Archived Aren't introverts allowed in retail? At least without suspicion?

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Being a quiet person, I'm sure retail isn't a perfect fit for me, but as long as I'm not cashiering I do just fine. Normally I work in pfresh. (Even when I get stuck on register I can manage usually, but it's even more exhausting for me than I imagine it is for most. I can fake extroversion for a while, but it's tiring.) I don't have any trouble helping customers with questions, and I'm not at all against talking to someone, but it requires them to talk to me first. I'm pretty bad at holding a conversation without the other person setting the tempo. I hope my silence doesn't come across as rudeness or soullessness, but I think it might. In any case, I've been surprised by how many different weird theories my coworkers have come up with in the short period since I've been hired...

My trainer joked that I was probably a spy from corporate.
Then some other guys speculated that I was either a serial killer or an alien.
Yesterday I got asked if I was from a farm because they speculated my reticence comes from growing up doing heavy manual labor alone, I guess?? Then decided I must have secret powers.

All this because I only respond 'hi' when greeted.
 

commiecorvus

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I blame the generation of people who decided that everyone had to be Guy Smiley in order to be providing proper customer service.
That somehow if you weren't grinning ear to ear like some kind of demented circus clown then you weren't being helpful.
People who weren't demonstrative or super outgoing never stand a chance under that kind of forced and artificial construct.
The reality is most people recognize genuine respect and effort.
If you are working hard for someone even if you aren't Chatty Kathy they will respond to that.
Coworkers on the other hand ...
Winning folks comes out of working beside them and showing them you have the chops.
Asking how they are doing and showing interest in the answer, all the stuff that creates those work connections.
 

GrumpyAP

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I blame the generation of people who decided that everyone had to be Guy Smiley in order to be providing proper customer service.
That somehow if you weren't grinning ear to ear like some kind of demented circus clown then you weren't being helpful.


THIS.
Most of our ETL's now are smiley-robots who talk like car salespeople (no offense intended) and really have only 20% substantive content in their sentences. They're usually only communicating with a string of target vibe-buzzwords and random acronyms that may or may not actually have meaning in the context at hand.
 

antivibe

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I consider myself an introvert and I can relate to some of the things you mentioned. My coworkers don't have any theories about me, but I've been told that I'm intimidating. I've also had
a couple of team members ask if I have problems with them, since I don't really talk too much. I would also consider myself a bit shy and nothing is worse than having people
mistake your shyness, or desire to be alone, for rudeness. That being said, I do get along with my co-workers and I've hung out with a few outside of work.
Just make sure you greet them and smile. You don't have to initiate a deep personal conversation or put an overly dramatic smile.

With guests I just treat them the way I would like to be treated. I just answer their questions and help them find whatever they need to find.
I only ask them questions if I'm trying to sell attachments. I don't try to be like those people in the vibe videos.

I agree that ETLs are more outgoing, but I'm guessing that's the reason they were hired. Can you imagine an introvert getting all cheery about redcards?
I'm also sure if an ETL was more on the reserved side TMs would perceive it as rude or stuck up.
 
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cihyfthedoor

Former BRTL – not working @ Target anymore! :D
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No, we aren't. Or most other places, for that matter.

I can fake extroversion for a while, but it's tiring.)

YES. ME TOO.

I don't have any trouble helping customers with questions, and I'm not at all against talking to someone, but it requires them to talk to me first. I'm pretty bad at holding a conversation without the other person setting the tempo.

YES YES YES. ME TOO.

I hope my silence doesn't come across as rudeness or soullessness, but I think it might.

Apparently, it does. I've gotten so many talks about this over the years I've been at Target that it's just a way of life now. For some reason, it's acceptable for normal-verts and extroverts to judge people that aren't like them, and they are correct in that judgement even if they have never personally had one single interaction with that person, but it is wrong and unacceptable for an introvert to demand fair treatment and no judgements without the other person having personally interacted with them. And if you point this out, then you are "putting it on other people, blaming them, and making it their problem instead of just owning up to your improper behavior". Yes, my ETL told me that.

The society in our country revolves around extroversion. If you aren't extroverted, you are wrong. You are broken. You are stuck up. You are an ass. You are self-centered. You are demented. You just need to get out more. You just need to talk more. You just need to come out of your shell. etc. etc. and lots of other bulls***.

I'm really f*cking tired of this sh**.

Some people came out white, or black, or asian, or hispanic, or indian, or other things.

Some people came out with blonde hair, or red hair, or gray eyes.

Some people came out being left handed.

Some people came out with heftier frames.

