Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail By Caitlin Kelly

Caitlin Kelly Ý 3 download

One woman's midcareer misadventures in the absurd world of American retail.
After losing her job as a journalist and the security of a good salary, Caitlin Kelly was hard up for cash. When she saw that The North Face-an upscale outdoor clothing company-was hiring at her local mall, she went for an interview almost on a whim.
Suddenly she found herself, middle-aged and mid-career, thrown headfirst into the bizarre alternate reality of the American mall: a world of low-wage workers selling overpriced goods to well-to-do customers. At first, Kelly found her part-time job fun and reaffirming, a way to maintain her sanity and sense of self-worth. But she describes how the unexpected physical pressures, the unreasonable dictates of a remote corporate bureaucracy, and the dead-end career path eventually took their toll. As she struggled through more than two years at the mall, despite surgeries, customer abuse, and corporate inanity, Kelly gained a deeper understanding of the plight of the retail worker.
In the tradition of Nickel and Dimed, Malled challenges our assumptions about the world of retail, documenting one woman's struggle to find meaningful work in a broken system. Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail

Man, I've been on a bad book streak lately. From the reviews, I thought this would be a sort of Nickel and Dimed, a sharp and witty look at what it's like to slave behind the retail counter. But no! The author whines nonstop about her less educated, less white coworkers and managers (she mentions about a dozen times that she's not used to people with tattoos who live in places like Yonkers! and Harlem! Eeeeeugh!) and about the dreadfulness of menial labor, and lousy hour-long lunch breaks and, worst of all, the tragic insult of being told what to do, when she -- a JOURNALIST! with a DEGREE! -- knows better. Oh my God, if I worked with her I would shove her into a supply closet and barricade it with a fork lift. English sniff - oh, the memories. be kind to your retail workers this season, my fellow holiday shoppers...

aww caitlin kelly, you lookin' for some sympathy?? i got your sympathy right here: boo freaking hoo.

here's the lowdown: ms. kelly was a journalist. the economy tanked. she lost her position. so she got a part-time job working retail. it was harder than she thought it would be. so she wrote a book about how hard it is to work retail and how underappreciated companies make their sales associates feel.

did i mention that she started out with a whopping two shifts a week and then had to scale back to one shift a week because it was too much for her?

did i mention that the whole time she was working there, she was still getting paid for freelance writing and taking trips to france?

did i mention that she was living with a man at the time (a perpetual fiancé, it seems - which as an aside - anyone who has a fiancé for more than a year is bizarre - wrap it up already) who had a very lucrative career as a photo editor?

did i mention that she came from money, and got her very first journalism job at nineteen, while the rest of us were probably working retail and other low-paid jobs in order to pay our very first rents and couldn't afford to get unpaid internships to pump us right into our first-choice career??

do i sound bitter?? i'm not, really. but for this author to have written this book about her experience in the horrorshow of the american retail world, i would like her to have had to actually experience that world. i work retail. i don't get to go to france every year. i don't drop $200 on a blouse. reading this book feels a little insulting. do it for reals and then let me hear your complaints.

the book is not a revelation. everyone knows sales associates get treated poorly both by the public and the parent company who sees them/us as cogs. this is a 220 page book which, if one were to remove all the redundancies - even to the extent of repeating the same anectdote- it would shave off about 50 pages.

my first thought was, well - she is a journalist - maybe she just can't write long form without all the padding. fine. but then in her acknowledgments, she thanks her researchers. wait, what? you hired researchers to help write this crummy little repetitive book because what - your 16-hour a week retail job was just eating into all your time??

ugh. sympathy loss.

and then i tried to make allowances because she is older than me and i'm sure for a fifty year old woman having hot flashes, it is way more difficult to be on your feet for 8 hours, especially if you have never had to do it in your sweet sweet life.

but although she complains about the swollen feet and aching joints a lot, more of her complaints seem to be about her loss of autonomy and how she thinks she could do things better than the corporate mandates and why won't anyone listen to me and why am i so white and relatively well-off and all these young kids working here have tattoos and piercings and babies and they won't come to my apartment and swim in my pool???

yeah, i said it: pool. where's my pool, you ask?? hmm, i must have left it in france.

and i'm not saying i could write a better book, but i could certainly write a more authentic book about the retail experience. and i wouldn't need any researchers, that's for sure.

i mean - gak - your example of a bad customer is when she called you hostile and threatened to call corporate?? honey, that's my best customer. five days a week. manhattan retail. and i rock retail. recognize.

come to my blog! English I'd never worn a name tag at work, only at conferences where I was an honored speaker whose words were taped and sold...

