8 Aug, 2011 @ 19:56
2 mins read

The sad Zara girl

Girls in Zara hate me, they hate you, they hate everyone! … either that or they are just too miserable. Maybe they have read my first post for the Olive Press.

IT is a scientifically proven fact that the girls working in Zara are miserable. You walk up to the till, patiently waiting your turn, finally reaching the sales assistant. You greet her with a smile and a hello, and she doesn’t even look you in the eye.

She folds your clothes to neat perfection, with a halo of sadness reminiscent of the unhappy housewife, re-living her misery every day, as she folds the laundry, her husband ignoring her, scoring mistress after mistress. She takes your credit card and scrutinises it closely, asking you to introduce your PIN number with a lifeless voice, returning it to you with no “thank you”. The Zara girl doesn’t know that word, she is too blue to be grateful. She hands you your bag of purchases, then, looking into thin air, calls the next customer.

Have you ever experienced this sort of, sad, impersonal customer service at the Inditex brand? I have seen it happening in London, in Brussels, Antwerp and now I’m experiencing the full-on “I’m too miserable to even acknowledge your presence” attitude in their Málaga stores. Mary Portas went to the Oxford Street flagship store in London and compared the service to that of Burger King, even calling it “snooty”.

Why are they so sad? Is the pay that bad? Are the working conditions so horrid? Why do they hate customers? Because, the truth is, I’m pretty sure they don’t just randomly hate me … they hate us all.

Maybe it’s the uniforms they have to wear: jacket, top and trousers, ugly shoes, all in black. Day in, day out. Maybe they see us happy customers smiling away with our colourful shopping. Their resentment must be at a mighty high after this summer of vibrant colour blocking.

Could they have been told not to smile? They might have been warned about Anna Wintour not including smiles in the upcoming September issue of Vogue, and we all know how good Zara is at replicating the latest trends.

I wonder whether they have motivational posters in the storage rooms, as in “make a customer feel as insignificant as an amoeba and get a 10% discount”.

We may never know the real reason. All we can be sure of, is that the girls in Zara are sad. Very, very sad.

Note: I have worked in retail, in some miserable conditions. I have worked in pubs with minimum wage and drunks as customers. Still, I believe a smile goes a long way. I’m seriously curious about the lack of customer care in Zara, if anyone knows anything about their working conditions, please enlighten us. Until then I can only look at this misery with a pinch of salt.


  1. The lovely local working girls are as nice as you want to treat them…. so YOU could try being nice too.

    GOD… it is ONLY capital… shoppingggg

    And yes Zara staff do not get great wages. That is the store ethic that gets YOU the cheapy clothes you crave.
    Get some humanity.
    TRY working there
    stop moaning or
    stop shopping there

  2. Nice and fresh take on the blog roll here, i like your incisive observations of the absence of customer care in an industry that should, theoretically be putting all out to deliver the best possible kind.
    Some places really have the shopping experience down to a T – including smiles and welcoming attitude – and they’re the ones that put chain stores of the likes of Zara to shame. Its good however that you moderate from your own experience how being paid poorly or treated with little respect in the workplace are dont necessarily mean you cant put your own into things. I work a rubbish job, but keeping my own smile and welcoming attitude helps me get through the day…and i know the customers appreciate ultimately…and so do i! Waiting for the next article!
    PS. like your “home blog” too!

  3. Jessie – you should really call yourself Fashie, your sooo cooal, I totally relate – everybody hates me too…..

    What is this summer hole writing or the OP getting girlie girlie ?

  4. Thanks for the support Leia, much appreciated, and it’s nice to see that most of you got where I was coming from :)

    Customer service in Spain has always been quite bad, but I have noticed how some brands are working on their sales teams to be more welcoming and helpful – which will only translate in better sales. I was pleasantly surprised by the staff in Etam today, bright smiles and positive energy as soon as I walked through the door.

    Zara simply fails greatly on that side, even H&M staff are more helpful and welcoming… and their price tags are cheaper.

  5. Hahahahaha…. the whole country of Spain has such a sorry attitude, one time I was making a not so positive comment at the Barajas Airport, and the guy behind me say aloud ” just don’t comeback to Spain ever” I had been to Spain millions of times and I love it.. but the peoples attitude is so terrible…no wonder why Argentines have the same personality they inherited from the Spaniards

  6. If you want to buy something in a shop the assistants simply allow you to do that. Don’t expect gratitude from them, you got what you wanted, they are doing you a favour. They have wonderfull work contracts that mean as long as they do the absolute minimum their job is safe and we get the absolute minimum back, our change. If you try a different retailer do you think they care?

  7. you cant judge every girl from zara just cause you had a few bad experiences ! maybe try wearing the zara items you wear a bit better and then just maybe…..we will provide you with great customer service ;)

  8. Well I used to work for them! They are a horrible company! My manage locked me into the stock room and they tried to blame it on me! But they knew I would take them to court so they paid me to keep quiet! Their clothes are bad quality! Ask any current employee about how many items are returned due to bad quality! My managers used to humiliate us in front of customers and shout at us! We were told we would finish work at 8.30 most days and we would finish work at 10.30! So don’t blame them for looking misrable!

  9. I’m working at Zara now and it’s horrible. Both my managers were rude and abrasive to me on my first day. I had no training and was thrown onto the floor. They schedules are so wacky and constantly changing, I can tell I’m not one of their favorites, so I’m on call when people call in sick or don’t show up. I’ve always been on time and wanted to learn but they didn’t want to teach me anything!
    I need the money so I have no choice but to suck it up. They’re are non communicative, moody, one moment and in rare moments, somewhat friendly. It’s driving me crazy. Some of the sales associates I’ve met have been nice but that’s about it. The customers well it depends sometimes nice, sometimes they treat you like you’re their slave or something, and talk down to you because they think they’re so “upscale”. The clothing is nice, some of it but a lot seems overpriced and mass produced. I can’t wait to get out of there and be able to finally relax! I can’t take it much longer.

  10. I used to work in zara over 5 years , the only thing I’ve learned is “working to hard only make me tired” there is no way a staff can grown on the company,no hope, the managers put the staff to do all they job without any extra payment. there are managers and assistent manager what they call “responsible” the responsables doing all the management task for a crap salary, why? just becouse is cheaper for the company, they normaly are in trainning to some day get a manager contract but whats happen is :they work really hard expecting in few months get promoted thats never happen , after few years whem they ask why they didnt get promoted yet , the answer from the head office is that they are not “ready” yet need to wait more few months . Basic the Inditex group try to make the staff work for free as much as they can , there are no motivation at all , I feel pity for the zara staff.

  11. I recently was offered a job to work at Zara as a merhandiser and was told that I would be full time.I tried out the first week, and also quit the first week. I was thrown into the change room without any experience or knowledge on what to do, and was expected to know the clothing. I was given 30 minutes of training. The worst part is how they give you an hour break in between what should be an 8 hour shift so technically you’re there longer. They don’t even pay you for the first 15 minutes of that break. The clothing quality is crap people are constantly returning the garments. My first two days of sales consisted of the tills not making their daily quota/ didn’t have enough for a deposit. The management is poorly trained, the staff are over worked and the scheduling is skewed. They try and promise you things that will not happen. When I told the manager the job wasn’t working out she said that she felt this way on her first week and to give it another chance. I have been working since I was 15 and have never hated a job as much as I hated this company. Do not settle yourself short you all are probably amazing people do not work here! They make it sound amazing in the interview process but it’s not what it seems. I would rather die than have my face represent a company I can’t stand.

  12. I don’t know about the other countries, but I’m currently a sales associate at Zara working in Canada and one of the requirements that the company enforces is to “always have a kind look and smile”. I believe we try to do that to the best of our abilities, but since we’re required to work at such a fast pace environment we just simply forget to greet people and smile sometimes because of the 200 (and counting) other duties that we have to do after just finishing the last one. Do I think Zara employees should be kind and smile more often ? Definitely. Do I think it’s impossible to carry on a more positive attitude toward customers ? I can tell you it’s pretty damn hard to be smiling to people and being efficiently rushed for 8 long hours of relentless folding, tidying and searching for the right size in a library of clothes in the stock room. Another reason for the attitude I believe is that Zara runs on a global commission basis which means no matter how many you sell or how hard you try to provide the best quality service to heighten your chances of him/her purchasing the product, the sale one makes is to be shared by every Zara employee on a global scale. So I think the incentive to do better in servicing is not as great as it could be because of the lack of reward. I also think that this method of commission could lead employees to become lazy and unmotivated.

