Retail Hell: How I Sold My Soul to the Store and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Retail Hell: How I Sold My Soul to the Store Paperback – Bargain Price, October 18, 2010


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, Bargain Price, October 18, 2010
$3.50 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details
Showcase%20Weekly%20Deal

Special Offers and Product Promotions


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media; Reprint edition (October 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440505772
  • ASIN: B005GNKF1U
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

For Hall, retail was destiny, for he came from a family of retail workers, including his great-grandfather, who owned a furniture-and-appliance store in his hometown of Reno, Nev. But Hall, as he explains, had a different dream: he wanted to be a screenwriter. He didn't give up those aspirations, despite having retail jobs during his growing-up years. When he moved to California to get closer to the film industry, he looked for a job that could help him pay the bills and look fabulous at the same time. He landed a job at a department store he calls The Big Fancy, an upscale emporium known for its customer service. Those who've worked on the front lines of the service industry will relate to Hall's bitter memoir (and recognize the retailer as Nordstrom, where he spent 15 years as a handbag salesman). Hall's memoir chronicles wacky training exercises, sleep-inducing staff meetings and, of course, the customers. Every nutty client becomes a character, from foul-mouthed Lorraine, aka Shoposaurus Carnivoarus, to more generic Serpents and Bloodsuckers. Screenplaylike renderings of Hall's dreams pop up throughout the book, as do rants about co-workers, customers' endless capacity for lying in the service of returning obviously used items and more. Hall's voice is sharp and sometimes funny, not unlike a retail-centric Perez Hilton—but the book will leave readers wondering why Hall stayed in retail for decades if he hated it so much. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A haute handbag salesman at a Big Fancy department store might sound like the most glamorous way to work in retail. Think again. In his new book, "Retail Hell" ($23, Adams), Gucci hawker-turned-author Freeman Hall shares hilarious tales of his 15-year servitude as a sales guy, from crazy customers to the cloyingly cheerful store culture." -- Washington Post Express, September 25, 2009

For Hall, retail was destiny, for he came from a family of retail workers, including his great-grandfather, who owned a furniture-and-appliance store in his hometown of Reno, Nev. But Hall, as he explains, had a different dream: he wanted to be a screenwriter. He didn't give up those aspirations, despite having retail jobs during his growing-up years. When he moved to California to get closer to the film industry, he looked for a job that could help him pay the bills and look fabulous at the same time. He landed a job at a department store he calls "The Big Fancy," an upscale emporium known for its customer service. Those who've worked on the front lines of the service industry will relate to Hall's bitter memoir (and recognize the retailer as Nordstrom, where he spent 15 years as a handbag salesman). Hall's memoir chronicles wacky training exercises, sleep-inducing staff meetings and, of course, the customers. Every nutty client becomes a character, from foul-mouthed Lorraine, aka Shoposaurus Carnivoarus, to more generic Serpents and Bloodsuckers. Screenplaylike renderings of Hall's dreams pop up throughout the book, as do rants about co-workers, customers' endless capacity for lying in the service of returning obviously used items and more. Hall's voice is sharp and sometimes funny, not unlike a retail-centric Perez Hilton--but the book will leave readers wondering why Hall stayed in retail for decades if he hated it so much. -- Publisher's Weekly, 7 September 2009 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Everyone who has worked in retail has stories to tell. In my first book, Retail Hell, I reveal the absurdly funny side of working in a Big Fancy Department Store while trying to pursue my screenwriting dreams. I began my retail enslavement at the age of twenty at Macy's with my most notable retail experience being with specialty clothing store Nordstrom, where I spent fifteen years as an award-winning handbag manager and salesperson. In 2007, I created the popular Retail Hell Underground.com blog and videos, generating a satirical sounding board for retail slaves worldwide. In my new blog Retail Hell The Book.com, I cover all things retail, dish about handbag fashion, and update the world on my adventures. I live in Los Angeles, California, I'm addicted to clothes, South Park, and Nacho Cheese Doritos. I also enjoy Diet Rockstar Energy Drink while listening to Green Day on my iPod, and I'm manny to a black and white French bulldog named Lanie.

