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Why I hated retail, and why I love my office job

I used to see people complain about their office jobs all the time, they seemed to be widely hated, but I, from my little retail bubble, was always envious of people in office jobs. Sure, it’s not the most glamorous of settings and it’s not what people tend to aim for, but this was a huge step up for me. It ain’t even a competition, but we’re gonna compare them anyway. And by that I mean I’m going to complain about retail and explain why I love my desk job.

I can pee whenever I want.

Starting off glamorous as always, working in retail meant I had to ASK to go and pee. I’m sorry, am I 5 years old? Am I supposed to cross my legs and hold it in? Not being able to go when I needed to meant I wasn’t drinking enough water, meaning my skin suffered and I suffered. I think even prisoners get to pee whenever the hell they want. You would have to wait until there was a quiet spell and run to the toilet without looking back in case you caught the eye of a customer walking to your checkout. Of course, toilet breaks were also phone breaks so they lasted about 5 minutes but oh well.

I can eat whenever I want.

I absolutely take advantage of this every single day. My desk is covered in biscuits and the occasional piece of fruit. I eat breakfast at work, I can go out to the shops to get more food, and a happy tummy means a happy Lauren. People sometimes bring in home baked cakes or those boxes of biscuits that you’re meant to share. Someone brought in a tub of Celebrations a few weeks ago and I was all up in that shit like I hadn’t seen chocolate for 3 years. Similarly, I can have tea and coffee ALL THE TIME. There’s a kettle and coffee station IN MY OFFICE. I know, it’s a normal thing, but just let me have this excitement.

I can wear whatever I want.

Hands down, the worst part of retail (besides everything else) was the ugly-ass uniform I had to wear. Navy flares should be banned, as should matching navy fleeces. Why is it just not possible for supermarkets to have nice uniforms? Is it a rule when opening a supermarket that your staff must look disgusting at all times? Cos let me tell ya, it doesn’t stop the weird customers making passes at you. I used to dream of the outfits I would wear when changing jobs, little did I know that less and less effort goes into picking my outfit every single day. More often than not I just sling on a jumper, jeans, and off I go.

I can listen to music whilst working.

This sure beats hearing the same, recycled playlists every shift. I love Come On Eileen as much as the next person, but when you hear it 20+ times a shift, it will start to drive you crazy. And don’t even get me started on the Christmas playlists. They ruin joy. They ruin the holidays. Just don’t do them. Now I can listen to The Greatest Showman soundtrack on repeat without a care in the world, and I don’t feel like I’m being driven insane by singing it in my head all day.


I have more free time.

This one may not make much sense as I’m doing more hours and I’m busier what with the long commute, but hear me out. Because I have a fulfilling job, I’m less inclined to take all evening to recover from a hellish shift. In retail, I would get home and the entire day would be a write off because I was too miserable to do anything. Now, I get home and of course I’m tired, but I’m also hella motivated to further my career and my hobby (dis blog). I also have an hour for lunch that I can take whenever I want – I’ll often write on these breaks which takes a huge weight off my shoulders when planning content.

My co-workers are friendly.

Retail was a toxic, high school-esque environment. Lots of cliques, always of girls because girls love to be two-faced and purposely not include people. As if I wasn’t miserable enough there already, all the other girls formed this little, toxic group that thrived off leaving the rest of us out. If anything, it just motivated me to get out and get away from all of them. My co-workers now are lovely – they take an interest in my life, they bought me a cake for my birthday, and took me out for a birthday lunch. I was reluctant to let them pay for lunch and they said, and I quote, “this is what happens when your co-workers care about you.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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I’m happy.

This is the biggest change and the biggest benefit of me changing careers. I think everyone knew and could see how miserable retail made me – I used to cry all the time, even during shifts, and I just wasn’t a nice person because I essentially hated my life. Oh, the drama. A weight lifted right off my shoulders as soon as I handed in my notice, I knew the end was in sight so I could cope a lot better with being there. I’m now working in my favourite city in a career that I love and want to work in for the foreseeable future. I make over double what I made in retail, I’m getting a qualification, and I’m happy. I feel more hopeful for the future now and I actually enjoy my life.

How do you feel about your job?


View Comments (19)
  • I love this so much! It’s exactly how I felt when I moved from retail to an office job – I absolutely HATED my job in a phone shop for all the reasons you described, and the customers were awful. Now I get to work from home once a week and never see a single customer!

    Great post, as usual 🙂

  • I feel the same! I LOVED coming to an office after years behind a bar. The biggest thing for be was not being shouted at by customers.

    • Ugh, yes!! Not being treated like shit anymore was a massive positive.

  • Oh my god this is SO relatable! I used to work in retail and absolutely hated putting on that pretentious smile on my face everyday, just to seem ‘friendly’ to customers who wouldn’t even dare to look you in the eye when you spoke to them. I recently started a new job in a bespoke company, where employees are actually friendly to one another, and above all, caring! It’s a huge step up and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds – Bye bye retail!!!!

    • It honestly drained my soul, I’ve never been more miserable than when I worked there!

  • I 100% agree! I worked in a warehouse before and even though I could pee whenever I wanted we had strict eating schedules and a definite no-phone rule. With my office job I can eat whenever I want, I’ve got flexible hours, and if the mailbox is empty I can easily sneak an episode or two on netflix without anyone noticing! I 100% never want to work in retail, and unless I work on a movie set I don’t wan a job that’s not in an office!

  • I’ve only ever worked in retail and luckily in quite a small store eventhough it was a chain, so it wasn’t as toxic but I still remember always asking to go to the toilet and being embarrassed a couple of times because I decided it would be a good idea to drink two litres of water and a green tea before work. They generally thought there was something wrong with me.

    Alicia x

    • I think I would’ve had a slightly better time if I wasn’t in a supermarket, stuck in a chair for 4 hours at a time. I would always try to drink loads of water at work and then I’d be peeing non stop too…

  • I loved reading this as I still work in retail and could 100% relate to all the negatives to working in retail. I also agree on the navy attire – it is not attractive and I envy those who work on clothing as they look slightly better in their black uniform! I’m currently in University so as soon as I’ve finished I’m bombing out of retail FOREVER. So nice to see you’re happier in the place you work now – it always helps to enjoy your workplace with the rest of day to day life! x

    • Yup, I used to work in the exact same place as you I think! Well not exact but, same chain. Kiss bye bye to “have you got a club card”, something I would never bother to ask and would therefore get in trouble for 😂

  • I can relate to this so much! Retail was (mind my language) shit! I started working part time in Uni to save up but I was so happy once I gave in my resignation. I did meet some nice people but the management is terrible, a lot of them are so judgemental and really don’t care about their employees which is annoying. Oh well at least that part of your life is over xx

    • I can think of plenty awful words for my experience there! Handing in my notice was the best day of my life. 😂

  • Im so glad you escaped from a toxic environment and I hope you continue to enjoy your office job! Reading this I’m quite jealous, I’d love to work in an office but sadly the most common part time jobs are in retail. If I continue with retail until I graduate I’ll have worked in retail/hospitality for 8 years 😭

    • Thank you! It’s awful, I was stuck in retail for so long cos I just didn’t know where else to go! Keep at it though girl, just keep thinking of handing in that resignation!

  • Oh gosh, I hated working in retail and I definitely preferred my time working an office job. Everything you said is spot on about retail. I also felt like a general slave when working in retail. There weren’t necessarily the designated jobs that you get in say, an office job and instead I was just thrown here, there and everywhere to help cover. I was so happy when I left working at a supermarket! x

    • It definitely felt like slavery, mostly because literally everyone treated me like I was nothing! My last day was the best day of my life.

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