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This review is based on a Part Time Sales Advisor Position.
***About Monsoon/Company history*** Monsoon & Accessorize are 1 company (which I didn't know), which sell Woman's wear, Children's wear, Menswear, Home wear and jewellery.
Monsoon was founded in 1973 by Peter Simon following a period of selling shaggy woollen coats on the Portabella road and hand block printed clothes from Rajasthan to anyone who would buy them. The unusual focus was always clothes with an ethnic origin for faraway places, including dresses from Afghanistan and countries en route.
There are currently over 400 Monsoon & Accessorize stores throughout the UK and Eire.
All Monsoon Accessorize suppliers are asked to commit to the Monsoon Accessorize Code of Conduct, which is based on the ethical trading initiative base code.
***The Monsoon Trust*** The Monsoon Accessorize trust was set up in 1994. The trust aims to help improve the lives of disadvantaged children, young people and woman in south Asia with projects focusing on education, health and income generation. The trust has been registered as a UK Registered charity , number 1038446
***APPLYING FOR THE JOB/INTERVIEW*** I saw this job advertised in the shop window, (which hadn't opened yet), and I handed my CV into the Accessorize store up the road from where the shop was.
A few days later I received a call asking to go for an interview, at the local job centre where the interviews were being held. This was a group interview, but there was only me and 1 other girl in the group, so I was even more nervous and I could tell the other girl was as well. The manager told us a bit about the history of the company and what the job involved and we got given some leaflets and information to read through.
The manager then gave us some pens and paper and put a bowl of fruit in front of us, and we had to use this to express monsoon and use this to describe the clothes/items monsoon sell! Me and the other girl worked together and wrote down our ideas. We both admitted to each other that we were really nervous.
We gave our feedback/opinion to the manager and she said that she would contact us in a few days to let us know how we got on.
I received a call a few days later asking to go to another interview which was just to be me and the manager on our own. I got there and she spoke about how well I had done in the previous interview and told me that I seemed confident. She told me a it more about what my role would involve and what the pay would be. Then also informed me that she didn't actually have any full time hours available and that she only had part time hours. She said I could have the job if I wanted it but as I was looking for full time work she said I could think about it and then let her know. To be fair my hours were about 30hrs a week so they weren't far off full time hours anyway!
I called the manager the following day and told her that I would like to accept the job, and she was very pleased and then asked if I could go along the following week to a group talk, which was to meet the other members of the team and get to know them, and learn more about the company and what they expect from us.
I went to the group meeting which was really great, as I thought it was a good idea to meet all the staff before all the new staff joined them in the new store which was opening. They made up quiz's and games and told us a lot about the history and clothes and who makes them, etc.
***MY ROLE SALES ADVISOR*** I started working for Monsoon in April 2007, an left there October 2007. My duties included: * Customer Service (Serving customers on the till, general customer service duties), * Fitting room which was giving customer tickets for their clothes and re hanging the clothes correctly after they had been tried on. * Putting clothes from the fitting room back onto the shop floor * Cleaning such as light dusting, wiping shelves, and mirrors. * Stock Replenishment, this was putting delivery onto the shop floor and general tidying of the store * Account cards, you had to try and open a certain amount of account cards every week (I hated this with a passion!!) * Help with cashing up/banking (Checking banking and signing the book and bag) * Preparing Stock for sale (Mark Downs, Ticketing) * Shop Moves (Moving stock to different locations on the shop floor)
***PROBATIONARY PERIOD*** You will have a probationary period of 3 months when you first join monsoon, they will monitor your progress and they will also decide whether you are to stay on and carry on with the job or not. If they feel as though you may have problems, they will talk to you after the 3 months probationary period is up. After this probationary period you will also receive a pay increase as well and you staff discount.