    I hope this post calls to your bitterness towards Zara associates.

  13. My wife works in Zara, she has a lot of previous experiences and I have as well. She had to take a lower profile job because of the recession in Ireland. I can honestly say working in Zara is absolutely terrible. It’s just a mess, a lot of non rational things go on and some managers have an extremely aggressive style.

    Working in small businesses is often way better, the relationship with the employers is more direct, sometimes they can be nasty but they can also see if you are a good worker and show appreciation. This does not happen in Zara. Believe me it is an unbelievable environment

  14. I have worked in Zara and honestly feel so sorry for all the people who only started to work there. I have a lot of experience and did different kinds of jobs.
    But what happens in Zara is just unbelievable!!!!!
    The staff is very aggressive especially Spanish people who think they can do what they want over there!!!! They attitude is just unacceptable. If you are new in Zara get ready for the worst….The same is with managers. They are so cruel.I was manager myself for many years and I know u have to demand from people but you have to be human as well! At the end the customers are your only friends in Zara not the staff. The conditions are the poorest.You can’t even go for two min to get some water though it’s like 30 degrees in the store and no air condition,you must run up and down non stop only to find somebody screaming at you. The salary is very very low and you never get contract for more then 8,15 or max 20h a week so don’t let them full you as well you get contract mostly for one month.Then they make you all stories how you have worked and renew for another month. there is so many mad,bad things over there. honestly people must be desperate to work in Zara!!! and I know it was many times Zara had problems over that and was sued but obviously it was not enough!!! SO why the girls are sad???? It s only one part i’m writing here. There is much more……….

  15. I sometimes think I live on a different planet when I hear people claim customer service is poor in Spain. I know generally that within seconds of entering a cafebar shouting out “Hola – un cortado (or un tubo)” the drink will be being served up for me – whereas in many UK places it takes ages to get served. Equally, when buying things in shops (again using correct etiquette and making sure you haven’t jumped any queue) I normally get excellent service, and often an offer to gift wrap too, if it’s anything of value. I suspect those who claim poor service, unfortunately are the ones who haven’t learnt the language, nor realise there is etiquette to be observed. I’m not saying there aren’t poor staff out there – I know a badly run place in Valencia, and I never expect an El Corte Ingles attendant to smile much. But generally I receive great customer service in Spanish establishments. Am I just lucky?

  16. try living back in the uk, customer service here is awful, rude ignorant horrible people bit like most people ive met now im back.
    I miss having less selection in the supermarket, just a load of crap food here.
    Maybe customer service isnt great in spain but you dont expect it to be great, here its just getting worse and worse.
    Can i come back to spain please NOW please please please.

    enjoy what u have its better than here

  17. Great article!

    “Why are they so sad? Is the pay that bad? Are the working conditions so horrid? Why do they hate customers? Because, the truth is, I’m pretty sure they don’t just randomly hate me … they hate us all.”

    I think this is the first time in the Olive Press that I have seem someone realize the fact that when people act dissociated at work, like zombies, or just plain rude it isn’t some sort of discrimination against the individual just because they are not Spanish. They employees are tired, no one taught them they need to put their game face on (smile and pretend to be cheery), the job is pretty awful and it’s a low-budget, move-em-along assembly line type store. That’s just the way it goes. I’ve noticed that the treatment you receive in higher-end shops is a lot more ‘professional’ so to speak than if you visit the budget places like Zara.

    Another trick that I think a lot of people overlook is that you get treated based on how you look. If you’re dressed and groomed nicely (suit, dress clothes, etc.) then people treat you in an incredibly different way than if you’re dressed casually (shorts, flip flops). No one likes to admit it, but image is huge and we all have this bias. It’s a psychological bias to treat people more nicely who look better (this is called the Halo Effect in psychology).

    Anyway, very refreshing to hear that it isn’t another “The Spanish hate the British” article. Zara employees hate their jobs and they hate us all regardless of where we come from. I can’t say I blame them.

    Nadia – “I don’t know about the other countries, but I’m currently a sales associate at Zara working in Canada and one of the requirements that the company enforces is to “always have a kind look and smile”.”

    This is actually one of the big cultural differences that leaves a bad impression for visitors and residents in Spain. Customer service is a huge point in training and manging staff in the UK, Canada, the USA in particular, etc. In Italy it is big too. But in Spain employees aren’t trained to be super polite and smile. They’re just to run the store, fix the clothes and get people moving through the line. I think people come with certain cultural expectations that are the exception here rather than the rule.

    EnglishDragon – “I sometimes think I live on a different planet when I hear people claim customer service is poor in Spain… Equally, when buying things in shops (again using correct etiquette and making sure you haven’t jumped any queue) I normally get excellent service, and often an offer to gift wrap too, if it’s anything of value.”

    I generally have the same experience. And I think you hit the nail on the head. There are certain things that will completely change the experience you get in a store. If you’re the one who starts out being very polite – and you know how to say the right things to build a bit of rapport it goes a long way. In Spain, especially Andalucia, people speak a lot less formally than in other areas. If you say something in an extra-polite, formal way then they tend to feel kind of special for it. “May I please have an orange juice” is a lot less common than “Give me an orange juice” or “I want an orange juice” for example.

  18. I myself work for Zara in Cambridge UK. Although I agree some members of staff should buck their ideas up and smile and give exceptional customer service, I am not one of them! I love my job and am more than happy to run around after a customer to help them. Just because you may have had a couple of bad experiences dont put us all in the same boat! Some of us are trying our hardest!

  19. I’m an export manager in china and our company has been in business relationship with Zara for several years.

    And after years of communiciation with the zara staff in Shanghai, I do sense some sadness or even madness!
    They are all workaholics.

    They were always busy, the meeting with them will be all day long and no lunch at noon.

    maybe Zara push them to do so.

  20. I do see what you mean. I wouldnt call it sadness more a focus on something passionate. Me and my merchandiser have done 12 hour shifts on a 20 minute break. Not because we’re forced to but because we care about what we are doing. You want to impress and improve as a member of staff , it’s just finding the people that are dedicated to do it and weeding the bad ones out.

  21. Hello everyone:

    I worked for Zara in the UK and this was my experience:

    ABSOLUTELY horrible.

    1. The training was very poor, they called a manager from a different Zara store to train me and afterwards the store manager kept correcting my work, because her requirements were different to what I learned in my training.

    2. They spent ages on training me about something I didn’t do for the first month.

    3. No training about how to work in the changing rooms. They just tell you few tips, you’ve got to learn it on your own.

    4. The Spanish co-workers had a horrible attitude, they love gossip and laugh at you, at all times (this, I believe it was because I’m Southamerican).

    5. The store manager shouted at me in several times, once because some trousers weren’t folded correctly, when NO ONE thought me how to do it, anyway she was always busy and not often approachable.

    6. They asked me to write down on a document what I was wearing everyday before I started to work, but no one else in the shop has to do it.

    7. In the piece of paper were you have write how many hours you work, they never take into account when they require you to arrive early (15 Min), this time is not paid.

    8. Finally there was a another sales assistant who had a bandage around her hand because of lifting heavy boxes.

  22. That sounds terrible Lindsey. I sympathise because I worked in several high street shops when I was younger and had some bad management experiences. Not all Zara shop assistants are rude at all, but unfortunately, some shops seem to have more than others! I was in my local Leicester branch today and was greeted by a really smiley member of staff downstairs. Then I wanted to bring 3 items back (with a receipt) and exchange them for about 10 others. I therefore wanted to give Zara more of money for their lovely product. I was treated with extremely limited customer service and I don’t think it could have taken the assistant longer to process the exchange if she’d tried. Making a real meal deal out of the fact that some of my items didn’t seem to be on the reciept – they were, she just hadn’t looked properly. Of course, she had to call a senior member of staff over, in order that she could show her the huge pile of clothes I wanted to buy in exchange! My huge pile of clothes were greeted with a cursory nod of approval – you couldn’t pay for better entertainment! Thanks for giving me somewhere to rant, because I left there slightly annoyed!

