I am currently a manager at a children’s consignment store. I have held this position for three years.
Being a store manager, I do a little bit of everything that needs to be done. There are only a few employees that work at the store so I do work on the floor when I am needed. There are times when I work in the store alone and I have to complete all the paperwork as well as take care of the customers. There are some people that think since I am a manager, all I do is sit at a desk and tell other people what to do. This is not true. In order for a store to run effectively, all of the employees have to put forth an effort, including the manager.
On a scale of one to ten, I would rate my job as a seven. We recently moved to a different area of town in a bigger building. This means the rent is higher, which means we have to make more money. Although I enjoy my job and working with customers, the economy is not as stable as it was and I sometimes worry about if we are making enough to pay the bills at the store.
I have always wanted to manage a consignment store, so I feel this is what I would like to do for the rest of my life. Even though I do not own the store, I oversee who is hired as well as the weekly paperwork that is done. I can accept clothing and furniture that the store takes in. I like seeing others get the items they need for their children at an affordable price.
I got started in this job by working at the store as an associate. There was an opening at the store for a part time worker and after applying, I was hired for the position. About two years after I started working, the position of manager became available and I was offered the job. If I could go back and do things differently, I think that I would have learned more about managing the store while I was working. Then I would have known more about how to deposit money and write everything at the end of the week.
One of the things I have learned the hard way is that people can be rude. If we don’t have something that someone wants, they automatically expect you to find it for them. There are also people who want you to give them something for nothing. We do have sales on our clothing and baby equipment, but that does not mean we can give things away. There was a young mother who came into the store and needed sleepers for her baby. She wanted to know if we donated items to people and I kindly told her no, but that I could give her a discount on some of the ones we had in stock that were there for a few months.
The single most important thing about the working world I have learned is that you will meet all types of people, but you still have to put a smile on your face and be nice to them.
I would say the strangest thing that has happened to me was one day while I was at work alone. I heard a noise in the back room and went to see what it was. As I opened the door, I saw a tail running behind a box that had other things stacked on top. After carefully throwing blocks at the box, an opossum ran out from behind the box. I called animal control and stayed at the front door until it was captured.
The reason I get up and go to work each day is to support my children. I am the only one they can count on so I choose to go to work each day to give them what they need and want.
Some of the challenges that I handle are people who want cash for the items they bring in to sell and people who want more than we offer for their items. We only write checks for the things we consign. No one seems to understand that even though the store has done it for 20 years.
As a manager, I make about $350 a week at the store I work at. We are a smaller store, so I am sure larger stores would possibly pay more. This amount does pay for what I need, but it would be nice to get a raise soon.
I don’t really have a set amount of vacation time that I take. Whenever I need a day off, all I have to do is put the day on the schedule and get someone to cover that day.
I do not have any formal education in being a manager, but I am thinking about going back to school for a degree in business management. If my friend were asking about my job, I would tell them that it is fun, but you need to have patience in order to work with some of the customers you will deal with. In five years, I hope to still be a manager at the store and possibly an owner.