Guess what? Some people came out not having a special affinity for over-socializing. YES, IT'S EXACTLY THE SAME THING. F***ING DEAL WITH IT. If people don't get this through their thick skulls soon, I'm going to have to go Civil Rights Movement on this country's ass. The way we are treated is completely unacceptable. I'm not talking about retail only here anymore, this is society at large.

Then some other guys speculated that I was either a serial killer or an alien.

The serial killer thing is common. People constantly whispering and wondering about the introvert one day taking a sniper rifle or axe to the place, etc.

This person who just became a TL said they were scared of me at first, for a long time, when they first got hired as a TM. They said they then talked to me one day and found I was actually a nice person.

SURPRISE!

All this because I only respond 'hi' when greeted.

This is not enough for our extrovert masters. You need to talk. Bull**** with them. Shoot the sh**. Stand around. Sit on the desk and kick your feet back and forth. (Incidentally, these behaviors fast-track you to ETL interviews and offers). Don't talk about work stuff. Don't focus on your job. Don't put your job first, put the conversational boredom of your extrovert masters first. Talk about how much you drank over the weekend and got ditched by your friend at the club (even though we as introverts aren't typically even in to that scene).

I consider myself an introvert and I can relate to some of the things you mentioned. My coworkers don't have any theories about me, but I've been told that I'm intimidating. I've also had
a couple of team members ask if I have problems with them, since I don't really talk too much. I would also consider myself a bit shy and nothing is worse than having people
mistake your shyness, or desire to be alone, for rudeness. That being said, I do get along with my co-workers and I've hung out with a few outside of work.
Just make sure you greet them and smile. You don't have to initiate a deep personal conversation or put an overly dramatic smile.

I've gotten this exact same thing. But regarding the smile and hi thing, I was actually told this was not enough and that I DO need to initiate some more involved conversation.

I'M NOT BROKEN A**HOLES. STOP TRYING TO FIX ME.

I know I sound aggressive in this post, but I've been getting sh** like this for my entire life and I'm well GD sick of it.
 
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B

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I don't know why they'd be suspicious, but yeah most people in retail should be able to be comfortable talking to people. Maybe you should work on your social skills a bit? It always helps in the dating scene too, so can't hurt ;-)

Heck I'm an ISTP on myer Briggs, and I've been able to overcome my introversion when needed :)
 
S

sher

Guest
Eh. Introversion and shyness aren't the same. Introverts prefer/like to do things in solitude. Shy people avoid social situations out of fear. Someone who is introverted isn't necessarily unable to talk to people. It's possible to be both shy and introverted, but it's also possible to be a shy extrovert. One man's "stupid stuff" is another man's... uhh... not stupid stuff.

I personally consider myself to be a shy ambivert who happens to be a little awkward, with the tiniest lean toward extroversion, but even when I'm in an extroverted mood, if it's a new person, I am shy. That doesn't answer your question, but it annoys me when people equate shyness and introversion. As a shy person, though, I just fake it with guests sometimes, and I faked it with coworkers in the beginning. I don't always ask CIHYFS but if someone is walking in circles, I'll ask and if someone asks for help, I'll help them, no problem. I'm not all smiley and super talkative, getting their life stories, though. If I'm leading them somewhere, it's usually done in silence, because I'm shy.. and awkward.

To answer your question, though, I think it depends on your store. There are a few people who appear to be introverts in my store and it's not a problem to anyone. I'm sure there are people who think I'm a female dog, because I'm often quiet but meh, Idc. I'm still only not shy around the people who talk to me often (mostly other SL TMs), but after 20+ years of being told "I heard you were a snobby b***h who doesn't talk to anyone" I stopped caring. I'm probably not meant to be friends with those people. Who cares? I told them in the interview that I was shy. So they were either gonna take it or leave it. I get the job done. I'm not here to make best buddies. I just tried to use a Rupaul's Drag Race quote here, but I couldn't make it work for Target lol.

I rambled. Sowwy.
 

pzychopopgroove

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I don't know why they'd be suspicious, but yeah most people in retail should be able to be comfortable talking to people. Maybe you should work on your social skills a bit? It always helps in the dating scene too, so can't hurt ;-)

Heck I'm an ISTP on myer Briggs, and I've been able to overcome my introversion when needed :)

Dating is the biggest waste of time ever lol.
 
