PetSmart, Tukwila

My schedule is totally erratic. Basically one day I might be working the opening shift, the next day I’m closing, then it’s a mid shift. That constant switching, with every day being different, definitely makes it hard to maintain a day-to-day schedule in the rest of your life.

And most of the time, when we’re scheduled days off, we don’t get two days in a row. We don't get Saturday and Sunday off like the majority of working people, and that is understandable. It is a good time for retail sales. But at the same time it would be nice to have two consecutive days off like others tend to get. Instead you’ll get a Wednesday this week and then you work three days, then a Sunday off, then the next week you might actually get two days in a row, then the following week after that, it’s two random days again. And that can keep going on for your entire career, up to management even. Workers in a lot of industries have fought hard to get two days in a row off, and yet retail is still behind on that.

You never feel rested when you’re off two random days. You can’t wake up at the same time every single day, get ready, go to work, get off work, then after work do what you want. And that definitely impacts the other things you might want to do.

Even most things you want to volunteer for, you have to be like ok, every Tuesday I’m going to come in from this time to this time, because that’s what they need. If you can’t make that commitment because of your work schedule, then that’s one less thing that you can do for your personal advancement and fulfillment. It’s ridiculous when you think about it, that volunteer workers get more respect as far as scheduling goes than actual employees.

It’s retail, so a lot of people think it’s just part of the culture that constant flexibility is demanded of us. And when that’s the culture that this is what’s expected in retail, in restaurants, in coffee, it does make it a lot more difficult to talk to managers about your own needs. Because they always just say you need to find someone else and that’s supposed to be acceptable.

I work for a major corporation that has locations all over the country. They have the resources available. They need to change the culture. It will be a fight, but worth it.

People need to have that two weeks’ notice. Because if you don’t get enough notice, you can’t plan on it, and you might not even be able to show up. And not showing up is definitely not going to help with sales.