25 Things Only People Who Have Worked In Retail Know

25 Things Only People Who Have Worked In Retail Know

And, no, I'm not your personal shopper.
213
views

I’m sure anyone who has had a retail job understands it is essentially getting paid to put a nail in your own head, over and over again. Everyone thinks they are hilarious, and honestly, I’ve probably heard that same joke from four other customers this week. Day in and day out, I force a smile on my face just hoping to get one of those customers who brightens your day. Those are the diamonds in the jagged rocks on the side of a cliff, covered in garbage. Here are 25 things every retail employee can relate to.

1. When a customer comes in 10 minutes before close.

2. “There’s no price on it? Must be free.”

3. When there are people waiting at the doors before you open.

4. Customers who tell you their life story.

5. When a customer says "Just looking" before you can even greet them.

6. When the district manager doesn't like the way your store looks, but jokes on them, it's the way corporate told you to set it up.

7. "Do you guys have Uggs in store?" "No, this is Sperry Topsider."

8. That one customer who asks if you could pull every thing you have in their size.

9. When the mall has $1 pretzel days for employees.

10. What are weekends off? I'm sorry, I work in retail, and those just don't exist.

11. When people get mad because you wont return shoes that have clearly been worn.

12. Then they ask you for the manager, and they get told the exact same thing.

13. When you crawl through the depths of the underworld to find something for a customer, and they end up not buying anything.

14. “Can you see if another store has it?”

15. Black Friday: So glad I got scheduled for two shifts in one day! Yeah I’m so pumped to be here for 15 hours!

16. What customers think “the back” looks like versus what it actually is.

17. Finishing ringing up a customer and they say, “Actually, I don’t want this pair.”

18. Visits from corporate. Like just don’t, unless you’re bring us free stuff.

19. Those people who think they are funny by handing you $100 and saying “Yep, just printed that one this morning.”

20. People asking for extra discounts because “I thought you liked me.”

21. Trash runs

22. When a new sale starts and you have to find everything just by looking at SKEWS.

23. Inventory. Yes, I would love to spend my Sunday night counting how many packs of socks we have.

24. When you’re trying to make plans with your friends, but you all work together.

25. Going shopping on your day off and getting frustrated because you keep fixing stuff in other stores.

Let’s face it, retail sucks. I run into almost every situation listed above on a daily basis, and it never gets easier to handle. I can say retail has taught me a few things, and it’s brought me some great friends, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is how to not kill a customer.

Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

Popular Right Now

It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
852871
views

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Interested In Retail? Here Are 5 Of The Biggest Things That I've Learned In My 3 Years of Retail Experience

You learn to live with it.

47
views

Have you ever worked in retail before? Are you going into retail? Is it something you're interested in or have ever been interested in or curious about?

Retail is a busy industry and can be the best thing you've ever done with yourself. It has days where you wanna quit and walk out. Don't we all have those days though? It happens in everything and in every industry.

After working in various places involved in retail over the course of 4 years, I'm able to come up with 4 of the biggest lessons that I've learned. These are things that will live in legend from my experiences.

They're not all good, but they're honest. Since honesty is the best policy, I found this appropriate to share.

1. Retail workers can't always win.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

I can't tell you the number of times that I've wanted to scream in someone's face when they're wrong about something. It's an urge, but I keep my cool since it would put my job on the line.

What I'm saying is that a price or discount isn't always what the customer thinks it is. People tend to read tags and see this big discount sticker, but don't read the fine print underneath it explaining that more money must be spent first in order to receive the discounted deal. This is usually the case, and this makes customers angry when they try to make a big purchase and are disappointed to see that the sale isn't what they saw.

Even though it's not my fault, I still get blamed for it. Whether it's "your sign should say that more clearly," or "I'd like to speak to a manager," it escalates to levels that it doesn't need to get to, but does anyway because people just love to be right and to prove me wrong.

In the end, most of the companies that I've worked for and currently work for end up giving the customer a courtesy discount or the deal that they're arguing for. The thing that always gets me is that the more they complain, the more often they'll receive these courtesies because they know that can just argue for it. Then, they'll come back and do it every time and always get discounts against company policies.

What I've learned: this is how the retail world works. People will bother the hell out of companies just for discounts when they very clearly can go elsewhere for their business. The retail companies end up getting taken advantage of, and people are only happy when they're right.

2. Excuse yourself before it becomes an issue.

Photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash

Most retail companies have strict policies about their prices and whether they'll change them for someone or not, and for very specific reasons. At least that's how it should be.

But here's the catch.

I've been in plenty of situations where the customer I'm dealing with gets very upset and wants to argue with me even after I've explained why I can't do something for them. Most of the time, I'll either get into trouble for it or it's against company policy and could involve my entire job.

What I've found useful is excusing myself from the situation before I start to argue back or get upset. I'm a person who gets upset when I'm being yelled at and immediately want to escape the situation or fight back.

Often, I'll call a manager up to speak to the upset customer and I'll go to the restroom and either cry or calm myself down. I notice I'll start to shake from anger and I'd rather not take it out on someone I don't even know and possibly lose my job.

Customers can be really mean and actually make me cry by making me feel bad about myself. It's happened before and I'm sure it'll happen again.

But it's life. I've learned to pick myself back up and move on. They're just people.

3. There are people who just don't care about you.

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

This is a tough pill to swallow, but it couldn't be truer.

Often, customers will come in and shop and only be there for what they need. They could care less about your day, how you're doing, how tough your life must be outside of work, how stressed you are, etc. It's obviously common courtesy to ask how someone is doing (even if you don't actually care), and sometimes get mumbling, one-way conversations, and no thank you's afterward.

It's kind of like if you've had a bad day. How do you channel your anger or stress? Do you take it out on others? Do you vent?

Unfortunately, some people are selfish and don't care where they channel their anger. If you're the unlucky victim, I wish you the best of luck. It goes back to retail employees not always being able to win. It's how it works. It's not an equation, it's an improper fraction.

Sometimes I feel like I'm just seen as a robot. Ask the same person the same questions when they come to the cash register and get the same answers. It gets old and boring, but it's routine and it's the easiest way to get the job done.

Because of this, I feel that customers often see me as someone who will do as they command, kiss their feet and worship them.

But oh well.

4. You've gotta have tough skin.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

This one is simple.

People will curse you out, threaten to call corporate or say that they're going to tell all of their friends not to shop with you or give you poor online ratings.

It's important to understand how normal this is and that it can't be stopped. It happens to everyone and not all customers are going to be 100% happy all of the time. Plain and simple.

5. Remember to take nothing personally.

Photo by Pablo Varela on Unsplash

A problem I've always struggled with working retail is the fact that I take anger or impatience personally. I think it's all my fault that someone can't be satisfied and that there's nothing that I can do for them.

As difficult as it's been to learn to live with this, it's important to.

For anyone in retail or going into retail, it goes along with having tough skin. It's necessary. In other words, have a hard shell for those specific people who are trying to get into your face about something.

When I can't process a return because it's too old or I can't find the price of something and I need a price check, and God forbid the customer has to wait for that, there's tension. I hate having to be confrontational or having to turn people down or away, but when the deed is needed, I deliver it.

If you've worked in retail already, you know that there's a ton more I could have listed. These are important lessons that I've picked up in my time with retail, and they won't be the last.

Happy shopping.

Related Content

Facebook Comments