They recounted the unjust chair removal by the new boss, shedding light on workplace fairness and employee treatment.
Retail employees are often treated very badly. From long hours and poor wages to demanding tasks and inadequate work conditions, they go through a lot. It's neither ethical not it's fair, to say the least. A retail employee, u/bobjohnsonO78, shared details of his challenging work environment on Reddit. He states that he works at a "gift shop/information center" in his city from 10 in the morning to six in the evening, with a 30-minute lunch break in between. One of his coworkers ended up with a bad hip and could not stand for the entire shift, which prompted the store to provide workers with chairs as long as they only used them when no customers were around.
The store hired a new manager who took the chairs away, saying the employees were "abusing them and neglecting our job." Adding fuel to the fire, he wrote down a list of "downtime activities" for the employees to engage in when customers were not there, such as cleaning and restocking. These activities were already being done by the employees before and did not need to be explicitly stated. He then talks about how he had to stay back for an hour and a half because the door would not lock and it had to be fixed by a maintenance worker. When this incident happened, his new manager was an hour away at the vet with his dog. He ends the post by saying that he continues to work by standing for 8 hours every day.
Individuals on the platform empathized with the sad state of the retail workers' store. u/LordDagnirMorn commented, "I find the mentality that workers should always be standing up such a stupid one. People can still do their work sitting down and it's normal for people to want to sit down once in a while. I have a really bad ankle injury and can't stay standing up for long periods because of pain. For that reason, I can't work in some fields because of the 'Everyone should always be standing' mentality."
Another retail worker, u/justagirlnamedDee, shared, "I worked retail for 10+ years and no chairs were a thing for all but one job. It's ridiculous and you should absolutely be able to sit down. I'll never understand this. I'd much prefer to walk into a shop and see the person sitting down and comfortable rather than standing and despising being there. Because I know the 'busy work/downtime activities' are b*******. Even worked at one (Spencer's) who told us to re-fold things that were perfect already so we'd always look busy. So stupid."
There seems to be a perception that retail workers have to stand when customers come in, which usually does not yield any particular benefit for either party. u/StringAdventurous shared how they resolved a similar situation at another store: "There's an older woman, probably in her 70s, who works at the grocery store I go to. I saw her hunched over one day and it irked me. I went to the manager and asked if she could have a stool; she was obviously uncomfortable. He said she refused. So I told him she's most likely self-conscious and if everyone was offered a stool, she'd use it. I also mentioned that all the grocery stores in Europe have cashiers in stools and America is an anomaly. He found that interesting. The next week everyone was on a stool, including my girl Gladys. It's been that way for two years. Get a friend to complain to the manager the employees look tired and they should have a place to sit. Get as many people you know to comment on how employees should be allowed to sit. Good luck!"