  23. I work at Zara Home in UK at the moment and let me tell you this : it is horrible. Managers dont seem to know what are they doing, one minute they tell you to do something one way then comes another manager and yells at you for doing it that way.
    When people from the head office comes to visit to the store they start licking their asses, it’s even embarrassing to watch. Managers are rude although my most of my co-workers are really nice. I only work part-time as I am a uni student and I just want a job that I come,do my duties,go home and get paid but no with this job is not possible, they make you study at home like you are in some internship and make you work really hard for the money that you are paid…ohh wages,let’s not even go there! if you are meant to work 8 hours they make you be there for 9 hours so one hours is unpaid lunch. oh I hate it there, I can’t wait to get another job,really… I love dealing with customers and I try to be always nice to them, treat them as I like to be treated, but to be honest sometimes when I see them happy and shopping around I wish I was in their place, happy not in this type of slavery

  24. I work at Zara – In the states, however – and like all jobs there are some people with bad attitudes and people that have bad days, BUT I can tell you that me and my team really love our jobs and have a great time with each other and the customers. I’m really disappointed in the immense generalization of this article.

  25. It depends of every store , I work at Zara and I know people constantly judge us but I dare you to come and work for one day! It’s not that great .. But I don’t get why some of our girls don’t smile! I get many compliments because I smile and I’m one of those girls that care about the customers! You made your opinion about ” us ” but each Zara is different. We’re not all the same ;)

  26. Wow!! Ive just spent 10 mins reading all these comments about Zara & it has made me very apprehensive as I have an interview with them for a management role there nxt week!!! I am an experienced retail manager that comes from a company with a real focus on customer care so a lot of these comments are alien to how Ive been brought up. Im hoping if i get the job that I can change this negative mentality and impression as i do understand where people are coming from as i have experienced this kind of sterile atmosphere in some of their stores.
    Ultimately it is how these sales assts have been trained and how they are lead on a day to day basis that determines how they interract on the salesfloor, as a manager it is about showing passion, desire and leading by example which by the sound of things isnt really Zaras ethos.

  27. Service in Spain is terrible unless the place is owned and run a no spanish person.I have waited 45 minutes for a starter before. I cook at home when I am there as it is easier and less trouble and better quality, however, on the coast the service is better when I am in a non Spanish place.

  28. Is this all just about a shop? Most humans in general are ok once you talk and smile at them.. even if miserable in shops! It brightens up their day a bit.

    Failing that just remind them that they have a job?

  29. WORST EXPERIENCE EVER – ZARA Westfield Shepherd’s Bush

    I purchased a black leather bag which color has run on my coat (non-Zara), destroying the coat (cannot be cleaned). I tried to get back the money for the bag and a compensation for my damaged coat, I spoke to one of the senior staff and the shop manager – Pilar (did not disclose her surname!) – they were rude, accused me of lying, the experience was DISASTROUS! Zara should care about their customer service, otherwise they will start losing market share. Good clothes is not enough!
    I will not shop with ZARA anymore.

  30. I used to work for ZARA for almost two years(In Brighton, UK), and it’s quite weird to read all those bad comments… Maybe I was lucky enough to have great management and amazing colleagues! I am not saying it was all easy, I did have some arguments with other members of staff, but they would end up us simply ‘laughing down’ the issue, because in the end of the day we were all there to support each other- not make one’s day at work horrible.
    Perhaps I don’t have many complaints because I was working part-time.
    What goes for customers- some of them were absolutely terrible- like someone mentioned above, they used to treat us like slaves. On the bright side, I met some really nice ladies and guys with whom we even exchanged numbers! I know, it sounds freaky, but when I was stuck in one section for the most of the day I would always meet same customers who eventually became my acquaintances.

  31. Hmm… Have you ever thought that maybe it’s because customers are asking for way to much, come in the store right at closing, managers suck, customers aren’t considerate of the store; and leave everything a mess, fitting rooms are chaos. So maybe that’s why we hate our job. You would understand if you were in our shoes. If the economy wasn’t so screwed up, we could easily find better jobs. But we hold on to what we have in the meantime. So before you come into the store with a thousand request. Remember, we aren’t your personal stylist, maid, or friend. It’s a business. I’ll grab a size for you, get you started in fitting room, answer questions, etc. But anything extra should be a raise in our pay. Get real. For minimum wage, what more do you expect from service? Oh, let me guess, water bottles and wine, valet parking, one on one styling, red carpet treatment. Hehehe Sorry, but we’re just another retail store.

  32. Manny that’s simply terrible. You don’t deserve a job at all. The customer is ALWAYS right. That’s the first rule in business. Large successful places where we shop in Spain have a fantastic attitude by the way, whereas struggling businesses do not. It’s not a hard one to work out is it.

  33. Ive been working in a UK ZARA store for a couple of weeks now as a cashier. There are a few things that should be noted in regards to the original post. I think I can answer the question about why Zara employees are sad. The reason is that they’re problems lie with their coworkers and management team, not with the customers. By this I’m referring to the lack of training (I actually didn’t have a single bit of training and I’m a cashier with quite a bit of responsibility) and to the lack of direction/ unfriendly introduction to the team. Everywhere that I have worked before (including bars where I might add that the customers can be more difficult) I have never worked with a team that I dislike so much. Im not naive I understand that there are always aspects to a job that you don’t like doing, but it seems that there are way too many reasons to not enjoy going there. I stick at it because I know that what I’m learning is all self taught and this is great for my confidence but I can’t deny its making me distrustful and full of resentment. I can absolutely guarantee that the poor customer service is a problem deeply rooted in the management. What makes it worse are some of the precautions that we take, for instance, having to bring a manager over to a cash transaction over 100, or over to an exchange, to a faulty return, consulting them over a void receipt etc etc etc etc. literally. the customer has to stand there and wait while we try and find a manager, sometimes its 10 minutes. As the cashier, I find this humiliating and frustrating because its just ridiculous making the customer wait like that and I have never seen that in another store. I would also say that 50% of all my transactions are refunds. Anyway, as I’m typing this I’ve just noticed the time, and I have to go to work. JOY.

  34. It sounds like if you can stomach working here the next job will seem fantastic! Think of it like that and take the pay check. Make sure the customer doesn’t bare the brunt of this environment though ha ha. Madness!

  35. I m working in zara 5 months and what I can say it is a bad job. Managers push me, and my colleagues, a lot. That’s why we are always upset. They speak about customers service but we don’t really have time to give them a proper one, we have to many things to do and if we don’t finish it is a big problemIt is not simple working there. So when you go to zara, thing about it :-)

  36. Zara = Hell

    Never work for the joke which is Inditex

    You are overworked, underpaid, training is not adequate, expectations are too high. The “7 minimums” aren’t even followed through by managers. Staff are miserable, product is on trend but tat. The powers that be don’t care about staff just the money in their pockets.

    Be warned. Work for Arcadia instead

  37. I worked in Zara for nearly 2 years and it was the worst job I have ever had. The managers are very two faced and will stab you in the back to benifit themselves. For this question why are they so sad? It’s a mix of customers and constantly being over worked. Firstly responsibility is unwillingly placed upon staff, and they have to accept it as they know that it will help out other staff members who are as miserable as them. Every know and again and I mean at a stretch 3 minutes you can have a glimpse of laughter with your friends, then the customers attack. Zara is a nice store fashion wise, but the customers act as if its a high end as Versace or Armani. It’s a high street store!! So to constantly come in week after week and complain about the lines to pay or the lack of sizes out. We recognise your faces, it’s the easily noticeable snotty one who thinks they’re better than everyone, so you know how busy the store is. So they Zara staff aren’t sad, they come in to a job and are constantly scrutinised for it. Don’t like it, there’s many others store you can go and complain about.

  38. I have worked for Zara for 7 years, and can honestly say its a great company to work for, I have had the chance to develop with the company and work with some great people. The pay is good and far better than any other retailer, with commission on top of our salary you can only assume that as we are making money we are giving excellent customer service or how else are we making sales. As a company mystery shoopper reports are conducted every month and it proves in our results there that we achieve above 80% every time, and also proves as a company they strive to give great customer service, as well as work really hard, you wouldn’t realise what we have to achieve on a daily basis to make the customer enjoy their shopping experience and come for what they wanted. It’s the obnoxious customers that ruin for themselves. They must be doing something right as they are one of the most successful retailers on the high street, if it was that bad why would people return, creating a few bad experiences and generalising that all stores and staff are the same is unfair.

  39. I have worked for Zara as merchandiser for over 2 years and really enjoy the job but it’s hard work, long hours and ALOT of tasking,
    Customers do not realise the hard work, and many different jobs a manager sales assistant n merchandiser has to do on a regular basis, I start at 7am running around to make the store as commercial and a great shopping experience for customers as possible, when a customer comes in with a friendly attitude staff are more than welcome to help but when customers come into a store expecting Customer service they would receive from a designer store but treat it like primark throwing product on the floor not putting it back in the right place n being generally nasty when a customer is nice to you they will be nice back a please n thankyou and smile go along way on BOTH SIDES!!

