My Time At Victoria's Secret

* Note: If you like this post, you’ll also want to check out this update that I wrote*

During the summer after freshman year of college I, like many other college students, was broke and needed a job. I thought it would be fun to say “I work at Victoria’s Secret.” I was also very interested in the employee discount. Plus, I figured, how hard could it be? You’re folding underwear all day. That sounds easy enough. As it turns out, I ended up spending more money at the store than I made that entire summer, and the job was opposite of enjoyable. In my defense though, when you are sorting bras and watching for shoplifters for eight hours, you have to fill your time.  I would do this by looking at all the new items we had in the store. It was so strange. At the start of a shift an item could look ugly, but by the end of my shift I absolutely HAD to have it. I’m proud to say I’ve matured greatly since those days. However, as a result of my time at The Secret, I cringe whenever I hear the word “panties.” It reminds me of folding them for hours on end just to have some unpleasant teen come mess them up. It also makes me think of measuring stranger’s chests.  Neither of these things invoke happy memories.

I am going to be honest with you. I was never the employee of the month at The Secret (as I called it). In fact, I sucked at my job. BUT it wasn’t really my fault, because I had virtually no training. My training consisted of watching a training video for an hour or two. No on-the-job training. Nothing. They stuck in me in a room with other trainees, played the video, and then said “see you for work tomorrow.” It was bad news.

Every day I would come to work PRAYING that I didn’t have to do “cash wrap” as it was called aka work the cash register. When they would make me work the cash register, I would break out into a cold sweat. a.) I suck at math. Not a joke. I am AWFUL at it. b.) All the buttons and codes you had to remember confused me and made my math deficiency even worse. c.) the lines were always long, and if you were slow then chaos would ensue and the manager would come stand over your shoulder. My manager was not exactly a barrel of laughs, so I did not enjoy this bonding time with her. During one particularly traumatic experience, a woman with really, REALLY long hair and a jacket straight out of the ’90s critiqued the way I made change. “Um…why did you give me a nickel and a quarter?” (or something equally as petty) she asked me.I just looked at her blankly for a second and then said something to the effect of, “Because I needed to give you thirty cents and I used a nickel and a quarter to do so.”  I said it very politely and flashed a big ole smile.”You could have given me three dimes.” She said. Her butterfly bangs taunted me. The Tweety Bird patch on her jacket leered at me.”You’re right, I could have. This was just the way I thought to do it first. If you’d like three dimes I can do that for you,” I tried to remain calm as I watched the line grow behind this annoying woman. I saw my manager watching. She was not smiling.The woman stared at me in silence. “Here’s your receipt. Have a nice day, ma’am.” I said, hoping that signaled the end of the conversation.

“No, I want to know why you made change like that!” she demanded, raising her voice. People turned to look at us. I wanted to reach across the register and shove all of the various flavors of lip gloss that we sold down her throat. I had no response for this woman. I already told her once that this was the first thing I thought of when I had to give her thirty cents. I offered her a different variation of thirty cents if she so desired. What else could I do? I couldn’t argue with her. Big smile again. I didn’t know what to say so I just hoped that would suffice. Inside I was mentally cursing myself for not living in a more sophisticated city. This argument would never happen in a chic metropolis like New York or Chicago. After what seemed like hours, my manager stepped in and ushered the woman and her acid-washed jeans out the door.  Good riddance. This woman haunts my nightmares.

The other thing about The Secret was that I never actually learned how to measure anyone’s chest. In fact I know I’ve been wearing the wrong bra size for months, but instead of just measuring my own chest to correct the problem, I had to go in to another Victoria’s Secret and have someone who actually knew what they were doing measure it for me. Every day, I lived in fear that someone would ask me to measure their chest. When a customer entered the store, I would mentally communicate with her and tell her NOT to ask me to measure her. I would always try to be busy. There were panties that needed folding at the “panty bar”. There were mannequins to be dressed, there were shoplifters to watch out for. There was anything and everything to do except measure women’s boobies.

It seems like measuring someone’s chest would be very easy, right? Just throw that measuring tape around their chest and you have their bra size, right? NOPE! NO! WRONG! You have to do two different measurements and then add/subtract them and then based on that measurement you use a chart to figure out what their actual bra size is. If you measure wrong then the whole thing gets effed up.  One time, a woman with a large chest came in and asked me to measure her. It was like my third day. I ended up determining that she was a 34 B. A few minutes later, my boss came stomping over and screamed at me. Apparently she measured the woman and found out she was a 36 DD. Okay, whatever. I was close. I wanted to tell my boss that maybe if she had actually trained me, things like this wouldn’t happen. But I didn’t. I just apologized and went back to the panty bar. Where I belonged.

When I was at The Secret getting my own chest measured a few days ago, the first girl I asked to measure me was young and didn’t seem too confident in her own chest-measuring abilities. I realized she was probably the new me. As she began to get flustered while trying to measure me, I said. “It’s okay. I used to work here. I had no idea how to do this either. I’ll find someone else to do it. Don’t worry.” She looked so relieved. I smiled at her and she smiled back and then went back to the panty bar, where she also probably belonged. I knew the feeling. Don’t worry, bad Victoria’s Secret employee, some day when we are both famous we will use this as material for our “E! True Hollywood Story”.

A job as a Victoria’s Secret angel? Now that would be ideal. Unrealistic, but ideal. A job measuring chests, folding underwear, and doing math? Not for me. Although, my mom would probably tell me it built character. So…there’s that.

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  1. Vanessa says:

    This story reminded me of me! I used to work at a Goodwill and I would always feel sick to my stomach when they would tell me that I was cashier for the day! I’m horrible at math too and I would always get annoying customers in my line. I hated it so much that I quit the job.

