November and December are the busiest times of the year if you work in retail. It is a two month period of your life that feels like it will never end. If you are working in retail this time of the year this is also the time of year where you will have to deal with the insane amounts of questions from customers. On top of long hours of making minimum wage and sometimes performing manual labor, many retail employees have to feel the wrath of angst filled customers looking to get a better deal than the customer before them. Here is everything you should remember before you shop for the holidays.
1. Sales associates will not have all the answers.
If you ask a sales associate anything and they are unsure of what you are asking IT IS NOT OKAY TO BERATE THEM! It doesn’t matter what question you ask, no question is a stupid one even if it is the customer asking what the sale is when there are signs plastered every square inch of the store. A lot of sales associates are new to the job when they work in the holiday season. At the end of the day, no one has the answers to every burning question you may have, sales associates are no different.
2. Retail employees will help you get what you want.
As much as retail is trying to maintain sales goals and stick to numbers, the employees are there for you. If you need something and the store doesn’t have it most places have the capability to check another location or offer delivery (most places with free shipping to either store or home). IT IS NOT THE EMPLOYEES FAULT IF THE PRODUCT YOU WANT IS NOT AVAILABLE! Not only do retail employees want your business, they want to help you! Employees will do their best to get you all of the information they can on what you are looking for so don’t feel discouraged if there is something they aren’t telling you. There is a good chance their management may not have that information as well.
3. It's okay for employees to have bad days.
While it may not be the most professional thing to do it is a fact. Most retail employees ( mainly sales associates) are college kids who are in the midst of cramming for finals and planning their winter vacation all while relying on their retail job to get them through. It is a very stressful time and it may be hard for employees to find the holiday cheer, especially when they may have to work long hours and face the select few harsh customers. Some people will start to crack. It is not easy but retail employees do their best to be as professional and courteous as possible.
4. Retail employees are not your maids...
A lot of customers have the mob mentality during the holiday season. They will tackle every display and shelf they can leaving the store looking as though a natural disaster happened. Yes, retail employees will clean the store BUT that doesn’t give customers the right to treat the store as their personal pig pen. Did your mothers not teach you to clean up after yourself? Most of us are capable of grabbing what we need to and not destroying the store. If what you need is difficult to get to just ask the employees. They would rather grab you what you need instead of cleaning up multiple destroyed piles.
5. ... They aren't your slaves either.
We have all bypassed the product right in front of our face when we shop BUT if you ask an employee to grab every item that is right in front of your face then you may be shopping in the wrong store. Retail employees will be happy to get you something if you are not capable of getting it. It becomes borderline abuse to make one employee follow you around the store and grab/carry things for you. If they offer to get you something then that is different. They are not offering to be your slave, they want to help you.The moral of the story is that retail employees are people too. Any good employee would want to do for you what they would want done for them. Simple common courtesy and kindness go a long way, especially during the holidays.