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I don't know why they'd be suspicious, but yeah most people in retail should be able to be comfortable talking to people. Maybe you should work on your social skills a bit? It always helps in the dating scene too, so can't hurt ;-)

Heck I'm an ISTP on myer Briggs, and I've been able to overcome my introversion when needed :)


Introversion has nothing to do with social skills. I know many people, myself included, who are comfortable with talking to people, but they don't enjoy it. Not all of us are the aforementioned Guy Smiley, crapping sunshine all over the place. Some of us wish to keep our interactions with customers as efficient and brief as possible.
 

new kid

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i'm fairly introverted, and also shy. kind of a bad mix for a retail job.
i just suck it up and fake it, shoot the shit with pretty much everyone i work with.
when a TL was doing an interview with me, and i mentioned shyness as something i could work on, they were pretty surprised.
some days i get sick of it, and i'm just doing my own stuff, but most people i work with know i'm pretty laid back.
 

commiecorvus

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A friend of mine has the combination of shyness and being an introvert (except when he has been drinking - he's a bit like Raj from Big Bang Theory).
Lucky for him to be 6'5" and 240, built like a wall with fur.
He plays the strong, silent type and nobody questions it.
He'd rather read a book or work on his bike than hang out with people.
But he has one of the most public jobs possible requiring human interaction.
As a bouncer in a club, he figured out how to work to his nature.
He gets along well with his coworkers who have come to understand that he's really just a nice quiet guy.
They might think he's a little odd but nobody has the courage to say it to his face.
 

doxie71

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I tend to be an introvert, but I have gotten out of my shell the more I've worked retail. I have no problems anymore talking with guests, and can happily chat up coworkers. The longer I work with someone, the more likely I will be to actually talk about myself and not just things around the store. For instance, I've just started chatting about sports and other things with my one TL in the past month. I worked 2 months rather silently with them. Until they told me they picked me as a top performer and I was like well hot damn I didn't think they really liked me as a TM. And so after that I felt I could be more of a human around them. It has worked to my advantage. They pushed for me when I said I wanted to cross-train in electronics and made it happen.

Basically, I think I tend to be just reserved. But over the years I have become more comfortable speaking in front of others and such.
 
B

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I don't know why they'd be suspicious, but yeah most people in retail should be able to be comfortable talking to people. Maybe you should work on your social skills a bit? It always helps in the dating scene too, so can't hurt ;-)

Heck I'm an ISTP on myer Briggs, and I've been able to overcome my introversion when needed :)

Dating is the biggest waste of time ever lol.

Yeah agreed. I don't waste money on dinner dates anymore, it's always drinks or something cheap. Usually allows for more interaction anyway.

Traditional dinner dates suck because there's too many people just looking for a free meal, and gets expensive if you're dating a lot of people >_>


Also introversion usually means shyness. Not always, but usually people keep to themself because they might be socially awkward. It's not common for someone who has good social skills to keep to themself out of preference. Most of my quiet cashier peers were pretty much all introverts. Even if they were in a comfortable social setting, they didn't open up much. Ever. One advantage is that they are sometimes faster, since they usually focused on their task at hand more.
 
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I don't know why they'd be suspicious, but yeah most people in retail should be able to be comfortable talking to people. Maybe you should work on your social skills a bit? It always helps in the dating scene too, so can't hurt ;-)

Heck I'm an ISTP on myer Briggs, and I've been able to overcome my introversion when needed :)


Introversion has nothing to do with social skills. I know many people, myself included, who are comfortable with talking to people, but they don't enjoy it. Not all of us are the aforementioned Guy Smiley, crapping sunshine all over the place. Some of us wish to keep our interactions with customers as efficient and brief as possible.

sounds painful. come to think of it, that must explain the look on our new etl's face every time the stl walks by. explains a lot.
 
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sher

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Introversion and shyness can look the same and it's possible for them to both be present in one person, but they aren't the same. Shyness = fear/anxiety/tension in social situations. Introversion = dislike of socializing. A dislike and a fear are not the same. Avoiding something because it seems scary isn't the same as avoiding something because you'd rather not do it. One person can be both... but also it's very possible to only be one, or in my case to only be one of those things some of the time.

I think introversion and shyness can lead to a lack of social skills, but introversion and shyness don't equate to that. I have social skills, but sometimes I don't wanna be around people. I'm not in the mood and it's a Netflix loner night with my door closed. People who have social skills can and do choose to not socialize.

You're apart of the problem if you truly think socializing is soo ~amazing~ that no one would ever choose not to. Accept the fact that not everyone feels that way and not everyone is the people-loving Guy Smiley.
 
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You guys, I CANNOT. THANK. YOU. ENOUGH. For this thread...

Me. myself, I don't know if I was a born introvert or if time, life experiences in childhood & adolescence, and many years in retail was the nail in that coffin...
 
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That said, I'm not exactly shy or skittish around most people, but I tend to keep to myself generally, and what a lot of people think is "being social" is, IMHO, nonsense talk, gossip, blathering about themselves totally unsolicited, and just plain being nosy.