***DAILY DUTIES*** A rota would be completed daily, so everyone got allocated different things to do throughout the day. This included various different jobs such as fitting room, Till, Stock replenishment and standing on the front door greeting customers (which I also hated as I felt like an idiot!). A lot of the time in my store the rota would get changed or other staff would make an excuse not to be the person standing at the front. I remember one day I was stood on the front for at least 2 hours non-stop, I was not impressed, and its hard to try and smile and greet customers when you are not in the mood to!
***SUNDAY WORKING/BANK HOLIDAYS*** I was not required to work Sundays but as bank holidays were a normal working day for me then I was required to work them. For working on Sundays and bank holidays you will receive double pay. Unfortunately if you are contracted to these days you can't really get out of working them. They even open on boxing day and again if this is your contracted day to work, you will have to work them. They are very strict about this.
***STAFF ROTAS*** Rotas were available at least 2 weeks in advance just outside the staff room door, there was also an overtime sheet and you could fill in the hours you wanted to work over-time for. But once your name is down you are expected to work the hours, so there's no changing your mind!
***LATE NIGHTS/EXTRA HOURS*** You will most likely be required to work late nights running up to Christmas and especially nights when they have stock take and preparing the shop for sale. I managed to get out of Stock-take (don't ask how), but the staff weren't out of the shop until 1am in the morning and then some of the staff had to be in work for 8am the same morning. I always used to work a few extra hours, and you would always get paid for any over-time and they also used to go and buy food and snacks to help the way though the evening whilst working/
***UNIFORM*** You are required to wear Monsoon clothing and at least 3 items of jewellery at all times! This was difficult for me as I hated a lot of their clothes and their size 8's were still quite large on me, not only that, but some of the clothing used to shrink or change shape in the wash! You could only wear the clothes which were in season and as soon as these clothes sold or went off the shop floor, you could no longer wear it anymore! I thought this was ridiculous, even though we did used to get a generous discount on clothes and jewellery.
***SALARY/WAGES*** After my probationary period, my pay was about £6.30 per hour, which I thought was quite reasonable for a part time sales advisor, plus paid over-time as well was an added bonus too.
Wages were paid into my bank account on the last week-day of every month. We would also receive a pay-slip as well and as normal Tax and National Insurance deductions were also taken off automatically.
***BREAKS/LUNCHES*** If I worked a full day from 9:30am - 6:30pm, I would get two 15 minute breaks and 1 hour for lunch. How-ever if I work 12 - 6:30pm, I would only receive 30mins for my break. I never really sued to understand how they worked it out as I'm sure I should have had 1 hour break, but I just used to go along with it. You could look on the daily rota to see when your breaks and lunch was.
***DISCOUNT/BENEFITS*** After you have completed the 3 month Probationary Period you will receive a discount card with a set amount you are aloud to spend each month on clothes and jewellery. If I remember correctly, you sued to receive 75% off of clothing which was brilliant, but I think was deserved seeing as we had to wear their clothes all the time and we could only wears clothes which were in season! On jewellery we would receive 50% discount, but some items on clothes and jewellery were restricted, especially if these were best selling items or very popular items.
***MY OPINION/EXPERIENCE*** This was an ok job to work in, but I hated some of the duties for example standing on the front for a whole hour, or sometimes 2, saying hello to every customer who walked in whilst standing there freezing cold and feeling like a complete idiot and a stuck record repeating the same thing over and over again.
I also hated the fact you, used to have to push customers to open account cards as well! Personally I'm not a credit or store card person, I think they are a bad idea and for this I hated trying to force customers to open them!
I also hated the ridiculous late nights they wanted me to work for stock-take and to help prepare the sale, and then expect me to get up about 5 hours later ready for work again, isn't there some law against that?
The staff however were friendly and I got on really well with all members of staff, I used to enjoy being on the fitting room and helping customers try to find the perfect dress for ascot or for their friend's party or another occasion.
I left here because I hated all of this, and I hated wearing their clothes, even though the discount was amazing! I also hated the fact I had to work boxing day there which I was NOT prepared to do. If you love the clothes here and love fashion then this would be a great place for you to work in and now you have read my review you also know what to expect as well.