    I just got a job at Victoria’s Secret for Sales Support Associate. I’m so glad that my position does not require me to be cashier, measure boobs, or sell the Angel card! I work in the back room.

    From what I’ve been reading online a lot of people experienced bad training. I am getting the new training which requires about 5 days of training. So far I had one that lasted 4 hours and the next one will be 3 hours.

    • Thats so weird, i just got hired and they have a full week of training. We learned about everything, what each room was, how to measure, how to stock. There was hands on training and we had to go through the whole fitting room experience and get measured ourselves and try on every bra they had in our size, just to know what were selling. I believe VS is a great place to work, maybe training depends on each store.

  2. Hi Vanessa,
    That is too funny! Glad I’m not the only math-challenged one. It’s good that The Secret has changed the training (or lack thereof) because, as you can tell from my story, it desperately needed some help. Best of luck with the new job! Thanks for reading my blog.


  3. petePUMA says:

    I feel your pain I am currently still there. And its twice as bad for me I am a guy working the dreadful pantie bar and it never gets old me asking have you been fitted in the last 4-6months.

    • Oh no! Get out while you can! The panty bar was created by Satan/Lord Voldemort… Thanks for commenting!

  4. I worked there too and you’re right they absolutely do not train well! They were so disorganized, it was confusing. All we did was watch some videos and then answer questions about work ethic and why it was important to catch shoplifters. If they provided ANY on-the-job training it would have made everything so much easier! But no, they just send you out onto the sales floor with no knowledge of the products or anything. I didn’t even get a tour of the store so I didn’t know where things were! Every question a customer asked me I’d have to say “hold on, let me check for you”. It was so frustrating! I didn’t know anything and when I would ask the manager a question she would give me an answer like “you should already know this”. But really, how were we supposed to know anything if they hardly trained us! Definitely not a great job. Honestly, I’d rather clean toilets or sell door-to-door (I’ve done both of those before!) Anything other than work at Victoria’s Secret. But I still shop there, I do love their bras! Great place to shop, not work.

    • Wow, sounds like our “training” experiences were pretty much the same! It’s so funny you mentioned having to ask someone every time a customer had a question. I had to do the exact same thing and hated it. Literally EVERY TIME someone had a question, I’d have to use the little headset to ask a manager. I could basically feel the managers wanting to slap me as they rolled their eyes, but I felt like I had just walked in off the street and started working there. What was I supposed to do!? I was even more confused because some of the other employees who had been there a while knew exactly what to do. How was I so lost all the time!? I agree, I am MUCH happier as a customer. I shop there all the time. For a while, I drove out of my way to avoid my old store so I didn’t have to see my old co-workers and managers. Now I just go to my old store. I did my best, no shame there! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. haha, I work at VS now…. they did the same thing but worse! we’re being hired for the holidays so they smushed our training into one day so we watched a bunch of diff videos in like a 4 hour period and got a QUICK “tour” of the store and back room. I’m supposed to start on cashier tomorrow maybe… def this week. but haven’t been trained for that yet! yikes

  6. I just startedworking at VS. My first day was Black Friday, it wasn’t too bad I just straightened things all day since I had no training. Tomorrow I start training. She told me I will get back room training and register so I hope this won’t be a bad experience for me.

  7. Enslaved by Victoria Secret store in Monmouth Mall NJ
    My granddaughter is trying to finish college and is employed by VS for over a year part time. They stopped giving her hours almost 6 months ago, she has no income and a 2 year old child. They will not fire her so that she can collect unemployment and will not write a letter saying that she has not worked for over 5 months so that she can get food stamps and health care for her or the child. She is in limbo and they won’t do a thing. Of course she has never had benefits because they keep everyone on part time hours. She is a college student with an infant and no income or health insurance thanks to Victoria Secret’s practice of keeping you on record as an employee, but not give you hours or so little (minimum wage) hours that you still cannot support yourself. I consider it a type of slavery. I am her grandmother and must support her and baby on my retirement pay.

  8. O..M…G..this was written a while ago but i LOVED this blog lol i am a slave at VS currently and i DREAD going to work every shift. My store manager has a nickname..”satan”, so you can imagine what a joy it is to work with her. First question that comes up is “whos csling?” OH and you cant forget those on-calls….those stupid stupid on-calls. you cant plan anything because you might work, or you might stay three hours later than you were scheduled to! working at VS is FAR from glamorous and what it seems like it would be. plus having to do those brand guides…man, i was NOT expecting to go in at 4 in the morning to do some ridiculous little color changes that NO ONE notices. bllaahh..anyways. i know what you went through. ive been there for two years now. *tears and sobs*

  9. This is so funny. I found this when I was looking up why the people at this store always measure my size wrong. It always happens the same way to. I say, ” Do you have this bra in a 34 D.” They say,”That is not your size you must be measuring yourself wrong.” I say, “This is the size I always get. In fact I am wearing it right now.” They reply,”It has to be wrong let me measure you. (measures me, and I don’t like being measured) you are a 34 B. Come on and try this on and you will see, it will fit you, and feel so nice.” And would you believe every time I play along and try on a 34B and it fits to tight and I am falling out of it. Every time they give this look like they can’t believe it, and say,”Wow you were right you are a 34D.” Happens almost every time I go, and they don’t have the bra out in the size I want.

  10. Angelica says:

    I currently work in VS and started for the Semi annual sale, yeah this job is horrible there’s a whole lot of difference from shopping there to working there. U r their slave and the managers ugh their horrible, plus the customers. OMG let me tell you about those customers gosh u cant even be nice, like all I get is greeting customers and what I usually say is “Any help finding anything?” the minute they walk in and all they say is “I just walked in”, like really??? Geez I’ve had to deal with these people for ever, they’re horrible. I’M quitting ASAP..

