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Confessions of a Retail Worker

If you have ever worked in the food/retail industry, you know that you have a newfound respect for all of your brothers and sisters who also share those roles, and that people can be unbelievable. For once you would like people to know the struggles behind your job. So here I am, with confessions of a retail worker.

  1. When you leave clothes in the dressing room, or on the floor, or in a heaping pile, that becomes my day. Picking up the mountains of clothes and rehanging them and then putting them away becomes the only thing I have time to do. Then it prevents us from having time to help our other customers because our time is spent cleaning up after you.
  2. We can tell when you lie about returns, whether your return is from a year ago, or when you said you “only wore it once” we can tell, and trust me, it’s a lot easier if you just tell the truth.
  3. I’ve been called every name in the book. Whether you believe it or not, I have been called the f-word, a maid, worthless, lazy, pointless and the list goes on. Or the priceless time when I, single-handedly, “crushed the dreams of a little girl” because we didn’t have a huge selection of youth clothing. All to which I had to respond with a nice voice and a smile on my face. I hope you realize that I am a college girl, who has feelings, who has little control of what our nationwide company decides.
  4. I constantly hear the classic line, “does anyone even work here?” Yes, actually there are many of us here, but we have a plethora of things that we need to accomplish to give you the best shopping experience possible, and we may not be at your beck and call the entirety of your time in the store.
  5. Working for a national company, we have a lot of product. However, when you come in demanding the sweatshirt you saw in the ad or the coat you saw online, you need to realize that we don’t carry every item you see online, or in the flyer, in our specific store. The building just isn’t big enough.


The list can go on and on and on. Remember to keep these things in mind when you go out to do your holiday shopping. We are giving up some of our holiday time, so that you can go shopping, so please be kind. Keep in mind that the larger the mess you leave, the longer it takes for us to clean, and the less time we get to spend with our families.


Please remember to stay kind, and stay respectful.

Erin is currently a senior at UW-La Crosse majoring in Marketing and minoring in Interpersonal Communications. Being born and raised in La Crosse, she can't part with her hometown and her family. Fun-loving and outgoing, Erin smiles every chance she gets!
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