  40. Libby: The customer is always right. No? Their money pays your wages. Without them,you are nothing. Don’t customers of “designer stores” chuck merchandise on the floor and fail to put it back in it’s “right place”? Or do higher prices justify abuse?

    • Are customers always right when they threaten to kill you & verbally abuse you because your manager didn’t authorise their refunds cos they don’t have the receipt? I don’t think so. Even so, I was still apologetic & insisted on telling her to contact customers service until she wanted to climb on the cash desk to attack me that I had to call the security. So no, I don’t agree that customers are always right.

  41. I was working in this company and I am Spanish and I feel really embarrased of this enterprise. If you know the kind of managers who are working in Zara, most of them are Spanish without any good manners and so rude, you can understand why the staff look like so sad and unfriendly. I’ll never work in a Spanish company!

  42. I was working in Zara for a while in Dublin and when I quit I felt the happiest person in the world and free!
    It s unbelievable how bad people working there are treated by not only managers but staff as well. Spanish staff is keeping together and if someone is coming from outside they are just the most cruel. for u , using verbal violence against u. You can’t complain to the managers, it’ s pointless as they are much worse.They ask you impossible things and screaming like mental. Myself I m suffering from asthma.Once I needed to get my inhalator si I just went to get it from my bag.One manager saw me walking outside my area started screaming when I m going didn’ t let me get my medicine.I suffered 2h in hot with the attack.I said enough! Terrible things happens in Zara every day .People are mentally abused. I’ m very sorry for another hundreds of girls who will yet have that experience.

    • I am working there at this moment. I regret irvery much that I applied for the job! It’s that I need money to survive. Otherwise I would have quit immediately. Zara has no respect for people, . All they care is making money no matter what! The management are screaming loud when you donn’t do your job well, they mentally abuse people to make them work in the way they want & they don’t let you go on holiday more then 2 weeks. Or when you want to request it for far destinations..You can bot book your flightticket or hotel beforehand. As there’s a rule that you might have a go 4 months before your vacation. It’s unbelievable! My flighticket yto the Far East will therefore costs soo much money! Even they work with a plus & minus system. Zara expects you to be flexible all day everyday. But in the other way around all seems to be difficult. You work like dogs, you earn less, need to work uptempo like machines and you have to endure stress all day long! They give you fake trainings & promises. Just to make you go even harder for them to earn money. I hate the way they treat enployee’s like trash. If you are sick it’s not there problem. Flu or whatever they still expect you to come & work your ass off! If not they take in 1 day at your own expenses. You need to call every single day during sickness. They just don’t care about your well being. Even my contract will be extended I feel sad inside. It’s drains you off & you don’t have a personal life once you are employee there. In busy periods you always work for sure 1 hour longer. Which means -when OT every day- You will in debet for 5 times 1 hr= 5hrs a week. This comes to 20 hrs a month working for free! Not it’s every day lukethis but still you never be at home on time. You will even need to help other departments to keep it clean & tight. I finally understand why Sad Zara girls never will have a smiling heart to customers. It’s tough to smile working under bad conditiones & drowned in stress. It’s also unbelievable that you also won’t get discount at Zara or there family brands. (Berschks, Stradivarius, P&B..) Every meeting the management nag about why we are so slow, that we won’t make it during sales period, no chatting is allowed, not working hard/fast enough & complaints what goes wrong every day. I understand your leading role requires you to babysit everyone & it’s their responsibility. But I don’t accept that they mentally abuse people or they way they treat people. I’mtired of Zara & hope to step out soon! Every day more at Zara takes away the happiness out of me. I just know my talents & qualities. Torture to waste more time & energy there. Let’s rise & shine! Hope to leave soon. Just one last word: Never let someone takes away your sparkle! Peace out.

  43. Being a person who has worked at a Zara store or what I prefer to call a retail cult! I thought this article was hilarious, but sad at the same time because it is true, why is everybody so sad at Zara!? Because the place is a black hole, a hell that eats away your happiness first and then your soul, this is not an understatement. The rules are ridiculous, the hours are overkill, it is disorganized and unprofessional, the pay may as well be peanuts, and that’s not even the worst of what goes on behind closed Zara doors. So customers of Zara before you complain about “bad” service remember these poor Zara girls and boys are burning in hell every day and don’t remember how to smile anymore. #giveazarakidahug

  44. If you feel hard done by working for Zara, try being one of the unfortunate wretches who make their stuff. They are the ones who keep the prices down. Not you.

  45. I have worked for Zara in Australia the past 8 months & found this article spot on and down right hilarious! The staff there actually agree on a daily basis that our lack of customer service is a joke – the managers talk the talk but when it comes down to it, we actually get punished when we go out of our way to help a customer!!! It as seen as wasting time or you get questioned about where you were and why you were not completing one of the many tiring tasks you are ordered to do for several long hours! Not to mention the hard work and effort we put into tidying the store, it doesn’t hep that customers treat Zara like an outlet centre.. The tables are always a mess and take so much effort and time to maintain at the end of the day. The managers are cruel, yes I agree, they are also very unorganised and no top of all of this, staff members who are working on a casual basis get NO DISCOUNTS! So don’t think that we are acting “stuck up” or “snooty” just to represent the brand as high class, we are all screaming to get out but they don’t let you leave. it is impossible to quit. The only thing that keeps everyone there coming back is the amazing staff and friends you make whilst working in that hell hole. Please don’t be offended if we don’t smile, believe me, we will probably get in trouble for doing so!

  46. I worked at Zara for almost 2 years in Australia, I’d have to say it’s the worst place to work, several snooty staff members, no training at all you just basically get thrown into it and are expected to know everything. When I first started I also had a cow of a Japanese woman from Zara overseas basically scream at me for “not greeting customers” even though I actually was. We get no discounts at all being casuals and have to write in a book even when we take a 10minute break “descanso” to just go to the bathroom or get a drink of water. Managers are pretty crappy as well not knowing what they are doing constantly changing their mind making u fold something then oh no hang it.. Oh no actually fold it.. Make up your mind!!! Defiantly wasn’t paid enough for that job.. So glad to have left :):)

  47. So much of this is so true of the whole of the Inditex brand.I worked for Bershka Uk as a window dresser for over 5 years,final straw came after I had worked a 21 Hour shift,the day before I was to going on holiday.Id emailed my superiors asking to take the time back at the end of my holiday.After 21hours my phone then died,I didn’t for 1 second think it would be a problem.I returned and was given a disciplinary for an unauthorised absence….despite working 21 HOURS with 30 min lunch break!The pay for the in store team is disgusting,and the schedule for Boxing Day is practically slavery.

  48. I used to work in Zara Oxford Circus. Worst place ever. No training, a lot of overwork, too often they “forget” to pay you hours (that you have previously written and signed, how can they forget?), when you book your holidays they forget, and even after aproval, they can randomly cancel them and you can place your travel tickets on a whole of your preference. Even as a 16 hours contract I had to take responsability of training new staff (that is responsability of mentors and managers, and earn more for this cause) and after complaining you get yelled like an animal.
    If the manager thinks your work is good but she/he does not like you, forget about your life ever, you’ll see how people who comes much after you will get promotions and they will leave you behind, but eh! no ofense, they’re not firing you, since your work is good.
    I always kept my smile for customers, and some of them were regulars that called me by my name, but even that, my manager got mad and told me my customer service was poor (I worked previously in luxury art galleries with never ever a complain), they push you to every single limit to get their bonuses… because YES that’s the main point, managers get biiiiiiiig bonuses if they spend minimun and earn maximun, so they will push and crush you to get everysingle drop of life they can get from you, so “meetings” to humiliate you for your poor work and tell you you have to think better about your poor job were becoming regular for EVERY SINGLE SALES ASSISTANT AND CASHIER.
    Almost all of the sales assistants of our store had nervous attacks and stress, they had to hide to cry (since it’s forbidden and no one can see you… and I don’t mean custmers, if the manager finds you in your unpaid break crying, you’re fucked).
    If you have any ability they can use, they will even ask you to do free work at home for them… and even pay for the materials. I ended up doing motivational posters… not even a thank you, but who cares, right?
    In the last meeting I had, the manager told me all my workmates hated me for my poor job so she could not give me my relocation (that I needed and was previously told that I would get) if I didn’t work better. It was 2 managers and the store manager said a lot of lies about me in front of the other manager, they even used against me the dead of my best friend (that they only knew because they asked and asked and asked about my holidays, when I had to confront that). They didn’t allowed me to defend myself, not even speak. That day I gave her my notice. And all that “mates that hated me” almost cried for that. All of them hugged me and told me that I should not believe those lies, that they told the same to everyone in the same meetings. In a few weeks more than half of the staff left. And the staff kept leaving always like that.
    I was so sorry for my mates, they were lovely and after 2 years working with them I knew it was not them who badmouth about me like the manager claimed. And after 2 years I knew for sure the manager was like that.
    You can be lucky if your manager has ethics… but if they get big bonuses for doing maximun with minimum… believe me… almost 90% will not be nice managers…

