Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmans in music retail

Music retail is not the easiest of retail markets to work in. You are expected to know everything and you are paid next to nothing to know it. You work hard, and long hours. To many this looks like one of those glam jobs, one with lots of perks and something anyone can do. Not so. The perks are few and far between and not nearly what they were. The good years of perks were gone even before I worked in the industry. The pay is low (probably minumum wage or just above) and it is hard heavy and dirty work. You are carrying and filing CD's all day. You are polite to customers long after you can barely utter a polite word to you coworkers.

Most don't last long in the industry and the turnover rate is high. Those who do, have something on the side that makes it worth their while. I know several musicians who work in the music retail but the retail job is just their day job. Their real job is playing for a living. Tenuous as that may be, the work in retail makes ends meet sometimes.

Why the sob story? Well, at Christmas time, they work extra hard, they will work every day except Christmas day and then Boxing Day they will be in bright and early to set up for the Boxing Week sales.

The amount of product knowledge is higher in musisc retail that in any other retail trade. You can not buy a pair of shoes today and have the sales person be as knowledgable as many music retail clerks are.

If you are a regualar shopper at any retail outlet you probably return there because of one or two employees who always seem to know what you need to know. So at this time of year, why not say thank-you somehow. Perhaps a tip, or maybe just a card to let them know you appreaciate the work they do for you.

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