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Confessions of a prior retail worker: Annoying things customers do.

Updated on November 19, 2014

So, guess what. I used to work retail. I just recently do not have to ever work retail again(Well, actually, It's almost impossible to find a job anywhere now a days so I may have spoken too soon). Anyway, I worked at a retail location of a major department store, in the womans/teenager clothing section. Employees had no set job, but instead worked in all the areas of their department, and sometimes other departments. For my area, this included customer service, sales, cashiering, complaint resolution, phones, credit payments, online ordering, phone orders, order pickup, store merchandising, department organization, pricing, and dressing rooms. I have a lot of pent up hate for the customers. That's right customers. I HATE YOU. I am sure, our stores customer demographic ONLY includes people who have never worked retail in their life, or had any manners training whatsoever $6. Yep thats it.


Number 1. What are you doing in the dressing rooms?

Humans, and I am not sure you even deserve to be called that. I think slob demon is more fitting. Please tell me, and especially if you're one of them, PLEASE tell me who told you it was acceptable to bring in 50 articles of clothing, put them on, and when you decide you do not want them, TOSS THEM, INSIDE OUT across the dressing room onto the floor, door handles, hang them on the corner of the mirror, etc.? Are you intentionally trying to recreate a clothing replica of a war zone? Are you making it rain clothing in the rooms for you to play in? What THE HELL are you doing in there!? This is not an isolated incident either. I would say 8 out of 10 people would do this regardless of the amount of clothing they had. In addition, why are you taking in a small, medium, large AND extra large of the same item inside with you? You can't possibly be THAT off can you? Either the small or large is DEFINITELY not going to fit you, so what on earth is the reason for that?!
My store did not have a dressing room limit, thus, people would more often than not, take in the entire store with them. Then they would leave it there. There, is everywhere.
Business owners, future clothing store founders, if you don't want your employees to hate you, make a dressing room clothing limit. I recommend 7 articles at a time, and a number system. Not a free come and go as you please system.
It would take me upwards of 25 minutes to clean out one of these dressing room explosions. Not only does this SUCK, but stores like to understaff, so it would be myself, and one other person in an entire department. These two people must help the never ending line of customers, keep all the dressing rooms spotless (Which includes taking the clothes out of the rooms, and then putting them back where they came from, which takes about an hour to do one rack of clothes in a giant store), AND reorganize the entire store all before they can go home. This means, when you make explosion in the dressing room, you make the employees stay on average, 2 hours after they were supposed to be off. Do you like working until 1 am every night?
If there is a clothing rack outside the dressing room, TAKE THEM FROM THE ROOM AND PUT THE DAMN CLOTHES ON IT. This is directly aimed at the women, The men bring their clothes out of the dressing rooms.
Also, if you are one of the people who urinate in the dressing rooms, and then throw a shirt on top so an unsuspecting employee accidentally touches your urine, well, you're disgusting, and we all hate you. THIS HAPPENS MORE OFTEN THAN IT SHOULD!!

"Well I have nobody else to take it out on"
"Well I have nobody else to take it out on"

Number 2. Are you usually blatantly rude to complete strangers?

Look. You had a bad day or a bad experience, or the store stopped carrying your underwear. Your huffing and puffing, short answers and dropping/slamming your merchandise on the counter made that very clear.
Please try to remember, I don't know you. I have never met you, and I wouldn't be talking to you if I didn't have to ring up your items, or answer your questions, or do something else related to my job. It is also important for you to know, dear grumpy customer, that I most likely was not the cause of your distress. Is it really necessary to act like a 2 year old child? Must you take out your anger on the store or something irrelevant on the employee who did nothing to you? Hey I hate the store more than you do. I stay here for 50 hours a week.

Try to remember, I have NO SAY in what merchandise comes into the store, what is discontinued, or what we run out of. I also did not personally redesign the store myself, so I am sorry you're unhappy with the remodeling. I did not end that coupon promotion myself. I can't do anything about the line, i'm sorry you're not the only shopper in the store. Please note, I also have no say in most of the things that happen in the store. I am actually the lowest level employee, and I do what other people tell me. Not the other way around. In fact, most things that go on here come from corporate, which is a few people in an office building in a different state.I don't have their number on me, or at the register..We don't generally call them here. Try a google search. No my supervisor doesn't have it either. Would you like to leave a message for the store manager, she is most likely the only one who could help you? No she isn't here at the moment, but you're welcome to leave a message. No, I don't have her cell phone number, but you can leave a message on her work contact number. Yes I know this system sucks. No, there isn't anything I can do about it. Again, totem pole....I'm pretty low..

