Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Retail Hijinx

Working in the retail industry since I was 16, I have noticed a burgeoning trend for rudeness. Which happens less in big department stores (although it still happens, less at the tills because most of the time people are buying a lot of items and small talk is needed to fill the silence), and much more in smaller stores. The 'impulse' item industry has gone through the roof over the past 10 years, and the problem is, entire stores are now becoming 'impulse' stores.

There is still no need for the lack of manners, the blatant ignorance for curtesy, and the attitude that people, of any age and gender, give to shop workers. Really, people should not need to be told what to do and what not to do, but they do. They need it a ton. Thus, I present to you, a short list of DO's and DO NOT DO's of being a customer.

1. Smile at the cashier. I cannot tell you how a sulky face puts me in a sulky mood myself, 10 sulky faces in a row is just bloody unnessecary.

2. Say 'Hello!' or 'Hi!' back when they greet you. Don't ignore us and just walk away. 'What a bitch' we'll think about you.

3. Try and take the time to give correct change. I know that this isn't always possible, but it is definitely appreciated. Don't use us as a bank and just change large notes for a bottle of water. You may think this isn't a big deal, but when 10 people do it in a row, it becomes a very big deal. The change runs out, and then you bitch that you can't have a 5 pound note when you give us a tenner for something that costs 50p. DON'T DO IT.

4. Say 'thankyou' when they give you the change. This isn't hard. Just be a nice person. Simply. This shouldn't even have to be written. But I guarantee you every.single. worker in the country, and even all over the world, has a rude customer story. Don't be one of those rude customers.

1. Don't talk on your phone at the counter! This is one of the rudest things you can do and it pisses everyone off! Just put it down for one second! Because if there is one thing we can't stand, it's people who ignore us!

2. Don't leave your ipod earphones in your ears, then ask what the price is again when you weren't listening to us the first time.

3. Have a LOOK for what you want first, instead of making us find something for you as soon as you walk through the door. Use those things called eyes first!

4. Do I have my bag on? Jumper on? Looking relaxed? I'm probably finished for the day, haven't started yet or I am on break. LEAVE ME ALONE AT ALL COSTS.

5. Don't get angry at us if we don't have exactly what you need. It is probably not our fault. It is mostly a supplier problem.

6. Check that is EXACTLY what you want before you pay for it! AND CHECK the return policy if you plan on returning anything. Even if you don't, check it just in case. Don't bring back the item after the return period then have a whinge when we can't do anything about it.

7. Don't put the money on the counter when the cashier is holding their hand out for it. This is extremely rude and we will respond by putting YOUR change on the counter, no matter how much of it there is. See how inconvenient that is?

We will always remember the bad customers. So try not to be one of them. Just people the way you want to be treated, basically. Customer service is a repetitive, boring, brain-numbingly annoying job, and we can ALWAYS tell when someone has never worked a day in their life. The naivety isn't charming, it's grating. When you are serving the same type of person all day long, try and stand out as one of the good ones. The good customers brighten a day. You don't realize how much good you are doing by being a good customer.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010


Since moving to London. I have become...less patient, less caring, less fun, and in general a grumpier, angrier, more annoyed person. I know what you're thinking, how on earth could YOU get any MORE of any of those things. Very easily.

You do not think of London as a carefree type place, it is a strained, stressed, pumping city that throbs and beats, like a big heart. It sleeps, but very lightly. It is dirty, it stinks and it's expensive. Why would I love living here so much then?

I have such a love/hate relationship with this city. It comes from the fact that I live in such a dank area of the East, which, I persuade anyone moving to London not to move to East London. It's racist, sexist, confronting and forces you to change the way you feel about certain things. Which, I suppose, all in all, may not be such a bad thing.

A faith school in East London had children pouring out of it last night and I felt immense pity for them, until I realized they were still at an age where it wasn't affecting them yet, they were running, screaming, playing, just normal kids. Yet I know that as they get older, the religion that is forced on them will squeeze out all their creativity, and capability for open minded thinking. But, even just for this brief moment in time, they are happy, laughing children. Just like anyone else.

Piccadilly at night is a wonder to behold. The giant Sanyo neon sign pumping and the endless tourists posing in silhouettes against it. I take a breath every time I walk out of the tube station and see it. It seems like I am in a sort of eternity, but, things will change, people will change.

Will they?

Londons people are of a few stark different kinds. The posh middle and upper class. The average working class, the tourists, and the scum. The scum, I do not think I am acting too rashly when I say it is anyone who spits, leaves litter, pees in a public place, yells catcalls at women, screams at someone on the tube hoping to provoke a fight, and bible bashers. Stop ruining London.

The freedom of this city is overrun by the idiots, and while I do not mean to sound snobby, as I am far from an upperclass man myself, I just wish people were a little more polite. When I first got here I took every pamphlet, listened to every crier, stared at every homeless person, said sorry to everyone I bumped into. Now, I could care less about every one of them. I am encased in my own little world. Headphones in and not ready to smile at any of them. As many of the others are.

I hope this does not affect my friendliness in the long run, as I know I am quite a stressed and highly strung person. I don't want to become worse, and completely closed off from meeting excellent new people. London is a great city, and if you pick your places, it can make a good home, but I wouldn't recommend it to live for anyone who has high stress levels.