Working in retail: Employee case study
Harrison Muyeji describes his job as a supervisor/shift leader at a leading supermarket chain.
What is your role?
I run the shift when there is no manager there and make sure that all the daily tasks are done.
Some of the tasks involve managing the staff on the shift, for example making sure that everyone has their break. Then there are stock tasks to do, such as restocking shelves, recording waste and gap scans (logging into the computer system all the things that are out of stock). I have to take money out of the tills and put it into the safe.
What do you like about your job?
I like the fact that I work for a large, respected company. I know exactly what I have to do each day.
The hours fit in with my uni course (and my social life!). I don’t mind working evenings, but I don’t really like mornings. Our branch is open until 10.30pm so I usually do late shifts. This suits me, as I can still go out afterwards.
What’s not so great about it?
Sometimes, the customers! Complaints are always hard to deal with, especially when I know my staff haven’t done anything wrong.
How did you get to where you are?
I did A levels (three A2s and one AS). My degree is in history. I didn’t have a weekend job while I was at school. I knew it was important to get some work or business experience before I graduated, so I decided to get a part-time job that would fit round my course.
I saw the ad in the store window, called in with my CV, had an interview and started the next week.
After a year’s experience on the shop floor, the manager asked if I’d like to be a team leader. I was pleased to be asked.
What do you want to do next?
After my degree I want to travel and perhaps work abroad. When I come back to the UK, I’ll apply for graduate schemes. I’m not sure that store management or retail operations are for me, though. I am more interested in a head office job.
What advice would you give young people thinking of doing your job in the future?
Like most things, the more you put in, the more you get out. Work hard and not only does the time pass more quickly, but you’ll end up doing well in the company.