For me, I can be pleasant, polite, helpful, and I've even been accused of being "bubbly" and "outgoing". (!!!) ( More than a few times I have confided to co-workers that the fact that I'm naturally loud and can frankly be obnoxious, plus opinionated, is not necessarily interchangeable with being socially adept or inclined... )

If I had my way, I'd work at home and never have to see another face or hear another voice unless it belonged to a loved one, a dear friend, or one of my pets...

There habe been more than a few times that I've had to explain to friends that no, I won't be meeting them for drinks, not only because I have no funds with which to do so and I have to be at work at 8 am., but because at an average weekly transaction rate of 500-1000, I've had all the "face time" I want or need, thank you...
 
B

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Introversion and shyness can look the same and it's possible for them to both be present in one person, but they aren't the same. Shyness = fear/anxiety/tension in social situations. Introversion = dislike of socializing. A dislike and a fear are not the same. Avoiding something because it seems scary isn't the same as avoiding something because you'd rather not do it. One person can be both... but also it's very possible to only be one, or in my case to only be one of those things some of the time.

I think introversion and shyness can lead to a lack of social skills, but introversion and shyness don't equate to that. I have social skills, but sometimes I don't wanna be around people. I'm not in the mood and it's a Netflix loner night with my door closed. People who have social skills can and do choose to not socialize.

You're apart of the problem if you truly think socializing is soo ~amazing~ that no one would ever choose not to. Accept the fact that not everyone feels that way and not everyone is the people-loving Guy Smiley.

I realize that, but success in retail is generally correlated how well you relate to others. Being extroverted is the smart choice for a career in retail.
 
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Introversion and shyness can look the same and it's possible for them to both be present in one person, but they aren't the same. Shyness = fear/anxiety/tension in social situations. Introversion = dislike of socializing. A dislike and a fear are not the same. Avoiding something because it seems scary isn't the same as avoiding something because you'd rather not do it. One person can be both... but also it's very possible to only be one, or in my case to only be one of those things some of the time.

I think introversion and shyness can lead to a lack of social skills, but introversion and shyness don't equate to that. I have social skills, but sometimes I don't wanna be around people. I'm not in the mood and it's a Netflix loner night with my door closed. People who have social skills can and do choose to not socialize.

You're apart of the problem if you truly think socializing is soo ~amazing~ that no one would ever choose not to. Accept the fact that not everyone feels that way and not everyone is the people-loving Guy Smiley.

I realize that, but success in retail is generally correlated how well you relate to others. Being extroverted is the smart choice for a career in retail.
Indeed, a career in retail may be better suited to extroverts for a variety of reasons...

That said, do you all ( or any of you ) really buy into the "Guy Smiley" thing, or do you not think it's a matter of being able to REALLY relate to people?

And don't you think it's unfair that so many of hte job questions on applications or interviews are obviously bent toward the most extra of extroverts ( e.g., do you love being in large crowds? Do you love goung to major events where a lot of people will be attending? Etc., etc...)

HOWEVER...

A lot of the personality test things that a lot of employers mow, well, employ, are, IMHO, a tad unfair....

Such as questions like: Do you enjoy going to events where there will be large crowds?

Well, if you're like me, and have already been nearly trampled to death by a stampede of leather-clad forthy-something men at a depeche Mode concert by the time you were fifteen, maybe....not so much....

Or...

"Do you think other people's problems are their own to sort out?"

Well, that again depends; are you nosing in where you don't belong? Is your advice requested or unsolicited? do yo
 
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I don't know why they'd be suspicious, but yeah most people in retail should be able to be comfortable talking to people. Maybe you should work on your social skills a bit? It always helps in the dating scene too, so can't hurt ;-)

Heck I'm an ISTP on myer Briggs, and I've been able to overcome my introversion when needed :)

Dating is the biggest waste of time ever lol.

A Date is basically a job interview with a chance to get naked at the end.
 
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I've always been a quiet guy. My team lead when I first started noticed this and so did my ETL. But they saw I was doing a good job on the floor with guest and keeping up with my task so they let me do my own thing unless they needed something extra done.

One good thing about my year at Target i've certainly have come out of shell. I wasn't uncomfortable talking to people but I just didn't have much to say.
 

commiecorvus

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Interesting and very positive Huffpost article on introverts.
In some ways I think it proves the point that they would make great employees as long as you don't chivy and harass them.
Perhaps Spot should include their vaunted 'we want all kinds of people' policy to include introverts.
I'm afraid those of us with the less obvious disabilities are going to be in it for the long haul.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/29/introvert-myths_n_3569058.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular
 

Santee

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:yes:
 
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