  49. I can answer your question. I´ve worked in Zara Uk of 4 years, and I can tell you the reason why. This company don´t care about the staff at all, it doesn´t matter what you feel, how you are, what happen to you…for them you ara an slave. If you work 10 hours, at the end of the day they will cut it down to 8 because we have to save hour because apparently they need to save money. Everyday someone cry because of the managers, but the managers are pushed by the regionals… they want to scare the staff, thats how they motivates them. I´ve seen things like a eels assistant asking to go to her country because a father die and the store manager answering that this happen to many people and that she have to stay. Thats why the staff is like that. When you have all you managers pushing you, using you and telling you how bad you are thats the only face you can show. And the worst thing is that when they have a manager who cares about there staff they will push that manager until the manager give the notice. They hate each other, I´ve been in the office and…I can tell you that there is plenty of fake smiles, there is many people hoping to work in the office and when they finnally get the position they give the notice in a couple of months.
    They have plenty of memo´s, training packs etc but the reality is that you don´t receive a proper training, they just want your signature just to make sure you are not going to sue them.
    After you have a position as a manager, then they will “teach you” that from that point what you have to do is force, use and push the staff.
    They have a “japanese meeting” twice a day, and is not paid, but the funny thing is that if you came late on that meeting they will do a lateness even they are not going to pay for that.
    As a store managers and regionals they have people without manners, without knowledge (well they only know about fashion) people who started as a sells assistant and because they are proper…I´m not going to say the word but you can imagine, thats the reason why they have the position.
    HR managers without a degree on Human Resources, that because they start as a sells assistant, manager, store manager…they became HR managers…then you ask simple questions and they never answer to you because obviously they don´t know.

    I can´t keep writing my horrible english hahahah explaining the reason why the staff in zara is that horrible in terms of costumer service etc but it will take looong.

    I´m telling you that I´m a happy, actually I´m really happy in my job, I can smile without forcing myself. I´m a person now.

  50. I worked for Zara for two years. I compare them to a concentration camp. The manager is a bully. A sour, packhorse bully with no emotional inkling. And they’re just overall ****s.

  51. I worked at Zara in Australia as a cashier. Hands down WORST job I have ever had. Don’t ask me why I held it for two years.

    First of all, the store manager was an evil snake of only 22 years old. She had gotten people fired in order to be in her position, and proved her dedication to the job by sucking up to management. They didn’t know she talked to staff like debris. Wouldn’t even look us in the eye. If you made one little mistake, (such as be late to “briefing” by 30 seconds – and yes, this happened to me) you’d be sent to the back room. I was sent to the back room with 4 intimidating people. One was some important guy from Japan, the other was HR for Australia, the other was the store manager and then my head cashier. I had to sit there and ‘explain myself’, explain why briefing was important and then fill out a form like a primary school student, pledging I would never do it again.

    I am not joking when I say I was 30 seconds late to briefing, which is something we are not actually paid for.
    This same Japanese HR guy (a massive d*ck head) told another staff member to tell me that I wasn’t ‘smiling enough’ when I was helping out the sales assistants on the floor. This was on the same day as I was sent to the back room. He bullied me, and bullying is something that happens often at Zara.

    I’ve seen nice people turn into devils as soon as they are promoted to managers or “responsibles”. They start bullying staff, ordering them around, probably because they themselves are given strict instructions like ‘do this or be fired’. Every time our store got a visit from Spain, people acted as if Hitler was visiting our store.
    I once called in sick (because I was, you know, sick) and the store manager actually told me off. Apparently I should’ve been more responsible in not catching a cold. She then told me she would report me to HR.

    If we look miserable while we work at Zara, it’s because we are treated like utter sh*t by managers and bosses. The amount of bitchiness and ‘clique’-ness going on is also ridiculous. Because of the amount of staff there (around 150 in ours I think), people resort to being bitches. It is also a highly repetitive job that gives you no freedom.

    As a cashier, I did the same thing every day. Took a customer’s clothes, took them off the hanger, Folded them, Asked if they would like to pay by cheque, savings or credit, and then put it in the bag for them. We are also expected to give receipts back with two hands. If we don’t, we could get sent to the back room! I did. They try and CONTROL us, for the most minuscule things. Half the time, we are expecting to be told off for not ‘doing enough’, hence why girls on the floor are too busy folding to look up.

    I have worked in other hospitality and retail jobs, and while I complain about just “hating going to work” as most people feel anyway, nothing compares to Zara. Nothing will ever compare what it feels like to work at Zara. The people who convince themselves they like it, have probably been brainwashed and want to become managers so they can go on power trips. They also probably have no ambition or other skills because why the f*** would they choose such a horrible place to work.

    When I quit Zara (which I did abruptly and without notice because screw them), I felt such joy I had never felt in a while. I felt free, and it felt *weird*, like I didn’t deserve it? Food tasted better, and I felt like … I wasn’t in a prison anymore.

    There is much more that I could write on the working conditions there. It’s been almost a year since I’ve quit and the fact that I still feel so much hatred towards that place (and all the people who help run it), says a lot. All I can say is we were treated like vermin and often weren’t addressed to by name.

    For everyone’s information, this is the Zara store in Bourke St, Melbourne.

  52. Think about this….

    Roughly 4000 to 8000 people come in and out of Zara every day here in Sydney store. There are only 2 to 5 sales assistants (zoners) on the floor excluding fitting room staffs. those 2 to 5 sales assistants have many tasks to do other than customer service. But customer keeps coming every 2 mins to enterupt their other tasks. Some managers even tell them not to spend more than 2 mins for each customer. Because then the store stops functioning.

    Their main focus is not customer service. Items will sale as long as there are sizes available and are showing on the floor. with or without sales assistant’s help! Of course Zara doesnt wanna spend buget on sales assistant… People love their design and the reasonable price, which you can’t really find in other stores.

    Zara make patterns and manufacture the items in 3weeks based on whats selling in the store now, their cloths doesn’t look cheap either cause they have their own plants and look after the finish… They come up with so much more items than other brands each seasons and I guess that’s what their focus is. Their customer service is to provide clothes that you want when you want it..

    I have been their customer for long long time and I have been working for them for 3yrs now. Work mates changes all the time, some of them even quit the job in half day cause they get sick of seeing people in the store. Lol I just hope that customers stop expecting so much and appreciate what you can actually have… We are just a fast fashion brand. Just because we sale Prada like coat doesn’t mean we have to treat customers like them..

  53. Maybe this is not about Zara’s staff … but customers behavior!! I work as cashier in Zara and let me enlighten you now that you ask for it … What I see from behind my till is lots of unhappy customers. Serious faces looking at you while thinking …. “C’mon you stupid cashier move faster” NOT SMILING AT ALL, and annoying everyone after waiting 30 seconds just to ask … “Excuse meeeeeee… Can’t you open another till?” “there’s no one else serving?” Most all of the customers that reach my till don’t even look me in the eye. Some of then are on their phone, some others because theyre talking to someone else and the rest of then because they just don’t care. so…not talking about replying to me after I greet them with my probably more than emotionless “Hello sir/Madam thank you for waiting” that I HAVE TO say as part of my job if I don’t want to have a file note. So we DO say thank you. Oh yes we do. And please too. And thank you again and even a “Have a lovely day” when the transaction is finished. And then I repeat this same operation at least 500 times a day. So excuse me if I don’t put all my enthusiasm when calling the next customer. And then I wonder…Why customers are so rude in this country? Why customer service is like that? It is so true we need to provide you with our best but this doesnt mean that just because we are there we can be treated like shit.We are persons. Human beings. We deserve respect. Im not going to list in here all the things we have to cope with every single day but ill be more than happy to talk with you about them all if one day you’d be interested in writing another witty article about uk customers.

