An Argument for National Service... in Retail
17th September 2015
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With the start of term just around the corner I am able to reflect on a summer spent in my local supermarket, slaving away eight hours a day, five to six days a week, just so I can fuel my time at university. And it is in this reflection that I come to realise a wonderful opportunity to make our nation a better place; we should have a national retail service. For anyone who has worked in retail you will understand exactly what I mean. Working in retail prepares you for life, it makes you a better person. And it is with this in mind that I shall detail the top five benefits our youth could get from compulsory national retail service. Social Skills: Coming in at number five, the development of social skills is a big part of retail. You will never understand how stupid your fellow man can be until you've worked in retail. What's more you will never understand the level of social constraint it takes not to call them out on their stupidity. From having the same customer ask four different people whether there is 'any rice out back?' after being told no by each person, to the old guy furious that the self service kiosk doesn't seem to be working whilst trying to scan his items through a machine clearly marked, 'OUT OF ORDER', there is no shortage of challenging social situations. However working in retail teaches you that regardless of how excruciatingly painful it is to listen to someone give excuses as to why they cannot follow simple written instructions on a photo kiosk, in the civilised world we must conduct ourselves accordingly and interact with others with grace and patience. Persistence: We've all heard the quote, "if at first you don't succeed...", well working in retail makes you appreciate the virtue of persistence on a whole other level. In different stores they call it different things, but at certain points in the day everybody working on the shop floor has to descend upon the isles and tidy the shelves. This in itself is generally a gruelling task but nowhere more so than in the dreaded toy isle. From what I can understand this is the retail version of water boarding. Trying to tidy an isle deeply infested with young children wanting to touch, move, pick up, bite and ruin everything in their direct line of sight and peripherals is the sort of character building skills as seen used by the Spartans at the start of 300. However in life you get knocked back, which is why this sort of extreme conditioning is yet another potential benefit to national retail service. Team Work:
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