Retail is one rough business, especially at the Eaton Centre. Dealing with tourists who speak every language under the sun, being broke after spending 95% of your pay check in the mall, and nearly being trampled on black Friday? Working at the Eaton Centre is no picnic. These are the daily struggles that anyone who's ever worked at this Toronto Landmark know to be true.
1. Never being closed for holidays...ever.
Toronto, like New York, is a city that never sleeps. No matter what time of day is it, the city is constantly alive with the sights, sounds and smells of Toronto. Unfortunately for Eaton Centre worker's this means the mall pretty much never closes. Employees bask in the joy that is the one day of the entire year the mall is closed; Christmas. Sadly, the fact the that mall is always open leaves us feeling less than merry.
Photo cred- Chrominance
2. Toronto events = Crazy mall
The Jays game ends and in floods a huge crowd decked out in blue and white gear. For some reason the entire stadium has collectively decided to take a post-game trip to the mall. And to make matters worse they lost, so now you've got a bunch of grumpy Jay's fans in your store. A trip to the Eaton Centre has become the clingy girlfriend to pretty much every local event. After every parade, festival or show everyone floods in to get some shopping in wreaking havoc on your beautiful displays and clothing tables.
Photo cred- Ville Kokkonen
3. Christmas time
Everyone knows Christmas means mall hell; the Eaton Centre seems to bring it's own it's unique take on Christmas. While Santa is nowhere to be found, we've got crazy Christmas shoppers in spades. Christmas tends to bring out the worst in both shoppers and employees from the large crowds to the overly cheery Christmas music on a loop. Toronto's impatient and rushed inhabitants makes getting what you need quickly impossible.
Photo cred- Scott
4. Spending your entire break in line at the food court
After working your butt off for hours and dealing with cranky customers you finally get your well deserved lunch break. You leave and rush to Mcdonald's to get your junior chicken and fries; you deserve a treat. You're quickly greeted by a massive line and fast-food people who seem to be moving in slow motion. By the time you finally get your junior chicken your break is pretty much over and you are literally inhaling your food on your way back to work. So much for a break.
Photo cred-Cities and Citizens
Everyone knows Toronto is a hot spot for tourists on vacation. And while Toronto is a great place to visit, for retail workers it is nearly impossible to successfully help customers that do not speak a word of english. Hand gestures and your Dora The Explorer- level of spanish knowledge has suddenly become vital to surviving the shift. Not to mention the disappointment when we inform them that no, unfortunately we do not have anything with Toronto written on it.
6. Spending most of your pay cheque at the mall
Why save your pay cheque for a rainy day when MAC has the brand new Miley lipstick and Michael Kors finally has those boots you've been wanting in your size? Your increasingly large credit card bill can obviously wait. Working in the mall pretty much means your hard earned cash flies out of your wallet the second your shift is done.
Photo cred- Greg's Southern Ontario
7. The Colourful People of Toronto
The people of Toronto are a colourful bunch. Working in the Eaton Centre you see them all. Tourists, students, businessmen in suits, homeless people and the occasional drunk. And it's always an exciting day at work when the local Spiderman stops by for a visit or the super fun days when you literally have to call security to kick out a rowdy group of drunks. Torontonians are never boring.
Photo cred-Chris Barker
8. Seeing everyone you've ever known when you're at your worst
When you're having a rough shift and you're ready to scream at the next customer who gives you even a hint of sass or you're in your embarrassing work uniform the last thing you want is for your ex and his new girlfriend to stroll in. With so many schools nearby and malls being a great place to hang out after class, it's inevitable that pretty much everyone you've ever known will drop in for a visit.
Photo cred- Leia
9. Getting hit on on your way to work by the local pick up artist gang
You're rushing to work, already going to be late when you here a whistle behind you. "Hey Cutie". Truly Cringe-worthy. You keep walking to avoid your inevitable lateness only to be further harassed and followed all the way to work. There's nothing like being cat-called to start your shift out right. Not to mention the gang of pick-up artists who frequent the Eaton Centre and train people on how to get girls.
10. The crowds
24/7, no matter what day or time it is, the Eaton Centre is always popping. Which is great for business, but not so great when you can't get through the crowds on your way to work. You constantly revert back into high school hallway mode and push through the sea of texters and slow walkers. You have places to be.
Photo cred- Toronto Ontario
11. TTC Delays
Sure, the subway is convenient. It can get you to your destination a lot quicker than a car, assuming it's actually working properly. Subway delays are every Eaton's Centre employee's worst nightmare. Injuries at track level and "power off situations" are a sure way to make you late for your shift.
Photo cred- PLT am
12. When Yonge Street is closed for (insert marathon here)
Yonge Street always seems to be closed for some sort of athletic event or run. How is it even possible there is a marathon like every single weekend? Have these people not heard of netflix? These constant street closing leave you running as well ... to work because you're going be late.
Photo Cred- AshtonPal
13. The Occasional Drunk
The rare occasion a drunk person stumbles into your store right before you close on a Friday night is always a delight. The drunks wandering in from the Firkin is a constant reminder that you are stuck at work on a Friday night while everyone else is out partying.
Photo cred- Pedro Szekely
14. Dodging the fliers.
Right outside the mall is home to creatures worse than seagulls, the flier distributors. Good luck trying to cross the sea of religious, national day of *blank* and restaurant fliers on your way to work.
Photo cred- leah lee
15. Fire Investigations
Every week or so there will be a fire investigation. The words " please standby " will be engraved in your mind for years to come. The blaring siren is enough to give anyone a massive headache.