    • I totally agree with you. I smile the whole day even when I’m not well, I say “thank you for waiting” “have a nice day etc” & a lot of them don’t even acknowledge you. No matter how polite you are, they’d still find a reason to abuse you. I’m not getting paid £7.10 per hour to be verbally abided by customers cos the managers denied them a refund cos they don’t have their receipts! 1 woman even threatened to kill me if she sees me on the street because one of the managers told her she cannot get a refund without a receipt. So people, don’t tell me customers are always right!

  54. Well, in inditex every little employee is totally p*ssed off, this company is completely disorganised at all levels but why??

    1.It is a SPANISH company.
    In a Spanish you’ll never promote working hard, being responsible, good attitude… The only way to promote there is being “friend of”. You will find that at all levels and with almost every position, they create vacancies, just to make you waste your time trying to get a position that had been already given to some friend, just because they need to advertise it.
    So all this sh*t ends with unqualified management with no idea about team building, how to manage the staff and in so many occasions they neither have a breeze of common sense. They try to demonstrate that they are managers being extremely bossy and trying to make you feel that they belong to some kind of superior race ! So yes, if you work there with this kind of management you’ll work completely p*ssed off. And no questions about if you work hard, try to promote while positions are going to completely useless people friends of…

    2.Spanish company V2.
    As you can expect, there is almost no HR investment in this company (Either health and safety, if someone want to inspect the company… blocked fire exits… just saying) So you’ll get a job in zara, they’ll tell you that everybody loves the company and when you get there its to late, you’ve already been thrown to the lions. No training at all, everybody shouting at you because you don’t know how to… blahblahblah… Also store managers tries to reduce costs all the time to achieve bonus, so people who works there are near slaves, a really high workload with just a few staff members, if they can do it without dying is fine, and if they die we’ve got thousands queuing at the recruitment centre, so why the hell do they need to care for the employees?

    3.Spanish employees.
    All of this happens because Spanish people are so lazy to fight for they rights, vote, or whatever that implies no party, football… and nobody call ACAS (UK), newspapers or whatever to stop them. So you usually got what you deserve.

    By the way, I’m spanish too, and this company it is the biggest embarrassment for me in UK, apart from these ************ shouting through the streets like sheeps and with no intention to progress.

  55. I just hope that after this everibody do the same as me!! NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM, AND FROM THe REST OF INDITEX


    there is more in spain but not england hopefully.
    we need to stop giving money to this rubish.

    After 2 years as a manager for this company I had an stress crisis I cannot sleep for more than 3 months and much more thing that this company can make on you.





  56. Employ yourself for few days and you,ll have the answer…..why all of them are so miserable. I’ve been working there for three years……never any more!!!

  57. Oh… yeah… the “sick calls” that they make as “off” to not pay the statutory sick pay in UK…
    You’re not allowed to get sick. I had to go to work after a surgery and they got really really mad and pushed me hard to go to work when after finishing the day I told them I was not gonna work the rest of the week since I WAS BLEEDING.

  58. I worked as Cashier in the UK´s flagship store for about one year.
    It´s true that some staff is rude and impolite, but the uk customers are the worst I have ever seen!!If you want a luxury customer service, go to a luxury store, don´t pretend have lunch in macdonalds with a 3 michelin stars service.
    Also let me know that zara staff is working while you are enjoyining buying clothes, so if there is a long queue, please think that the cashier is the first person who would love not to have customers waiting and complaining

  59. I agree and second all of the bad stories here!! I worked at Zara Westfield when it first opened… The worst 6mths of my life. I was employed as a deputy manager, but was constantly told by other managers that I was too nice and needed to be a bitch and make the staff fear me! That is the culture there. As a manager you are forced to wear heels, run up and down all day in the hot stores.

    The Spanish lot hate when English staff work at Zara so they do everything within their power to push you out, bullying talking about you in Spanish MOFO’s ……

    Other managers scream at you day in day out!! Many managers have suffered mental breakdowns and are on medication, please believe me when I say this is not even the half of it!!!!!

    I can’t be arsed to relive the nightmare that is Zara I’m sure you catch my drift

  60. I have worked for zara for nearly 9 year.. and I can tell you how hard most of people who work in there works. I had the experience to work from sales assistant to management position. Not all managers who work in there store are like a hitler with staff, however, the amoint of pressure the managers suffer from the regional mamagers and head office is ridiculous. Head office and regional managers expect the store and department managers to run a massive store with the minomum of the minimum amount of staff. In my department were massive. And the onlu thing I had was a cashier and myself for the whole day and a memeber of staff for 3hs to cover lunches and breaks..and on top of that.. we have to run the department, do hourly replen of sold itens, serve customers on the floor and on the phone, process deliveries, put away ooverstocks, change the layout of shopfloor, analyse sales, plan movemerchandising moves for the floor, make meeting, and so on..now you tell me… how many people would be needed to do all this in one day? Now you wonder why people who works in zara look misserable. I can tell u..noone who works ib the store hates the customer… they just would like to be appreciate for their hard work by the people from head office. I worked in there for nearly 9 years and I had to give up my position as a depart manager because my regional manager could face the fact I wouldnt be doong 15hs shift a day and I had someone else more impprtant than zara on my life. She bullied me and when I spoke to hr manager..she told me it was language barrier because I am foreign. I feel sorry for anyone who have to waste their lives working dor this company… noone appreciated my hard working….after 9years..they just think in do more money without investing in staff and customer services. They make people to work as a slavers….bullyong them all the time… if they hate someone.. they hate the people above them and the

  61. Sor write to the Zara big honchos at corporate! Tell them what you experience! Take some action.

    Zara in Germany — awful service, and that’s Zara in 12 different German stores, not only 1. But then again, service is not something to strive for in D-land… Rarely will an employee look you in the eyes, in any store except perhaps independent shoppes (are there any of those these days…?).

    However, enter Zara in Strasbourg, France and it is like walking into paradise. They greet me, smile, and move on to keep the store tidy. Every time! — not just once. Plus, the Zara there is clean and neat. There aren’t stacks of clothes in balls on floors, like in Stuttgart Zaras.

    I always do a double take in France — ‘is she talking to me?’ because that would NEVER happen in Germany’s Zaras. In France, they say good bye as I leave, look me in the eyes, hand me my package. it’s magical.

    I’ve written to Zara telling them the employees in Germany could learn a great deal from those in France…even just how to keep the shop tidy so customers don’t have to walk on clothes.

  62. I worked 2 years over there and is a nightmare. You cant compare with anything else. they really drain you as an employee and as a person. The common areas for the staff in the shops are unbelievable. no space, 100 people in the same room having lunch and maybe if you are lucky a few toilets. I was once in a big shop working. The staff room was a cubicle and in front of the small table were people was eating was the door of the toilet wihout any separation.amazing. the toilet paper that they give you is the cheapest one in the market and so on. They dont give you any facilities to be comfortable. the stockroom in winter is freezing and I worked lot of times with my paffa jacket and gloves as you couldnt stand it. Is very difficult to be happy as you are always exhausted and under pressure. They are always pushing you and if you cant take the pressure they makes you feel like if you were useless and not hardworker enough.You need to be the quickiest, the toughest, the kindness, a super hero or a super woman wealing to do whatever they want whenever they want. They dont respect your personal life giving you extra hours as a rule without even count with you opinion.Is a problem that is coming from the top and the way that the company is organise. Starting from the interviews that they do, they are very agressive in the way they evaluate people.Is really a same that a company that makes millions treats the staff like that. During my time in the company I used to wrtie down everyday all the unbelievable experiences that I had and I saw. I was thinking to start a blog or even write a book as everybody should know whats the real situation there.All my colleagues had the same feelings like me but no one has the courage to complain. thanks

  63. Life is hard, work is hard, get a grip everyone. I think most of you on here need to get some perspective and realise you treat people how you are treat. The stuck up cow who wrote this I challenge you to do a better job than all the staff you are criticising in this article. Inditex is the leading retailer for a reason and that is all the blood and sweat the employees put into their role due to their passion. Every job is hard in some way or another and I can find fault with every retailer I go into…but I don’t look for it like yourself. Don’t shop on Zara if it upsets you so much. Go online and do us all a favour .

    • I agree with you…. I work for Zara in London and all depend on the store you work, the area where this store is and your colleagues and managers. But that happens in every single company you work….I worked for 3 companies more in UK and believe me, Inditex is not the worst.
      Apart of that I don’t understand how you can work in a company if you are suffering that much. I would never stay in a company if that makes me feel unhappy or sick….There are always options.
      On the other hand…..The customers sometimes should learn manners and respect for the people who work in these kind of stores. They ask you about everything, they don’t want to wait and you have to solve all their problems even when they are nothing to do with your job….. Of course we should be better paid.

