Monday, 21 March 2011

Why you shouldn't work for River Island

As some of you may know, I recently got a job a River Island. I lasted 5 weeks. Bad, I know, but when I list my reasons why you will wonder why I stayed so long. All names have been changed.

So, to begin with I went for the interview. Which was an hour late. Yes, I was hanging around in the store for an hour waiting for the Assistant Manager...lets call her Laura. Now, the interview itself was a bog standard conversation, in which we were interrupted numerous times by staff members walking into the office. In this interview, I was told the hours. Nine hours a week, doing delivery. Not the Sales Advisor job I applied for. The hours were Monday 6-9am, Tuesday 11-2 and Friday 6-9am. I got the phone call that I got the job a few hours later, and I had to go for an induction the next day.

So off I go to the induction, which fell on a Saturday. I arrived a bit early, and as you'd expect there were a few Saturday workers outside waiting to go in. Instead of ignoring them and sitting on the bench behind them on my own I decide to go talk to them. So off I go, all smiles and introduce myself. Out of six people, one said hello to me and introduced themselves. One. Which by the way, was a guy. The other five girls pretty much sneered at me and carried on talking between themselves.

The rest of the day was OK. There were a few more snotty nosed RI workers, but there were also a few nice ones.

Now, don't get me wrong, not everyone who works there is a snotty fashion person. I made a few friends on delivery who weren't complete morons, but alas...a lot of them were.

So, the 6-9am shift. This one was fine, we had a lovely manager (I'll call her Wendy) and she really went out of her way to make sure we understood what was happening and the way things needed to be done. The only problem with this shift was the going to bed at 9/10 the night before, and getting up at 5am, to then drive in and pay £4 for that privilege. Yeah, £4 to park for three hours. I live about a 15min walk away from West Quay, so yes I could walk in. But not at 5am, in Southampton. I like not being raped thanks! So as I said, I made some friends. But there were also people who I'm actually quoting just because they were so moronic.

1. " Maaaatteee, I spent £80 last niiiight getting totally wasted, can't afford my bus this week either so might have to skive a few shifts."

2. "Omg, do you think if I lie and say I have body dismorphia I can get free plastic surgery?"

3. (Whilst hanging a dress) "Wow, this is a really long skirt" (It was obviously a dress too, it had sleeves)

Oh and now the joys that were the Tuesday shift. The "manager" for this shift was the most arrogant, self absorbed, fashion moron ever. I'll call him Chris. This lovely man, apparently hates women. Or he just thinks that because he is obviously God's gift, he can treat girls like shit. When he asks me what degree I did, his reply was "Is that actually a degree? That's pathetic" - By the way, I find out later that he dropped out of the same university I'm at. Yeh, well done.

He continued to attempt to belittle me about my life and appearance (tattoos and bright red hair seem to anger the moron). Oh and by the way, the next week he dyes his hair light bulb blonde.

All this for minimum wage. YAAAAAY.

Other factors are the fact the managers treat you like crap, they talk to you like you are something on their shoe...they also give disciplinaries for pretty much nothing. One girl told me that she almost got one because the manager didn't write down that she had called in sick. To prove she had phoned in, she had to bring in phone records. This same girl was pretty ill on one of my Tuesday shifts, and had to go sit down. It was obvious she wasn't well, as she was pale and looked very faint. "Chris" called her a faker and a lazy worker. Such compassion!

So, if you wanted to be treated badly, and paid badly for manual labour then feel free to apply to River Island! They seem to employ managers with no souls or compassion for the human race. And there are so many rumours flying around the Internet they are going down the pan. I wonder why?

Thanks for taking the time to read my mini rant - there are more factors but I have a cat laying on my laptop now so its getting hard to write. I know its boring sometimes reading a load of text, so here's a cute picture:


  1. thats really bad,cant believe the staff,i would defo complain to head office or something,your well off out of there hun :)

  2. I agree, I would complain! Thanks for posting this! I really hate those girls that work in those shops. I know not everyone is like this but most are! I'm pretty sure it's a necessity to be hired!

  3. Listen to my story girl.

    I have been a River Island employee for over 7 months now, and these last 7 months have been complete hell. Here's a small list of how terrible the management is and why you shouldn't work there, going by what happened to me..
    - When my dad went to hospital, the nurses told us he was going to die that same day, and all my family had to come and say one last goodbye to him. I rang up work 4 hours before my shift to inform them I wont be going to work. My manager replied with "Ok well can you let us known when the deed is done because we still need you to come into work cause we're short staffed"
    - They've been underpaying me £100-£200 every single month (not even paying me my contracted hours)
    - They told me my attendance was 16% according to their system, when in actual fact i never missed a day of work. They completley dismissed anything i said.
    - The managers make you do FUCKING EVERYTHING and they stand around and do nothing, while they're earning the most money.
    - I was constantly bullied. Was working 6 hour shifts and wasn't even aloud to get a glass of water.
    - I suffer from migranes and they never aloud me to NOT wear them poxy radios. Nor did they let me take tablets for it. I was always told to get back to work immediately.
    - On Thursdays I work 12pm-10pm and I'm only aloud an hour break, not an extra 20 minutes break (even though i'm working over 8 hours). Their excuse for this was because I'm not working a management shift (which can I add, is fucking illegal)
    - I had 3 customers abuse me and threten to beat me up and nothing was done about it, they wasn't even asked to leave the store.
    - They make you come down 5 minutes before your shift starts but they always let you out late.

    I was their till controller and they relied on me a lot. I was the one who took on everyone elses tasks and did a better job than all the managers put together.
    Now that i've left I often walk past and still watch them struggle without me. It brings me great pleasure :D

    So yeah, moral of the story is, don't work for river island. They're absolute bastards.

  4. This is a really nasty and horrible place to work with a bitchy environment no joke, quit on my second shift.