Malled by Caitlin Kelly
My Unintentional Career in Retail

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Synopsis

One woman's midcareer misadventures in the absurd world of American retail.

After losing her job as a journalist and the security of a good salary, Caitlin Kelly was hard up for cash. When she saw that The North Face-an upscale outdoor clothing company-was hiring at her local mall, she went for an interview almost on a whim.

Suddenly she found herself, middle-aged and mid-career, thrown headfirst into the bizarre alternate reality of the American mall: a world of low-wage workers selling overpriced goods to well-to-do customers. At first, Kelly found her part-time job fun and reaffirming, a way to maintain her sanity and sense of self-worth. But she describes how the unexpected physical pressures, the unreasonable dictates of a remote corporate bureaucracy, and the dead-end career path eventually took their toll. As she struggled through more than two years at the mall, despite surgeries, customer abuse, and corporate inanity, Kelly gained a deeper understanding of the plight of the retail worker.

In the tradition of Nickel and Dimed, Malled challenges our assumptions about the world of retail, documenting one woman's struggle to find meaningful work in a broken system.
 

About Caitlin Kelly

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CAITLIN KELLY has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Seventeen, Town & Country, Glamour, New York, and Sports Illustrated, among others. She was a reporter and feature writer for the New York Daily News, the Globe and Mail, and the Montreal Gazette. She also blogs for trueslant.com and theopencase.com. She lives in New York City.
 
Published April 14, 2011 by Portfolio. 241 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“Working as a retail associate,” she writes, “means being reminded daily that you’re merely one tiny cog in an enormous global machine, from the workers six time zones away stitching apparel to the equally invisible, distant CEO collecting millions.

Feb 01 2011 | Read Full Review of Malled: My Unintentional Care...

Publishers Weekly

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Kelly's debut book reveals the thankless job of a tireless retailer in a very personal way, after becoming one of the legions of low-wage workers persuading customers to buy marked-up goods.

Jan 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Malled: My Unintentional Care...

BC Books

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With the rapid growth in cut price stores offering a huge variety of low cost, disposable items, there has been a reduced need for specialist skills or detailed product knowledge and staff are often encouraged to carry out their roles in a mechanistic fashion, sticking to strict corporate guideli...

Dec 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Malled: My Unintentional Care...

BC Books

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Page 1 — Page 2 — Page 3 — Page 4

Dec 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Malled: My Unintentional Care...

BC Books

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The article "Top 5 Reasons Why 'The Customer Is Always Right' Is Wrong" by 'Chief Happiness Officer' Alexander Kjerulf highlights that the "customer is always right" philosophy often doesn’t lead to better customer service, and points out that better outcomes can be achieved by focusing on making...

Dec 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Malled: My Unintentional Care...

BC Books

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As a freelance journalist working for publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Glamour, Caitlin Kelly was far removed from the working experience of the retail sales assistant.

Dec 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Malled: My Unintentional Care...

Seattle PI

As a freelance journalist working for publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Glamour, Caitlin Kelly was far removed from the working experience of the retail sales assistant.

Dec 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Malled: My Unintentional Care...

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