Working a retail job can be about as mundane as it sounds. When you’re not ringing up customers at the checkout counter, you’re folding clothes or stocking shelves. There’s not really much more to the job, right? At least that’s the way it is in most cases.
You’d think Victoria’s Secret would be the same. But as you can imagine, employees are often inundated with questions from curious people about the daily ongoings of their job. When it comes to working with intimate apparel, however, they often keep the details hush hush.
That’s exactly why we’ve gathered these 10 company secrets from former Victoria’s Secret employees that nobody else knows about…
1. Workers use their headsets to warn other employees of mean and rude customers: Apparently being nice at Victoria’s Secret goes a long way. Associates will often warn their colleagues about rude customers by announcing their location via the company headset—and yes, all employees can hear.
“We used our headsets to do merchandise checks in the stockroom, as well as to let an associate in another zone know if we were sending a client her way. But if said client was testy, we’d give comical warning. Like, ‘Julie, there is a woman who both looks and barks like a Pomeranian looking for a black Angels bra in a 36D,'” a former employee named Brooke explained.
2. It’s their job to ask if you want to sign up for their company credit card: Next time you get annoyed when an employee asks if you want to sign up for the Victoria’s Secret credit card while checking out, try to refrain from getting upset; it’s literally their job to ask.
3. They enjoy assisting male shoppers for a number of reasons: Some of the employees liked helping the men because they were innocently naive of the sizes and reasons for certain products. Others, however, found they were easy to take advantage of and could be easily up-sold, because they didn’t know what they were looking for and wanted to leave the store as soon as possible.
4. Employees often have massive lingerie collections of their own: This should come as no shock, as it’s difficult for workers to turn down their 30 percent employee discount. Not to mention, they’re practically window shopping while they work!
“I would spend my entire paycheck at Victoria’s Secret. On a slow day, it was so easy to window shop while you worked the floor and our 30 percent employee discount made me feel OK about buying everything,” former employee Caitlyn mentioned.
5. Employees are assigned to zones and aren’t your personal shopper: Some former VS workers said customers often think an employee is assigned to them while they’re shopping, and when they leave their side, they get upset. As it turns out, each worker is assigned a specific section of the store to work and cannot leave it, which often results in handing them off to other employees.
6. Working the fitting rooms can be a nightmarish experience: If you’ve ever stood in line to try on lingerie at VS, then you know it can be quite hectic, but that’s not even the worst part. Additionally, they’re often the site of strange happenings, like couples trying to have sex—and even naked women calling employees into the dressing room to help them. Customers also leave expensive merchandise lying all over the floor, too.
“It was unbelievable how much expensive merchandise was just carelessly left in piles on the fitting-room floors. The closing shift associate zoned there had to put every last lacy corset back on a hanger and would often have to work late,” former employee Julie explained.
7. Employees are often harassed by shoppers: One unfortunate side effect of being a Victoria’s Secret employee is the unwanted attention from many male customers. As Brooke recalled, “Horny teenage boys loved to come in and bother us—they’d pose for photos groping the half-naked plastic mannequins and try to steal their wings.” Other times, they receive prank calls where people ask what Victoria’s “secrets” actually are.
8. The employees most certainly play favorites with customers: Often times, the employee is more likely to go out of their way to assist nice customers. For instance, when someone nicely asks for an item that can only be found in the stockroom, they’ll go out of their way to find it. Conversely, when someone is rude, they’ll immediately tell them they’re out of stock.
9. They often have to work late, in some cases until 4 a.m.: VS employees occasionally have to work well into the night to set up new displays. As Caitlyn recalled, “We’d close the store, order pizza, and dance on the hot-pink carpet to music. But once midnight hit, we’d be hopped up on Red Bull and still elbows-deep in G-strings, dreading working the floor again the next day.”
10. Customers shopping for intimates often share the most intimate details with staff: Often, employees find that customers get comfortable in the intimate setting of the store and reveal their intended purpose for buying specific pieces of lingerie. “The intimacy of the experience and the store makes people feel comfortable oversharing,” Brooke said. “Some women would describe the fantasies they wanted to play out with certain outfits, or give TMI medical explanations about why they can’t wear satin ‘down there.'”
There’s so much going on behind the scenes at Victoria’s Secret at any given moment. Shopping there will never be the same again!
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