Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hey What's Going On?

Hey What's Going On?
You might wanna play this song and get started :)
I guess anyone that works at A&F knows how everyone absolutely love this playlist.
(when it goes, "Party in the moonlight and dance till the sun rise", we go crazy)



I will be blogging about my experience working at Abercrombie and Fitch Singapore, hoping that it will answer your never-dying questions about the store.
I will cover stuffs like what to do when you get scheduled for an interview, what to wear, what to say etc. (i'll tell you the kinda questions they'll ask, you gotta do the rest by yourself)
(but of course, i can't say some stuffs lah, you gotta join to find out by yourself)

Lets Start With The Basics,
MY EXPERIENCE
One of the first few polaroid photo i took on my third day at work
HUNTING BOOTS and with the annoying Loong

Abercrombie & Fitch is called A&F short.
Okay, 10 months after the store's opening, pretty sure everyone knows that already.
Well, I didn't when it all began.
And every time my interviewer/manager goes "at A&F...", "in A&F, you can't..." blah blah blah in her ang mo accent, i was pretty lost.

So it was pretty tough to pick up what everyone was saying at first.
If you didn't know, the store opened with guys from all over the world, throwing their words all over in so many accents, it was hard to understand what they were all saying.
(what made it worst, was that they were towering over me, since im short, and i wasn't used to the loud music initially)

Here's the joke, we, local associates, spoke with accent too!! HAHAHA
You just couldn't tell who was from Singapore and who wasn't. (unless the dude is blonde and is obviously caucasian lah)
And I guess, speaking with an accent just felt cooler and it just felt more "American"? since our managers wanted us to exude that "feeling" more since A&F is an American brand.

That was then, when we look back, we just laugh at it.

Well, I got the job by getting recruited on the streets.
They still do it some times nowadays, usually on Thursdays? or Fridays?
Whenever theres a vast amount of people on the streets, usually along Orchard or Somerset.

The first time i was asked to join, i didn't know shit about the store.
All i knew about it was the controversy of the "almost-naked" poster of a man beside Topshop at Knight's Bridge. And thats it.

Hi, remember me?
I couldn't care about joining them.
I even felt weird that a team of ang mos were asking me to join them at A&F.
(again, i was like.... WHAT THE HELL IS A&F???)

The second time, i was approached again, it was after the opening of H&M.
(damn, that was long ago)
It was the same group of people and i just brushed them aside..
hahahaha.
(they're my managers now btw, hahaha. no poor thing)

By this time, i was like... man, i need to know what A&F is.
Why the hell are they stopping me?
What do they want?
and Who are they?
JENG, JENG, JENG.

So i did a little bit of research and realized that they're just a retail store looking for people to work.
Nothing much. Didn't see the shirtless bods yet.

So the third time i was asked by this really pretty chinese girl, 
i agreed and she was ecstatic.
She gave me the recruitment card and schedule me for an interview immediately.
I remember her saying "can you make it today? or any time this week? how bout tmr?"
I was like..... whatttttt.... so fastttt??

So i went down for an interview anyway, over the next few days.
I wore a brown tank, jeans, brown boots.
Simple. Simple. Simple.
But... i did wore colored lenses and pretty heavy make up. hahaha.
(in case you don't already know, those stuffs are NO-NOs)

The interview then was a group one.
About like 15 people at a time?
And i was scheduled for a "model" interview, without even given the chance to know what other postions there were.
So.....
there were models there.
Tall.
Pretty.
Stunning.
And i was just...
short.
hahaha.

To make it worst, the interviewer was STUNNING.
Pretty sure everyone thought about her like that too.
She was a pretty lady with a short blonde bob, big blue eyes, so natural, so clean and sharp.
So i guess that was what they were looking for,
and i was no where close.

(What im saying here is that the store used to be a rather "demoralizing" place for me.
Whenever i went to work, i felt kinda shitty cause everyone was so beautiful.
And some of them, are even real models with real agencies.)

Well, the bombed dropped when the interviewer (who is one of the senior managers)
asked how old we were.

I was 17 then.
The minimum age permitted to work at the store was18.
SHIT HAPPENS.

She said I could just sit in and participate in the interview and maybe come back next year.
So i did.
They questions were pretty weird.
They just made us watched videos on the opening of the A&F stores in Milan.

hehe thats...
not that i know him, but i saw him on the website 

And I saw the Camera Girl.
Thats when I wanted the job.
So even though, I already didn't qualify for the job, I did my best with the questions she was throwing at us.

She asked stuffs like:

Describe yourself in 3 words.
What do you like to do during your free time?
How would your friends/family describe you?
What kinda sports do you do?
Stand up and say "Hey, What's Going On?!"

