Victoria's Secret is a pretty magical place. Have you ever thought about what it's like to work there? We probably all have. Whether we wear pretty plain underwear on a regular basis or like to spice things up a bit, we can all relate to wanting to wear something super pretty every once in a while. That's the best part of being a girl, right? We know that when we're having a bad day or want to treat ourselves, we can buy some new beauty products, get our hair done, or splurge on some lingerie. And, of course, the best place to get new lingerie is and always will be Victoria's Secret. That's pretty much gospel at this point.
Victoria's Secret has been around for a really long since (since 1977, to be specific) and there are just over 1,000 stores worldwide. There's also an annual fashion show which we all love watching (or love to say that we hate watching, depending). And we know that our boyfriends love tuning in, right?!
We rounded up all the things that you always wanted to know about working at the lingerie store. Check out 15 rules that you definitely didn't know that Victoria's Secret workers had to follow!
15 There's A Pecking Order That Rubs A Lot Of Employees The Wrong Way
There's a pecking order at Victoria's Secret, which seems to be the case at many stores. And as some former employees told Thrillist.com, it was kind of a pain to deal with. As one said, "There was definitely a hierarchy within zones. Employees with the highest sales numbers were put in the front of the store by the signature Body collection because it got the most foot traffic -- one time I was zoned there and got sent home early by my manager because my conversion rate was slacking."
Now it makes sense that the employees feel a ton of pressure to sell and sell and sell some more, right? If it depends on what zone you're put in, we can see how that would get kind of tough sometimes.
14 They Throw You Into The Thick Of Things With Very Minimal Training
How much training do you think employees have to go through? According to one girl and the account of her time at Victoria's Secret on her blog, lifewithlauren.com, it wasn't a lot.
Actually, it was basically nothing. Here's her story: "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 me in a room with other trainees, played the video, and then said 'see you for work tomorrow.'" Hmmm. We wonder why this happened? Does this happen at every single store or was it just this specific one? So many questions.
13 If There's Shoplifting, They Can't Do Much To Stop It
Oh, Reddit. Reddit is super helpful and tells us so much on virtually any topic out there. We found a thread where someone who used to work at Victoria's Secret wanted to answer any questions that people had, and boy, did people have a lot of questions for them.
One question was about stealing. According to this former employee, if someone stole from the store, the employee couldn't do much. They had to call the cops and wait for them to come into the store. They couldn't run after them or try to stop them. This does make sense since we're not so sure that if we worked there, we would want to literally try to stop a thief. That sounds... scary. And creepy. No thank you.
12 They Call Security If Couples Get Busy In The Change Rooms (Which Happens A Lot More Often Then You Would Think)
We would probably never think about getting busy with our boyfriend in the change room of a store because, well, that's kind of gross. What if people hear you? Or, worse, can tell that there are two people in there? No thank you.
According to some employees of Victoria's Secret, this is a real thing that they have to deal with. As one girl wrote for xojane.com, "When I worked at Victoria’s Secret, we were explicitly told to maintain a hawkeye on the dressing rooms to stop any men from sneaking into the dressing rooms with their girlfriends or wives... we would all bang on the door and demand that they come out or threaten to call security. Victoria’s Secret employees keep a very close eye on the dressing room." Wow. We get that couples would get in the mood since it's a lingerie store, but come on.
11 They Tell Customers How Good They Look (Even When They Don't Believe It)
Sometimes when we're shopping for clothes, we get some compliments on our bag or outfit, and we might think that the girl is just being nice... but it can actually be a requirement of working at that store to compliment customers. That's the way that it seems to work at Victoria's Secret, at least according to one employee.
She said that she would often tell women that they looked "sexy", especially when they tried on the bras and other lingerie that the store was selling. This definitely makes sense since it's not like we're going to buy this stuff if we don't think that we look good in it. That's a pretty important thing. It's just interesting to know that employees have to follow this.
10 They Used To Not Inform Customers On How To Maintain Bras (In Hope For More Sales)
Did you know that you're supposed to hand wash the bras that you buy at Victoria's Secret and it's a big no-no to put them in the washing machine? Well, now you know. Because this is something that employees are supposed to let customers know when they're buying bras and it's a recommendation that they should always make. But they didn't always have to say this...
One girl who wrote a story for xojane.com said that customers would say that the bras that they bought at the store got ruined... and when she asked more about what was going on, she learned that they put them in the wash. Since we definitely want the bras that we buy there to last, this is some pretty sound advice. She says she knows it's a bit more effort but it's worth it.
9 The Work Hours Are Gruelling And They Only Get One Day Off A Week
Some former employees have shared on various online forums and in different online publications that they had to work really, really long hours when they worked at the lingerie company.
The shifts are apparently very long and most of the time, workers are at the store six days in a row. Former employees have also shared that they had to work when other people wouldn't, aka holidays. Those, of course, are the times when everyone wants to shop, so the stores are super packed and everyone's dreaming of stocking up on pretty lingerie and other products from Victoria's Secret. This is the reason why some employees choose to leave. They just don't love the super long hours. We can't really blame them. It sounds busy and a bit chaotic.
