I really hate to begin this by saying this was my favourite clothing store for years, and now I boycott it.
It is sad to be let down by a company that sells some awesome shit. (I’m not talking about their “Depressed” crop top or their “Eat Less” v-neck, although, I agree with the general public’s question on these garments: What the hell were the designers thinking when they created these?!
I applied online for a sales associate position at the new Urban Outfitters at my city’s main mall. I was very excited we were finally getting our own UO. I had been waiting for years for my city to get one. The store was to open in October 2014, and I applied in June of 2014. After months of taking their recruitment processes and patiently waiting for the next test/video interview etc, I was offered the job. Eagerly, I accepted the position. I found I would be helping to set up the new store before it was to open, and then later preform the sales associates duties starting on the opening day.
When I took the job, I so clearly remember the manager telling me I would be getting full time hours because I was not in school at the time, and I was willing to quit my current job for this new one.
Boy, was I going to get a rude awakening.
I had followed the basic rule that you do not quit your current job unless you have been offered a new and better one, so that is exactly what I did. My previous job only gave part time hours. I also felt I would be upgrading by instead of scanning a grumpy senior’s vegetables, I would be working at a total hipster, trendy clothing store along with a 40% discount!
Now, the first couple of weeks went smoothly. I received full time hours and everyone who was helping to set up the store were all cool and friendly. Nothing negative about that.
The store opened in mid October of 2014. Just days after it had opened however, everything went downhill. I was receiving 4 hours of work per week. My hours were ten times less than what they were a week ago. At first, I thought I must have been doing something wrong, but when I heard other people talk about their hours, I knew I was not the only one. At the same time, up on the top of the schedule, ten to fifteen sales associates in particular, were getting far more hours than the rest of us. I did not think much of it, because I never thought it would take only a few days for there to be a hierarchy among the sales associates already.
I had about two weeks/8 hours of actually working at the store after it opened before I was “let go.” I was not even told face to face that I was let go. I was not even called directly from the main manager about this. I found out when I had a call-in shift which meant I had to call the store two hours before my shift was to start, to see if they would need me to come in or not. When I called in, one of the managers told me I was not needed that day and “oh, by the way, we just realized we totally over hired, so we had to let a bunch of people go, and that unfortunately includes you.”
I was stunned. I was offered full time. I was as available as anybody could be. I was willing to work at any time they needed.
But hey, that does not even matter, because it is totally legal! And that is all that matters! 90 days after hiring someone, companies can let people go for any reason at any time in this three month window period. I had only been working there for 30 days, so it was legal. Really unfair, but legal.
Here is my main issue with my experience working for URBN: you hired someone giving them the assumption they were getting full time hours, so they quit their previous job. The position the person was applying for was not listed as temporary. For all you know, this person could have been living on their own. They could have been a teen parent. They may have thought this was going to be their future career, or their sole way of income.
I am aware most people who apply for jobs at stores such as Urban Outfitters, Forever 21 etc, are usually teenagers who still live at home, but you can not just assume that this is everybody’s current living situation.
Luckily, I am still living at home with my parents, so being let go was not a huge dilemma for me. It left me irritated, that is for sure; but above all, it showed me how little this company values or cares about its employees. I do not wish to buy any more clothing or accessories from this store or brand, just for that fact alone.