I don't think it's possible to have a more clueless sense of entitlement. The premise is similar to Nickel and Dimed, where the author works in a low-paying job and talks about what she learns (my god! service industry work is actually hard! my coworkers are actual human beings! people are mean to us!), but Caitlin Kelly is just so profoundly fucking annoying. She worked one shift a week at The North Face in an upscale mall for a couple years. She keeps making comparisons to her career as a journalist and marveling at the lack of respect she gets from management and the public while working retail. Really, they didn't listen or care about your questions or ideas? Really, the stockroom was run inefficiently? She seems to be writing to this audience of wealthy privileged white people and trying to show them this exotic world to which they've never been exposed.

There's real, interesting stuff to be written about working in the service industry. Kelly does point out that the average worker at a national retail chain lasts about 3 months. Stores plan for 100% turnover every year. Shitty pay, shitty hours, no benefits, on your feet all day, patronizing corporate training videos - we all participate in this culture when we shop at these stores. And, in most cases, we don't expect a lot from the workers; that's kind of the bargain we make - low prices in exchange for low skills. And these service industry jobs are touted as the future.

Anyway, this book is not helping anything. I wanted to throw it into a roaring fireplace. She seemed so surprised that the system exists, that America has class inequalities and poverty, and that her coworkers had lives that were different from hers. She writes, I knew only one person who'd grown up poor. There's your problem, right there. English Oh, poor Caitlin Kelly, I feel for for, oh not wait, I don't! Your book was utter drivel to be honest. English isn't my native language, so a few years ago I would have blamed myself for not getting your aweful jokes and your style of writing.

Caitlin Kelly work in journalism for many years, until the economy tanked and she lost her job. So, she had to resort to working with the common man, in a department store. She started off with a back-breaking two shifts per week and had to cut down to one due to her body being to sophisticated for manuel labour. All whilst taking freelance work from newspapers and having a partner who made a lot working as a photographer.

Caitlin portrays her coworkers as uneducated brutes just because they have no college education, GASP! Some of them have even done time in prison, good heavens! Caitlin wishes to be treat a superior to these people because she came from money and had a degree.

Of course, Caitlin naturally knows how to run the place better than the managers, because she is pure white, comes from money, and has a degree. But they just don't get it, she is better then them in so many ways they have the nerve to treat her in an egalitarian way. So what does Caitlin do? She has a fit and goes away to France to swim in a pool owned by a friend.

Caitlin Kelly tries to portray herself as a rich girl who is having a hard time with the economy, a Rich Girl Plain if you will, but she just comes off as a Rich Girl Arrogant. It's not a secret that I come from money and that my grandparents are paying for my college tuition, but I still have to work to support and feed myself. Caitlin comes from money and seems to flaunt that fact on every page.

She tries to portray herself as working class, but she constantly gets to go to France and yet still manages to drop two-hundred dollars on a blouse and has an apartment with a pool. Did I mention that Caitlin Kelly had her first journalism job at nineteen? Where was I when I was nineteen? I'll tell you when I turn nineteen! But I have the suspicious feeling that I will be working double shifts at the library to feed and clothe myself.

To be honest, I view this book as a waste of my time and braincells. If I had bought this book from a shop, instead of renting it from the library, I probably would have either thrown it out the window, or demanded a refund.

Caitlin Kelly, you have no idea of how to deal with a customer and shouldn't be working retail. Go back to your apartment and its lovely pool and let the rest of us work. English I am appalled by the amount of time I spent waiting to rent this book from my library. I only made it through the first two chapters before I had to put this down in absolute disgust. First of all, let's start with some clarification. If you consciously decide to get a specific job, search for and apply to said job, that is not in fact unintentional. That is on purpose. Ok, so moving on, what was the catalyst that prompted Kelly to seek out employment in retail? Children to feed? Can't make the mortgage payment? About to go bankrupt? No, none of the above. She was simply tired of freelancing in solitude. Seriously? A desire to lord your your self purported talents over your coworkers is what prompted this unintentional descend into the world of retail? Please. Narcissism then abounds as she attempts to compare retail to journalism while spouting off her apparently considerable (according to her)knowledge, respect and general greatness.

