Ok I’m only doing this because Jingwen told me to do so. So if I get sued by Victoria’s Secret for talking bad about the job or anything, its your fault Jingwen. HAAH I’m kidding, the job isn’t bad, its great!
Just a few weeks ago I landed my holiday job of working for VS beauty & accessories. Oh c’mon, it was the vacation, anyone could get bored at home. So I thought, “oh okay, Victoria secret is probably a good choice since they’re all glamorous and I can see Taylor Swift through the video footage they play in the store; so who cares about the pay,” I didn’t really thought much about the job. Ok, another reason why I decided to go for it: the fun thing about working in town was that it’s super convenient and I get to shop after work. And it was a breeze, I got the job the very next day after I applied!
The timings were really crazy. We have to stand for more than 10 hours from 12.30pm-11pm. Ok, except break time. I remembered I wore high heels on the first day of work because (I acted clever) I thought I could take it but HELL NO. It was so tiring elevating your feet upwards that way!! The only black shoes I have at home are black high heels. And high heels + continuous timing + the standing + forcing a smile on your face to serve the customers made me conclude that it isn’t a very easy job. Guys please, appreciate people serving you on the sales floor more! I really admire them especially the full timers that work long term because hey, no matter how worse it gets for me, its only a month. They have to endure for months everyday.
Shortly(a few days) after I joined, a new girl named Destiny joined too. She made the same mistake as I did–wearing high heels on the first day of work. She says she’s used to wearing like stilettos and she’s confident it wouldn’t hurt-which was what I thought about myself, too. OMG NO. HAHAHHAH it was so funny we both went to cotton on/rubi shoes to get cheap flats!! ps. they’re the ugliest flats I’ve seen. Its only for $20 la so what do you expect but I got them specially for this job. But guess what. A few days after I started working in those shoes, it broke because the glue went off! And when celia visited me she was like, “omg that’s the same suffering fate of my shoes.” ps. she bought it from rubi too 😥
Oh talking about Celia, a lot of people came to support me. Those who came thanks so so so much for your support. SuMin, Celia, Jengwen, my parents, Vans!!
Many customers were confused (some even SURPRISED) that we don’t carry bras. Yes, Victoria’s secret in Singapore don’t carry bras let’s get it settled once and for all. We have panties though. I even got a G-string for free while working there because a customer her free goodie bag to me. (awh so well loved by customers right?) Although you know I kept stressing how tiring and busy it is, working there has its own very good benefits!! Like all staff get to enjoy a 30% discount on Tuesdays and Wednesdays! And we also do get small prizes if we do well in our sales too.
The prizes are usually very small though, like a lip gloss, or chocolates and sweets. At first I was shocked because I expected something big like maybe one bottle of body lotion. And when they gave me a sweet I’m just like, “I can get this for myself in the vending machine!” I would probably be amused if I’m a 3 year old kid though.
I’m the youngest inside. Destiny is after me because she’s a year older then I and she’s so cool because she worked as a child model before!! (destiny if somehow you happen to be reading this or as somehow landed on my blog please don’t mind me talking about you–nothing bad, by the way) We talked a lot and then had fun on the sales floor and became friends really fast. She just moved in Singapore from America. We found that we’re both Christians and her dad’s a pastor who travels around doing missionary! How cool is that!
Oh yeah, most people working there aren’t Singaporeans. In fact the only locals in the room was another girl and I–out of about 15-20 staff in the ION branch. (yes, they need that many people) The shop’s separated into zones and we’re each designated a zone–so we’re required to stay in our restricted area. There can be like 3 people in one zone omg. I don’t like it because sometimes its hard to know which customers you’re serving. How crowded can it get?? Do you need that many staff in one area?
Most of my colleagues–they’re either Filipinos, China people, Malaysians, Americans or Koreans. Its like WOW I’m the minority in my own country? So first day when I walked in there, I felt so left out because the Filipinos were talking in their own native language etc. But it turns out that all my managers are super nice! And the colleague that mentored me, Jennifer, was super nice as well. I remembered I had a bad impression of her when I first saw her cuz she looks intimidating and vain (cuz she wore dangling earrings which are not allowed and she had somehow put her earring up for the rest of the day) but never judge a book by its cover! She’s actually one of the most caring people I’ve met–helped me order lunch and the rest of the colleagues even offered me their flats on the first day (remember I was wearing heels). I turned them down in the end but the fact that they’re willing to exchange their flats for my heels was so heartwarming ;’) Another thing I like is that the Filipinos always call me “dear” or “darling” that makes people feel so at home.
