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.


  1. It's amazing how true all of this is. I couldn't count how many times I've walked into the staff room at work and someone is having a rant about a rude customer - I often join in. And it really is amazing just how much a kind customer helps me get through a bad day. Amen sister!! xx

  2. Ugh, I remember this one guy who used to keep buying drinks with £50 notes. First time, fine, perhaps that's all he had. Second time, he didn't look too happy to receive all his change in pound coins. Last time he's wandered in without smaller notes ^_^

    Only thing I disagree with is being ignored. I'd relish being ignored, but then I work at a bar and listening to some guy's sad sob story for tenth time at 4am isn't fun.