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85

WHAT A DAY YESTERDAY, HOLY BALLS.

LONG VENT:

Went in to work yesterday afternoon stressed because I’m not scheduled for Saturday, so I needed to be pulling $95/hr Friday and Sunday to make my week…no pressure. Got there only to find out that one of our keyholders is still sick with food poisoning. Unfortunately, he happened to be closing with me. Who is. You know. Not a keyholder.

As it so happens, I had assured our new manager with some confidence that I can close the till. This is because I badgered the AM into showing me how, and then badgered a keyholder into letting me do it by myself while she basically watched over my shoulder. I didn’t have much of any trouble, because I have a good memory (for certain things…) but that was like…at least a week ago. I never thought I’d be put in a position to close by myself without at least one more practice run.

Nope! GM and the GM from another store who came in to help today both left before close (long hours), the girl who is a keyholder had to leave (long hours plus school tomorrow), and the GM called in Hopeless Guy to help me. Uh, yay? So I had to close with no key, and pray I screwed nothing up (particularly not locking the gate, since I wouldn’t be able to unlock it).

I initially felt bad about calling Hopeless Guy that just because he is a slow learner, but he is back to being called that since I discovered today that a) he still basically doesn’t know how the scale works (he selects the tea first – which should be almost the last step – and then puts the bag/tin on the scale and struggles to fill it…which results in tea going absolutely everywhere, plus he never wipes it off the scale before printing the label (THE EXTRA LEAVES YOU SPILLED ALL OVER THE SCALE ADD WEIGHT, DUMBASS); b) he’s been there with me for a month, worked at two coffee shops before Teavana, and still doesn’t grasp that ICE IS WATER, so I had to hastily remake one of his iced teas before he poured 16oz of tea over 8oz of ice in a 16oz cup and we had a horrible mess everywhere; c) he denies stealing sales deliberately, but also claims he knows how to properly attribute sales, despite the fact that he is apparently making almost 50 dollars more per hour for two weeks running than the AM. We try to help each other out and give our sales to each other when someone is struggling, but that’s ridiculous.

Needless to say, I ended up running bar like a madman (latte with soy, latte with skim, latte with skim and a shot of chocolate – sorry, what was it you wanted? a latte? one minute, coming riiiight up) while he took a half-hour at a time to close a sale at the counter, and then he half-assed cleaning the FetCos and did a half-assed sweeping job before bombing out and leaving me to struggle with the till and re-do all his “work” before I left. At least he was THERE, which I thanked him for – we made almost 400 dollars in our last hour-and-a-half, and I think I may have broken the Top 40 again – but I kind of want to hurt this guy.

By the time I got home I was so tired and stressed. I did so well that I technically only have to make $26/hr on Sunday (haha!), so that’s not a worry, but the whole day was tiresome. I worked an hour and a half worth of overtime closing the store and still didn’t manage to do all the dishes or clean to my standards, and too many people were kind of rude today in a way that really sticks in your mind. I decided that I wanted a peaches ‘n’ cream latte – I considered the very last of Birthday Cake (which I actually didn’t drink yesterday), but I didn’t think I had enough for a latte and I couldn’t handle a disappointment at that point so I decided on this combo.

Then I almost couldn’t find my Peach Tranquility! I don’t cry easily, yet I was literally almost at the point of bursting into tears, like All I want is this peach and cream latte, and now I can’t find my peachy tea, WAAAH, but I managed to hold it together and did find where I stuck the damn bag on my bookshelf.

And then, because it was so late by the time I did find it, I heated the milk on the stove instead of in the microwave. WHAT AN AWESOME CHOICE. This was the most amazing latte I’ve had in ages. Not too sweet, not too creamy…basically just perfect. Made me so happy! You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy tea… So I had peaches and cream tea, and curled up with my peaches and cream cat, and we went to sleep.

I’m waiting to hear now if they’re going to call me in today, but it’s already nine and no call, so hopefully not. If not, I’m going back to bed.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Michelle

Oh honey <3 for your sake I hope you get to spend today in bed!

Yogini Undefined

Aww sorry! But still, be proud that you did such a great job even when facing all of this other crap. Hope you have a restful day! :)

Indigobloom

breath much? ack! hope your sunday goes better :)

Janefan

Thank you so much for this insight into Teavana’s culture. Hopefully it will at least make us more sympathetic to those who work there. What a stressful working environment they seem to have created with their business model!