And thats probably about it.
So we weren't really judge on whether we had an experience in a retail line before, or like if we could fold clothes or if we could work in a team.
And that was really really weird cause we all know we were gonna be working in an apparel store.
And everything they were telling us, were just about appearance and how we carry ourselves. 
And mostly, the look policy...

Minimal make up-
no eyeliner, no eyeshadow, no lipstick, no colored lenses.
(we're only allowed foundation, mascara, blusher and anything else that isn't fanciful)
They added, that if we don't wear any make up at all, that would be awesome.
Also, no painted nails-
we are only allowed the transparent nail polish on our finger nails,
and either red, nude or pink or nothing at all for our toe nails.
Hair couldn't be dyed-
(my hair was pretty red then, they made me dye it black)

As for the guys,
they had to be clean shaved.
No products to be applied in their hair etc.

They want you like this.
The "Au Natural, I just got out off bed" look.

And trust me, if you do not follow the policy then, they won't hesitate to take you off the floor, unless you take the stuffs not allowed off.
(which happened to me on my first day and just recently, hahaha, shall talk about that later)

Going back to the topic,
I was 17. 
But because my birthday falls in January, they called me back and they told me not to apply so much make up this time around cause they were gonna show me to their regional manager and get approval from her.
I WAS LIKE WHAT THE?!?!?!
I did not sign up for this.

Well, i went over to their office a second time, which is just across the road from the store at TAKA.
Had a little chat with the managers there. (they all had green or blue eyes. i was intimidated)
Met the regional manager that everyone knows who she is now, signed a form, filled up the application form online, got the job.

Went for training. Ta-Dah, more hot people, felt more insecure. nvm. got on with it.

(a tip, if you're going for an interview, always remember to smile at all times. WITH YOUR TEETH. and be friendly :) also, bring a pen)

So i went to work after school one day, and stupid me wore the enhancing pupil contact lenses instead of the clear ones.
I thought, you know, since they're americans, they won't know anything bout the new pupil enhancing lenses, i mean, only asians need them anyway right?
AND ONE OF THEM SAW IT WITH A GLANCE.

I was like... how the hell does she know??
Later, after working for a few more months, i found out that she's half Japanese.
SO..... DUH.
She would know.

My degree is 425.
They told me to take the lenses off and get on the shop floor.
How am I gonna see anything??
So i did anyway...
My partner then was this guy from Brazil called Hugo.
Thank God he was nice and totally understood that i was blind.
Every time he talked to me, i didn't even know if im looking at him
It was so bad.
I felt so bad.

So lesson learnt, 
I decided to be a better employee.

Well, not quite.
Recently, i went to work with Gelish nails.
So pretty, pink and glittery.
I know the rules but i didn't wanna take my nail polish off!! Especially not when im working so little nowadays. Usually, they don't notice things like that anymore (like I said, things have changed a lot) but I got caught since my nails were pretty much sparkling under the spotlight. I was sent up to the office area to remove them, but since they were Gelish, i couldn't. I was ready to head home but since they were really in need of people on the floor, they told me to get the nail polish off at FEP.
So yup, i walked all the way, got them off and came back.
Oh wells.
.
.
.

Our outfits for Winter2011, were SUPER CUTE.
The first time i saw it was when a group of pretty A&F girls walked out of the office,
they wore a pretty knitted sweater over a white collar shirt, with navy stockings, pleated shorts and HUNTING BOOTS.

THE HUNTING BOOTS ARE TO DIE FOR.
Thank God, Winter is coming and we may be able to wear them again.

During the opening, there were like 3 shirtless guys at one time.
So the managers gave all the girls a chance to be a Camera Girl (CG).
But over time, they selected just a few.
Some were approved, some were just "testing"- like me.

Anna, an approved CG
One of my first few CG shifts with Min
and also with Greg... back then, everyone knows him

Soon, all the ang mo models were gone and the store were left with us.
All the accent were gone and the singlish came in.
HAHAHA

Work was work, all we had to do was just stand around, greet people, make sure we look good and make costumers buy the clothes.
Thats the job of a model.
If you can find joy in costumer service, you will find it alright to work at the store.
Many however, couldn't. 
And they left.

So many people came and go, and so many things have changed.
No one is dancing anymore, you hardly hear the taglines...
Its pretty sad...

.
.
.
Anyways, this post is coming from my point of view, so everything written is primarily about the "model" position.
I don't know much about the other positons like Impacters, Cashiers, Stylists, Over-nighters, Loss Prevention.
The questions asked during their interviews are probably different form ours, and the requirements are different too.
The only thing i can say is the same would be the look policy.

Now, im gonna answer some questions i got on Formspring.

Some benefits you can get as an associate?