  11. How much was the starting salary?

  12. Sorry for making myself anonymous, but it is simply because I currently work for Victoria’s Secret .

    @ The blogger: Honestly, it sounds to me like you may have dyscalculia/mathematics disorder, which is a learning disability of arithmetic. Your struggles with simple math remind me of my own, so I can really empathize with you. If you haven’t done so already, I suggest meeting with a learning specialist through your college or a state agency for testing.

    @ Kay: There isn’t a starting salary, but rather a starting wage. It is $9 here in New York, which sounds impressive but truly isn’t (the cost of living here is outrageous). I don’t know if it is $9 nationally.

    Anyway, I can relate to your pain and that of the respondents. I’ve worked at VS only since the spring and I already dread every shift. Here’s why:

    1) The on-calls. This is the only job I’ve had in which there are on-calls. I understand their purpose (so if a scheduled person cannot make it, there is still coverage), but it seems to me like the on-calls are deliberately planned to an extent. In addition to that, this I’ll never get: Why do the employees HAVE to wait EXACTLY two hours before finding out if they have to go in/stay? Does VS fail to realize how damn inconsiderate this is?!

    Oh, and here’s the ultimate worst — when someone calls to find out if they have the on-call and they are told no… only to be called later and told to come in. Um… what the hell? What about if the person just made plans?

    2) The customers. My god, these customers are so damn rude. And I’ve worked in customer service for years, so I know that the VS customers are worse than most. They always seem to get pissed if I ask them if they need assistance, many blow off wanting to get their Perfect Fit (okay, fine, continue to squeeze into a 34B bra when in reality you’re a 38DDD. I can see your breasts popping out of the sides and layers of back fat, but whatever), etc. And they are even more damn annoying when they come in with a free panty coupon and then get pissed if, god forbid, we have run out of the panty in a particular size and color/pattern (nevermind that they can get ANY OTHER color/pattern!).

    3) Extremely slow days versus very fast-paced days. I dread – totally DREAD – the upcoming holiday season because I KNOW it is going to be crazy. Just dealing with the semi-annual sale was bad enough. But right now my store is pretty much dead… so dead that it is downright boring. And since it’s retail, it’s not like I can find something productive to do to pass the time. Instead I must just always look busy (pacing around, fixing up panties over and over, “striping” drawers, etc.). Very easy, but repetitive…

    4) The dress code. I’m not saying that we should get to dress like Adriana and Candice. I understand and respect that we employees must look somewhat conservative. But this said, what about comfort? Considering we must be on our feet for HOURS, why can’t we wear comfortable shoes? This is the only job I’ve had in which style was prioritized over comfort, and like I’ve said, I’ve worked in other retail jobs!

    5) The Angel card. I downright stopped asking customers if they have these stupid cards. I know I’m supposed to ask but I just don’t care anymore.

    • to private: by $9 hr you mean in nyc right? i just got a call for interview at victorias secret here in queens new york, my gosh im here thinking “oh please lord dont let my experience be bad!”

  13. You might suck at math, but you have a very easy going conversational way of writing. In fact, your blog is the first result when I search”Victoria secret employee discount” so congrats on that 🙂

  14. i never worked in a public job before. Will they still hire me? i’ve been researching requirements to work at VS and still researching. I’m very friendly. I’m afraid that if i do get interviewed that they might ask a question that might been difficult to ask.

    Can you give me some tips please :).

    • ljmlevine says:

      Hi Nikki,
      I had never had a job before I worked there either, so don’t worry. I think if you show that you’re responsible, willing to learn, and very friendly, then you have a good shot. Several other people were interviewing for a position when I was there, but I just focused on my willingness to learn and my ability to interact well with customers. Those things are important. Just be cheerful, dress professionally for the interview, and be outgoing. Good luck!

  15. This article is word for word what I went through at Victoria’s Secret. To learn everything I had to grab the employees in the surrounding rooms to train me. I would absolutely DREAD when they told me to work the fitting rooms because I hated running around finding bras, fitting people, and arguing about their REAL bra size (i.e. “NO I’VE BEEN A 34C MY WHOLE LIFE I”M NOT A ‘D’!!!”) real story.

    They SEVERELY under pay and under train…especially for the work that those poor girls have to do. Oh and to only get 2 days off during Christmas break including Christmas day?? No thank you. I left that place in 3 months.

  16. just leaving a comment as I know I’m late on the band wagon but this is funny! I currently work at VS and have been since May 2012. All of this for the most part is so true! I was hired for SAS as seasonal. ALL seasonal trainees have one day of on boarding and that’s it. If you are hired outside of the seasonal window, you get 5 days of training. Yeah, it was a little overwhelming at first, but my store manager was really nice and let all of us ask questions rather than letting us run around like chickens with their heads cut off. I’m now a bra specialist! I certainly don’t plan on staying there longer than a year and a half; just while I’m working on finding another, more permanent job.

    Yeah, the customers in there are pretty bad. Do you know how many customers have made me run to the back and cry? Ugh. Also, people don’t understand that a majority of the panties on top of the panty bars are going to be a size medium, even if you tell them this, so they just HAVE to mess up the whole top looking for a small or a large. They also can’t read coupons to save their life. If it starts on day x, no I cannot give it to you on day s. If your coupon expired three months ago, NO I CANNOT HONOR IT.

    For those who ask about the on calls: yeah they suck, but if you call and they say no, we don’t need you, you can totally make plans, even if they call you again. Just say “Actually since you said no, I already made plans” and your manager should understand. Sure people can be jerks, but if you made plans, you made plans. Be firm about it.

    It’s definitely not as glamorous as one would think but you can say that about the whole world of retail.

  17. Contrary to this, I have had a great experience at Victoria’s Secret. I was hired as seasonal, but still got great training. The manager is positive and very supportive. Yes, customers can be hard to handle, but otherwise, I love the job.

