One woman’s account of retail hell

It’s not exactly the corporate ladder, but many of America’s employees spend some time working in retail.

When the economy turned south in 2009, author Caitlin Kelly found her freelance writing gigs shriveling up, one by one. In an effort to stay afloat she began working at in The North Face at her local mall.

She wound up encountering the struggles, fears and frustrations 15 million American workers feel every day.

Her latest book — “Malled: My Unintentional Career in Retail” — chronicles her two years as a frontline retail sales associate and diagnoses a broken system of low-wage/high-expectation, emotionally taxing work.

“Retail looks like it’s low-skilled. It’s not. That’s why I wrote the book. I came away with a lot of respect for a job that demands a high degree of emotional and intellectual skill,” says Kelly, from her home in Tarrytown, New York. “It’s a low-wage job, which to a lot of people means it doesn’t take a lot of skill. It doesn’t mean that. It just means it pays badly. There are people behind counters with Ph.D.s and MAs. And even if they don’t have a college education, they’re still bringing an A-game. But they don’t get the corporate respect.”
On the inside

Kelly bristles at a common theme in the criticism of her book: Namely, that her perspective is that of a privileged outsider.
“Define privilege: I’m not wealthy, I live in a one-bedroom apartment, I have an old car. If I was that privileged, I wouldn’t have taken a low-wage job and stayed in it for 27 months,” she says. “People have said, ‘Oh, you’re whining.’ You know what? You go do that job for a while. Go get emotionally abused for the next 27 months and see if you come out all perky and shiny.”


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.


PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.