- 30% associate discount for all the items in the store.
- If you're a "model", i guess some times they'll pick you to go for castings in agencies?
(not sure if they still do it)
- work timings are flexible, minimum hours of requirement to work is 5 hours?
- you only gotta work at least twice a week, one on a weekday, the other on a weekend (New Updated Rule)

May I know how did you manage to work at A&F? What are the requirements? :)


-I got recruited, as mentioned above. Requirements are basically your availability, and the look policy. Minimum age requirement is 18. (also depends on which postion you're applying for) But for "model", they usually used to look out for outgoing people who aren't afraid to talk to new people (costumers).

( I heard that you won't be able to "not purchase" anything at A&F in the states cause the models there make sure you buy them.... by what means? i think you should know)


- Casual would be fine. Just look clean and natural. Light make up to almost no make up, no colored lenses, no hair products etc. But don't look floppy also lah. Better not to wear flip flops unless they're from A&F. Also, wear a SMILE :)

hi eunice, why does a&f always have cast of...?


- I have no idea. They just like to know who's working and how we look like in the new floorset. So it happens whenever there's a new collection. The pictures get sent to Home Office in... if im not wrong, Ohio.. and then it gets distributed to the other stores internationally. I have no idea for what lah.

are a&f models allowed to have visible tattoos?

- nopeeeee... i mean you're serving costumers, so it isn't nice..

hello eunice, where do interviews for jobs will be held at usually? is it in an office and not inside the retail store?


- It's impossible to do an interview in the store since its super dark and the music's really loud. hahaha... So its done in the office, which is just right beside the store. Take the escalator up and you'll see.

hi may i know if a&f is hiring? and how can i apply for the job?


- yes we are hiring. im not sure about the other positions, but they're ALWAYS looking out for people to fill the "model" position. Initially, you gotta apply online, so i could give the password out. But recently, they have gotten stricter with who they hire, so they wanna see you in person first. Head over to the store and ask for a manager :)


whats the price range of a&f's swimwear eunice? :)



- I can't remember, but it was one of the more affordable items in the store. What the store sells is depending on the season. So if you're looking for beach wear, or flip flops or those pretty floral bustier dresses, you gotta wait till next year's spring/summer collection. Right now, we have flannels and fur.




hi eunice, can i know how long did anf take to call you back after the interview? and isit true that those recruited have a better chance? thx =)


- It depends on whether they like you.. and whether they're busy... and whether they really need you at the moment :)

.
.
.

Well...
I think A&F assisted me in growing up.
I used to smoke and spend about half an hour applying my make up everyday.
But ever since i joined the store, I've quit smoking for almost 8 months now. 
The reason being, everyone around me were older and wiser then me, they kinda helped me see things in a different perspective and i'd learnt to appreciate my body more.
Like doing right things, eating healthily (kinda), staying away from smoking and stuffs.

And everyone was natural. Like they didn't need to put on colored lenses and all.
And i got influenced uh. Plus if you girls out there didn't know, i learnt something when i used to be a CG, the A&F shirtless dudes like girls who come into the store looking clean and natural, compared to those who piles on lots of make up. So appreciate the way you look and what God has given you babes! :)

We have even established a family.

This is Dad and Mom
(photo taken from http://www.facebook.com/BobbyKiranPhotography)


He was a shirtless guy, she was a camera girl and they found loveee. hehehehe
This is Sparkle Anna Yong. Chersparkle's birthday bear we all got her :)
Our day out at USS 
Us supporting Dad for Cleo's Most Eligible Bachelor (though he had Mom already) 
We girls (back then)

UNCLE AND AUNTIE
Dinz, some of that won't kill the abs


Min going away to HK for the A&F opening there

I look fat




And here's the day I got a call from A&F telling me that they want to down for another interview with Jill, the regional manager...
.
.
.
Its like A&F just ripped off the designer side of me and implanted a whole new person. hahaha
JUST LOOK AT MY HAIR.

I was on the phone with the store hahaha
(p.s. bbgirl Jas so chio for what)
And here's me todayyy :)






and Fai came to the store to visit me before!! :)



So did my mom and relatives!
Recent Cast Off, Labour Day Floor set



Shall end this post with a video of A&F opening in Singapore.
Official footage from the opening of Abercrombie & Fitch's flagship store in Knightsbridge on Orchard Road. It was also known as "The Main Event".


xoxo

9 comments:

  1. Hi, I heard about the free polaroids recently from a friend, but having visited the store twice before I have never seen the 'shirtless greeters' and I just want to get a souvenir, so is there a special time for the free polaroids? Thanks (:

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey I was just wondering do you happen to know if they hire people at the age of 14 or not ?
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi! wanted to know if I wanted to be a sales associate,must I be really pretty? and like what is thier definition of pretty(sharp nose? big eyes?) . height for models (girl) Tks! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. How much do you earn per shift? :)

    ReplyDelete
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