Again, I put the book down after barely two chapters because I could stand it no longer. Most definitely not a full review but I seriously couldn't take her egotistical prose even a second longer. Definitely would not recommend and would give negative stars if I could. English

I think a lot people picking up this book are going to be those who have worked or are working in retail. They will likely be disappointed. Even her tales of bad customers, which anyone who's worked in a service-based job will be happy to commiserate with, fall short. As someone who has worked in amusement parks as a teen, major retail post-college and now in a public library, I was not impressed with Kelly's woe is me, I work five hours a week, customers are nuts whining. She's repetitive (yes, I get it, your stock room was a badly lit mess), her research data didn't add much, and overall, she comes across as patronizing. Come back when you've done six days a week, 9+ hours a day, in 90 degree weather for minimum wage. English Reading this book made me a little crazy. There's so much classist, elitist, privileged baggage here that I was hard pressed to find the point of the book. Kelly, a journalist by trade, worked in retail for two years, five hours a WEEK and claims she was doing it so as to make ends meet, at $11/hr while living in New York, traveling to France & Toronto, owning a car. I call shenanigans on that- I believe she was in it for the book.

Kelly comes off as a privileged special snowflake without any real clues. The book is repetitive, with Kelly sharing the same anecdotes numerous times- as though each chapter was destined to be a magazine article, maybe. Her description of the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad encounter which finally made her cry made me wonder how she'd deal with a real asshole on the floor. One other bad time she had, and referred to several times, made much of the fact that the customer was obese. Because let's face it, it's much harder to take rudeness from the fatties who so clearly don't belong in the mall. *eyeroll*

Kelly's indictment of the corporate culture, of the interchangeableness of the retail store clerk, of the disdain with which clerks are treated from both management and customers, was dead on. I would have preferred a straight journalistic report, rather than all the special snowflakeness about how educated and cultured and smart and well-traveled the author, stooping to retail, is. English I was pretty disappointed in this book since I expected it to be like an updated version of Barbara Ehrenreich's classic Nickel and Dimed. While there are some similarities to N & D, Malled is really just a long rant by a privileged, educated (yet ignorant), and somewhat snobbish (and racist) woman who worked a whopping one or two shifts a week at a store in a New York City suburb. Yes, retail jobs suck and the pay is abysmal. However, the author -- unlike her co-workers -- wasn't trying to live off off of an $11/hr salary and in fact, was going on trips to France and her native Canada, splurging on beauty supplies, etc. Thus, I couldn't help but feel that she didn't really have much to bitch about. Unless you actually have to live on a low wage, you really don't know what it's like and just how difficult it is. At least Barbara Ehrenreich left the trappings of her upper middle class lifestyle when she worked in low-wage jobs so she could get the full experience.

Anyway, stick to Nickel and Dimed if you're looking for a harrowing, sobering look at what it's like to live on next to nothing. Malled is just a long-winded rant by a clueless, over-privileged woman. English I thoroughly enjoy biographies. I love to get inside a person’s head and hear their life, their observations, the nuances, the challenges in their voice. I have to say, though, that this time I was anxious to finish this book and get the author our of my head.

I heard part of author Caitlin Kelly’s NPR interview last week and was intrigued by the idea of the book: displaced professional take a retail job to help make ends meet. As the economy continues to try and recover, the media has covered individuals who have been forced to select other professions and lower-paying jobs after losing their jobs.

Kelly is a journalist who has written for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and other big names. The unfortunate part is that by the time I finished this book, I bet I had been reminded of this fact no fewer than a dozen times. In juxtaposing her part-time retail job at a Northface store, she repeatedly and at excess reminded the reader of what her former life had looked like. While some of her observations of her one-day-a-week second job were pithy, the constant reminders of her former life, combined with other repetitive points and details, led me to wonder if at some point she hadn’t run out of things to talk about but had a page count she was required to reach…because she kept having the same conversation with me.

There are a number of legitimate and insightful points made in this book — our lack of respect for those who ring us up when we’ve bought the latest fashions, our weekly groceries and wait on us when we’re out for a meal, as well as much of corporate America’s lack of focus on treating workers with respect and dignity. Unfortunately, these points were nearly lost on me when the author’s voice and tone were more intrusive than educational. English This could have been a much better book with one small change: if it was written by someone else. Caitin Kelly's brief stint in retail should not qualify her for the amount of whining that she does in this book. She worked a couple of shifts a week in an upscale shopping center at a higher end sportswear store. Give me a book written by the 40/hr. a week night cashier at Wal-Mart, please. That person can whine to me. Not Caitlyn Kelly. English