  18. i work at VS now, i feel like this post insults VS very much. I agree their training process is not very well, i was thrown in my first day on black friday (I was so scared and nervous and everyone got annoyed with how many questions the new people were asking.) but first, a bra specialist does the sizing. you have to be trained for that aside from working there, and bra specialist always work in the fitting rooms, so if someone wanted to be sized.. thats where you send the customers.

    As for that rude customer.. you will always have one of those, no matter what the case. thats part of retail. if you’re gonna go into retail be prepared for stupid questions from stupid customers…

    that is all.

  19. @private & Where is this vs that you’re working at? Just curious because, you seem to be the only one who LOVES it.

  20. Honestly, reading your blog and all of the comments all I see is negativity and I still want to work there! Not sure why but I suppose if you don’t mind dealing with customers and like being hands on then why not ? I mean a job is a job and no matter what you should always bust your ass and try your best. I worked for a company and was on on call almost everyday and didn’t really mind it, even if I did make plans just because in my opinion money is the motivation and experiance is the key. All other things can wait unless it’s an emergency. I’m not lazy, I love to work. Maybe I’ll change my mind once I start working there but guess I won’t know until I really know .. Can’t be that bad lol

  21. I just have to say that I am currently getting onboarding training for four days. Yesterday we watched the videos, Friday we learn all about bras. My starting salary is 7.45, but I’m just happy to have a job. I like it so far, and I’m surrounded by good people. Also, anyone can google how to measure your bra size. Also for the person who wrote that their daughter cannot get out of being a victorias secret employee, there is no work contract and if she wants to go they are obliged to let her go they cannot keep her. So far I like my store, and if you like making people happy and feel pretty then I think Victorias Secret is a good idea. And as I always say, if you hate doing whatever youre doing then stop because it doesnt help to stay in a position you hate. Be honest with yourself.

  22. Private says:

    The on calls SUCK. Even if you are scheduled, they can and WILL cut your hours that day if they are over hours and are not making plan, which btw is insanely high & unrealistic most days of the week when business is slow.
    They play favorites. You must be liked or kiss butt to get a decent amount of hours. If they do not like you, they will not add you to the schedule or they will schedule you all on call shifts, which they will never activate. So it is true, you are better off looking for a better paying job that is more stable if you have bills to pay or children. They will not fire anyone. If you haven’t received your W2 or have any issues, they tell you to call HR Direct. They are very sneaky when it comes to payroll. They adjust your hours & now we can’t clock out for break, we have to clock out as “meal unpaid”. They do this, so you will never get overtime. The time you were clocked out for break appears as if you worked but you are not paid. Managers expect you to get things done in an unrealistic period of time. They ask you to work faster so they can send you home early. I have received a lot of raises but it really doesn’t help when your shifts are cut and calls ins or not used.

  23. I love my job at Victoria’s Secret! I’ve been working in retail ever since I was eligible to work & Victoria’s Secret is probably the BEST retail store to work at. In EVERY retail store, you’re going to know how to do simple arithmetic & know how to count. It’s really not that hard when you’ve been learning your 1,2,3’s even before you started going to school. In every retail store, you’re going to need to have great people skills and deal with complicated customers. In addition, in EVERY PLACE YOU WORK, you’re going to HAVE to do whatever is in the job description. If you don’t like what is on there, don’t even try getting the job because you’ll hate it. I absolutely love & enjoy my job, and so does everyone I work with. It’s a really fun environment to be in, if you enjoy what you do. We are now looking for employees who are actually qualified & can take the workload. I understand that your training sucked because you got virtually none of it, but I am happy to say that it is no longer like that. We train all of our employees to be the best and we are more patient nowadays.

  24. I literally just lol’d so hard!!!
    This is my life ahhaha. I work at VS now and I remember my first days…
    I would cling to that panty bar like it was my life and I was good at folding, I didn’t have to up-sell folding. Then there’s always the annoying people who mess it up or just ignore me when I ask if I can help them…like they think I have a choice! I literally count down the seconds on my watch til I leave. I play games in my head cuz I get so damn bored and sometimes when there is no one and nothing to fold, I will mess the panty bar up and slowly fold it again because I don’t wanna just be standing when the manager is watching…
    or I’ll do laps around the bar. Hey, it’s a good workout. Ahh the good ol’ days. I can’t wait to quit. hahaha 🙂

  25. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for making me laugh out loud!! Very funny!

  26. Private says:

    Honestly, I think it just depends where you’re at. I started working for VS 2 weeks before Black Friday in 2012, and I was trained by our bra specialist. I can honestly say, I love my job. But, some of my coworkers who were there years before me say it used to be bad, back then associates will argue with each other, managers were mean. Now, there’s a new store manager and my coworkers say it’s ALOT better now. Everyone honestly gets along with everyone. I’m not saying our store is perfect, because it isn’t. Of course there’s days when I don’t even want to go into work cause I know how hard it is to work there because of not only the customers, but also because there’s a lot you need to know, different kinds of bras (demi, Push-up, wireless, backless, multi-way. etc.) and the different panties, (cheeky, hiphugger, thong, v-string, cheekster, seamless, shortie(boy-shorts), bikini, etc.) and mainly because I know once I clock in I have pick up after stupid customers that don’t know how to clean up after themselves and deal with rude customers. And not only do we have to listen to the customer, but we also have to look out for shoplifting and maintain our room organized. Whoever said the customer is always right, obviously never worked with the public. Personally, my managers are awesome, and fun to work with; I can ask any one of them a question about an item and they will kindly answer and help me out. Bra measuring is hard to grasp, but with more experience you do pick up on it. When I started, I was scared of measuring customers cause I was afraid of getting their wrong size, now I’m a lot more confident about it. Like I said, I guess it depends which VS you work at.

