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Stupid job stress eating me alive

  • 01-07-2020 1:54pm
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭

    I feel completely ridiculous even posting this. I am an adult female, finishing up a post grad degree and took part time hours in a city centre newsagent type shop over the course of the college year.

    The shop has never been in a nice area but social issues have increased tenfold during coronavirus due to the streets being less populated and people having less money. Theft, scams, threats, and verbal assaults are every day occurences at work, and physical assaults are common too.

    There are two people on shift at a time up until midnight, and all of us are females under thirty five not particularly strong. There are no managers or security man (which other late night and even day time businesses in the area would have). The shop is seen as a target in the local area I feel. There has been no need for the shop to be open until midnight for the past few months but boss would not budge on closing early.

    The levels of fury from our boss when something is stolen is unbearable. It makes me feel like a piece of dirt on his shoe. But when there is two staff members, a queue of people, someone asking questions, kids messing, trying to fill stock... we cannot watch everyone.

    I am scared going to work every day. Apart from people stealing things, I am constantly afraid of accidentally taking a fake note, being scammed, delivery/return scams, fake ID's, undercover garda operations for kids buying cigs and drink. FWIW, I (can't speak for the whole staff as I don't know) was not given any proper training in regards to any of this, no pointers on pinpointing underage kids, I was brought to the office to log into the online portal on my lunch break where I checked off a load of training modules on these in quick succession.... my own stupidity!!!!

    I know the obvious solutions for the business. Training, management, security. This isn't going to happen and I don't have the power to implement any of these changes.

    I know in my heart that the next step is to leave... but how can you leave a job during times like this??? I would be mad. I have been applying to other places like crazy but not a bite, and the process is so slow.

    I just feel like I can't bear it any more. I have a knot in my stomach like I have never felt before, and have found myself just lying on the couch on days off thinking about the next shift.

    Reading back I feel so pathetic, I am a grown woman and know logically that this is temporary but I feel like there's a dark cloud over my vision. I feel so incapable, it's all gotten on top of me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,895 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    Read back the bit where you say about physical assaults being 'common'.
    Hand in your notice ASAP and don't be shy telling the manager that your safety is absolutely more important than a part time job.
    Start phoning places up, introduce yourself and ask if they have any work coming up and you're available for a zoom or in person interview immediately.

    To thine own self be true

  • Registered Users Posts: 205 ✭✭Water2626262

    I can’t offer much but I can empathise. I used to work in a shop with similar issues and a lot of nights I’d be the responsible one there despite being on minimum wage.

    Certain nights would be worse than others, especially around the likes of Halloween etc. 99.99% of the time things would be grand but then you get some absolute scumbag coming in threatening staff and looking to rob the place. No security and you can’t hit the panic button over someone committing petty theft. Not enough incidents to have security etc.

    These people would have be searchable on google with articles about various serious assaults and public disturbances etc. You have to find a way to get them out of the shop while also not getting viciously assaulted to protect 20 quids worth of stock. Sounds like your boss is expecting you to be like gardai as a well as retail assistants.

    The intimidation that a lot of shop workers face in a lot of these “minor” incidents is horrible. I was assaulted twice the time I was there. Nothing too physically damaging thank god but both ended in court with the perpetrators paying me a token amount (this was years after). In both cases I’d underestimated how’d they’d kick off (both were attempted shoplifters).

    It angers me when criminals get minor punishments for “small robberies”. The court never seems to address the intimidation the minimum wage staff had to repeatedly deal with.

    Used to have serious anxiety on some nights every time the door would open. Having worked office jobs since the difference is unbelievable. Not having to face some of these scumbags ever. Worst you’ll get is some horrible customer complaining over the phone depending on what you are doing. Also the weekend and evenings are a godsend when you are used to working random days and nights in retail. I actually feel today that retail was the hardest I’ve ever worked lol.

    While it might be tough in this environment I’d try and find an office job ASAP as what you are going through isn’t worth it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 83 ✭✭sheepondrugs

    Get the fcuk out of there asap and don't look back. Not worth it. There will be more similar jobs with better circumstances.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,895 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    Just to add also, OP. You are a student, on student wages no doubt.
    You are not paid/rewarded/qualified/trained to deal with this absolutely ludicrous situation.
    You don't see the owner or manager putting themselves in this situation so why waste another night getting anxious over it?
    I know it's easy for some of us to say, we have a job to go into tomorrow but if you collapse under the stress of this then you'll have no job either way.
    If you were my little sister or brother I'd pull you out of there by the scruff of your neck :)

    To thine own self be true

  • Registered Users Posts: 929 ✭✭✭Shelli2

    What you have described are all absolutely valid causes of stress. Your personal safety is being threatened, this is not stressing about work itself.

    Get out of there. There's plenty of retail jobs out there now that all shops have reopened.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,895 ✭✭✭✭Purple Mountain

    Shelli2 wrote: »
    What you have described are all absolutely valid causes of stress. Your personal safety is being threatened, this is not stressing about work itself.

    Get out of there. There's plenty of retail jobs out there now that all shops have reopened.
    With all cafes and restaurants open this week, have a look around those areas. Most will close at 6 and day shifts should suit you for the summer? You won't be dealing with any vermin that comes out at night. Or try the bigger retailers like Penneys or Dunnes where you have a team of colleagues to fall back on for advice or support.
    I remember a thread ages ago where someone said that a small newsagents was the most stressful experience in a work environment they ever had. Think the thread was about 2 years ago.

    To thine own self be true