Meet Lewys. Cash Office Assistant.
Primark gave me my first job when I was 17. I actually applied for a retail assistant role, but a day after my interview they called to say that they’d noticed I was doing maths at A-level and would I be interested in working in the cash office in Chester. Interested? I jumped at the chance!
I was given one-to-one training, which meant I wasn’t scared to ask questions, and I now work from 8.30am to 6 on Saturdays and 9am to 5pm on Sundays. I’ve left school, so I can also work on the shop floor during the week – the way it works is that there is no contract for both weekend and weekday working, so my time on the shop floor is classed as overtime, which is fine by me. All told, I probably work a 40-hour week and that puts some decent money in my pocket. It’s a brilliant starting point for anyone of my age.
Trust and responsibility
I basically keep track of all the money that comes into and goes out of the store. There are 25 tills in the Chester store and all the money comes to me. When the barcodes on products are scanned it gives you a running total of how much a till has taken and it’s my job to make sure everything tallies. I never have a day when everything adds up – usually it’s just a 5 or 10p here and there but any discrepancy of £5 or more has to be highlighted.
I’m usually by myself in the cash office, and as well as counting the money in the tills I have to arrange for it to be banked. That’s a lot of trust placed in an 18-year-old first jobber. I have to remember that it’s the company’s money rather than mine that I’m handling and if I make a mistake, it’s on my head. That can be quite stressful but I enjoy the responsibility.
My plan is to go to university – not sure where yet, but I’ll definitely be up for transferring to a similar role if there’s a Primark in the city I choose. I won’t have to formally apply and it’s an interesting job that will give me some much-needed funds to live the student life.
Working in the cash office could also prove to be a stepping-stone to a supervisory or management role within Primark. I interact a lot with managers as they have to sign off the money being sent to the bank, so I’ve a fair idea of what managers do on a day-to-day basis. I think this knowledge could give me a head start if decide to develop my career at Primark. That’s certainly an option.
That’s a lot of trust placed in an 18-year-old first jobber.
Store managers are very visible at Primark; they know what goes on. Obviously you’re not going to get heaps of praise for simply doing your job, but when you go above and beyond managers will tell you so and thank you for your efforts.
We also have an Employee of the Quarter competition in the store every three months. We all vote for whoever we think deserves to win and there’s a £100 gift card for the winner and £50 cards for the two runners-up. It’s not a fortune but it does show that your efforts are not going unnoticed.
People make Primark
I have a great relationship with the people I work with. Being in retail we have to be nice and happy in front of customers and that rubs off on the team – it’s very easy to spark a friendship with someone.
I get on well with everyone, there’s no conflict and people are happy to help each other out. I’m also comfortable working with all the managers. Friends with jobs in other places often say that they find their manager scary, but it’s not like that here. We respect our managers but it’s not respect out of fear. We know where managers are coming from and they don’t act like they’re above everyone else – there’s no us and them.
Other reasons to join
Your experience at Primark is about so much more than your job. It’s also about our people and our culture. Our beliefs as a business and our aims for the future. It’s about all the exciting, empowering, amazing things that make us who we are – and you who you are.
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