Ready to jump from the top floor of the parking garage!!!!…retail store manager

I am a store manager for a women’s specialty retailer in an upscale urban mall. I have been with my company for several years and gradually worked my way up from part time to assistant manager to store manager. I have been running a 3 million dollar store for just under a year now and if I knew what I know now I’d have looked for something else last year.

I used to enjoy my work when I was an assistant, it seemed fulfilling until I became the store manager and the shock of being the one who was ultimately responsible for the success or failure of my store’s business. Part time workers are not motivated to exceed expectations, in a poor job market good help has been extremely hard to find, my assistant managers seem to do more to make my life hell than they do to help and the economy has been killing our sales. Customers are generally nice but the downside is that quite often you have a customer who will come in, tear apart your store, have you jumping through hoops, and then have the gall to turn around and complain about the service. You never seem to have enough time to do any of the 15,000 things that your corporate office wants you to do.

This is probably due to the fact that they have never worked in a store and their 8 hour days afford them the luxury of inventing ways to torture you. Don’t get me wrong, I do like some parts of my job. I like the first two hours we are open in the morning when I can help customers one on one in a nice easy pace. One bit of advice…if you want good service DON’T SHOP WHEN THE STORE IS BUSY!!!!

I love being in the store when the mall is closed, it is quiet and relaxing, almost surreal. The idea of working in a mall is also great, everything you could ever need is right there. Of course being the leader of my staff would feel great if we were as productive as we should be!

But alas, I have achieved job burnout!
To make matters more upsetting I have been experiencing personal issues regarding the health of family members, I am exhausted by a long (1.5 hour) commute, and I’m not getting compensated fairly. I think about quitting daily. I don’t know what I would do. I was never interested in a career in retail, I studied psychology and wanted to get into event planning or buying for a retailer. I know I want a rewarding, energetic career in which I travel, and influence change in a company. I fell into running this store and now I find myself deep in the middle of a horrible job market, debating a graduate degree and dreading my commute every day to the hell I call work and you call the mall.