27 Things Anyone Who Works In Retail Wishes You Knew

retail_jobFor those of us who have worked in retail or have personally experienced the madness of holiday shopping, Black Friday has an apt name.

It is a day when shoppers’ souls temporarily go dark, customers viciously tear through stores and salespeople mourn the loss of their sanity for the next two months. We’ve seen “The Lion King” and we don’t want to die by stampede.

Clients tend to forget that retail workers are people too, falsely believing that we are their personal slaves instead of personal shoppers. Our employee discounts are not enough to compensate for you being rude.

Salespeople are there to assist the customer and facilitate the brand. We’re on your side. We’re trying to make this experience pleasant for everyone.

Sometimes, however, shoppers make us out to be the bad guys. We’re the reason the clothes don’t fit or the store is too busy. This thinking not only spoils your retail excursion, but also makes our jobs way more difficult.

This holiday shopping season, respect the people who serve you instead of treating them like servants. Here are the 27 things your salesperson wished you understood.

1. Ask us for a size instead of digging through the piles

Remember that in the two seconds it takes for you to mess up a stack of sweaters, it takes us twenty minutes to refold them.

The salesperson does more than “fetch” clothing; we have to clean up after customers and ensure the store appears neat at all times.

You’re actually making our jobs easier by enlisting our help to sift through piles.

2. Stop asking us to “hook up” your friends-of-friends with our employee discounts

You’re putting your friend in a terrible spot and his/her job in jeopardy. We can get in big time trouble for misusing our employee discounts.

The answer is always an uncomfortable no, so please don’t put us in this position.

3. We hate the music too

Consider yourself lucky for being able to leave when you want while we’re stuck listening to Lady Gaga Christmas songs on repeat for the better part of December. Trust us, if we could change it, we would.

4. Please don’t linger around closing time. We won’t like you.

The anguish we feel when you waltz in at 7:55 pm and take your sweet time checking yourself out in the mirror more than the clothes can only be compared to the despair you get when your boss hands you an assignment at 5:50.

Just don’t do it. It’s our Thursday night too. Go shop online instead.

5. Don’t justify your rude behaviors with “It’s their job.”

It’s our job to keep the store organized and tidy; it’s not our job to personally pick up after your discarded debris and gum wrappers from your handbag.

It’s our job to retrieve the next size; it’s not our job to console you when you don’t fit in it. It’s our job to check your ID with a credit card; it’s not our job to let you off without it.

6. Leave your fitting room like you would your own closet.

At least pretend you have the decency not to abandon expensive clothes on the floor. We’ll put everything back for you, but don’t ruin beautiful garments by leaving behind a mess.

9. We’re on our feet for upwards of eight hours a day

It’s exhausting and our feet hurt and our shoes are ruined and our legs are killing us and we crave chairs instead of food.

Cut us a break when we’re not running-but-walking to the stockroom.

10. Being a bitch doesn’t make your experience any better either

We aren’t tipped for dealing with your rude behavior. You’re not the only one in the store, serving you is not our only responsibility and — contrary to popular belief — we aren’t all bloodthirsty for a sale.

I don’t really care if you threaten to go shop some place else. We’re people too and you need to treat us as such. Shopping can be stressful, we’re here to make it fun and successful.

11. Don’t f*ck with the display

Many high-end stores have special teams that come in whose only work is to build the display.

If you try and take things off the mannequin or move items around, you’re messing with something out of our control that is meant to serve a high-level purpose.

Ogle the display, Instagram the display, draw inspiration from the display — but don’t dare touch it.

12. Like a private-school entry exam, we will kill you if you spill your drink

Ask us to hold your drink at the register and we will kindly do so. Trying to juggle armfuls of jeans, errant hangers and your venti iced coffee will end in disaster.

Similarly, when we politely ask you to put your drink down, don’t scoff at us. We’ve been through accidents before.

13. Be careful about getting your makeup on garments

And if you do, don’t simply put it back and take another clean one to purchase, or worse, try and score a discount because of your carelessness.

14. The holiday season is our personal hell

A summary of why it sucks to work in retail during the holidays:

1. Many of the extra-help hired are temps and are not familiar with the store

2. Our season is officially ruined with inconsistent and weird hours

3. Aggressive customers suck out all the cheer

4. Having to work when everyone else gets off and no one comes in is double torture

5. Black Friday is the day salespeople mourn their sanity

15. We know when you’re stealing or scheming

We don’t get paid enough to deal with your crazy and also act as security guards. Do the right thing, it’s that simple.

16. Don’t verbally (or physically) assault us when we can’t take back a product

We didn’t make up the rules and we’re even more powerless than you to change them. Salespeople aren’t trying to f*ck you over unless you give them a reason to. Remember that.

17. If it falls off the hanger, PICK IT UP

See: #1, 5, 6, 10. Here’s a pro-tip: use the shopping bags some poor salesperson is desperately offering you upon entering. It’s 99 percent effective at preventing products from being dropped on the floor.

18. Keep your kids to yourself

They have an uncanny penchant for destroying everything in sight. Dirty hands and couture don’t mix.

19. Swipe after we instruct you to

Thanks for being so prepared with your payment. Wait until it’s time to swipe your credit card or else this process will quickly turn painful.

20. We did not size the products ourselves and have no idea why the 2 is too tight

There’s no shame in going up a size. We’re not judging you when we offer to assist you in finding the proper fit.

21. I eat maybe once during the day

Thanks to tedious activities like “Inventory” and “Closing,” we’re here long before you came and long after you’re gone.

The stock room is massive and it can take some serious detective work to find a product. If you piss us off, we’ll use this invisible time in the back as a texting break.

22. Rush is stressful for everyone

The mirror is not a dressing room. Flirting won’t get you anywhere either. And especially during this busy moment, my manager wants to deal with you even less than I do.

23. It is our job to greet you and it’s just as annoying for you as for us

Don’t kill the messenger.

24. The step ladder is not yours to grab randomly

Would you like it if we randomly grabbed the pens off your desk? And then didn’t tell you where we put them?

25. If we tell you our name it’s because we want you to remember it

It’s called C-O-M-M-I-S-I-O-N. Don’t make us regret helping you.

26. There are mystery shoppers to make sure we’re doing our jobs well

This is a real thing. Companies hire undercover shoppers to secretly monitor employees and keep them on track… So you don’t have to. Please.

27. Really nice days make us feel terrible

Not only have we given up prime free-time for this, including Friday nights and weekends, but also we’ve given up any outdoor privileges for the entire day of work.

Rubbing it in by going on and on about the gorgeous weather will only make us resent you.


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