10 reasons working at a Taiwanese convenience store is anything but convenient
The China Post Thursday, June 8, 2017, 8:00 am TWN
Taiwan's convenience stores have taken "convenience" to a whole new level. In addition to working the cashier, staff at these stores make soft serve ice cream, brew lattes, send and receive packages and help you pay your bills.
And more services are being added all time.
Each of these might mean a cushier life for us, but it means another skill to learn and more work to do for these jacks-of-all-trades.
Big Data aggregator DailyView recently compiled the top 10 annoyances convenience store employees face -- keep these in mind next time you start feeling impatient while a clerk is mixing your hazelnut latte.
10. Low wages
Convenience store employees' duties range from simple stuff like cleaning, restocking and working the cash register to more advanced responsibilities such as making coffee and printing documents or photos. At some stores, employees also need to be artistically inclined because they could be asked to help decorate the interior or draw up posters for promotional events. On top of all that -- and serving customers in a hospitable manner -- most employees only receive the most basic wages in Taiwan.
9. Customers who are way too chatty
Aside from being saddled with a plethora of tasks, employees also find themselves having to be listeners and providers of suggestions of the "chicken soup for the soul" variety, typically for older retirees or unemployed (and possibly bored) middle-aged customers.
8. Parcels. Lots of parcels
Thanks to low shipping costs, most buyers and sellers now choose convenience stores to ship parcels bought online. This service, which is also popular among those who want to get their own packages to another part of the island, can be a time-consuming one for employees, who need to find packages from among a haystack of deliveries.
7. Getting fat eating almost-expired food
At most chain stores, managers must find a way to get rid of about-to-spoil or overstocked food products. More often than not, they look to their employees to finish or take home these items. Sound good? Employees say that's how they feel initially but that the happiness soon wears off after this less-than-healthful food takes its toll on their weight.
6. Sales pressure
The survey also found that some managers of chain stores require employees to meet weekly quotas during their shifts; for example, some (possibly former) graveyard shift employees took to the internet to complain how their manager expected them to sell 300 Japanese oden each week.
Employees are often tasked with making coffee, handling parcels and working the register all at the same time. This can be manageable during adequately staffed shifts but is hell when a wave of customers come in when you're short-staffed.
Just this February, a 17-year-old employee had their hand almost chopped completely off by a knife-wielding robber in New Taipei. Some jokesters discussed online how managers would deduct employees' paychecks if a holdup took place during their shift.
3. Customers with the worst requests
Employees often need to maintain a level-headed manner when dealing with "unreasonable customers" who come in making unreasonable demands, ranging from microwaving milk to "room temperature" or wanting to return melted popsicles.
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