Daniel Scott

@Janefan – Haha, oh yeah, it’s a stressful working environment…for tea, anyway. In the world of sales though, it’s kind of small potatoes. Other Job that I’ve mentioned sold products that were no more expensive than the tea I sell at Teavana, but with ten times the sales goals. (Granted, Other Job was a bigger household name, so we did get more traffic as well.) What we make in a day at Teavana is generally what we were expected to make in an hour at Other Job. I was cash desk supervisor there, so I was responsible for training cashiers to be able to pump people through our 8 tills at a fast enough rate to hit those numbers. …LOL, I could go on and on about that place. The semi-transparent shopping bags we gave people so that we could see what they were buying/not buying while we stalked them through the store. The fact that we gave out a billion coupons to bring people in (to the point of literally standing outside the door and handing people coupons as they walked by so they’d come in), yet were still expected to get people to buy enough to make up for the coupon and hit a 30 dollar minimum purchase. The fact that we were expected to get every last penny out of even people who were there multiple times a week and clearly had a spending problem. (I had people tell me stories at the till like, “I climb up a tree outside my house and feed my shopping bags in through the bathroom window and then go in the front door and go hide them so my family doesn’t know I bought more stuff.”) The whole atmosphere of the store was homey and family-friendly layered atop corporate greed at the utmost. We got told at one point that the company had exceeded its sales goals for the years by 3 million dollars. I never got paid much more than 10 bucks an hour the whole time I worked there, never got a bonus, never got the promotion I was due because management kept hiring their friends, and in the meantime I memorized literally thousands of products and all their prices while keeping their shit POS machines running. I got nothing for it, basically.

Teavana now…Teavana is this chill little Mom ‘n’ Pop shop. They only WISH they were a sales giant like the above. LOL. But I’m getting better pay there now in a month of work than I did in 2 years at Other Job, I have a commissions-based chance at a monthly bonus, and most importantly I’ve had my smarts recognized with a promotion. So they’ve already done what the current managers at Other Job never had the brains to do.

I agree with some things Teavana does, and disagree with others. I actually agree with pushing the tins (the longer I drink tea, the more obvious it is that tea really does lose scent and flavour fast in a bag), I just wish they weren’t the size of my HEAD. I wish we had either small re-seal-able bags like DAVIDs or at least smaller, cheaper tins that it would be easier to actually sell people. I don’t mind being required to show the cast iron – it’s the big ticket stuff, every sales job wants you to at least show the pricey stuff off. I REALLY hate the sampling, but I guess that’s because it just doesn’t seem to work at all in Canada (don’t know if it works in America)…if people see you standing in the hall with a smile and a tray, they literally cross the hallway to avoid you. Don’t see how that’s supposed to bring in sales…

Anyway. Yeah. I know even before I hit “post” that this is going to be long. Sorry. The corporate attitude of Teavana is…interesting…and if it were up to me, I would break down and revamp their ENTIRE business model. But it’s not up to me, oh well! Being required to account for certain sales goals is kind of stressful, but I am used to it. And in the meantime, I get to actually talk to people about tea, which I love, versus a product I don’t care about. I had a guy in the other day curious about matcha, and I made him a ceremonial cup on the house just to show him step-by-step how to make it himself at home. He bought it and thanked me over and over and seemed really happy when he left…stuff like that, I never got at Other Job. So there’s a balance!

If I could ask one thing of customers everywhere (at ANY job I work at), it’s to not get mad at me for the upsell. I’m never personally very pushy, and I appreciate people who just politely say no and recognize I get paid to upsell, instead of yelling at me because they don’t like it.

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Michelle

Oh honey <3 for your sake I hope you get to spend today in bed!

Yogini Undefined

Aww sorry! But still, be proud that you did such a great job even when facing all of this other crap. Hope you have a restful day! :)

Indigobloom

breath much? ack! hope your sunday goes better :)

Janefan

Thank you so much for this insight into Teavana’s culture. Hopefully it will at least make us more sympathetic to those who work there. What a stressful working environment they seem to have created with their business model!

