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12 Things You Should Stop Doing To Retail Workers

I am roughly two months into a retail job—my first retail job—and I have learned something new about myself within this experience… I am WEAK. My fragile, soft soul cannot handle the dragon-like ANIMALS that prowl retail stores looking for a nice Monday morning kill (by kill I mean a fresh slice of my HEART getting ripped out).

To make my weak self feel better, I have compiled a list of things that you should just never do to retail workers (or any worker anywhere ever)(or any human)(nobody):

1. Give us your freakin’ email.

Most stores have an email capture that they need to meet and our job requirement is to capture as many of those as possible. Our lives are so much easier when you just spit that baby out, we type it in, and we both go about our lives.

2. Don’t compLAIN ABOUT THE PRICE OF THINGS WHEN YOU WON’T GIVE YOUR EMAIL TO GET ALL OF THE AMAZING COUPONS WE SEND YOU, GOODBYE.

3. If you’ve given your email already—GIVE IT AGAIN.

The system will automatically delete you if you don’t give it for months because we feel like you ghosted us and that just gets awkward after a while.

4. If you won’t give it again and you were removed from the list DON’T COMPLAIN BECAUSE WE TRIED TO HIT YOU UP AND YOU WEREN’T DOWN.

We ALL know that you are the customer who will march her butt up to the counter and complain about not getting coupons when we’ve asked you each time you graced us with your presence if you would like to sign up for the email coupons, and each time you said NO.

5. Read what you buy.

If it says “exclusive fall line” and you come thrashing through here, talons out and ready for a victim in December—YOUR PRODUCT WON’T BE HERE BECAUSE IT WAS EXCLUSIVE IN FALL.

6. For number six, I want you to picture a room in the back of your favourite retail store…

Now this room is unlocked by a super special key, only held by the innocent young retail worker that you’ve chosen as your target today. The key is golden and shining, and opens a super special door. Behind that super special door is a massive room, bigger than the store itself (wow strange). Now in that room, we retail workers feed, snivelling and handling our prey. Our prey is the discontinued product that we hide from you for FUN. Yes, your favourite shampoo that you bought 17 bottles of 8 years ago, we have it. In our special room. You can’t have it. 

Now, for the next part of number six, I want you to preteND THAT ROOM DOESN’T EXIST BECAUSE IT DOES NOT. If your product is discontinued, it’s discontinued and we don’t get shipped discontinued items. Instead of carving out my liver concerning the issue, maybe ask “what is the most similar product that you have to that DISCONTINUED product from 8 years ago.” Maybe we will know.

7. Stop trying to use the same coupon on 17 different transactions.

We don’t give you free money for you to be a little savage about it. We do it so that you’ll shop at our store in one big happy transaction where you don’t hold up the line and we don’t want to launch over the counter at you. Stop it.

8. Let’s paint another picture.

Imagine you approach the store and some kindhearted young soul offers you a bag. Not only that, but this soul introduces themselves, asks your name, and proceeds to help you find each and every product you’re in for today—and maybe more. Now, you have a full bag, a happy heart and you are headed for cash. The cashier asks, “was anybody helping you today?” DO NOT JUST SAY “NO” ALL WILLY NILLY WHEN YOU KNOW SOMEBODY DID.

Nothing is more frustrating for a cashier than to watch their coworkers work hard to help a customer out for the better part of the last half hour and have you say, “Nahhhhhhh. This is on debit”. Again, part of the job requirement of retail workers is to ensure that they are retaining sales and happy customers. Nobody gets recognized if you don’t take the 0.5 seconds to mention who helped you the entire experience.

9. You are not a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man. You are a human with arms and a brain.

If you don’t want a product, put it back where you got it or hand it to an employee. Don’t be just flailing products wherever you want on whatever shelf you want because later we have to move all of that around and make your destruction path of indecision pretty again.

10. EVERY STORE HAS DIFFERENT RULES THAT YOU HAVE TO PLAY BY.

For example, if you have an SPC card—lots of stores will ask you for a student card to prevent NON-STUDENTS from abusing the card (I’m talking to you Linda, the middle aged mom who pretends she’s buying expensive perfumes for her 8 year old middle school daughter). Don’t yell at me because the store next door didn’t ask you for that because heads up, YOU EXITED THAT STORE AND YOU ARE NOW IN MY BALLPARK, HONEY.

11. Don’t yell at employees for saying hi.

Yes, I know sometimes you may feel bombarded by people trying to make sales—but hello, if I was allowed to camp in the corner and sneer at you I would. However, I am not. And thus, I have to ask how you are. JUST SAY GOOD! Or say, “Becky has already helped me,” and I will leave you and Becky to your devices. Perhaps do that, instead of yelling “I AM FINE OMG SO MANY PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME I JUST WANT TO BE BY MYSELF AND SCREAM ABUSE.” Remember—after you have a fit there’s always the chance that you’ll have a question about a product and Becky is on her lunch break. What are you going to do now? Walk of shame up to my smirking self.

12. Instead of the above, just be kind.

We make mistakes. Linda, I know you were a struggling student at some point. So when you walk into a retail store today, smile and just accept the fact that retail experiences are set up to be a fast-paced, difficult environment for workers. Yes, everyone should be held accountable for their performance at work and the company they have chosen to represent. However, some things are out of the employee’s hands and nobody deserves to be treated like a sub-par human being because you didn’t get the retail experience you wanted.

So, be kind, spread love, and give us your email.

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Third year Criminology and Women's Studies student, avid Netflix enthusiast, food addict and competitive pole dancer.
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