew that this wasn’t very professional so I told them that they would have to leave. After that small incident, Andrea explained that I was to act like I was a real employee to Burton and my friends were not aloud to come in and distract me like they did. I understood that and carried on with what I was doing. My time at Burtons was fairly boring, with the work that is. I had to go around the shop making sure everything was in its rightful place; another thing I had to do was sort the delivery totes. I had to unwrap the products, tag them, cube them and then go and find where they were meant to go.
It made the time go by, and I preferred doing this to walking around the shop organising the clothing. One thing I learnt from this was that in retail, the people don’t call the boxes ‘boxes’. They call them ‘totes’ I don’t know why this is but it’ just what they used. So that was what delivery was. This is all I tended to do during work experience. Id have a laugh with the other staff members, it helped because their ages ranged from 16 to 20. So I found it easy to get along with them. This helped me feel more comfortable there.
Towards the end of the week, a couple of the staff decided to play a little joke on me, so when I got back off my 15 minute break, Richard told me to go downstairs to see Andrea. So I discontinued what I was going to get on with, and pondered down to see her. She and another employee gave me a task. This was to walk over to Topshop, and ask the manager for a ‘long weight’ me being unaware of this joke, agreed to it and went to do what they had asked. I wasn’t really thinking about what they had asked for, I was thinking more about not making any mistakes.
So when I arrived, I went to the front desk and asked for the ‘long weight’. The lady at the till looked at me puzzled for a second, and then called for assistance. the manager came out and told me it was a joke, and that there was no such thing as a long weight, well apart from the long wait I had received from the ‘long weight’. Once I had understood what had happened, me and my extremely red face exited the store and remained back to Burtons. Only to come back to be laughed at more, I was not amused! I just continued back to my work and didn’t say much after that.
So that was my embarrassing moment; I guess it could have been worse, but I still didn’t appreciate being humiliated in front of a shop full of strangers. But despite that incident, I found the week to be a big wake up call in all honesty. I never thought that working in a shop could ever be so tiring! I was on my feet for seven and a half hours. As I had an hour for lunch and two fifteen minute breaks. The thing was, when the shop had very few customers, that was the most tiring part, because there was nothing there to keep me occupied. For all five days, there was at least an hour where this occurred. I dreaded it!
In conclusion, I found the week very productive, I learnt a lot more than I expected to, met new people, got an insight about what real work is, and my real accomplishment… getting to work on time everyday. I was very proud of myself for this, and it still amazes me to this day. I would defiantly advise for the work experience programme to continue as it worked wonders for me, and to thank me for the work I did, Andrea gave me a box of maltesars for the hard work and dedication I put in there. She also said that I had a place there to work if I wanted it. I didn’t take up the offer as I don’t feel that’s the best place for me.
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