Pros: great fashion if you can afford it, some friendly people
Cons: hostile team, unprofessional egos, poor management, no development, reverse discrimination
I worked in the Visual Presentation department for a little over a year and looking back I'm surprised I stuck around that long! I began as an intern and was hired full-time after two months. What interested me was the money I was getting for someone who was still in the learning process of Visual Merchandising, the hours being 9-5 Mon-Fri, Job stability – more... and my Manager who was really warm and sweet.
It didn't take long for all of that to change. Six weeks into my role my Manager who took me under her wing quit to go to another company. My second mentor left to go to another department. And for the next two months we were left with NO MANAGEMENT!! WHich means I wasn't learning anything! And I left school because I was promised on the job training! For the next two months I was left all alone with rest of the Visual team who had NO love for me at ALL. I had been warned by my mentors that if you were a hetro and/or not female you would not be welcomed.
The main Visual Stylist was a quiet homosexual man who did not communicate very well with anyone because he just wanted to do his own thing and didn't care about being a mentor, even if we was striving to become a Manager someday. The female Visual Merchandiser was incredibly two-faced who tried to get her Manager (my first Mentor) fired because she hired a Hetro-sexual Stylist (my second mentor) whose personality didn't "fit-in". Another Homosexual male stylist who joined the team later and seemed friendly at first quickly turned and became a huge diva whose ego was bigger then his actual talent! Another female stylist, who also was hired after me, had so much emotional baggage and would display her stress and emotional fits freely in front of the team! She was truly emotionally unstable! The four divas certainly meshed well together and were joined at the hip.
FInally a new Manager (Male and Homosexual) came along who had a reputation for being a no-nonsense, professional sort who I could learn a lot from and would clean up the problems in our department! That reputation quickly faded. At first, we would communicate with each other and I would fill him in on the attitudes and problems that was going on in the department. He said he knew and was eager to clean up. He fired one of the Divas whose ego was bigger than his talent. Things looked good at the beginning, but that didn't last long! HE began to develop a DIva quality himself. He delegated from his desk chair. He would mock me because I didn't know how to do something (I was suppose to have been trained by them, remember. That was the point I took the job.) ANd he would have Interns learn some skills that I was suppose to be learning. All he had me do was paint the windows. He would sell-out the people that believed in him when he first came out by pointing their mistakes and flaws behind their backs to the GM. He picked his favourites. And although the Main Diva HATED the Manager the Manager would gleefully suck up to him while bad mouthing him behind his back. There was SO MUCH TENSION between the Diva and the Manager that I thought the Diva's head would have an atomic explosion. The Main Diva wanted the Manager's position, that's why. Finally, when the Manager yelled at me on the floor in front of customers blaming me because his favourite stylist (a female) had left without communicating with me and left the work unfinished I had had enough. It only solidified my decision the next morning when I walked in and the Manager was being all sweet to his favourite stylist and complimenting her shoes, instead of straightening her out for leaving without finishing or cleaning up. When I gave him my two weeks notice he just laughed and asked for a particular intern's phone number whom he had wanted to hire. He became the worst Diva of them ALL!
I thought it was going to be a place of incredible professionalism and talent. A great learning experience! but it was a waste of over a year where I was surrounded by fashion divas and over-swelled egos! I would NOT wish this on anyone!! – less