Shorten Retail hours, not Extend

I don't work in Retail anymore, but I still keenly recall the frustration of working while no one else is. I strongly beleive that shops should be closed on Sundays. We should be re-claiming family time, moving away from an Open-All-Hours lifestyle.

I remember back as a lowly checkout girl at my local Coles, a regular who I was friendly with, moved to Perth. She was a really interesting personality actually, very flightly really, flitting from job to job, boyfriend to boyfriend. She was the first person I knew of that did Temp work, and she proudly told me she was so good at it, she could ask for whatever hourly rate she wanted.
At the time this seemed soemhow fantastically glamarous, stepping into different offices all the time, being wonderfully efficient and tailored, and ....officey.
Now I kind of think of her as a bit seedy, like she could have been talking about prostitution between the lines, and it would still make sense.

Anyway, she moved to Perth, but evidently it didn't work out because she came back again to harass the Saturday night staff at her local supermarket (remarkably telling factor in her life when you think about it). One of the things that I recall most about her recount of her time in Perth was how "behind" they were, illustrated when she recounted that all the shops shut at 6pm, and noon on Sundays. Even the supermarkets.
I've never forgotten her telling that story, and even now, I read with interest stories in the papers about changes to trading times for our West Coast cousins, for its only recently they've had Sunday trade granted, and extension for supermarkets to hours similar to our own. Even regional NSW stores are open to midnight, so its hardly surprising.

I came across this story in SMH today, and I find it annoying, but sad mostly. Instead of making it easier for stores to open Sundays, I beleive government should be making it harder, which is precisely what all the red tape was there for to begin with. Grr.

5 kindred spirits ~ This bugs them too!:

Reanan said...
June 05, 2008 9:12 PM

I think if big business wants to be open on Sundays they should pay thier poor little 16 year old cashiers accordingly.

Having said that, I also loath most retail service people because they are shit. A mojority of them don't assist you and if there is a friend or another sales assitant in the vicinity you are doomed.

I think I just morphed into Germain Greer in Grumpy Old Woman then.

K said...
June 06, 2008 12:28 PM

I actually have to disagree with you on this one - from a consumer point of view.
I work a long way from home. Which basically means that there are a lot of services where I can only access them during my lunch break (eg. banking, post office etc). If I had to add to that list everything else that I can currently do onn the weekend I'd be dead (I usually can't even grocery shop on a weekenight due to my oh-so-hectic life.
And the little teenagers and uni students would never be able to work to make money as they're already unavailable for so many hours in the week.

The demise of the family is disappointing. But the rise of the working family means so many things must wait until the weekend for them to be done at all.

Dataceptionist said...
June 06, 2008 2:36 PM

yes I struggle with this point also K, I do alot on my weekends for shopping also.

I guess I find it slightly easier as I work close enough to home and get off work early enough I can duck into the fruitshop on the way home to pick up things, or there's a shopping centre I can go to also during lunch.

I just wish it didn't have to affect retail staff so adversely. I guess Reanan is right in saying they should pay more fairly for these days, they're just as annoying for staff as public holidays (when I think the shops should be shut completely) perhaps that could be the trade off....

K said...
June 10, 2008 4:02 PM

I guess so. Its also so dependant on each person. I love working public holidays at Franklins cause the money was so good. And they were closed on all the really important dates like Christmas.

Dataceptionist said...
June 10, 2008 4:13 PM

What about Easter Sunday? It could be argued that its an important day, since Australia is essentially a Christian country.

But Easter Sunday isn't classed as a public holiday, I'm not sure the exact reason they are shut, I think its respect.

Since its not a public holiday however, the staff have no right to a day off if it's part of their regular roster. I distinctly remember being told when I worked at Coles that I had to come to work, for normal Sunday rate pay, and all rostered staff spent all shift facing up (supermarket speak, for anyone who hasn't had the pleasure of their employ, for pulling all the stock on the shelf forward and making the labels all face outward. Makes the shelves look full, without actually being full).
I had to do that several years in a row, and as far as I know, its still the practive for Easter Sunday.
How is that fair?

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