I am not sorry either. I honestly could not possibly care any less that you're angry about the how the manufacturer of our merchandise in in China, please pay for your things or ask an answerable question so we can move forward and on with our lives. Take a deep breath. You're in a retail store. It is probably not that big of a deal.

"You don't have another store back there?"
"You don't have another store back there?"

Number 3. ENOUGH with damn stockroom

If there is nothing in back, then there is nothing in back. I am not just being lazy. If I was being lazy, I would trick you and walk into the stock room and pretend to look for your garment, then come back out and tell you I don't have it. If I say the stock room is empty because it is a week after New Years and we sold all of our extra stock on black Friday and around Christmas, no matter how much you don't believe me, your shirt will not magically appear in there! No, I will not "go check anyway" the empty shelves and empty clothing displays for your shirt which will not be there. I went in there this morning to grab some tape. There is no clothing in there. If you shirt is not here, and it is still on the online catalog, we can order it for you at your expense. No, I can't waive the shipping fee. We get our stock randomly, It is chosen by somebody far away, and we very well might never get that shirt again, or we might get it next week. There is absolutely NO way for me to know though. *Sigh* Again, There really is nothing in back, again, since December. It's all gone.

If you want to go ask my co-worker, be my guest, but don't turn into a lunatic when she tells you the same thing. There really is nothing back there, this is not some strange department store conspiracy to keep you from getting the shirt you want. The goal is to order our merchandise, and put ALL of it out here. As it is the beginning of the year, we are quite efficient in that goal at the moment, we have had no extra stock or unsold merchandise that needs to go back there.

If it is not out here, it does not exist here. I am sorry. Not really, it's actually not as big of a deal as you're making it.

Number 4. I did not memorize every product we have in store

You're lucky if I even know all the products in my department. We carry thousands and they change daily. If you want, you can wait here, and I will find out for you. It will take 5 whole minutes. Oh..You don't want to wait...well...what would you like me to do?

No, I definitely do not know what material our bath mats downstairs are made of off the top of my head. I know I spend a good chunk of my life here, as depressing as that is, but I am not using that time to make a mental note of the products we carry, I am actually spending most of my time cleaning up the explosion in the dressing room. If you have a question about the dressing room you would like answered, I'M YOUR WOMAN!!

"Nope, this isn't it"
"Nope, this isn't it"

Number 5. Oh, you saw a shirt in the catalog two months ago?

What was the brand? oh you don't know...
What did it look like? oh It had black and was short sleeve....
Do you remember anything else about it? Oh It was so long ago that you don't...

Well, you pretty much just described 75 percent of the merchandise in the store, and on top of that YOU don't even know what you're looking for. How do you expect me to find that?!
[See number 4]

Ok, so moving on, I don't know what you're talking about. What do you want me to do. Did you want me to bring you every short sleeve shirt with black in the store to examine?

Yes, I do work here, but they do not have us read and memorize the catalogs here, nor do they even HAVE the catalogs here,and I definitely don't read that crap in my spare time. I can't tell you where that shirt is, I see more shirts here on a weekly basis than I have my entire life before I worked here, I would obviously have a hard time remembering them all.

Look, your best bet is to go home, get online, and look for your shirt there. Once you know what your looking for, WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN and we should be able to find it for you.

Number 6. So, because you did not see me right away. Is that reason to scream for help?

This is a scene you customers create that those who have never witnessed it would not believe.
You walk up to the register, and I happen to be about 8 feet in the other direction, fixing a display one of your fellow slob demons destroyed. The shelf near me slightly covers me from your sight. You have been there for a grand total of 4 seconds. As I begin to come to you to offer my assistance, you hit five seconds, and start to believe you are all alone in the entire store because you did not see me right away. You begin to yell; "Hello?! IS THERE ANYBODY EVEN WORKING HERE? HELLOOO??!!! I NEED HELP HERE!!!"

Is that absolutely necessary? You waited five seconds. That doesn't even qualify as waiting! I saw you the moment you walked up there! So if you had actually waited maybe ten seconds, you would have known that I was there all along, and you would have seen me get up, and you wouldn't have had to turn spastic and start having a meltdown. Another customer witnessed that unrequired freak out as well.
Damn. I am embarrased for you.

Except some of you don't stop there. You actually don't realize I was right there the whole time, and you begin to lash out at me. You make an exaggerated claim that you were there for like, A FEW MINUTES and I need to pay attention.
Then I let you know that I was folding clothes 8 feet away and I watched you walk to the counter, only I have to be polite to you, so I apologise for the 5 second *ahem* I mean, minute wait anyway and start ringing you up.
Inside, I hate you.

