Sunday, 29 January 2017

Working for Abercrombie & Fitch

Hi everyone,
I don't even know if anyone is gonna read this but I thought I should talk about my experience about working for Abercrombie & Fitch. I've only worked there for a month but I do have some advice to give.
Since I was a child and walked into one of their stores in the US I've wanted to work for A&F. I liked their clothes and how you could smell the store from just walking by (they spray everything with their perfume Fierce). Also I really liked how nice the associates were and that they wore these outfits that made them look like Abercrombie models. Actually, sales associates used to be called 'Floor models' but now the term has been changed to 'Brand Represantives'. 
Anyways, I had also heard that it's not easy to get a job there so I thought it would be special if I'd succeed. 
Well, when I moved to Copenhagen I started looking for a job and because there is an A&F store here I thought I might try. I didn't really believe that I'd get hired but when I did I got suuuper happy! It was kinda funny because I wasn't even prepared for the job interview because on that very day I just walked in the store and asked if they are hiring and an associate explained to me that you have to do it online. So I did the online application right away on my phone and returned to the store 30 minutes later for the job interview. They are having job interviews twice a week and it was a coincidence that I had come on one of the days of the interviews. I wasn't really prepared since it was kind of spontaneous but I had earned some knowledge about what they want to hear since I had read about it on the internet. I was lucky because there were only two other people apart from me at the interview so it wasn't hard to make a good impression and stand out. 
This was at the end of November. We got asked if we'd be available for the upcoming Christmas holidays and I told her the dates I'd be away and the manager who interviewed us approved of it and wrote it down. (This part is important to remember for later in the story.) The manager called me the same day and told me I got the job and I was incredibly happy. 
I really did enjoy working there and liked my colleagues too. Also, I put in a lot of effort, worked hard, was nice and helpful to every customer and was never late (which means a lot because I have to care a lot about something to arrive on time). There are around 7-8 managers at the A&F in Copenhagen which is a lot in my opinion. Actually, they are too many. It's pretty unorganized there and I believe the organization would be better if there were less managers. For example if you have an issue and go to one manager, that person might tell you to go talk to another manager or to write it down and at the end the right person might never get the information. This is exactly what happened to me. On my first day there was an orientation where I and some other new associated got shown around and one of the managers explained how to use this computer system to do our availability. Basically, it's like an online calendar and you can let them know which days you can work and when you're on holiday. So, this manager told us that we should ask a manager to help us when we do our availability for the first time. I did that but when I asked them to help me put in my holidays in the system the managers I asked couldn't help me and I had asked about 3 managers. Obviously, I did not ask every single manager for help because I didn't think that out of these 3 no one knew how to do it. So I figured there was a temporary problem with the system. I tried putting my holidays in the system for a couple weeks and it failed every time. Then, I saw that I was given shifts for the days that I'm away and I immediately went to a manager (the boss of them all) and told her I can't work the shifts and she was one of the few people who actually knew how to work the system and explained it to me. Well, since it was too late by that point she told me to write the shifts I can't work on a post-it and of course the post-it got lost. Another manager (who is the fakest, rudest and least understanding person) writes the shift schedule and she didn't get informed about this. So, this girl got super mad at me and I tried to explain to her that I had been trying to put my holidays in the system for weeks and that the other managers explained it wrongly to me and that I even talked to the top manager and she made me write it down. Well, so I don't see how this is my fault. She told me I would get a 'negative note' for every shift I wouldn't be able to take (I didn't get any at the end) and she also got mad because I had apparently said that I'd be available during Christmas. So, this is what I had mentioned earlier. I had told her at the interview that I'd be away for 10 days and she had written the dates down and when I asked her that very day if that would be okay she said "Yes, that's fine". I don't like arguing with people and especially not with a boss so I didn't tell her how unorganized the whole management is even though I was super upset. Whatever, I went on my holidays and when I got back I had two shifts and that was it. I got fired. They didn't even tell me personally but sent me a letter instead. I already guessed that this would happen because I had seen in the system that I didn't get any new shifts. So, when I asked the managers why I didn't get any shifts and why I can't do my availability they had no clue. The fake/ mean manager said 'You can ALWAYS do your availability' in an aggressive tone which in other words means 'It's always your fault, never the computer system's.'. The managers obviously didn't know that I couldn't do my availability because I got fired. This again shows how unorganized they are. The letter was signed by the HR guy who I've never met so I think he just chose the newest associates and sorted them out as soon as Christmas was over.
It's obvious they only hired me for Christmas and it would be nice if they would have told me that at the job interview. They obviously don't do that because they're reckless and are afraid that people won't take the job if they know this from the beginning. It upset me at first because I only went to Germany for 10 days and it was my first visit back at home since I had moved and I could've stayed so much longer but I didn't because I didn't want to lose my job.
When I asked one manager what the reason for my termination was she had no clue. She said 'We don't need that many associates anymore.' and her stumbling made it clear that she didn't know much more than this general information. There were also a couple of other people who got fired after Christmas. 
I'm happy I had this job because I made some good money in a short time and made some awesome friends so I don't regret having worked there at all. Also, I got 50% on everything and got some nice clothes hahah.
But I learned my lesson and know that big companies like A&F don't care about their associates and will hire you with false intentions so they can get what they want. It's a common thing I think so I'm not shocked but I still believe it's unfair. Also, I think it's not okay to fire people by mail and not tell them personally. 
So, if you want to work there.. think twice. I think it's better to work in a place where the company actually cares about their employees.
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