Being A Teavana Employee

I absolutely have to write about this! I got hired in about three months ago. The stress and pressure I experienced while working in Teavana was enough to make you scream. I actually got sick from it. The employees there were super fake. Some customers fell for the whole act. I always felt like shit because my sales were horrendous. I didn’t get much help. The other employees were only concerned with their own sales. I felt like an absolute fool when I was on the “sample cart.” The “sample cart” is basically the starting point of the tea journey or however Teavana puts it in their training manual. I would be on “sample cart” for a long time and get people into the store and then other employees would take over and I would get no credit for any sales. The only thing I liked about the job was the free unlimited drinks. That was it. I liked the products. I got along with the manager alright, but the employees were fake as shit. They would always try to either intimidate me or act superior just because their numbers in sales were higher. Even though people preached that we were supposed to be a team, it wasn’t that way. I was excited to be working in a new store and everything, but it just didn’t work out. Haven’t gone back.

19 Replies

Sounds a little like that short stint of time I worked in real estate as a rental agent in Brooklyn. Unfortunately sale-based jobs attract a lot of people who think short-term when it comes to customer service and are just trying to make a quick buck. It’s very stressful in an atmosphere like that. I’m glad you realized quickly that this wasn’t for you. Now you can move on to better things! :-)

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Thank you!

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Skysamurai said

That is the unfortunate part about working in commision businesses. People care more about the sale then getting the customer to grow and love the brand. At least most of the time it seems. I always hated walking into stores and having people hassle. I can’t help but wonder if Teavana would be better off with less hassling and more just openness to helping. I’m sorry that you had to go through that. Hopefully though you can pull some things from this and apply it to other jobs! That’s how I always like to look at situations. ^_- keep your head up!

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za-hi said

sounds like high school all over again. these people may be good at sales, but that’s about it. that’s all they’ll ever be good at. they won’t progress in life and they’ll realize that when it’s to late to do anything about it.

in the real world, all the cool and popular high school kiddies aren’t popular anymore. they’re the dumb asses of society.

I know you’re just making casual conversation here while trying to empathize with the OP, but I’d be careful throwing such generalized harsh judgements out to the wind when you don’t know who’s feelings you may be hurting. I’m not speaking for myself here (way far from popular and not into sales :p), but I’m a huge advocate of judging individuals rather than entire groups.

Being a good salesperson is not inherently evil and can be just as respectable an occupation as any other. Similarly, not all popular kids were/are bullies. And for those who are: everyone is capable of change and of becoming a better person. People make mistakes and the best of us learn from them.

za-hi said

why should i be careful? i don’t really know these people, therefore i don’t really care about their feelings. people generally suck, unless they prove otherwise.

furthermore, you didn’t analyze my post correctly. i wasn’t talking about all sales associates, i was talking about the type of associates she’s talking about. moreover, i wasn’t empathizing, i was sympathizing. i know you’re just making casual conversation here while trying to empathize with those who work in sales, but i’d be careful about empathizing with people you don’t even know. besides, if you don’t even know anything about these people, how could you possibly empathize with them?

one more thing, people don’t change…

using cautious fearful voice: okie dokie then. . .

ifjuly said

At the risk of a derail, what Shelley_Lorraine said, in spades. Both times. Yeesh.

Angrboda said

why should i be careful? i don’t really know these people, therefore i don’t really care about their feelings. people generally suck, unless they prove otherwise

Because it’s common bleeding courtesy. That really ought to be reason enough. Ask your mother if I haven’t proven myself sufficiently worthy for you.

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Thanks for all the thoughtful posts. I am truly grateful that there are people reading my situation and what I have gone through. I went in with the best of intentions to help people and have been disappointed at the actual circumstance at hand. I was happy and willing to help, but if I wasn’t doing things the Teavana way, I felt like I wasn’t worth anything. People shouldn’t be treated like this or feel this way.

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Sounds like retail to me. I worked at a grocery store bakery for years, and know I used the phrase “I like my job, but I hate where I work” on a lot of people, most of whom had no idea what that meant. Working in a “real” bakery now is completely different, and I love my job. I imagine Teavana is to independent tearooms what my last job is to my current.

Retail should be fun. It shouldn’t be so stressful. I think the CEOs and Presidents that run these companies underestimate the general public’s intelligence. Better attitudes and actual teamwork should attract more people. Not pushy people or sales techniques. That’s my philosophy.

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Chizakura said

Darn, I was hoping Starbucks purchasing Teavana would make a difference to how they treat their employees. (not that Starbucks is exactly an angel but in comparison to Teavana they are!) I’ll continue to ignore its existence then. I refuse to knowingly support companies who treat their employees this way!

I’m glad you got out of there sooner than later and hope you get a job where you’ll earn more respect. Retail in general tends to be terrible. The customers AND managers treat the employees like trash, it’s awful. Yet they never acknowledge that if we weren’t there, they’d have no one to run their businesses, and for customers no one to serve them.

I agree fully. I actually ordered products online from Teavana because I didn’t want to actually buy in the store and have co-workers judge me for my purchases or fight over ringing up my sales. It’s just a very judgmental atmosphere.

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I’ve worked in commission sales retail (and online sales) before, but it was treated as a nice bonus, not as competitive, performance based crazy thing. I never felt forced to sell more, and really wasn’t going to hurt me performance wise if I had a slow week. My employers were good at looking at the data saying “not many customers” or new competition or whatever.

I have tried some Teavana stuff, but all off tea trades. I’d probably order online one day during a good sale, but never go into a store. You’d think they’d get better with how they run their training and sales, especially with all the online discussion on their sales tactics being unpleasant.
That, and I should never go into a Teavana as I can be a jerk with pushy commission sales types.

As I was on the sample cart giving out tea, I had a woman actually come up to me and scold me for my training techniques. It was crazy how much stress it actually was.

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uni-tea said

Hey! I’m also a Teavana employee. I’ve worked there for about 4 months now. I’m really sorry you had the experience you did :( :( I think it’s a matter of what store you’re in, because all my peers are super friendly and respectful and we get along very well. It can get a bit competitive due to the sales process and goals, but we work as a team to boost sales and don’t steal customers from each other! Sadly, I’ve heard a lot of people from Teavana have had experiences more similar to yours… and that saddens me. It shouldn’t be that way.

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Mitch said

I’m on the same boat as uni-tea above me! I just started about two months ago. I really like it and I get along well with my coworkers- it really depends on the store and the people you work with, especially how the management treats everyone. At the store, we are pushed by the manager+corporate to go through the “tea journey” like robots which I don’t like too much. We go sample cart—>cast irons—>tea wall etc (Cast iron sets run $600+ and one in a thousand people will probably buy one). PerfecTea makers all the way! Other than that, I really enjoy showing people tea and I think I will be at Teavana for quite some time!

My advice, find a different nearby store to work in if possible. There’s another Teavana about 25 min from me and the employees there always seem so miserable and competitive, but at my store we are the dream team haha.


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