Number 7. I can't do anything about the line

When all registers are open and occupied, and there is a line, there is NOTHING anybody can do. NOTHING. You do not need to get all rude and sassy with me once it is your turn. Sheesh. (See number 2)
What is it you want me to do anyway? I have to admit I am curious. Is it expected that I build an additional register real quick and call up another co-worker to serve you?

In all honesty, there was most likely only 2 or 3 people in front of you, and you waited a total of 6 minutes MAX. You just spent 40 minutes in the dressing room. Yes, no matter what, even on Fridays, you still have to wait in line. That's how it is usually done at most stores. You want to be completely rude and cut in front of everybody else who is being nice and patient in the line? Well, It is not up to me, ask them and tell me how it goes.

Even if you were already here yesterday, you still have to wait in the line. Your visit yesterday did not reserve you a front of the line pass.
And your rudeness is not going to get you any benefit, so you might as well just shut up and pay for your crap.

Number 8. Must you DESTROY the displays to look at the garment?

When you're at home finishing up your laundry, and you take you time folding your clothes nicely, and then you want the sweater which is in the pile three sweaters down, do you rip through all the other shirts, unfolding them, drop a few on the floor, and leave the ugly messy mound of now unfolded shirts there?

When your transporting clothing in your home, and you decide you don't want to wear the shirt or pair of pants of whatever you have anymore, do you ever toss it on the floor in the middle of your home? Or hang it randomly on a lamp, or door handle?

I didn't think so. Why do you do it at department stores?

I am capable of checking through the pile for a shirt size without destroying it. I was not trained in this art. Why can't you do the same? You just don't give a crap do you.
If I randomly come to you and ask you what size you're looking for, it is because you have proven to be a slob demon, and I want to prevent you from destroying my area. I will also follow you around to nicely and neatly remove whatever you want from the displays so you can't ruin them. I am most likely not trying to be extremely helpful, I just want to go home before 2 am.

"Its winter. Why are there swimsuits?"
"Its winter. Why are there swimsuits?"

Number 9: We sold all of our swimsuits in February

Yes, really. Now that it's summer, we have our nice heavy winter coat collection out for you to enjoy. Yes, it makes no sense, as it is 90 degrees out and we are selling coats. Yes, I'm sure the people who planned this have a thermometer. I really am serious, swimsuits gone.
How about you stare at me awkwardly in disbelief for 10 seconds before you respond again.

There we go.
No, we have no more swimsuits in the store. No not even in the stockroom...I think it is stupid as well, I have no idea why they do this..Most retail stores have been doing it for as long as I can remember though, so I don't understand how this is news to you.

I recommend you buy a coat to prevent a confused December visit later...

Number 10: "Do you know where they sell *Insert random non-department store item here*, or where in the mall do they have *Insert random item here*".

No, I do not. Why am I getting an evil stare like if I was actually expected to know the answer to that question?

You see, I work here, at this store. I am not a mall employee, nor do I ever enter that place. I run from this entire group of buildings as soon as my shift is over, and I go home. Away from my work. There is no reason you should expect me to know what every other retail store in the world carries, their return policy, their hours, or anything else about them. That's for their employees to know. If you have a question about the store I work at, I will answer you as best I can. You don't need to get angry and mumble about something along the lines of "Yea. thanks for the help" or any of that garbage.
Think about what you're expecting of me!!

"You can't answer every question I have about the whole mall?"
"You can't answer every question I have about the whole mall?"

The verdict

How many of these are you guilty of?

See results


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      hilarious!!! You nailed it!!!! Will think of your comments every time I encounter one of these clueless, thoughtless, rude folks!!

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Loved this. I'm retired from retail at the ripe age of 36. I swore this was Kohls as I spent my last 7 year stint there. But as many retailers cut payroll and demand more this will sadly continue.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I can relate to everything that you have outlined here. I do fast food and retail and occasionally will work in a hotel.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I work at Best Buy and this is unbelievable how accurate most of these are...the sad thing is -- the ppl reading this arent the idiot customers who could learn something, it is just all of us trying to figure out "is this just happening to me?" ...ugh...ppl

