7 Reasons Why Working In Retail Sucks

Working in retail can be challenging, but it can also be annoying, frustrating and stressful at the same time. That along with the  particular days, when you wonder if the pay is even worth it. There’s been many a horror story coming from the world of retail,  from store employees everywhere – some are amusing to read, while others are just truly sad. Either way, they’re painfully relatable if you’ve been there. However, for those of you who don’t know what it’s like, here’s a some reasons why working in retail will make you lose the will to live, at times, so just to give anyone an idea, here it goes…

7. Customer tantrums

The customer is always right, right? No. Sometimes, the customer is just a moron. Or, in some cases, a screaming and raging moronChild tantrums are annoying enough, but from full-grown adults, too? It’s kind of embarrassing. Those who are or have worked in retail, will always remember these kind of customers – the lady screaming at the poor girl behind the service desk, because she can’t return her shitty underwear, the other lady screaming because she mistook her item as a sale item, that guy demanding more change than he’s already owed. Most of us have had experiences like this, and if you haven’t, you will at some point, trust me. Look up customer service stories online and I guarantee you’ll find a middle-aged tantrum in there somewhere.

6. Screaming kids….EVERYWHERE

On the subject of screaming your lungs out, you also get kids, who’ll happily do just that and somehow never seem to get tired of it. Go to any busy shop and I guarantee you’ll hear someone’s kid screaming the whole store down, and once they finally stop, another one will immediately take their place. It’s like some sort of system that they have going on, to test our patience. Seriously, you can’t go five minutes without someone’s “darling child” screaming the crap out of your ear at any one time. What’s even more frustrating is when people just fawn over the little angel, because tantrums are “oh-so” adorable, aren’t they? Once in retail, when you’ve had enough of a screaming child, it’s best to leave the shop floor for a few minutes, because even the most patient of employees needs a break sometime. Once you reach headache status, it’s definitely time to take five.

5. According to customers, everything is your fault

Store policy, declined cards, long queues – all of these factors are the fault of store employees, apparently. When you’re not dealing with adults having a mental breakdown, you’re dealing with customers who’ll blame everything on the cashier. You’re sticking to the company’s strict policies, aren’t you? But, it’s still your fault (somehow). My card has declined, because I keep spending money on useless crap that I don’t need? Better blame the cashier. Geez, this queue is long. Better remind the cashier that they’re supposed to be super-human and serve all customers in less than 5 seconds flat. Honestly, it’s incredible how many customers don’t use their logic to assess a situation. Unfortunately, a lot of these issues are beyond the cashier’s control, yet they still whine away, anyway. Once, I had a woman stop me while I was working, just to complain about how hot it was in the store, something that I had no control over. I call people like her “FTWS”, which stands for fucking time wasters.

4. “Do you work here?”

Nah, I just bought the uniform from eBay for fun. You see, I always wanted to work for this store, but I’ve always been rejected, so I just decided to pretend that I work here instead.  So, I bought a used uniform online and now I wear it here, to feel like I really work here. It may sound silly, but I can dream, can’t I?

3. “They’re paid to clean that up”

Dropped your McDonald’s there, Susan? Not to worry, the store employees will take care of it, even though it isn’t their job to do so. Seriously, the amount of times customers have been too lazy to throw away their rubbish properly is amazing. Last time I checked, you were in a shop, not a landfill, so pick up your goddamn McDonald’s from the floor and throw it away, you lazy cow.

2. Is this a good time to talk?

Rudeness doesn’t always take form in verbal abuse. Sometimes, it’s the people who chatter on the phone, while they’re being served. Yeah, just pretend I’m not here and don’t even say thank you when I bag your crap. Clearly, your phone call is more important than common manners. You’re welcome.

1. Terrible jokes

Honestly, if I had a pound for every time, I fake laughed at a customers joke, I wouldn’t need a job anymore. The most irritating one is when you’re having difficulty scanning an item and a customer jokes, “Oh, it must be free then!” Hahaha, get out and join a comedy club, you joker.

So, there you have it. And, just to remind everyone to remember that 95% of the time, the customer is never right. Just to oppose that notion of the customer always being right, well, in the case of dealing with morons, then they’re probably wrong.

P.S. – If you work in retail and want to read up on some funny or frustrating customer service tales, check out www.notalwaysright.com.

You can also submit your own story if you want. Sadly, I don’t have a story yet, but I like to think that someday I will have a real juicy one to add to that existing list.



<Story by Emily Clark>

Featured Photo Credit: Buisness Insider

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