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When all hope is lost for the retail worker-Customers suck

Updated on May 24, 2017

Working in retail

When working in retail (especially if you have to wear a uniform) the second you enter the store you are on the clock. Maybe not literally but to the customers there is no difference.

Now that we live in a world that is so governed by being selfish and demanding we are seeing a lot more people who are rude and just plain awful. You see it when you're driving, you see it when you're ordering food, and certainly when you're out shopping. You don't have to be working high end retail to see these things in full force either.

There are times when you will walk into work in your uniform and backpack with coffee in your hand and guest will stop you and ask if you work there. Let's talk about this.

Do you work here?

A fabulous question for anyone who as ever worked or is currently working retail. And sometimes you just need confirmation that you're not the only one is just so unnerved.

When wearing any sort of outfit that might have the retailer's logo on it in combination with a name tag and you're in the middle of stocking a shelf, it is always frustrating (to say the least) when a person (who doesn't say 'excuse me', or 'Hello') walks up to you to ask first if you work there and then proceed to be wounded when you show any sign that it was a dumb question.

Well I'm certainly not a customer who likes wearing a nametag and helping to stock for free. So why would that not be a stupid question? Like it's not bad enough that sometimes you'll be out shopping or just browsing yourself and someone will tap you on your shoulder and ask you if you work there. Or even worse, just start asking questions.

"If you see a uniform, a nametag, a radio on the hip and me stocking a shelf then yes!! I work here!!!" is what every retailer would love to scream out.


When a customer pays in cash and places cash on the counter

A customer is about to pay and decides to pay cash. Every cashier's major pet peeve:

Jill decides to place the ten dollar bill and six ones on the counter and then proceeds to count change. You had your hand out to receive the money and yet it never made it there. Instead Jill counts out ninety-six cents a places each penny, nickel and/or dime on to the counter. And then has to wait for you to struggle to pick up each cent. Why is this necessary? When did people get it in their head that this was on okay and non-rude thing to do?

It is never okay to place your money on the counter. You expect the change to be handed back to you in your hand so show the same courtesy. And yes, your cashier is most likely going to make a face and instantly become annoyed. Because of you! It's never okay! Never!

How often do you get annoyed working your retail job?

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Leaving full or empty carts anywhere and everywhere in the store

There are times that occur when an employee walks the floor and will find carts just all about the store. The ones that have items in them will have to be sorted and put back by this employee. And while you think this is their only job I guarantee you it is not. And to be honest it is so disturbing how many people do this and think it's okay. Well it's not. There are plenty of things a retail worker already has to deal with without having to clean up after a grown adult who put a million items into a cart and decided to leave without any of them.

The empty carts are almost just as bad if not worse. You came through the front of the store, proceeded to get a cart, started browsing and then changed your mind. And even though you had to go back through the front of the store where you retrieved your cart from, you decide to leave it back in aisle six with the soaps. I don't know if this just pure American laziness at work or humanity is really taking a turn. Honestly I truly believe it might be both.


When a customer tries to return an item from a different decade

There are just some people who simply don't care what a 90 day policy means. Or what a policy means in general.


I myself personally was working some fine late afternoon when a woman decides she wanted to return an item. She has her receipt and I without a second thought scan the receipt to bring up the return. My POS won't let me. Gee what is the problem. I look down and there and behold is the answer to this amazing question. She had purchased this item back in 2011. She admits to me she knows it's been a while but she never used it and finally found this item while moving and needs to return it. It's only been six years, but who am I to say. Actually I did. "Well I can't accept returns past 90 days." She says, "but why I still have a receipt?"

Well now of course that is the policy of most smart businesses of course. She wants to see a manager. Gee that'll really get it fixed. What does my manager tell her. She can't do the return because it's past 90 days. The lady wants to call corporate. Well that's fine and dandy, while you're at it please tell them we need to hire more people.

Just because you want it, doesn't mean you're going to get it. The customer is not always right.


That moment when you no longer care if you even get fired

You know it's bad when you have become so fed up with just how stupid and rude people can be that you actually make a customer cry.

Or when you no longer care about leaving the smile on your face after someone decides to be a real prick.

That's when it's gotten really bad and at that point you should probably start to look for another job.

Have you ever had to work with coupons? It is probably one of the worst things you will come into contact while working retail. People will be waiting in line and then it's finally your turn and after you've rung up all their items, that's when they decide to take out their phone to start looking for coupons. Or when they haven't brought any with them and they ask if you have any "back there" (meaning behind the counter you're working at). No! Most places are not going to keep coupons at the register! Because we hate them! The company only makes them to keep you coming back. How about when a person thinks they can use every single coupon they have even though the store you work has a policy dictating only one coupon per item. And the coupon they're trying to use can't be used on sale items but they get mad anyway?

What about when they bring an item to the register that has no tag and no article number because sometimes your job sucks and they just get lost? "Well it said it's 9.99" Okay you telling me the price is literally not going to help me in this situation. I can't just type in a number, I actually need to have that article number. Or if the barcode is on the item but it just won't scan because the life plays cruel jokes. The customer is like "oh I guess it's free then, hahah" Yeah because I don't hear that joke a million times and because it's just so funny.

There is no obligation

At the end of the day people need to understand that you need to treat people the way you would want to be treated. I'm not obligated to just give you whatever you demand because someone a long time ago (because they were so very stupid) said that the customer is always right. You are not always right. Stop being so freaking selfish.

And if I have a damn uniform on and you see me stocking shelves, that means I do work there! If I'm on the phone talking and wearing normal clothes and clearly browsing, then I don't work there!

Customers are not entitled to anything even if they truly believe that they are. And unfortunately they're just getting worse every day.


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    • ruemarie profile imageAUTHOR

      Lea Wilson 

      17 months ago

      Another post about working retail to come. And soon one about working in the entertainment industry.


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