  64. Reading all these comments make me laugh .. Yes it is a horrid place to work sometimes but most of the staff make the effort to engage with customers and help if they can but you do not see what happens behind the scenes that makes people so bloody miserable ! No air con..no staff no help no communication if you think this is an up market classy place to shop en you are mistaken mass produced badly made clothes sold by people who are ordered to hand fold and tidy all day with no help encouragement or training!

    BUT.. Have you ever gone to work in a great mood only to get spoke to like s**t by a member of the public for something that you have noting to do with? It works both ways if you want good service don’t treat staff like crap when they are just doing there job! I was spat at called every name under the sun all by the lovely public that we are supposed to smile and be helpful to? That lovely cashier you are swearing at has probably had no break no help sweating her tits off with no air con and has to stand politely and serve you! Think again is all I say

  65. First of all I have to say that I’m an ex Zara girl. An ex worker of Zara.
    The second thing that I want to express is that I’m spanish.
    I read all the article and all the comments about it.
    I don’t know all the staff from Zara but I can explain you a bit about the staff I knew.
    Not all staff of Zara here in UK is from Spain. Inditex promote a multiracial and multinational staff. So maybe the person that didn’t smile you wasn’t spanish. This person could be from Portugal, Poland, France, Italy, etc.
    That staff doesn’t hate you. That staff could work from 6 a.m to 12 p.m. That staff could have their lunch at 10 a.m. And sometimes that staff only had 20 minutes to relax in SEVEN HOURS being stand.
    That staff have to work all days of year except two. That staff have the minimum wage. That staff have to work in the street IN WINTER. Or in a stockroom without heating. That staff only know their rotas from one week to other so they can’t make plans. That staff have to do overtime and all months they have problems with the payment of this overtime. That staff sometimes have to work 9 hours at an overnight. That staff have to work with many costumers that throw the clothes to the floor. Costumers that many times don’t say hello/thanks or goodbye. Costumers that eat at the shop and left rubbish in it. Many times between the items. Costumers that try to go into the fitting room with more items that are allowed. And when the staff of the fitting room and with polite forms that staff explain to them that they can’t and the result is that costumers use to be really rude with them. That staff not only have to work with bad costumers, they have to work with inept managers that don’t listen them and a really terrible organisation.
    I don’t try to excuse all the staff, but maybe sometimes the costumers and the rest of people must think that this persons isn’t sad….maybe all must be think how hard is work in this type of shop and that staff try to do their best. But if they start at morning with a smile and end the day sad…maybe could be the costumers and the work situation the reason of that.
    And to end….at Spain you can find and there is a really good costumer service. But english people sometimes prefer an hypocritical service. A false smile and a bad service. I prefer somenone that maybe don’t smile me but he/she is resolutive and fast. The only problem if they are impolite. But…first look at yourself.

  66. I couldn’t agree more they are rude!! No manners when they serve and especially no manners when you serve them day in day out it’s like they want you to think you are beneath them!!

  67. I used to work for Zara and I agree with Roshni. It was by far the worst retail job I’ve ever had. And I was a manager! The area manager used to shout at me infront of staff and customers and tell everybody they were doing a bad job, or doing something wrong at every opportunity. It was the most negative, depressing retail experience of my life. NEVER WORK THERE!!!!

  68. I somrtimes shop in Zara, Ghent in Belgium and most of the staff are very helpful and have a smile on their faces and it is a very nice shop air conditioned too as most shops in Ghent are not

  69. This article is bullshit. I love people with who I’m working with. I always smile but when some of you customers are starting being rude and throwing shit on the floor, do you still expecting us to smile? When tables are messed up with items that actually are hanged or from other sections? We’re not your slaves and you have to respect us too as we respect you. If you’re going shopping please be patient and wait couple seconds until I’ll take those items from you in the fitting room.

  70. I have worked at Zara before. The only way to understand how bad it is to work there, is to actually work there yourself. I’m a pretty happy person, but working at Zara completely drained each and every ounce of positivity within me. So before you think about saying anything against the sales assistants, take into consideration what we go through. Constant pressure, rude managers, more pressure, not being appreciated, even more pressure, literally doing about 5 things at once and sometimes more, no lunch during a 7 hour shift, on our feet all day, uncomfortable shoes, hot conditions. We are very overworked and probably deserve money. And on top of that, we get customers who are inconsiderate, rude and over-demanding for no apparent reason. We are human too, not robots. Please understand that.

  71. Whatever you do, don’t apply to work as a sales assisstant at zara. They will drain every inch of happiness and motivation to work. I’m currently a new employee and I want to quit already just into my first week. However, most of the staff and management are all really nice. Bad thing is once you start your thrown into the deep end without any direction of what to do or how to go about it. Came home from a 9 hour shift with back pain and a shoulder pain whip I have never got from any previous retail work…How do I quit?

  72. I’ve just found this article and the comments and couldn’t believe it! I’ve been working at Zara Uk for over a year now. I think about quitting every day that I have to go to work. The only reason I still work here is because I’m a student in my last year and I just need something to get me by. I honestly thought I was the only person who felt this way, i wasn’t even sure who to blame for these poor working environments, the general managers or inditem as a whole. We are definitely overworked and aren’t paid enough for the tasks they ask us to do. To be honest I do understand that the customer is always right but at time we have to adhere to the company’s policies so it’s unfair for customers to take out their frustrations on us, after all did I make the rule? No. If you have a problem take it up with head office. It’s bad enough that our managers treat us like children but for customers to come and treat us like their personal servants wouldn’t you be miserable too? I once had a customer yell at me in front of my colleagues and other customers because a girl who had served her hadn’t detagged Her items and they kept beeping.. I felt humiliated and even confused as to what had just happened!

    As for manners and smiles… When you have to stand for 9 hours a day doing repetative work and being told you haven’t done this and that we get into zombie like states and forget to smile at everyone.

    I am 20 years old but ever since working for Zara I’ve been suffering from back pains from leaning over folding on their stupidly low tables! We aren’t even allowed to wear our own shoes and let me tell you! Those shoes they give us are not even the slightest bit comfortable! My feet are always numb and painful when I take them off and I do struggle to walk after. PLUS! I work in menswear and have had to endure folding those neatly folded shirts you see in the shirt walls. The customers I hate the most are the ones that want to unfold and try on 20 shirts then leave the folding paper on the floor in the fitting rooms! Might I add that I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight since working for Zara, I’m basically just skin and bone now. That place is just hell.

