Although retail is many people's first job, it certainly is not the easiest. You build up a lot of unique skills working retail not to mention talents others simply do not understand. To those of us who have been working retail for quite sometime, it seems we almost deserve a reward for our ability to still smile at customers without post-dramatic stress disorder for our run-ins with insane shoppers in the past. I am coming up on my third year in this business, and while I love my job, there are some specific things that drive me crazy about retail.
1. When customers avoid you.
I get it, you want to shop in peace without being bugged by the annoyingly friendly wide-eyed salesgirl! But, I was trained to make genuine conversation with you in order to find items that best suit your needs. Based on your reaction, I guess I should suggest running shoes because you clearly want nothing to do with me.
There is nothing more frustrating than when you know someone is trying to steal from you, but store policy states you cannot accuse anyone of anything. I guess you are just going to have to pretend to be very interested in everything they touch and stalk them in the most polite way.
3. Co-workers that don't try.
As a mentioned in the beginning, retail is a lot of people's first jobs. Occasionally, you will get a new co-worker who just doesn't want to try. They think this job is silly and pointless, and they put in the minimum effort to get the paycheck. Even supervisors or managers, can potentially not care for their job. There is nothing more frustrating than when your manager doesn't lead by example, and you feel you are working harder than them.
Freaking returns. All returns kill your store's number for the day, but returns without receipts and tags are even worse. You have to look up the item in the system, and then you have to somehow determine what they might have paid for it versus its price now. There is nothing worse than knowing they probably bought it on sale, but they are getting a store credit for the product's full price. Not to mention, it is clear that some of the returns have been USED, but can you argue? No.
5. Rude customers.
Some people are just so rude, and you have to be so nice. Retail is all about learning to say, "Sure, I understand." You have to try to resolve an issue even if you think the issue might not really exist.
These people think everything is negotiable. Trying to explain to them that you do not control pricing never seems to work, but hey, breathe deep and smile.
7. Mess makers.
MY PRISTINE BOX-FOLDED T-SHIRT TABLE IS RUINED.
Retail. Only the strong will survive. However, if you stick it out and do the work, you find that you've developed excellent customer service skills, met a lot of great people, learned the keys to time management and organization, and you'll know how to fold a mean T-shirt!