Working Retail? A Shopper? This Book’s For You

Mall in Jakarta
Mall life....some of us survive it! Image via Wikipedia

Three weeks from today my new memoir, “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail” appears from Portfolio, the imprint of Penguin Press focused on business.

It tells the story of my two years and three months as a sales associate at a suburban New York mall for The North Face, an internationally known brand of outdoor clothing. In it, you’ll also hear from many other associates nationwide, and from consultants, analysts and senior executives — like Richard Galanti, the CFO of Costco — working in the nation’s third largest industry and largest source of new jobs.

If you’ve ever worked in a retail job — or any job with the public (God help you!) — you’ll find something in it to identify with, especially customers from hell, whether entitled finger-snappers or the perpetually dissatisfied.

I started out, as many retail workers do, psyched. New job, new industry, new skills, new co-workers. It was all good!

A few years later, shaking with rage, I actually ran and hid in the stockroom one afternoon after the umpteenth whiny shopper hit my last strained nerve.

“You’re being hostile,” she sniffed.

Truthfully I replied: “You have no idea what hostile looks like!”

Please check out the introduction and chapter one here.

The book — yay! — is getting all sorts of media interest. I’ve already been interviewed, so far, by the Associated Press, Washington Post, WWD, Marie-Claire (May issue) and USA Today. I’m booked on NRP’s Diane Rehm show April 18, and will travel from my home in NY to DC to do it in-studio.

Entertainment Weekly just named it “an excellent memoir.”

Please cross your fingers for its success, come check out our FB page and, if you like it, please spread the word!

9 thoughts on “Working Retail? A Shopper? This Book’s For You

    1. Thanks…I’m super-excited about Diane Rehm; it will be archived on her site if you miss it. I think the Brian Lehrer show, WNYC April 20, is also syndicated and podcast.

      I know the timing is good, sad to say, because of this terrible recession. I think there is much in there for people to identify with, whether they are unemployed, under-employed or trying to hire and manage the “overqualified” who just need a break!

  1. Congratulations! I call myself The Accidental Journalist! I worked in retail in high school and ran a hair salon before getting a business degree. It’s great to have a wonderful group of people who can share their stories.

    Congratulations also on your success!

  2. Congratulations on the book! Just reading the excerpt I related. If people have not worked retail or in any service industry, they have no idea what workers have to put up with. I hope it encourages people to be nicer.

    1. Thanks! I agree.

      I truly had no idea how horrible so many people could be — or the cumulative toxicity of that on even the keenest and most motivated of employees. What a waste!

  3. Found your site while browsing WordPress…congratulations on the book and NPR. I worked retail… in a tourist region. Two things everyone wanted to know…where to get coffee and where to find a bathroom. Blog on.

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