Daniel Scott

@Janefan – Haha, oh yeah, it’s a stressful working environment…for tea, anyway. In the world of sales though, it’s kind of small potatoes. Other Job that I’ve mentioned sold products that were no more expensive than the tea I sell at Teavana, but with ten times the sales goals. (Granted, Other Job was a bigger household name, so we did get more traffic as well.) What we make in a day at Teavana is generally what we were expected to make in an hour at Other Job. I was cash desk supervisor there, so I was responsible for training cashiers to be able to pump people through our 8 tills at a fast enough rate to hit those numbers. …LOL, I could go on and on about that place. The semi-transparent shopping bags we gave people so that we could see what they were buying/not buying while we stalked them through the store. The fact that we gave out a billion coupons to bring people in (to the point of literally standing outside the door and handing people coupons as they walked by so they’d come in), yet were still expected to get people to buy enough to make up for the coupon and hit a 30 dollar minimum purchase. The fact that we were expected to get every last penny out of even people who were there multiple times a week and clearly had a spending problem. (I had people tell me stories at the till like, “I climb up a tree outside my house and feed my shopping bags in through the bathroom window and then go in the front door and go hide them so my family doesn’t know I bought more stuff.”) The whole atmosphere of the store was homey and family-friendly layered atop corporate greed at the utmost. We got told at one point that the company had exceeded its sales goals for the years by 3 million dollars. I never got paid much more than 10 bucks an hour the whole time I worked there, never got a bonus, never got the promotion I was due because management kept hiring their friends, and in the meantime I memorized literally thousands of products and all their prices while keeping their shit POS machines running. I got nothing for it, basically.

Teavana now…Teavana is this chill little Mom ‘n’ Pop shop. They only WISH they were a sales giant like the above. LOL. But I’m getting better pay there now in a month of work than I did in 2 years at Other Job, I have a commissions-based chance at a monthly bonus, and most importantly I’ve had my smarts recognized with a promotion. So they’ve already done what the current managers at Other Job never had the brains to do.

I agree with some things Teavana does, and disagree with others. I actually agree with pushing the tins (the longer I drink tea, the more obvious it is that tea really does lose scent and flavour fast in a bag), I just wish they weren’t the size of my HEAD. I wish we had either small re-seal-able bags like DAVIDs or at least smaller, cheaper tins that it would be easier to actually sell people. I don’t mind being required to show the cast iron – it’s the big ticket stuff, every sales job wants you to at least show the pricey stuff off. I REALLY hate the sampling, but I guess that’s because it just doesn’t seem to work at all in Canada (don’t know if it works in America)…if people see you standing in the hall with a smile and a tray, they literally cross the hallway to avoid you. Don’t see how that’s supposed to bring in sales…

Anyway. Yeah. I know even before I hit “post” that this is going to be long. Sorry. The corporate attitude of Teavana is…interesting…and if it were up to me, I would break down and revamp their ENTIRE business model. But it’s not up to me, oh well! Being required to account for certain sales goals is kind of stressful, but I am used to it. And in the meantime, I get to actually talk to people about tea, which I love, versus a product I don’t care about. I had a guy in the other day curious about matcha, and I made him a ceremonial cup on the house just to show him step-by-step how to make it himself at home. He bought it and thanked me over and over and seemed really happy when he left…stuff like that, I never got at Other Job. So there’s a balance!

If I could ask one thing of customers everywhere (at ANY job I work at), it’s to not get mad at me for the upsell. I’m never personally very pushy, and I appreciate people who just politely say no and recognize I get paid to upsell, instead of yelling at me because they don’t like it.

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Bio

I’ve always been a tea drinker – I grew up drinking Tetley’s Orange Pekoe and their Chai, and considered myself to really like tea.

I’ve been working various retail jobs to put myself through higher education. One day at my store, a customer left a newly purchased bag of loose-leaf behind. We waited for three days for said customer to return, but they (likely not realizing where they had left their bag) did not return to claim the would-be brew. Too bad for them; lucky for me! I claimed the bag, took it home, and awkwardly made my first cup of loose-leaf tea with the only strainer we owned which was small enough.

I haven’t bothered with Tetley since. For the most part (and due to convenience), my patronage is limited to David’s Tea and Teavana. I also order from 52teas and Verdant Tea.

My rating system – hah, I don’t have a rating system. I rate teas a lot like Ebert rates movies. Everything’s relative.

I may often forget to mention it, but you can safely assume everything I drink is sweetened in one way or another – most rock sugar, or honey for green and white teas. I have not yet achieved drinking most tea clear. The few teas I drink unsweetened include milk oolong and genmaicha so far.

The guy in my avatar can be bought at Teaopia or here: http://www.jas-etea.com/products/Jingdezhen-%22Easy%22-Gaiwan-%22Blue-on-White-Phoenix%22-100ml.html

I currently work for Teavana. But I just work there, and my opinions about any of their teas are entirely my own and not meant to be reflective of the views of the company.

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