  27. Hello! I loved reading your blog. I just started working at Victoria’s Secret. Although the training has improved from what you had to do, I still do not feel like I know what to do. I was immediately thrown in Pink by myself to handle both sides and the manager was getting seriously irritated with my constant questions streaming thru the head set. Well if they let new hires shadow other workers for at LEAST a day and just assist them, everyone would learn quickly and be able to assist the customers better. I also hate the call ins. It’s not right to do that to everyone especially as often as they do. I would be more ok with a call in if they rotated them through people and maybe we all had one just once a month or every other month. Also my other problem is that they just hired me and a couple other girls., we have been there total about a month and now they’re bringing in more people- one just tranferred from another store, and then they are calling off me and the other new girls’ shifts all the time. Why hire new people and bring more in, then not use the ones you just hired? But other then scheduling issues and training issues I love the work and most everyone there. Also I have a question about the cash wrap. They are going to be putting me at it on my next shift and so far all I’ve done is watch someone use it on 2 different days for 10 min. That’s not right! So I’m reaching out to see if someone can respond to me with a basic step by step on using the register or even just some tips on working there that would help me get by. I feel like I’m the fresh meat around there and if I could get some knowledge to use when I return to work I will not have to be so scared! Thanks to everyone here and best of luck to you all! 🙂

    • I forgot to add! The store is always hiring new people. Why? Because the majority of the employees there are part-timers. Very few are full-timers. I remember my hours got cut when the new employees came in. Also, if you go over payroll, then your hours will get cut. Stingy I’ll say.

  28. These were all hilarious to read! I start at VS tomorrow, now I’m kind of afraid about what I’ve gotten myself into haha. Thankfully I’m only a seasonal so if I hate it as much as most people here seemed to, I’ll be free in a couple of months!

    • I am also seasonal and just had my training a week ago and supposedly, my first day is on Thanksgiving but my schedule says “call in” for today. I am not quite sure how that works exactly. Do I call them if I’m working or do I wait until they call me? It sucks because I honestly do not know what I am doing because not everyone are exactly helpful as I hope they would be.

  29. Natalie Davis says:

    I’m Soo Glad I Found This Website!! My First Day At VS Is Tomorrow. I’m Hoping The Training At My Store Is Thorough! I Will Be Seasonal As Well, So It Shouldn’t Be Too Difficult. I’m Ready For The Challenge Because I Have Never Had To Sell Anything Or Meet A Quota. Fingers Crossed That Everything Goes Smoothly 🙂

  30. Funny, I’m about to quit my job at VS.

    Yes, I understand what you’re talking about. The hours are crappy. You get cut or sent home early. Your on-calls are typically not activated unless it’s busy. The managers constantly pressured you to get Angels cards. Someone brought up “playing favorites.” Yes, that is true. If you’re not a part of “the group,” then good luck. Your hours will get cut.

    The perks might be tempting at first, but after a while, I just can’t do it anymore. I’ve learned that it’s a sign to let go. I’m quitting because of the unfair treatment. Why put yourself in that position?

  31. This made me laugh so hard. I’ve worked at VS (the panty dungeon, as I called it) for 5 years and I had to wonder if you were one of my coworkers; you perfectly described my store. (Except my boss’s nickname was something worse than Satan!)

    The good news is, after that miserable job,any job is spectacular in comparison.

  32. I read some of that and it was as if u were in my head hahhaha

    1. I applied in dec got interviewed in jan didnt get to start until April… 🙁

    2. I started in 4/17/12 omfg I had to watch all four videos right away then was put on cash wrap, I received little training but didn’t mind it at first until I saw new employees get better training. I knew everything myself and taught myself all the time on the job.. I’m a fast learner.

    3. I worked at the highest shrink store in USA brass mill center in Waterbury ct

    4. My store manager for one month was a bipolar bitch from hell

    5. My good managers all quit at once in the fall of 2012

    6. My bday was Black Friday 11/23/12 we all worked 9 hours none of us got an hour break even though we all were eligible for one.

    7. I submitted time off over a month in advance and got all of it approved come back and they tell me I thought u stopped showing up to work. That still makes me angry till this day like what the f u weren’t giving me any hours since ur nasty fat ass started working here!!!

    8. I loved working in bras I’m a sales associate not a cash wrapper or ur cleaning lady

    9. A dog shit in the fitting room and then my manger was like ok clean when she was the one managing the fitting room at the time and she should’ve told her to get rid of her dog!!! Then my other manager was like omg Fatana it’s just dog shit it’s not human shit! And she’s get on her hands and feet and is like ill clean it and in my head im like ok clean it then. As if I’m a cleaning lady

    10. I worked there because I loved vs I don’t shop there anymore and don’t really want to I returned about 400 worth of shit they made me feel like I had to buy

    I could keep going but it makes me sad I took all that crap for nothing!!!!

  33. I just started working at Victoria’s Secret a few days ago! Your post makes me feel SO much better about it now. I absolutely dread working at the cash wrap, I press the wrong buttons by mistake all the time and need my manager to come over and do a “void” on the product I screwed up on. Talk about embarrassing.. As far as math goes, I suck at it too. Good thing we kept calculators behind the desk. Also, you could not be more correct about the training. How do they expect you to memorize every single promotion, style of bra and panty, where they are, how to fold them…the list goes on and on. It’s nice to hear I’m not the only one going through the same horrible experience.

  34. Ok I have a job interview tomorrow and now I’m scared to even work at VS ! Well it’s for PINK but still affiliated with VS. This reminds me of my job at Forever 21, which no one lasts at for more than 1 day or a couple months. Is the management really this bad? I don’t want bad management again.