Customer Reviews

So much repetitive whining!
Lilly P.
If you have ever worked a day in retail, treat yourself to this amazing memoir of retail at the "Big Fancy."
Libbi
What a hilarious and witty book.
L. Howell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Freeman Hall spent 15 years as a handbag (not 'purse') salesperson at Nordstrom's. His "Retail Hell" summarizes those years in a funny and undoubtedly accurate manner - bosses, co-workers, and customers, as well as the orientation rituals aer covered. He originally got into retail sales following his father and grandfather; coveting the employee discount and time to write his dreamed-of "Million-Dollar Screenplay" were other factors. Handbags, however, were not his choice - being gay, Hall tells us his preference was 'measuring trouser inseams," but there were no openings and the store wanted to try a male in the handbag department.

The book opens with a customer demanding a last minute of the day return of an obviously used $2,000 handbag by a 'customer' that Freeman remembers is not the one who bought it. On the other side, however, he's pressed by customer-service focused manager that directs him to accept the return, which also docks his commissions. Unfortunately, this farce is repeated a number of times throughout the book, cheating both the salespeople and the store.

Then Hall flashes back to his first day on the job - orientation. Loads of corporate H.R. baloney (eg. emphasizing "How key," "How important employees are," all the while one realizes from other presentations on rules that you're expendable, disposable, and replaceable. The conflict is most obvious between the Employee Handbook (1 rule - You're in Charge), vs. the reality that there is a long list of expectations that must be met - else termination.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Tina on September 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Congratulations Freeeeeeemmaaaannn, you have managed to make me totally scared of the retail world - and, as a client, I will be doubly careful with the people behind the counters from now on.

I loved this book. It was extremely funny and author Freeman Hall has a wonderful way of telling the story. I have to say that Freeman is kind of a major pain in the derriere himself and I can just imagine having to come face to face with him behind the counter. He comes across as extremely sarcastic and frankly, a bit of a snob, but this only adds to the "fun" factor in the storytelling.

I laughed when I read about the (what feels like) million of stairs he and his fellow co-workers had to use everytime they entered and left the store. The crazy, over the top enthusiasm from the store managers was also hilarious (although I can just imagine how annoying it must be to have this woman giving orders).

This book, while taking a funny and bitting look at our love of retailing and spending, spending (how crazy is it to spend so much money on a handbag? although I have done it myself!!!), I could not help but also feel some sadness. This book also shows us just what is wrong (in part) with society right now - spending too much money on our "wants", working at jobs we don't like, people disrespecting each other and big corporations trying to "brainwash" us.

However, I am being way too serious here, because this book is a delicious insight into what it is like to be on the "other" side of the counter and I loved every minute of it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tyler on July 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read the comments from the critics on here and found them completely full of crap. They whine and moan about how this Freeman guy shouldn't be going on and on about his job and crap like that, but I've read half the book so far and as a Retail employee with more than 40 months of experience to the present day, I kept exclaiming things like, "Oh, I know how that feels!" and also "I remember a customer acting just like that!" not to mention, "My bosses act the same way and they can never get me to do those stupid morning-meeting cheers!" Freeman is excellent in describing his day-to-day experiences, especially with a personal shopper who throws money around as if it was nothing to her and swears like a hardened Navy sailor, not to mention the idiot manager that rags on him constantly saying, "They're HANDBAGS, not PURSES!"

The critics clearly do not have a job in Retail and some are probably the same customers who act all crappy and jerky in stores to employees just like Freeman. I don't understand how someone could pay as high as $800-$2000 for a silly old handbag, but I definitely understand how they walk all over you as if they own the place just because they get to spend money like that! The only ones who are fit to judge this book as critics are ones that have worked Retail themselves, and this book brings a lot of laughs! It takes a lot for a guy like Freeman to put in the years of Retail like he did, putting his dreams on hold to do so, and even having to suffer the agony of attending stupid conference meetings on his DAY OFF!!! When I read about him having to get up early in the morning to do so, I kept thinking, "My company doesn't pay ME enough to attend their stupid meetings on my day off! No way in hell could I do that!
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search