8 They Feel As Though They're Pressured To Skip Breaks And Work Through Them
We all know that when we work retail, we get a certain number of breaks. That's the law and it's government-mandated that employees get time off.
According to some former employees of Victoria's Secret, although breaks are allowed, it's super tough to actually take them. Why? Because the store is often so packed with customers and employees are usually super busy rushing around and helping people. This is one of the major complaints that former employees have about working for the store, and that's honestly super logical. No one wants to feel like their job is really stressful and like they can't even take ten minutes off here and there.
7 They Can't Show Up To Work With A Hair Out Of Place
Just like employees at Mac and Sephora are told to wear makeup and look great all the time, it makes sense that the women working at Victoria's Secret would need to keep up beautiful appearances as well.
After all, this is a store that is all about looking beautiful and looking your best. It's not like we wear lingerie because we want to look horrible. Nope. It's basically the exact opposite. While some former employees sound a bit annoyed that they felt some pressure to look great while working at the store, it does seem pretty logical. We definitely want to look our best when we go to work and most of us are probably working in offices, not in a store that is known for selling super hot, gorgeous lingerie. Just saying...
6 They Can Only Wear Black Clothes, Nothing Else
According to a post on indeed.com, employees are required to wear all black. It's not technically a uniform... but it kind of is since a uniform is really just clothing that looks the same as the clothing that everyone else is wearing.
We might expect the employees to all wear pink since that's part of the brand, but apparently, it's all black. Again, some former employees seem to complain about this, but it's kind of nice knowing what you're going to wear all the time to work, isn't it? If any of us had uniforms as kids or teens because we went to private school, we might even miss that these days. Part of adulting is finding out appropriate outfits to wear to work. It honestly takes up so much time.
5 They're Required To Ask You Three Times In A Row To Get A Victoria's Secret Credit Card, Not Once, Not Twice, Three Times
Have you ever been asked about getting a Victoria's Secret credit card? Probably, right? If you've ever been asked three times in a row, because you kept saying no thanks and the employee kept asking, that's because that's a rule that they have to follow.
As one employee wrote for xo.jane.com, "Our managers were definitely under a lot of pressure from the regional manager to open as many credit cards as possible, so we were given the rule of three: Ask a customer three times to open a credit card, even if they say no." She wrote that it was "anxiety-inducing" to have to mention the credit card three times in a row since it was pretty obvious when people were sick and tired of hearing about it. We've all been there for sure.
4 They Can't Move Around The Store When Working And Must Remain In Their Zones At All Times
If you've ever noticed that Victoria's Secret employees stay put in one area of the store and literally don't move around, there's a reason. And it's another rule that employees have to follow.
According to a piece on Thrillist.com, the company organizes employees into "zones" which means that employees have to stay in their "zone." While this does make sense, it must kind of suck to stand in one area of the store all day or however long the shifts are... But that's definitely what it's like to work in retail and if any of us have had retail jobs, we can probably say that we've had to follow the same or a similar rule. There's actually a reason for the zones, though: to make sure that people don't steal.
3 They're Always Put Under Pressure To Sell A Lot
We would assume that if you work at Victoria's Secret (or any other store, really), you would have to sell a ton of products or clothing. That's kind of the entire point.
So it definitely makes sense that Victoria's Secret employees are encouraged to sell a lot of lingerie. The employees feel this for sure and some have even shared in various online publications that they feel "pressure" about this. As one girl wrote on thetab.com, "But it’s not all colorful bras and sexy thongs – it’s a job that requires a lot of effort. Everything has to be a certain way, even what you say has to sound natural when it isn’t. Our main goal is to sell and even when we aren’t having the best day we appear like life is all sunshine and rainbows – especially when the customers are rude. Having to deal with needy customers at the register is stressful but in the end it’s all about the customer being happy."
2 They Can't Wrap Presents While Working The Cash
Oh yes. This is a rule that employees have to follow. It doesn't really seem to make a ton of sense because we definitely expect people working the cash to wrap the gifts that we've just gotten for the special people in our lives. That's especially great when it's the holidays and we're running around like crazy people. Having someone else wrap our gifts takes a huge load off our shoulders.
But at Victoria's Secret, the employees aren't actually allowed to wrap gifts at the cash. Why? Because it slows down the line and doesn't make the process as efficient as possible. As one former employee shared with Thrillist.com, "We weren’t allowed to gift wrap at the register -- it holds up the lines -- but if a client was chatty with me, sometimes I'd do it anyway."
1 Only The Important People Go To The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Do you think that Victoria's Secret workers get to go to the infamous and popular Victoria's Secret fashion show? It seems like they would, right? Well, if that's what you think, you're actually totally wrong (sadly and unfortunately).
Even though that would be super cool if every employee could attend this fashion show, it's actually only the managers. And it's not even every single manager. Nope. It's the managers of the stores that are performing the best and that are considered the "top stores" (according to a story on Popsugar.com). This rule is probably enforced so people will work super hard and have an incentive to succeed. We bet that it works because who doesn't want to attend that fashion show?! Well played. Definitely very well played.Now we know all the secrets of working for Victoria's Secret... and now we want some new bras and underwear, right?!