Speaking of international colleagues, there were also international customers. Many or even most of them in fact. And the shocking fact is also that they’re filthy rich. Like they could spend thousands at one go and I’m like how do you even have more money to shop afterwards?? Some of them even brought their luggage along, ready for departure lol. Don’t get me wrong, I love international customers, but its really irritating when its overpopulated with them. They’re either from Korea, Japan, Thailand or Hong Kong so they don’t really respond when I try to converse with them in English. Or when I make an effort to talk to them, they cant really understand and it’s so hard to promote with the language barrier. When I see Japanese, all I do is point to the product and say “Kawaii!” and they might buy. For Korean customers, I just need to call my Korean colleagues. HAHHA. good thing we have them.
Other international customers include China customers, American and Aussie ones. That I have no problem communicating. You see, there’s very few Chinese speaking staff there (due to international colleagues) and I’m probably one of the few (?) people there that knows Chinese. And so when there’s Chinese customers my colleagues would just call, “grace! Graceeee! Need help!” And so now if you think I can speak in Chinese, NO. My first attempt was so fail I had no idea how to call “body lotion” or “body mist” in Chinese and I ended up desperately substituting English words so the aunty ended up laughing at me. Seriously I don’t even speak a word of Chinese in school now neither do I need to use my Chinese name. Chinese is just a no-no for me and now I’m so bad at Chinese. I’ll just shake my head whenever I see that alien language now. Its a big turn off sorry. If you’re wondering how I serve China customers, just…struggling with a friendly smile…hahah.
According to my mum, I never spoke a word of Chinese until probably when I entered kindergarten and when I was young I spoke English in a I-don’t-know-what kind of weird accent. Certainly not a Singaporean one but I do keep the video footages.
Anyway….working there, you can hear many many many many accents. Korean accents, British accents, Filipino accents, Malaysian accents, China accents, American accents, Aussie accents (hottest!), Japanese accents…just no Singaporean accents. So I adjusted my accent to fit in with them but its kinda cool because I can only understand what they’re saying if I speak their accent…no idea why but it works this way for me. And I’ve got used to speaking in a professional, standard English manner which is good because I’ve finally gotten rid of all the stupid Singlish. (prays that it wont come back even when school starts) You know how you hang out with a certain group of people over time, you kinda get their accent too? These kind of things happen to me real fast. Like…you just need to give me a week or so and I’ll just switch. The matter is whether I’ll stick with it for the rest of my life or not.
Its so fun working there! Our mission is to make every lady walk out of the store feeling sexy. Yes, even old grandmas, we entertain that too. There’s another lovely lady called grace (same name!) working there as well and we could click pretty well. There’s also the only guy (we call him thorn among the roses haha) working there. What’s cool is that everybody there is so open and we joke and everybody is English speaking (thankfully!) because I would be very insecure with Chinese. Working there is so sassy, sexy, cheesy and sometimes we French kiss each other on the sales floor and we clap when someone gets sales to encourage each other to do better. The working environment is really positive. Its unlike those conservative, dull, traditional (ewww-most hated working environment)
Once, a lesbian couple walked into my zone and I was recommending fragrances to them (its very obvious they’re lesbians) and the butch was (literally!) so cute to the femme! (sorry for labels but no offence) and they’re like looking on for fragrances to try while I recommended them the different types of fragrances–floral, fresh, fruity, warm and so on. And I told her, “This is my favourite scent,” she replied, “ohhh you’ll buy it for me then!” That’s the kind of craziness you get there and that couple are really sweet to each other and friendly to ME; so seeing customers like this actually make my day. Because you’ve got to have interaction with me before I can promote you something that suits you, right? Not only them, once a transgender woman walked into our shop and my colleague was saying how sexy she looks hahaha (tbh she really looks great) but it made me realize that hey, you can have all sorts of customers and doesn’t mean that their orientation or whatever make them look weird. If you wanna serve a customer properly, how could you even afford to discriminate them? Good learning point.
