Inside the mini-cult at AllSaints
Firstly, I would like to let you guys know that my name Comp Insider is the short for Company Insider. I am writing this “review” on a company I have worked for over approximately a year to help future employees avoid the same mistakes I have gone through.
I have dedicated 9 months of my life on a company which goes by the name of AllSaints, a British fashion company. Although my background was far from customer service, I was excited to be part of a brand that I have ever so loved due to their style and general brand image.
I would like to highlight the fact that the customer service department at AllSaints is called Customer Experience, respectively hiring people to work inside this department by the name of Stylist.
Please bear in mind that the job role name is utterly deceiving because of the following reason:
You will not be required to style anyone. Not at all, not even once. As I said I worked for almost a year and I hadn’t had the chance to style any of the customers who called through.
This might be okay if you are willing to get you hands on the field of customer care. However, most of us who enetered the company with the above role, had different backgrounds ranging from graphic designers, textile designers etc.
One thing I loved about the company was that my colleagues were mostly very kind and loving. I have made some of my best friends at AllSaints which I still keep contacting.
As a matter of fact, 80% of the employees within this department were non-British people. Nationalities varied from Korean, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Italian, Spanish and so on. The average age didi not exceed 25.
Training was tiring and exhausting. But everyone was happy to start an exciting new adventure in their lives with this company. We stayed together and cheered each other up.
The biggest problem here was the MANAGEMENT TEAM.
“hey, Comp Insider, managers are always like that.” I hear some of you saying.
Well, no, it is not.
I have come to the conclusion that it seems like this department has evolved to a cult much like Scientology.
Higher management team members have such poor managerial skills they don’t even know what they are doing. Of course, this is because they pass their workload to the Assistant Manager, who then pass it down to the Team Leaders, who then pass it down to Shielders. (Shielders are more experienced stylists who will be training newcomers)
The over-abusive use of their power is unimaginable.
They watch very closely to whatever you are doing. Including what you wore to the office, how long you take to make your tea and even how many times you went to the toilet during working hours. Of course, your lunch time is also supervised by the management team.
You are not allowed to talk with you colleagues at all times. Only 2 people are allowed in the kitchen at a time to avoid petty talks between them.
Most employees, as I said before, are international workers. These are people who have come to the U.K in search of work experience. However, funnily enough, here in the U.K, finding a job as a working experiencer is as hard as finding a needle upon a sand field. This is what AllSaints managers knew so well and they took advantage of this. They often threaten them to be fired if things don’t turn out as they wish. And of course, since rent in London is not cheap, those workers are forced to just take this in without argument.
Also, everyone except the management team seems to have problems with their payroll, often having missing payment. When confronted with this all that management replies is:
“You were paid correctly.”
You will be able to receive your remaining pay only once you have reminded them for at least the 5th time, to which they will very annoyingly advise you they will speak to Payroll.
I had been missing almost £1,000 for over 5 months. Receiving it was no fun as a large unnecessary chunk went into taxes, because of their fault. After all, “this is how things are”, according to them.
Every month, we had an average of 3 new stylists coming in as turnover was that frequent.
At first I thought all of them could not bear the managers and left. However, it happens to be that many of them were fired with no apparent reason. Even without notice. When confronted with this their reply was the following:
“You have signed a contract which states that any decision the company makes, you will abide by it.”
The contract contains advanced terms for foreigners and first-time workers will not be able to catch and fully understand. This again, was a strategy from the company.
One of the so called Assistant Manager randomly and freely throws racist comments such as the N word or saying that every Asian look the same. How disgusting their food is and refers to Korean people or Chinese people as “Hey, you Korean” or “Hey, you Chinese”. This was the only way the AM would address people from those nationalities. She would also mention her sex life disregarding the fact that NOBODY wanted to hear about it.
I had the chance to speak to different directors in the company, and they all hated each other, often busy insulting on each other’s back.
This is when I came to realise this company was never going to work properly and decided to quit my job.
I honestly to love some of their collection lines. I also honestly detest their work ethic and managerial skills.
I am not a person who hold grudges or anything. However, the experience I had with AllSaints will never be forgotten and I will mention this experience to all people I consider should know about it.
I hope you get to read this before accepting the job as a Stylist at AllSaints.