As a general rule, I honestly believe that everyone should work some sort of retail job at least once in their life.
It is a very necessary role that allows a business to be connected to its customers, and provides the employee with an experience to stoke their rage fire that burns deep within their soul. The ultimate part of any employee's experience is the customers. My first crucial point? They aren't all bad. They really aren't, because they're humans, with varying personalities. Weird, right?
From my experience though, there are 10 customers you will definitely meet at some point.
1. That douche who is totally trying to steal something
Yes, I see you. You're making it very obvious. I just really wish this guy would at least try a little harder not to get caught. Now it's my responsibility to stop him, and it really just kind of sucks. I'm not a fan of confrontation, and I'm sure you're not a fan of being caught when you're trying to steal a $5 item.
2. The super cool old dude who occasionally makes super awkward perverted comments
This is way more common than you think, and you never expect it. You're having a decent chat with a very nice elderly man about one of the "Avengers" movies, when suddenly, he says it. "That Scarlett Johannson sure does have a great pair of knockers, right?" (This is a real thing this guy said to me once, surrounded by other customers.) As an employee, generally the proper thing to do in this scenario is not to answer him.
3. The awesome elderly woman who loves you
I mean, she acts like she's your grandma. Which is totally awesome, because she is always very polite, and whenever you help her, she says "God bless you," at least eighty times.
4. The awful elderly woman who hates you
The counterpart to number 4, she seems to actively seek you out just to ruin your day. She knows exactly where you are at all times, and will blame you for everything wrong in the store. She'll haunt your every waking clocked-in hour.
5. The "May I speak to your manager" woman
The list just wouldn't be complete without her. This woman never learned that things don't always turn out the way she wants, and was never told no as a child. She believes managers are magical unicorns who she can pressure into giving her what she wants by threatening to call "corporate" or writing a bad internet review. Seriously, lady, screw you.
6. The person from your competing retail store who is totally chill because they know your pain
Even if they're not in uniform, you will recognize them. These people will get you through the day, because they are calm and understanding every step of the way.
7. The beautiful middle-aged woman who you think was probably a movie star
Seriously, it's totally plausible that she got tired of the movie star lifestyle and settled down in a small town in Michigan. She's always wearing sunglasses too, I KNOW YOUR SECRET LADY!
8. The "Oh, it doesn't scan so I get it for free, right?"
Stop. Just stop. Stop telling this joke. Just everyone universally agree to stop saying this.
9. The mom who lets her kids trash the store
This one always confuses me. You've obviously never had a retail job. I mean, some of the things your children are doing are actually pretty dangerous. Also, if they break it, you are probably paying for it. SO WHY ARE YOU LETTING THEM RUN WILD?
10. The person with the really cool life stories you never get tired of
Wait for this one, they're totally worth it. There are so many people out there who have lived such cool lives, and now they're just shopping at your store. Take the time to get to know these customers. That's one of the best parts of retail - it's encouraged to make positive connections with customers. Your boss is happy because they get a returning customer, and you get to hear sweet stories about how this guy saved his brother's life in Vietnam.