Things I’ll Never Understand at Jobs

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Luckily for me, from February to now I’ve had two excellent job opportunities and I am currently juggling both of them happily. Of course, there is the cinema job which I enjoy a lot and now I have a job at one of my favourite cafes in Manchester! All is positive in the career department of my life currently and I know I won’t be looking for any new jobs any time soon. However, my two jobs have very different atmospheres to both of them, which I realised today when I had a shift at the cinema after a week of working at the cafe. In retail/brand name jobs I’ve noticed there’s a lot of rules and regulations; and I mean quite a lot. It also got me thinking which ones make sense and which ones are necessary.

First of all, at quite a few of my jobs I’ve been restricted from having a drink with me whilst working. Two jobs, it’s been OK for me to grab myself a coffee or tea or even a soft drink whilst doing work and of course bottles or glasses of water is OK. Despite that, in a lot of my retail jobs, it’s a very ‘staff room’ only thing. If I’m on the tills at my job, I have to go to the staff room to take a quick gulp of water. I admittedly can understand the reasoning behind other drinks; soft drinks and hot drinks can stain and hot drinks are a safety hazard as they can burn. Yet it still doesn’t make sense why sales assistants can’t bring a bottle of water on tills with them to sip from every so often. Are staff not trusted enough with a drink at work? The worst case scenario is, most likely, a staff member might spill their water, causing a puddle, which somebody could slip on; however surely most people with common sense would quickly tidy up a spill near their workplace.

In addition, why are tattoos and piercings frowned upon in work environments? Again, piercings have their limits; jewellery that could easily be caught or fall out is a hazard and definitely should not dangling around during jobs that include food. But why are tattoos a restricted thing? I remember once I did a shift at Primark, the regulations were that I had to have my hair tied back (I guess that made sense), no jewellery and no tattoos on show. Now if anybody has visited a Primark you’ll know it’s full of cheap clothes, some of which with tacky, ironic, ‘popular’ references on, for example emoji leggings. How come the company believe customers would be turned off or that they’d lose a sale because one of their employees has a sleeve of tattoos? It just makes no sense to me. Of course, like most rules, I’d understand the scenario if an employer had a massive tattoo on their arm which express rude, inappropriate ideas – but a flower tattoo? That’s not hurting anyone.

Lastly is the ideology, that I’ve mostly experienced in retail stores, why are the staff working on checkouts for 6+ hours a day not allowed to have a chair? Whenever I visit supermarkets and shops where this is allowed I think that the company seem a lot nicer to their staff. Apparently it’s because ‘sitting down seems unprofessional/lazy’, but I don’t see that at all?  Yes I know that sedentary jobs are known to maybe be unhealthy since you’re just sitting around all day but, if you’ve ever been in a retail job, you’ll know you wouldn’t be sat around. You’d be able to rest your feet and concentrate on customers whilst sat at the checkout and then when you need to take stock out to the store from the warehouse or tidy up or some other tasks, you would be standing up and moving about. It’s already been researched and proven that being stood up in the one place for hours on end can put stress on your legs and posture.

Is there anything you think work places should stop forcing on workers? Or unnecessary rules you’ve had to go through in past jobs? Do tell!

Thanks for reading,

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