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I don't do any of these. I'm slightly OCD though, I have fixed up messy displays because it bugged me. I am guilty of taking an item off a manican because it was the last pair of pyjamas in my mothers size. She loves those pjs! Although I redressed it with another pair of Pjs haha.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I used to work in a dollar store... let me say that again A FREAKING DOLLAR STORE :)..dollar tree to be exact where all the prices are $1.25 and under. Imagine this, a customer walks up to the cash register while you're trying to sweep, fix the impulse are items and whatever else your boss expects you to do while you're working cash. You take no longer than it takes to put down the broom and walk to the register (half a second 2 at the most) and the customers distraught because you were not standing right there when they walked up. They put their items for purchase down and ask the price of every item going through... first scan: custy: "how much was that" me: "1.40 after tax" custy: "waaaaatttt I thought everything was 1.25 and under, that's false advertising" me: "it is 1.25 before taxes, after taxes its 1.40" ... so the customer after asking a few more questions because they happened to somehow forget that taxes existed, lets me continue on with scanning while asking how much each item is ... mostly everything is 1.25 .. customer stops me after the 5th item .. custy: "I thought things were a 1.25 and under" me: "yes well food items including candy and drinks are items that usually fall below 1.25" custy: "oh really well not at dollar tree in the states, you know the dollar tree in the states has everything for a dollar and under" me: "oh really well that's awesome but unfortunately at the Canadian stores it's a 1.25 sorry" custy: "well that's just a rip off" ... customer ends up purchasing her stuff anyone which comes up to around the 20$ mark and walks out complaining about the prices... PRICES that are 1.25 like give me a break. Not to mention people will come up with a dented can or item with missing pieces or a hole or open packaging and ask for a discount, when I tell them that I cannot offer a discount and that there are other items exact same item you're looking for that are not damaged on the shelf and that they may purchase them they get sooooo angry like you'd think they we're about to through a temper tantrum and honestly some do and end up asking for a manager who gets annoyed with me for calling on them for something so simple. And tell me about long lines :p 5 mins before closing time everyone but me will log off their tills and go into the office to do count. Suddenly its like everyone is running to dollar tree for cover as if dollar tree is some sort of safety zone, a horde of people im talking maybe 10-15 ppl come in for "last minute purchases or just one thing" and since im the only one usually left logged into till.. I have to face the crowds... a long line of impatient people (hey I wasn't the one who ran into this store last minute, also going through this long line of people is wasting my time as well as yours). People will start complaining but never get out of line to leave (like you don't have to be here we are not closing forever we are open again tomorrow morning) people will ask if there are other employees to go on cash or get angry with me for not calling employees to cash "there are currently no other employees who can assist you on check out at the moment as all other employees have logged out have already done their final count and put their tills away, sorry for the inconvenience" ... even though I announce this to everyone they still complain when its their turn to be rung up.... I honestly hope I never work retail again and if I do that its a store that has a very laid back customer base .. haha yeah right but I can dream

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I work at a Pet/Gardening supply store and ALL OF THESE are so true it's heartbreaking.

      Only instead of clothing it's "Do you have this fish? Can you put every single type of fish in with each other in just a vase? WHY NOT? You're rude! My uncle's great aunt twice removed did it all the time when I was a kid! You don't know what you're talking about!"

      It's like....Really? Really guys? I didn't know crap about fish when I first started and within a year I know more than most people who've been supposedly have been doing the hobby for 40+. There's a problem there.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      "the customer is always right" is a myth. Word to the wise NEVER SELL WOMENS SHOES!!!!!!!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

    • profile image

      C. Finley 

      4 years ago

      It's like you are in my brain! I work at Kohl's in the misses/juniors department and while I do truly love my job, it still amazes me how uncivilized customers can be, especially the women. Really, do you live like this at home? How would you react if I came over to your house and behaved like you do at my store? The best part is when they walk out of the trashed fitting room and look directly at you, then keep walking. Okay then, thanks for that. Let me just come and mess up your workplace, look at you, then move along. Have a nice [bad word] day, [bad word]! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Lol! As someone who has also worked in a store this was hilarious. I spend ages talking with a complaining costumer who was mad at me because his ink cardridge was emtpy a few pages to soon. It was my fault! And I would fix it or he would sue me! Some people just need this for their ego or something..

    • MindOfPeyton profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from California

      Thanks Travis! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I'm glad you noticed my captions! I looked hard for fitting pictures. check back because I still want to add more!

    • kereeves3 profile image


      5 years ago from Salem, OR

      I really amazes me how inconsiderate people truly are! I work at Costco in the Food Court, and I still can't get over how messy people can be. It's like, are you really this bad at your own home? When you drop trash on the ground at home, do you just leave it there? I mean seriously, how would you like it if I came to your house and just splattered pizza sauce all across your kitchen table and just left it there?! It drives me absolutely insane!!

      I think everyone should be required to work in food service/customer service at least once in their lives to fully understand how people, as a whole, truly are. Then maybe people will think twice before treating employees like crap!!

      Great Hub!

    • Travis Aaron profile image

      Travis Aaron 

      5 years ago

      Lol. Funny. An entertaining read and possibly quite true. The captions on the pictures were especially funny and succinct at summarizing the points and made me literally burst out laughing.


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