  35. anonymous says:

    Retail, in general, is a difficult industry. A lot of people that don’t have previous experience are very shocked when they get their first job. I’m sorry that your experience wasn’t awesome but like what some people said, it depends where you work. I am also sorry to hear that you took nothing but negativity from the job. Did you ever take your complaints to HR? Good companies are always trying to improve their techniques. I just started training with VS and I am excited. I admit that bra fitting makes me uncomfortable but stepping out of your comfort zone is a part of retail, including math. As for spending your paycheck where you work… that’s a personal problem. You knew going in that the product appeals to you. Second, I am sure they did not force you to buy anything. You shoukd have self-control… not the company over you. And you said it yourself, that you were not a great employee. If you don’t try to be the best, why should your employer be the best for you? In a nutshell, I thought your article was really negative and full of complaints. I was looking for good, positive tips to be a good employee and I did not find that here. Instead of complaining, why not offer alternatives? How could things be better? What is good about what they do? Obviously something since they’ve become the top selling brand of intimate wear. You should think about what you should change as an employee because you didn’t contribute any positive changes.

  36. Former mgmt says:

    I find this to all be sad but true of good old VS. I am proud to say that I am also a fallen angel. I was a manager for the company and went through nothing but hell. I am 23 and have held a management job since I was 16. While i was there I ended up being responsible for 1/3 of the stores total sales. Which is a lot considering there was more then 1 managers. a boss transferred in temporarily who was my age but was a male and a total pig to boot. I remember once he couldn’t rehire a girl because she had no rehire and he wanted to ask her it she was single instead. (Real great way to represent the company asshole). Anyway. He began forging my signature. I obviously was not ok with it so I told the store manager above us. And she tried to hide it because she along with a couple others were friendly with him. He kept forging so I got pissed and told the district manager.. He was let go for the incident and shortly after I found out I was going to be let go since “I got their friend fired”. Low and behold I am currently jobless. And what do I have to show for it? A few free bras that are falling apart. They cost so much they could at least use better material then nylon.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I agree the hours do suck. I am having 50/50 feelings about working there. One week I enjoy it and the next I am dreading it. I really want to get promoted or get into the AIM program and I have asked managers about it but none of them really explained it or told me what I needed to do to qualify. What is the AIM program and has anyone gone through it yet? I think I want to become a Sales Support Lead or Onboarding manager but I am unsure of how to do that.

  38. OMG your story reminded me of me! I work at Victorias secret as a seasonal!
    Like literally they gave me an hour or two of register training (ringing clothes and charging it on a fake card) but they didnt make an effort to really really train us, LIke the online purchases or doing returns =/. Like your first day, They popped me on that register too and the first customer had a return, I was never trained and the manager yelled at me saying “OMG you ask way to many questions, Just go to PINK I”ll handle it” ummmmm Well how about you show me how to do it instead of kick me off? OMG OMG OMG and she like “coached me” which is kind of lecturing me not to be so slow, then I had an online purchase, Pssshhhh!well again i was never taught that, sooooo again she kicked me off and told me to go to pink. Then I wanted to talk to her, So we went to the office and she said, “If I have to coach you one more time, We are not keeping you permanent” I to her I wasn’t really trained and Ever since then all they give me is call ins and never use me. Ive not been working there for a month. So I know exactly the stress you had at that Cash wrap girl! Were you seasonal too? do you know when they end seasnals? 🙁 I dont want to work there any more. Lol

  39. Has anyone here thought about contacting the department of Labor?? Some of these working conditions an the cutting of hours sending people home and not providing the proper training is against the law. Not only are they breaking the law but they are probably going against the VS policies too If this problem is reported to the department of Labor they will conduct an investigation on the location in question and they will get to the bottom of things.

  40. I’ve worked at VS for about a year and a half now, and I don’t know how all of you had such horrible experiences…No, working in retail is never a cakewalk, and sure, VS customers expect certain things from our brand, but damn. I’ve worked for 3 other retailers, and my experience has always been the best at VS.

    When I first started, I got the dreaded closing shift, and not much else. But when I took the initiative to ask for more hours, and to be trained to work in the back room, my managers started to take me seriously, unlike the other “seasonal” hires, and I started getting 30-40 hours a week.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I love my experience at VS so far. You just can’t be afraid of really throwing yourself in and working hard. It takes patience, but if you prove yourself, they are much more willing to give you the kind of hours that you want.

  41. I work at the Gap and I actually love cashiering – much more fun than wandering around the store recovering, having people constantly ruin displays you’ve just fixed.
    Just wanted to say that giving a quarter and a nickel in change is actually correct – you’re supposed to give out the least number of coins possible. So one quarter and one nickel is more correct than three dimes. Sounds like your customer was just crazy.

  42. Alondra Puentes says:

    Hi lauren ,
    i seen that you worked at victoria secret and im recently working there. when i was going through my training i was told i was hired for part time seasonal but then another girl told me we were part time because if we were par time seasonal we wouldnt of gone through all the training. would you maybe help me because this has been bothering me ever since my training and i know i applied for regular part time

  43. OMGGGGGG I just got an interview here at the store for today after school. Ahhhh your story makes super nervous now!!!!!! well its my first time ever job also so idk am excited but deff. not an expert on cashier and math….

  44. Thanks for posting your story! I was thinking about applying to Victoria’s Secret and after reading this I think I am going to wait. It is crazy that this company/brand seems so glamorous and fun, but in reality it’s not. I actually got mad when everyone was sharing their bad experiences and how awful they were being treated. VS is about making women feel good about themselves. They should not only focus on the customers, but the employees as well. That would only be right and fair. Hopefully they can make some positive changes in the future.

