I have finally succeeded in getting a real ‘grown up’ job, where my salary will be stated yearly and not hourly. Therefore, I will finally be escaping retail at long last.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy a lot of the jobs I’ve had and I’m actually quite the ‘people person’ but after nine years in various retail esq jobs, it’s time to move on.Over the years I’ve gained some pearls of wisdom that some customers really really need to know.FYI : There’s is about to be an awful lot of swearing: turn back if your under 18 or don’t like bad language. There really was no way to write this without it #soznotsoz
You are not always right.
That’s it. End of fucking story. You don’t work here, you’ve probably never worked in a place like this (hence why you’re being a little bitch) so you are not right. Give retail staff the benefit of the doubt and assume there’s a chance that you’re being a moron.
Remember I’m a human.
Seems simple, hey? Not so much. Customers need to remember that we are human and some days we will be tired, understaffed or overworked etc. Some times we will make mistakes and given that no one’s life is at stake (a.k.a not like we’re doctors is it?) could y’all chill please?
People will speak to someone in retail or service positons in truly eye opening ways, in fact here are some (semi) verbatatim quotes: “How many men have you fucked? Bet you’re a right fucking slag”– this was at 5pm in a pub job, on a saturday, from an older male customer.”How long does it take to find a disc, you thick fucking cunt.”– this was at a secondhand gaming/ dvd store, 11 am with her kids present.“You want to fuck my son, don’t you? Look at him, see you’re blushing, he’d smash you’re back doors in for you love.” Same pub job, in the evening, I was manning the bar alone.“Well, you’ve obviously failed at life to end up here, so why don’t we assume I’m right and you do as I fucking asked?” The dvd store again. “Couldn’t give a fuck if your grandad just died, it’s no excuse for being a fucking idiot is it?”– customer to my collegue who’d made a minor error during the transaction that he was in the middle of correcting. Customer wasn’t even having to wait for a manager to fix it nor had his money already been taken, so there’s was no annoying refunds.Here’s a list of things that have been thrown at me by customers:
- a loaf of bread
- two open ps3 cases
- the monitor for my till (he was unsuccessful but still ripped the thing of the side before he was stopped)
- a cigarette
It’s not a particularly long list but one could argue that generally, things should not be thrown at you in your work place, like, ever. Unless you’re a basketball coach or something.
Yell at someone else.
The person you are yelling at is more than likely on minimum wage, at the bottom of the rung in the company and has literally zero power to affect company policy. We don’t set the prices. We don’t run the ad campaigns. We don’t decide to change the items we stock. We don’t decide the returns policy. Go be a keyboard warrior or something and get you’re little comp voucher from the customer service team for your little tantrum.
We are always undertstaffed.
Most retail places have high turnover, or don’t have the payroll budget to employ the number of people they actually need, or the revenue is seasonal so they’d rather struggle than higher someone temporary.
Stop complaining about us having water, or food, or breaks.
No, I’m not refferring to a case where you are being ignored so someone can chow down on something whilst on shift. In that instance, get annoyed, fair enough. But I have had several jobs where people will genuinely complain about seeing a staff member drinking a drink. Seriously. Or, about someone still getting their break when/if it’s busy. I know of no other profession (except, you know, the ones where actual lives are at stake) where people expect you to give up breaks as standard.
Don’t asked to be bumped up the queue.
“Oh, exuse me, sorry, I know there’s like six people ahead of me but I’m late for something so could you just serve me/ get my food or drink first?”
You’re an adult. Queues are a thing. Don’t come here at the busy period or when you’re late for something and then get pissy. IT. IS. NOT. OUR. FAULT.
Manners cost nothing.
Seriously, just say ‘hi’ or please, or thankyou. You don’t even need to say all of them. Just manage to get one out. It’s not asking a lot, we know we have to chat a lot of rubbish that might be overly chipper to you, you know we’re forced to do stuff like that by someone in an office somewhere, so just be chill.
You’re a regular customer, you don’t own the place.