Well some people ask me about the pay, its $7.5/hour. Commission is only for full timers but I work part time. There’s this colleague of mine who’s super competitive and mean–whom I will not name to protect her reputation but ALL the other colleagues are very good, just this one colleague. I think she knows who she is hahhha. I didn’t complain about her to my manager too because I didn’t want to sound picky and I didn’t want to seem like I’m picking on her. I don’t want to trouble my managers and yeah I’m already very thankful that they gave me a part time job. I’ll be staying for just a short time so ugh never mind. That colleague scolded me vulgarities, snatched my sales and customers then took revenge on me(btw I didn’t harm her), insulted my family indirectly and even insulted Singaporeans directly (she’s not from Singapore). I remained QUIET and I didn’t even scold her back when she scolded me those vulgarities. On top of that, she’s also a super busybody and likes to know my shift, likes to know where I’m working and when I’m working (and I’m sure she checked my roster too because she’s that desperate) But since this is not a rant post but a reflection post, I’m not going to talk much about her. If you want to know, come and ask me personally. HAHAH.
It’s also annoying when people mess up the underwear! We have to arrange them neatly, in sets of six and when I’m finally done, customers happen to come at the perfect timing to mess it up. =.= Guess I couldn’t complain because its part of my job! But its extremely stressful working there, especially since this is my 2nd job. We have to memories the prices, the name and the smell of over 30 fragrances including the VS fantasies. Not only that, we have to know the main ingredients of the perfume too(eg. bergamot, paradise apple, black vanilla etc) Its tough, we’re required to promote the new fragrance followed by 3 world’s sexist fragrances and our bestsellers. Prices for 50ml and 100ml are different, so we have to memorise that too. And for the bags collection, we have to know which are the different features and different compartments and the name of the material (saffiano leather, nylon, etc)
Town living expenses are so high aren’t they? There’s only expensive food in ion and nothing else. I’ve even thought of packing my own lunch. Oh boy, so thankful that I’ve found lucky plaza, Jennifer brought me there to eat. But on Sundays, the terror begins. Workers come to orchard road. Lucky plaza is so crowded with Filipinos(why do they love that place so much) that I cant even squeeze in.
Remember at the start of the post I said that one of the good things about working in town is that you get to shop after work? I was so wrong. Shops were closed by the time we’re knocking off. Looking at the shoppers with envy!! It didn’t help that Bershka was just opposite Victoria’s secret and its just so tempting. Normally between my breaks I’ll just try to grab some window shopping if I have the time but its so rush.
Oh another thing, working in VS could just save me some perfume and make up. I didn’t even need to put on perfume before I leave for work, and when I return, the smell was stronger than ever. How is that possible? HAHAHA. Fragrances just get on me when I’m spraying time and again, serving customers. Repeat for 100 times. The perfume was so strong by the time I returned home and made my mum choke,(my mum’s not a fan of fragrances don’t mind her). I don’t need spray perfume at home, just go there and spray, come back very strong perfume! #saveperfume
On another word, VS perfume packaging is super nice!! #comingfromadesignstudent I would work at TOPSHOP, CHANEL, ICING ROOM, KINOKUNIYA, TGIFRIDAYS, FREDPRERRY STARBUCKS OR A&F WHEN I TURN 18. These are some of the jobs I’m considering but I also want to work in a peaceful Christain bookstore. In Victoria secret, we are very teamwork based (except for that self centred colleague who obviously just cares about her sales and commission). But other than that, the work atmosphere is usually positive. During morning briefings, we’ll talk about the daily sales target, personal target, transaction target and the top sales of yesterday; and then end off with a positive note, “alright ladies, lets get moving! Its another brand new day! Have fun on the sales floor!” and we’ll just dash out from the room. If we get sales, we’re happy for each other and we wink to each other. Its kinda a flirty thing!
I must say overall it was a good experience working and I absolutely LOVE the satisfaction you get when you sell a bottle of 100ml EAU SO SEXY or maybe a 50ml BOMBSHELL. That’s retail! You get the enjoyment when you sell a product. I work for experience, not money. Through dealing with tough customers, colleagues, observing what they buy and what kind of styles they go for, you can get more sales! Seeing what people prefer is an interesting thing too. I think I only choose brands that I stand for and like because I think that’s the most important thing. If you yourself don’t like it, how are you going to convince other people that the product is good? I’m so thankful to be a VS angel and working for a big brand like this.