  45. I worked at Victoria’s Secret and oh boy I had the wrong idea of what it would be like. I was excited when I got the job and thought that it would be fun working with customers and all the female employees… nope! on my first day they put me to stock beauty stuff and expected me to be able to find the stuff in the backroom without even training me on it! then after that they put me to sell and I had to keep track of how much I was selling (mind you we do not get commission) so I could really care less if they were selling $10 or $1,000 per hour. they would give me goals to personally sell $300 per hour by myself.. they sent me to cashier with 0 training and the other employees would look irritated when I asked them for help… don’t get me started on when you have to close, one time I didn’t leave the store until 3am to get everything organized.. and other employees told me of how they had to stay until 5 am when the store closed at 9pm.. and my manager was so rude if one of my friends or family came in and talked to me she would rudely ask if I wanted to clock out and go home because I wasn’t getting paid to talk.. if I even talked to other employees when she saw me she would tell me to stop talking……. the discount was great and some of the girls were super nice.. but that’s about it.. definitely NOT a dream job

  46. I’m so surprised that while reading your story you never mentioned having to sell the credit card!! Out of all things I hated that the most. Who the hell wants to harass people about applying for a credit card in this horrible economy?! And if you don’t sell any, the managers make you feel incompetent and guilty. They push you so hard and emotionally abuse you. I worked there for two years and many times employees left work crying. It’s the worst place to work. Also, they changed the back room so everything has to be OCD and perfect. The panties need to be in boxes in rainbow color order and rolled up tied with a rubber band even if it’s just one panty. It takes soo much time to organized that they are wasting time. That place is depressing hell on earth. God help them all.

  47. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA OMG I can relate to every single thing you said & felt while working there. I used to look at most of my coworkers and wonder how easy it looked to fit in. All I knew how to do was fold panties & straighten the yoga pants. Lol what a disaster! Thank you for today’s comic relief! 🙂

  48. anonymouschic says:

    I currently work for VS almost 2 years now and if you are looking to stick with this brand and want to manage for the brand oh.. and LIVE by and for the brand VS then you’ll probably love working for VS.The only reason I’ve stuck it out so long was for experience since I didn’t have a great experience background with jobs and jobs are very hard to come by where I live. Anyways working here I’ve had the displeasure of being threatened and harassed by crazy customers, spent long days and nights working hours that I wasn’t scheduled correctly, we’re also constantly understaffed during busy days and frequently I end up doing a workload meant for 2 or 3 people to work together on. Often my breaks get forgotten until it’s too late to give me one, I had a death in my family and had to come to work 8 hours the day I got the news, I get terrible migraines and they’re insensitive to the fact they disable me and sometimes put me in the hospital and I can’t do anything about them, there’s a lot of favoritism and last but not least the pay is absolutely S*I*! The pros to working here are I have met a lot of amazing women who also suffer through the bs with me, the gratis is awesome since it’s a lot cheaper to shop sexy ;), also you can learn a lot about retail at this store especially since these days bigger stores are really starting to coach their employees a lot more than before I started working for them. I’m sorry some Ppl may be working at smaller stores that don’t get enough attention from higher ups and therefore are deprived of necessary skill building and training in order to confidently do their duties correctly. If they expect so much from their employees they need to pay us better and give us reason to want to sell their clothing. That’s my take on being a part time sales associate for almost 2 years at Vickis.

  49. Current Employee says:

    Let me tell you something about Victoria’s Secret. This is the SHITTIEST job I have EVER had. I’ve worked there for 2 years and it has been the worst experience of my life. I got written up because a customer said I called her fat. That’s not what happened and I had two other associates attest to that. We didn’t have something she wanted and I suggested looking it up online for her. She was like “oh, you can do that?” and I replied “yeah, we have access to most things we carry in stores through our online ordering system, even including some sizes that we may not carry in store! We ship it right to your door for free! It’s really helpful.” So I looked up what she wanted and it was out of stock online as well. She was like “you little bitch. you told me you would have it online.” and she went off on me and my manager and demanded that I be fired… for calling her fat… which I clearly didn’t.
    Today, however, was a whole new level of stupid. I got sent home for a dress code violation. Allow me to explain: The pants I was wearing, I bought when I started. I’ve worn them at least 50 times in my 2 years there and nothing was said until today. You see, they have a barely visible dark silver pattern on them. Apparently that’s not allowed. I wasn’t informed. The biggest issue, however, was my sleeveless shirt. Stupid me, I assumed that since we can wear skirts so short, our asses nearly hang out, and shirts so low cut, a centimeter lower would expose a nipple and, of course, since I’ve worn this shirt before MULTIPLE TIMES and even asked the manager if it was dress code appropriate and was given approval, that it was, indeed, within dress code. I was particularly offended that another associate in a very similar sleeveless shirt was not punished for the same “infraction”.
    The customers are awful, “standard” is just stupid, and the girls I work with are immature and two-faced.
    I thought this would be the best job ever, but it is definitely the absolute worst.

  50. LondonStoreAnon says:

    I work in Victoria’s Secret in New Bond Street, London.
    I wouldn’t reccomend the job as a lifelong carrer. Sure there are perks with a Gratis and discount, but honestly what’s the use in a discount when you don’t make enough to actually spend in the store? I got the job so I could fund my move to London, and now Im trying so hard to find something else.
    They only care about your SPA (Sales Per Assosiate) alot of customers think we work on commision because we have to be so pushy and keep giving our names out. If you don’t get your name on the SPA (customers are asked who served them when they arrive at the cash/wrap) then tough luck your clearly not doing your job properly.
    Managers constantly intervine if you even remotely talk to another member of staff. A new girl just started on our team and I was trying to explain to her how to do a stock check when the manager came over to break us up and send us to different rooms. Not interested that the girl was now left not knowing how to do a stock check.
    The managers put so much pressure on you, you begin to feel suffocated. And if after your three month probationary period you havent got a high enough SPA, you get fired. Granted we work in sales but this isn’t a commisioned job…
    In England we don’t have access to the online website and arnt supposed to accept returns from outside the UK which causes a whole host of problems. Apparently theyre bringing the angel card over here soon so Im sure that’ll be a whole new host of fun…
    The hire us on 4 hour contracts so they can drop us whenever they want (thats what makes it so easy for them to fire us and drop our hours right down). Ive worked for some amazing retail company’s before but this is so stupid. The staff turnover is insane. Its so bittersweet because it could be absolutely amazingand the majority of the girls on the shop floor are so lovely and supportive. But I can’t have another emotional breakdown in the stockroom.
    I’ve tried taking up my frustrations with managment but theyre just not interested or don’t give an answer.

