I worked retail for over decade starting at age seventeen. I worked as a part time associated, a team leader, and made all the way to Manger in Training. Retail both ruined me and prepared me for work life. I worked 60+ hours a week, I worked back to back shifts, I worked without breaks, without safety, without thanks, and for very little pay. I was taken advantage of by the corporation and I received very little compensation. Customer's were as bad as head office. They take us for granted, treat sales people like indentured servants, and expect Holt Renfrew level service when shopping at Walmart. It is only now, that middle income earners are having to turn to retail after the recession, that retail is getting the media coverage it deserves. I cannot begin to recommend this article enough with one slight exception.

Myth 2: Retail workers are unskilled

Reality: 28% of retail workers (pdf) have *completed some college, and 15% have a bachelor's degree or higher. Employers have deskilled a lot of the work, but still report in surveys that they want employees with both soft and hard skills, including product knowledge, ability to relate to customers, and increasingly, familiarity with technology for assisting with online sales.

Having a college or university degree is not a gaurentee of skills. Not having these things doesn't make you "unskilled". "including product knowledge, ability to relate to customers, and increasingly, familiarity with technology for assisting with online sales" These "soft" skills are not learned in school actually. These are learned on the job and frankly are important and translatable skills. This snobbery is the reason why it is so difficult for retail workers to transition out of retail and into other lines of work. And yet, the skills they learn on the job are an asset for any corporation. So, now that I have that out of the way please check out the full article: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/…