I did my work experience in 2003, I decided to get a placement in Topshop as it was my favourite shop. I remember there was a CD that played on loop throughout the day which was annoying and I wasn’t impressed with the hours which were 8:30-6pm. My other friends all seemed to get to stick to the usual school hours. Here’s the diary I was given to complete and the details I had forgotten…
How did you feel? Excited, feels different, looking forward to the day.
What were your expectations of the placement? I expect to be doing small jobs and then build up.
How did you get to your workplace? I had a lift
What work did you have to do? Take packaging off clothes and hang them in the correct place.
What were your first impressions? I didn’t enjoy it anymore, I was quite bored on my own. I have to empty boxes.
Who did you work with? In the morning I was on my own and in the afternoon I worked with everyone.
How do you feel about tomorrow? Not as excited as yesterday.
How did you feel at the end of your first day? Like I want to lie down. My feet are hurting and I’m a bit tired. I’m glad I’m not at school, the day has gone quite quickly and I’ve had plenty of breaks but I’ll be glad to get home.
Write a short description of your work experience placement, what they produce or services do they provide. Topshop – fashion retail selling clothes to the public.
What tasks were you given today? In the morning I stood by the fitting rooms, then I took a delivery with Rae. I sorted out the jeans and then tidied up.
How many people work at your placement? Different people work at different times, it’s over 20.
Describe the different jobs of the people you work with Manageress, people work on tills, fitting rooms etc everyone does the same job really. There are too many employees I think.
What are the most important differences you have found between school and work? The day is longer, you can’t mess about and there is less variation.
Describe how your working day is divided up. One break in the morning, an hour for lunch and a break in the afternoon.
What are the new skills you have gained? Not many, I have just learned about the shop in general, coat hangers, deliveries and I’m probably better at dealing with customers.
How do you feel about your experience at the end of this week? The days are too long and it’s boring when there’s nothing to do.
Got the bus to work on time, went around checking all the tags were still on the clothes, had to re-tag loads of stuff. Had my break at 10:50 which is later than usual but I’d rather it ate. Checked nearly every item in the shop. Not much else to but stand around and talk, Rae and Emma are upstairs.
The day really dragged and there wasn’t much to do. We went and got a delivery and one of the men from Burton’s was stuck in the lift. They got him out but his delivery was still in there. In the afternoon I went shopping for lemonade, cake, a tin of roses, a box of biscuits and some paper cups for the meeting in the evening. Went home 10 mins early.
Day 8 The morning was slow. In the afternoon a lady came in with a pair of shoes and no receipt. She has had a few refunds before and Emma knew she was shoplifting and getting the money through refunds. She shouted at me because she had been kept waiting and wouldn’t leave. Then she got angry and chucked loads of clothes on the floor. The police took her away.
Day 9 The day went quite quick. I was talking to Emma about shoplifting in the morning and then I went on the fitting room. I saw that someone had stole some knickers and hid the hangers in the curtains which is sad. Then I went in the back with Tom and sorted out the hangers.
Highlights of your work experience Having a break from school was good but I’m glad I’ve got another year of the schools lovely chairs. If the days were shorter I would have got less bored. Some of the people I have met were really nice.
Have your career hopes changed? I never want to work in a shop. I’d rather a job where there’s a job to do.
Would you recommend the placement to another pupil? No, you don’t get trained on the tills and it’s a long day standing and doing nothing.
OMG I didn’t enjoy that at all did I? Here’s the work study form filled in by my colleague Tom…
What do you like about your job? The friendly atmosphere. Learning about new fashions. Working with many a female! Providing a good service.
What do you dislike about your job? I don’t get enough hours, hence not enough money 😦
What skills and qualifications do you need for your job? Good communication skills. Must be numerate and able to listen to instructions. Team skills.
How did you train for your job? Training never stops, you learn something new every day.
What advice would you give to anyone interested in doing your job? Listen to what you are told to do. Be friendly and polite. Work hard for your money, that way you get less bored and earn grater self satisfaction.
p.s. Call me – 077………… haha