  73. I won’t tell my real name because i still work at Zara and im one of those who survived- yes survived is the best word to describe that “just retail” work.
    I will be honest with you- i work more or less since i was 15, offcourse my first job was giving flyers away or some simple things to make some pocket money.
    Working at Zara is from my working experience the hardest and the most devastating mentaly and physically work i have ever done.
    First of all at Zara you are not a person you are a number, you have you personal number (never forget it) ;that even after years and knowing alraedy what manager’s daughter eats for breakfast you will be still called different name. By mistake? By purpose? I don’t know.
    It already shows you who you are or maybe shows you that you are nobody, just another number to upgrade their numbers in budgets, targets, calculations etc.
    So if the number works good then will be pushed to work even beter- how?
    Well its easy- multitasking. But not like you think multitasking of doing nails and keeping phone in head talking to your best friend comenting on soap opera you just both are watching. Well that would be a luxury.
    No you have to answer the calls from costumers and taking their request of reservation the products or explaining for a 5 time that it isnt Mango store, then at the same time you have to give costumers in store their packages ordered online including checking their id, scaning package, opening with scissors (most people want them unpacked?!?!) but is closed perfectly) puting in bag etc, oh and remember you are still on phone for that M size dress the lady named Jane Riley just reserved by you. If that was not enough cashier will ask you to take all retours because a wardrobe from retours is exploding, then the phone is ringing again. While you are busy with carrying stuff Hulk Hogan will not manage, you need to run to fitting room cause your friend needs help. To bring shoes from a stock which is on first floor and she cannot leave her position at the fitting room to avoid theft and angry eyes of people who apparently when exiting fitting room don’t know anymore that clothes were attached to hangers leaving mountain of them in front of you.
    But finding hangers is still beter luck that a pea in empty Coca Cola bottle, full baby diaper or Bloody Mary menstruation towels. Thongs or socks happens everyday so i dont bother anymore. Well what was the question why i dont smile at Zara, well your costumers little fitting room surprises actually i find groose and hilarious at the same time so you could find me laughing at that moment.
    Oh i was just about to run for that shoes up the stock, right? So when you already bring that god damn shoes to your friend apparently costumer change mind about black heels in size 6 and now wants brown in 7. Probably her foot got grown while you were there up for one minute knowing 100% it was size 6 in black.
    Oh another call- “No m’am Zara Home is not here and never was since 12 years of shop excistance here, thank you for your call have a lovely day” wait i should smile now or before or after?!
    I swear one day i will pick up hat phone and say- “Good morning you reached New York Pizza, can i take your order?!”
    Ok i was just about to run somewhere, ah yes, because we start with 3 that morning, Kelly is at fitting room, she cannot move, Rita is doing replanishment (in other words gone forever in stock to fill “empty” tables; to hear when she will already fold everything nicely that it has to be hanged cause merchandirsers are changing tables?!!?)
    So im here the only one on the floor (big as football field) to help potential costumers, i think chasing me on the floor would be as “simple” as trying to get football from Ronaldo. Oh damn! Another call!
    Jezus what an idiot named Jude left her Starbuck’s half drunk still warm coffee on the table with cashmeere sweaters!? Should i call Jude to register-“This is annoucment for one of our dear costumers- Miss Jude is kindly requested to come to the register because of forgeting something important”
    Then i will wait for that f….! Jude and give her this damn coffee asking if she use full clothes table always as a bin. And then i will smile cause i forgot to right?
    Well if you are hungry help yourself- fries under the table?
    Ice cream on the floor? Chocolate on stairs? Or empty bottles from drinks in elevator?
    Yes we do have security who suppose to check on no food no drink policy but somehow food is everywhere.
    Oh there is a costumer approaching me-“Do you work here? Or my fave Are you from here?”
    No m’am im not from here im from Alaska.
    No i dont work here, i just keep those ugly uniform on cause i love it and i run with phone and bunch of clothes cause we are playing “Shop till you drop in 1 minute”
    The mysterious fact about how decent, smart, educated, people change into costumer idiots while entering the shop will always fascinate me.
    Damn i forgot to smile again.
    Ok so the lady ask if we have that knitwear in size S.
    Well we don’t have, because its just made by Zara in one size M (showing her the attached card with M on it and explaining that if she sees S, M, L on the card it means its made in those three sizes but if its just M it means its one size (because in that case knitwear is item from “oversized” collection.
    – The answer i get back is- Yes i need S
    – M’am there is no S (am I in Pranked and Ashton will jump out from behind a manequin?)
    – Why you don’t have S ?
    – We don’t im sorry but in my mind is (Well call Mr.Ortega and ask f…..why? I think he was just about to make that special call to the factory for his special clients like you to start new size production line just for you. Oh and i have even beter news, he will just ship it to you or put in his private jet so you can wait right here and size S will arrive within no time.
    Telephone rings-Zara….with…how can i help you?
    Hour is gone.
    My task for new hour Fitting room, Thank God, some relax.
    Standining there and thinking-
    Oh awesome i can eat again whole pizza at my break cause im runing so much here i lost 7 kg and im keeping it that way plus i save money on the gym. :D
    Yeah i smiled!!! There is something positive about that work and yes im smiling but you dear costumer will never know from what :)

  74. Working at ZARA wasn’t the best experience I’ve had in retail I’ll admit. BUT, despite the way I was treated as an employee, I was always super friendly to customers (I always am!). I think good customer service is really underrated in retail, unfortunately. I do agree though that in general ZARA girls are very rude, and from having worked there I think it’s because they don’t know how to seperate the customers from the management. They just take out their poor work experiences out on the poor customers, hehe.

  75. Oh god, I’ve read so many bad comments. I’ve been working for Zara as Shop Assistant for a while now, and I couldn’t be happier. I used to work in a big store in a “fashion street” (in Milan, you can imagine..), after one month I quit and I swear I would have never work for Zara or Inditex again. My first retail experience and no one care to explain me anything, even a single word would have been a lot for me. Then everyone was complaining about my job because I couldn’t do things that they didn’t have time to explain to me! The worst thing was that people was talking behind my back and they were all so unsatisfied. After a couple of months in a worst-paid and awful job, they call me back asking if I were free. I needed money, so I said yes. Started to work in this awesome place, with great people and really comprehensive managers. I am still studying at university and they really help me with shifts and working hours, they do their best to meet me halfway. So I guess, even though it’s “always Zara”, that every store has its pros and cons. I had an incredible different experience in the same city, two shop a couple of blocks aways one from the other.

    Most of the time customers behave like shit, I had so many people insulting me for crazy stuff, a girl peeing in one of our fitting room because she “couldn’t resist”, people asking crazy stuff like “a friend bought a black t-shirt 6 years ago, where is it?”. Workers at Zara are always in a hurry, lots of things to do, but this doesn’t mean that it’s legit to treat customers like shit. I, personally, always try to smile and give the best experience ever, but refuse to be treated like shit. With nice costumers I’m nice, with awful costumers I try to be as polite as I can, forcing myself not to tell them to fuck off. Just because that’s my job, I’m there for that reason and I think that if someone can’t cope with working-with-people jobs, they should quit. I’d suggest that to a couple of my colleagues.

  76. Hello! I have to say it was a relief to see I’m not alone with a horrible experience working at Zara. On the other hand, what they are getting away with is unacceptable.

  77. I have just read all this comments and I am totally shocked. I was just going to get a part time job in Zara in London but I don’t really think this is for me. I have a friend who just arrived from abroad and started working in Zara and I asked him how the work goes. He told me it is absolutely terrible. He is bullied b his supervisor, threatened that he will be fired. The manager actually told him that he will be given so much physical work until he will not be able to cope anymore and will leave work voluntarily. He is shouted at every day. Was just curious to know if anyone working in Zara ever complained to the head office and what was the outcome??

  78. I work in Zara in Germany. Salary here is pretty good and it’s growing every year. Also not bad staff discount 25%. Everything is fine with the company at least here where I work colleagues are friendly, manager and area manager doesn’t bully or whatever I read in other people comments here. There comes few people in sometime what can’t work or doesn’t have mood to work, but them place is quickly given to the people who want to work. Of course in Zara is very busy and there is always a lot to do, but it’s customers what makes us crazy! There are many nice customers and I’m nice with them, but the ones that are arrogant, disrespectful, insulting everybody and thinking that they are the only ones in the store…. Usually we just want to send them some place far far away, but we don’t as its our job.
    Come to shop to Zara in Wiesbaden, Germany, I promise you will be surprised! :)

  79. I work at zara on the cash desk, and I would like to apologise if we ever seem like we hate customers.
    Working at zara is like running a marathon everyday of your life. We all so exhausted. It’s not hate that you see when you approach us, it’s sheer exhaustion. Most of us don’t finish until between 7-9 at night, so no time for friends and no time for nice dinner. No time to relax or have you time. Then it’s up again the next day at 8am to start work for 10 or 11.
    £why do we do this? Most of us are working away from our home country, we love zara and wanted a job to support us on our overseas adventures. This company pays well and there are very good promotions available.

    Sorry for frustrating you.
    Sad girl

  80. After reading all this looks like I’m really lucky because the Zara store I work for the last months is actually amazing. All 4 managers are really friendly and there is teamwork. I am happy going there to work. I was never pushed to do something. Ok, they always tell us that customer is priority and we need to approach all of them in our section and try to achieve sales, but that’s it. No screaming, no pushing, no bullying, no threatening. They actually appreciate us and we respect them. BUT I can totally understand the frustration of other employees because we have a second Zara sjop in my city and things there are a bad nightmare. Managers are rude, there is staff rotation, and nobody wants to work in that place. So, yes. I think I was just lucky.

  81. Let me just say that this post is absolutely biased. Sales associates put up with so much bs from customers. How would you feel if you’d been yelled at the whole day by customers who’s return you couldn’t process because they lost their reciept or they passed the days given for a return. You get disrespected day in and day out, and then a middle aged suburban house mom like yourself expects 5 star customer service? I have never experienced anything as disgusting as working in retail, so please, don’t pick on the zara girls. We put up with so much shit, and some of us are students working to fund an education. We wear shoes that are made of literal plastic and we are on our feet for 9 hours, while still putting up with customers who throw clothes at us over the cash if they wait in line too long.

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