Posted on 15th April 2016

The Rantings of a Retail Worker

Lifestyle

Hey every one! I thought I would end this week with a rather light hearted post – yet quite a rant for me. I’ve had a faaaairly stressful week so I wanted to end it with some laughter.

I have now worked in retail for over 5 years, and as with every job, I have little pet peeves and daily annoyances which I think many of you will be able to relate to.

1. The newbies. You probably started the job bright eyed and ready to put a smile on the faces of all you met. But now you are older and much wiser. You pity those newbies who have such high hopes, yet envy them slightly for their optimism. You probably clock in for each shift with an inward sigh and your bones creak when you bend down. Don’t worry, it is all a part of a natural process. All newbies eventually become sceptical and trust no one… Sorry to break the news.

2. Picky people.

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Those customers who change their mind about a tin of beans or want a discount because it has a dent – oh they’re just the worst. “Oh, sorry to be annoying but….” Well you aren’t sorry at all are you? If you were you wouldn’t be forcing me to walk to the other side of the store to replace a perfectly edible tin of beans. Ohhhhhh the fury!

3. THE fake laugh – which you don’t even force any more. So many times have colleagues turned around to me and said “that laugh was soooo fake” – and I didn’t even mean to do it! But you just can’t help yourself. Some customers tell the cheesiest jokes, and it would just be plain awkward if you denied them the laugh which they have fought so hard to get!

4. The jokes you’ve heard 100 million times. 

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PS, they don’t get any funnier. Trust me, I’ve heard them all, and I’ve heard them FAR TOO MANY TIMES. Sometimes I do just think to myself – if I hear that joke one more time I’m going to hit my head against the checkout. Of course I wouldn’t do that… But these jokes have pushed me pretty close to the edge.

5. “Are you working?” This is a huge eye-roller for me. I will be standing at my checkout with no customers, trying to smile and seem welcoming when I am astounded by this ridiculous question. What on earth else am I doing? I’m not on a day off but fancied sitting on a till for a while! I’m not spending my break smiling at customers…. OF COURSE I’M WORKING. One day I intend to test this and say “nahh”.

6. The customers who take phone calls whilst being served.

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 Errr… Sorry – who do you think you are? This is beyond rude to me. In most cases I will actually refuse to serve the customer until they acknowledge me or end the call. GRRRRRR.

7. People who get angry when they have ‘forgotten’ their ID. Come on now, you know you don’t look 25, and therefore you will probably be ID’d. The fact that you have come to me in the hopes that I would overlook that is not my problem. Sorry, but I am not risking losing my job, facing an extortionate fine and a criminal record, all so you can have your can of Jack Daniels.

8. “I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK TO YOUR MANAGER!” 

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Wow – calm down! I can of course call a manager but you will have to stand there and wait, only to be told exactly what I have told you – but by someone wearing a suit. I resent being undermined and my authority being questioned – especially by people so rude.

9. A weekend? What is one of those? Ohhhh yeah, those things which are apparently a great time to socialise with your friends and family, make some memories, have some laughs… No I can’t quite imagine what my life would be like with one of those!

10. “You look bored!” / “Cheer up”

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Look I’m sorry if I look a bit glum, I don’t know if you have noticed but I am at work. Excusing that – I am a customer assistant with NO CUSTOMERS. When this happens, unfortunately all I can do is stare into space, and after a certain amount of time I will probably zone out and my mechanical smile will drop… So, sorry about that… But not really.

11. The reaction to the 5p bag charge. Okay, I get that some of you are bitter – no one likes to spend money on something that was once free. But there is a very simple solution to this… Bring your own bags! On the odd occasion that you forget (every single week) you only have yourself to blame. If you choose to opt for the 5p bag, please don’t chew my ear off about how it’s daylight robbery. I don’t make the rules, I’m just asked to enforce them – so whining to me really won’t change anything – it will just make me grumpy.

12. The elaborate excuses for not having a loyalty card.

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If I’m honest, I am only asking you if you have it out of politeness. If you tell me that you don’t have one/ don’t want one I promise you I will take no personal offence. But I really don’t need to know that your ex wife has it and refuses to return it or that it was lost to the mouth of your dog.

