Management really have no concept of what being a sales assistant is like. What they expect you to do can only be accomplished by running around like a headless chicken as you of course need to serve customers too - many showing more empathy towards us from what they've seen during their minutes-long visits than management. From what I've seen and heard in terms of aggressive customers, understaffing could become a safety issue, I for one, untrained in this respect, have been aggressively, verbally, personally threatened and had to stand there on my own and take it before continuing to serve other customers. Management try to guilt-trip you into staying longer or coming in earlier - that is on top of the unasked-for overtime you're already doing. We don't even have a cleaner.
Colleagues are nice, will look good on your CV, improved patience
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) – Hampshire – 8 April 2018
This place is an absolute joke of a company to work for. Management get paid triple than normal staff members yet go home early everyday and leave NONE key holders to lock up. The job itself is boring, serving rude customers all day and having to run the shop by yourself most of the time as management spend all day doing "paperwork" or calling other managers to have a chat for about 5 hours a day. Basically if you are a supervisor or above you can get away with anything. I honestly wouldn't bother working here, job makes you feel worthless and litreally no one gives any care in the world about you. Can't even call in sick because of how short staffed the place is, but either way you'll just get moaned at for calling in sick. If you haven't got a sick note you basically aren't getting your sick day off. Also be prepared to get texts everyday asking if you can come to work because surprisingly management want to go home as being on the phone all day and asking staff to do 5 jobs at a time is too much of a hard job.
Sales Assistant (Work Experience) (Former Employee) – London – 4 April 2018
The staff were very welcoming and friendly at the workplace. The shop floor was very clean and everything was organised. The cons of this workplace, is that the stockroom was not so organised so it would sometimes be hard for me to place items in their right place. I enjoyed the company of the staffs as they were very helpful.
I had worked in WH Smiths company for years, and transferred to another store when I moved. The original store I worked was like a family, and was incredible to be a part of. The store I transferred to, I left after only 7 or so months. It really proved to me that the company literally does only think of it's employees as numbers. I was studying at the time, but would still receive phone calls late at night and early in the morning to come in and work hours because they hadn't organised cover and I was the cheapest resort. I highly so not recommend working for WH Smiths. You're literally just another number to them.
expected to do so many more hours than you're contracted, and belittled when you're unable to.
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) – Leeds city station – 3 April 2018
Although the company is ok to work I’d advice everyone never to work for Leeds city station some of the staff members have a huge chip on there shoulder there’s like a few you can get on with the manager is ok hard working but he kinda plays favouritism the most challenging part is customers they are not nice people I’ve had to deal with a lot such as racism verbal abuse and sometimes threatening behaviour there is no security around when you need it the most other then that a job is a job if you do choose to work there I wouldn’t stay there for the long run especially if you’re cultural person
It's very low pay, when quite there is nothing to do apart from clean up random bits of rubbish etc. The shifts were very short as well, they made me work Christmas eve the day I started, bad with holidays.
I have been working at WHSmith part time for two years and it is a good part time job overall but in the long run it has not been great the pay is very basic and there are no pay increases unless you move up a position or minimum wage goes up. The biggest pro is you meet a lot of nice people in the business and out. The biggest con is the pay and I also feel like the lack of job security for example I have been here two years yet im still part time alothough I have showed that I am interested to go full time.
so first day of induction: they showed you what is expected of the job provided you with some till training maybe 1/2 hours and showed you what you will be doing on the shop floor. made you sign training cards to prove that you are trained on the till even if you are not confident "they don't care".
once signed the next date you will be put in a store by yourself with no support and left to run the entire store by yourself. this is from serving customers, filling the shelfs with stock, and general customer enquire.
you are not allowed to have your mobiles and bank cards on you at any time they expect you to put your personal belongs away in lockers which do not have any locks. so anyone can come and steal your stuff.
if they are short staffed which is most of the time dont expect to have a break because they wont give you one. anytime you need a toilet break you need to ring the office so they can get someone to cover .
hardest part of the day was trying to stay awake. the job itself is so boring they pay you peanuts yet they have a very good turn over and are boasting about making profit. but still pay the staff minimum wage.
the best part of the job is knowing when your shift is over.
management is rude supervisors are all horrible people. they need to learn how to talk to their staff in a normal manner then being bossy.
no wonder everyone leaves. and they have a hard time finding staff learn how to respect your staff and they might stay..
sales assistant, department manager (Former Employee) – Southend – 26 March 2018
Organising the daily structure for department, including staff management and training. Learned to improve my people skills and product knowledge for the present and the future. The hardest part was the difficult customers, but with good customer skills that you can over come those challenges. The best part was working with lovely people and dealing with good customers.
Sales Assistant (Current Employee) – Liverpool Street Station – 22 March 2018
Overall I would say Whsmith is a business which is good for a part time job, somewhere to earn a little money while you are looking else where. At a typical day of work you would do anything you could think of it varies per day, depending on the customers attitudes, what staff are in work, and what challenges you faced. For example I work on a Sunday, so the day its self is quite slow paced. I go from managing the digital section, making sure that nothing is stolen and advising customers on what product would best suit there need, to being a cashier, to replenishing stock, to scanning items to be destroyed to even checking the expiration dates on products. It completely changes depending on time, day,and season. The hardest part of the job would be dealing with foreign customers who cannot speak English as you have to find a different way to communicate with them. The most enjoyable part of the job has to be being able to show off your knowledge to customers and actually feeling like you are helping them in some way. The work culture is very positive at Whsmith with everyone being friendly,however i wouldn't choose it as a long term option
Extreme weather conditions, Unpaid breaks, Bad pay in general
Team Leader (Current Employee) – East Surrey Hospital – 10 March 2018
Little to no training given when I started.
The manager is hardly ever there and only ever seems to do banking.
The area managers and others are aware of the stock problem yet allow deliveries that completely ruin the workspace to the level of it being a high health and safety risk and when you tell them they don't care.
Half the staff have left and not been replaced meaning you are having a massive workload which can never be met.
Sales Assistant (Former Employee) – Gatwick Airport Station – 9 March 2018
I only worked 1 day a week due to still being a student. The first shift was great and I was trained, however you should still have somebody to watch over you incase you forget anything on your second shift. As it was a week until my next shift I was likely to still be a bit nervous. I was left on my own in a shop for 8 hours and wasn’t told that I was meant to close up an hour before I finished work. On top of that I hardly ever received my correct breaks, and the place had a really bad staff turn over