Regulars, we won’t always remember your names or your orders, ‘your’ table might not always be free, you cannot expect to jump the queue just because you come here a lot. You may think you know the mysterious inner workings of the place, just because you know all the staff’s names or know when our delivery usually comes in but it’s just the tip off the iceberg.
Most of all, outside of this work place, unless specifically inivited to, WE DO NOT WANT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU. We don’t want to chat with you in tesco. We don’t want to talk to you when we bump into you at the pub. We don’t want to work out with you when we see you at the gym. Outside of work, no one is paying me to be nice to you and only manners, or common curtesy are preventing me from telling you to fuck off.
Please, please, please don’t ask to speak to my manager.
My soul dies, just a little, everytime this phrase is uttered. 9 times out of 10 the person dealing with you has done everything correctly. They’ve probably put a lot of energy in trying to deal with this the right way. The fact that the manager will bypass company policy to molify you’re little tantrum and give themselves an easy life, doesn’t make you right, it makes you a prick. Also, please don’t do that smug little smile at me afterwards.
Don’t assume we are stupid.
A: there are different types of smart and just because someone didn’t excel in school, it doesnt mean they are thick.
B: Some people choose this profession, some people thrive in retail positions, please do not assume they’ve ended up in that job due to some kind of fuck up.
C: Get off you’re high horse, elitest pricks.
There’s always like twenty options these days. Don’t walk in a just say ‘I wan’t a coffee’. Which coffee? Is it hot, is it iced, is it decaff? Which Size? Small, medium, large? Have in or take out? Sweetened? White or black? With whipped cream etc? And pleeeeeeeease, don’t get annoyed when we have to ask questions to clarify. The truth being that there is no “I want a coffee button” on the till, no matter how many times you repeat the phrase, this button will not magically appear. Additionally, if and when you are this non- specefic don’t get aggy when you get the wrong size or thing, if you knew which thing you wanted then why didn’t you say in the first place?
It’s cause and effect.
Don’t get your kids to order.
Don’t make them queue on their own. Don’t make them pay on their own. Don’t make them order for you on their own. Don’t make them work out the money or change on their own. Don’t stand there demanding them to give ‘the lady’ a please or thankyou. JUST DON’T. (This exclusively applies to when we have a queue. Otherwise, I get it, they need to practise)
Look up from your dammned phones.
Look at our boards in the queue to decide what you want, or focus during the transaction, or look at the menu so you can be served, maybe make eye contact with the person serving you, how nice would that be? Look at where your damn friend/ kids/partner/ family member has wandered off too. I shouldn’t have to be catching your child and removing them from the kitchens/ behind the counter/ out of the fucking store because you’ve been staring at your phone the whole time and they’ve managed to slip through to somewhere they shouldn’t be.
We don’t care about your personal details.
Some jobs require names and addresses for accounts, or for email reciepts, or for refunds. Some times we need a name for the order, or the table etc etc. And seriously, don’t get antsy, we hear so many in day we have neither the inclination nor the campacity to memorise your details. We cannot do anything worthwhile with just your name. I know this is the age where people need to be very security/ privacy conscious but what can we do with a name? Seriously? And these are the people who will deny you their name but then happily discuss deeply personal issues with you at the till.
Just calm down.
Seriously, a lot of you need to take a chill pill. We’re both just people trying to get on with our shit. Why not be nice? It’s not a big thing to ask is it? Or at least, if you’re having a bad day, shoot for cordial or vaguely polite. We are not servants. We are not robots. Just give us the level of respect you would hope that your (insert loved ones name here) would be treated with. Well, that was cathartic. This list was supposed to be a lot shorter but it took on a life of it’s own. Apparently, I had a lot to get off my chest…I’m sure there are other professions who have it worse, in fact, go ahead and give me some prospective in the comments if you’d like.Please puruse the other retail memes I found funny but didn’t quite fit above, I had a lot of fun finding them!Also two hilarious videos about retail by some Aussie comedians:
Refund customer Angry middle aged lady