13. That customer who changes their mind after the till has opened and decides to contribute an extra 22p to “make it easier”. I am not a maths genius, in fact I really am out of practice. So you messing up my digital calculator and forcing me to do mental arithmetic is the furthest thing from making it easier for me, despite your best intentions.

14. The dirty looks from your queue when you are stuck with a chatty customer.

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Ahhhhhhh I’m sorry okay! I can see that you are in a rush but what do you want me to do? Should I tell Doreen that I don’t care that her husband has not long passed away and that this is her only chance to speak to people? All I can do is smile and be polite so don’t you huff and puff at me!

15. Damaged vouchers with codes a million miles long. Oh goodie – I can’t wait to manually type in 40 vouchers, thank you so much for screwing them up into your pocket, so considerate of you! Yes of course I will do that for you, not a problem. Ergghhghgenijnemf.

16. “Behave! Or the lady won’t let you have your sweets!”

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Ahhhh that’s where you’re wrong. I really don’t care if you want to make your child even more bratty and hyper – so please don’t use me as a threat, because I promise you I won’t enforce it. You will only be teaching you child that they can and will get away with murder.

Now, having said this, I do love my job… It’s just that some of the people I have to put up with… Erghhhhh!! Do you have any horror stories from working in retail? Any customers just grind your gears and make your mind boggle? Please comment below – feel free to vent, trust me it feels goooooood!

Thank you so much for reading. Don’t forget to follow me on my other social media accounts.

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  • AMEN!!!
    My favourite so far has been “can you make this bottle of lemonade less fizzy than the one I bought last week”

    ……???

    • Hahaha WHAT?! that’s hilarious ??

      • I sort of just stared at her for a moment like ???!

  • James Burrows

    Me: have a good day

    Them (angrily): don’t tell me how to live my life!

  • When its apparently your fault you don’t have something in stock. Well waht do you want me to do

  • Great post – well written and funny!
    I don’t work in retail at the moment but I have done in the past so I know how you feel!
    Love your blog 🙂
    Kate x
    kateiscoveting.wordpress.com

    • D’aw thank you Kate! I always get excited when you comment because they’re so lovely! ?❤️Xxx

  • Yes to all of these ? I worked in retail for only about a year but it was mind numbing at times! I enjoyed it, but some of the customers were unbearable! At least twice a day I got “oh since it didn’t scan, it’s free right?” Ahhhh. This was very relatable, and so funny 🙂 x

    • Hahhaa yeah that one gets old very quickly!! I’m glad you had a laugh ?❤️xxx

  • Yes yes yes to all of this!
    I work at a well known company with a warehouse attached and customers get very upset when something is not in stock. The stock system is complicated so we use a computer system to find said stock. My favourite is when a customer says ‘well can’t you walk around and see if it’s there?’ Sure! If you don’t mind waiting a few hours while I pointlessly walk around every shelf. The computer isn’t lying, why would I make up something isn’t in ?

    I totally get the manager thing too. I get called to so many situations where my poor team member is giving fantastic customer service and the customer is literally being the most difficult person alive! I swear some customers lose all sense of being when they go shopping and forget we are actually people just doing our jobs!

    • Ahhh that’s ridiculous! I hate feeling personally guilty when something isn’t in stock! And oh God I really feel for the managers when they get dragged over! & that’s so true – we’re only human at the end of the day! Thanks so much for commenting, it’s nice to get a managerial side of things 😀 xxx

  • Jules

    talesfromretail on reddit is a good source of stories and shared moans and occasionally even happy stuffs! x

  • This is SUCH an accurate post. I’ve worked in retail for four years and these things still get to me. I hate when people are on the phone and you’re serving them. Like, why do they think that that’s acceptable and not totally ignorant? I just can’t.

    • Yessss!!!! That annoys me more than anything! Grrrrr! You definitely learn to stick up for yourself in retail! Thanks for reading lovely! ❤️

  • Vee O’Sullivan

    What a fun little post! I’ve worked in my fair share of retail so can relate to a LOT of these. Especially the excuses for the loyalty card. We used to have to ask EVERY customer and some of them would get soo tetchy about it!

    – Vee // veeosullivan.co.uk

    • Ahhhh it’s so annoying isn’t it! Why so defensive? It’s only a piece of plastic guys!! Thanks Vee xxx

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