  51. I worked at Victoria’s Secret for 1.5 years part-time. Reading your post was really cathartic. I still have nightmares about the panty bar!

    I was hired in October and remember having decent training (must not have been seasonal hiring yet) but I was really only trained as a sales support associate. There were a few days here or there that I worked during the day but 90% of the time I worked 4:00 – 10:00am or 6:00am – Noon, or some shift like that. During the holidays or SAS I would sometimes arrive as early as 2:00am. Once, I worked an overnight. It was PHYSICALLY hard work. I don’t think it’s possible to “get used to” waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning. I never did. But I was grateful that I never had to work cash wrap (I am terrible at math too and just slow down when I get nervous). Occasionally I would work during the day and have to measure chests and help people. I managed. It was okay.

    Honestly I can’t say it was a bad job. Our store was one of the largest in our district and went through a big remodel during the time I worked there. Since I worked stock, I was NEVER bored. And since the majority of my shift happened before the store actually opened we didn’t have to deal with customers all that often. Either I would work on a bra or panty assembly line with other girls opening shipments and folding while we listened to music or chatted or I would work by myself unloading beauty products and filling the shelves (cleaning too). When I worked by myself I would wear my headphones and listen to music or an audiobook or podcasts. I actually learned a lot during that time of my life that way. I can see if I was doing straight daytime sales my experience would have been much different.

    Like I said, we were never lacking for work, never bored. Sometimes the amount of shipment we had to process before opening was intense. Management would always push you to work faster faster faster.

    Honestly I didn’t mind on-call hours. Before I got the job at Victoria’s Secret I had another retail-like job (front desk at a bowling alley/restaurant) that didn’t have on-call hours but they still sent you home early if it got too slow or called you an hour before your shift to let you know you weren’t needed (not busy enough). One time I actually showed up, put all of my things away, put my uniform on, went downstairs to clock in AND THEN was told I could leave. I quit that job. I worked at least half of my “on-call” hours at Victoria’s Secret and I worked 100% of my scheduled hours. To me, that was a great improvement over my previous situation. And I had plenty of hours too… during the holidays I worked over 35 hours a week! When I started an internship and a new job and told VS which days I could NOT work, they scheduled around them. Never had a problem there.

    I feel like I’m spending a lot of time defending them when really everyone’s experience is valid. I think Victoria’s Secret CAN be a good place to work if you end up with the right team, the right management, and the right position for your personality (yes to stock, no to cash wrap LOL). But I think everyone universally hates the panty bar from hell, and the awkwardness of bra sizing.

    Hours (for me at least), discount (just don’t spend all your money!), fun environment, independence (if you are sales support/stock).
    Coworkers, job duties, training (depends on the location and time of year), having to look nice for work.
    Low pay, management laser-focused on speed, efficiency and high sales, gossipy high-estrogen environment, recovery and cleaning, anything related to the panty bar.

  52. I had the WORST experience working at VS. When I got hired for a seasonal position I was thinking that I was going to like it a lot and even want to stay there but I ended up hating it more and more. Usually I was on cash wrap and I knew that I would have to deal with rude customers and I was okay with that but one of my co workers was extremely rude to me and she made it seem that I was not good enough for the job. No matter what I couldn’t get ANYTHING right. I became depressed and thought I was stupid. I ended up quitting because I figured that life is too short to be unhappy with the job that you have…

  53. My experience working for Victoria’s Secret has been absolutely awful. The store manager is nearly abusive to her employees and I would never tell another girl to work for Victoria’s Secret. There was days I would pray I’d get hit by a bus on the way to work if it meant not going into work. I spent many nights crying over the nasty things my managers said to me/another employee. Awful company.

  54. I might get a lot of haters for what I am about to write but…. I for my personal opinion…. Victoria’s Secret was one of the best summer jobs I have ever got. They treated me with so much respect, they gave me lots and lots of discounts….and even sometimes my boss would let me take stuff that they didn’t need for free! I am 19 and I can say that VS was one of my best jobs ever….

  55. One of the worst jobs I have ever worked. I’ve only been there a month and am only designated to cash wrap every….shift. The girls are very vain and a huge clique. Didn’t get the warm welcome I was hoping for. The manager favors them and basically singles me out for “asking too many questions” but honestly isn’t that what you’re supposed to do if you’re the new person who just got thrown in?? Like what do they expect? My manager gave me my review and said I was terrible at basically everything and am “hurting my team” and ruined my confidence to the point I’m never going back. I just don’t understand how she can judge that in a month, mind you only working 2 days a week if THAT. I have the option to “prove myself” in September but nah not worth it. I’ll always do something wrong in her opinion because that’s how she wants to be. I don’t care how bad I’m hurting for money… Not worth getting emotionally abused by some vain and cold hearted bimbo. Maybe her new employees would thrive more if given the chance to ask questions and not be judged. I swear she had it out for me the first day I was there. I don’t even know why she hired me on if she planned on being unfair. What a waste of time. Here’s to better beginnings with actual humble human beings.


  1. […] what you’re getting. For example I just asked for a robe from Victoria’s Secret (or “The Secret” as I call it). There is no doubt in my mind that this robe is already on its way to […]

  2. […] I wrote this post about working at Victoria’s Secret a while ago, it still remains a popular post on my blog. […]

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