The Retail Worker Blues

Dear Customers,

Every once and a while there comes a time where retail workers contemplate walking off the job because you, yes YOU, get on our LAST NERVE. Not all of you. The polite customers are awesome. The ones that come in frequently and end up knowing our names are great! The ones that don’t leave a mess rock! But all those who are the complete opposite…this letter is to you!

I wish you would have had to work a retail/customer service job.  I think it should be mandated. You know, like how everyone used to have to take Home Economics in 7th grade (probably shoulda been a college course too). Every one should have to work a minimum of 2 full years to gain retail/customer service experience. I swear you and the world would be better because of it. Maybe.  I am. Not that I was a horrible person before, but ever since I started working retail I’m much more conscious of my “retail etiquette.”  Let me shed some light on the things that you customers who have no retail experience should be aware of:

  • When there’s a new employee on the register and there’s a long line, be more patient. I was new once and I know how overwhelming it can be. Being a disgruntled customer only makes it worse and then you have to wait longer (sometimes on purpose). So everybody do everybody else a favor and just wait sheesh. No one told you to go to the mall on your 30 min lunch break any way.

  • When your coupon is expired, don’t get mad when I say you can’t use it.

Me: “Ma’am this coupon is expired”

Customer: “No its not. Today’s the 13th.”

Me: “The coupon expired on the 10th.”

Customer: “Well just try it anyway.”

Me: *scans the coupon and shows customer error message on the screen*

Customer: Well this is ridiculous. Bed Bath and Beyond lets me use my expired coupons (IDK if that’s true so don’t try it).

Me: “Well ma’am this isn’t Bed, Bath and Beyond.”

Customer: “Well if I can’t use my coupon then I don’t want this.”

Me: “Ok I’ll put it back for you (Nice try with the ultimatum but that don’t even phase me).

  • Stop threatening to not come back when things don’t go your way. So what your rewards expired. THATS NOT MY FAULT. I did not make and print the rewards coupons. I didn’t create the rewards policy. And I am not pressed about losing you as customer because you don’t determine whether or not I get paid. This ain’t a commission job. I get paid for my hours regardless of how many people come in and out of the store and buy something. Bye Felicia.

  • If the sign says “Everything in the store 50% off NO EXCLUSIONS” then yes that shirt you picked up next to the “Everything in the store 50% off NO EXCLUSIONS” sign is 50% off. In the customers defense though, sometimes the sales can be confusing. You just gotta pay more attention though.  If you got it near a sign then actually read the sign.

  • The store closes at 9:30pm. You KNOW we close at 9:30pm. WHY DO YOU COME IN AT 9:29pm, mess up all the  clothes on tables that we just folded neatly, try on a million things and then leave the store at 9:54pm with NOTHING, but the clothes you came in with. STOP DOING THIS! WE HAVE LIVES AND WANT TO GET HOME. 
  • The return policy is the return policy. Yes every store is different, but its usually on the receipt and ranges from 30-90 days from the date of purchase with the original form of payment or store credit.

Me: “NO I cant give you cash back if you paid with a credit card. YES I have to give you store credit because it’s past 30 days. No you will not get what you paid for this item because you don’t have the receipt.  Oh you want to speak to the manager?

Manager: “NO I cant give you cash back if you paid with a credit card. YES I have to give you store credit because it’s past 30 days. No you will not get what you paid for this item because you don’y have the receipt.


So in closing, customers, stop the madness and do better. Especially during the holiday season. Some of y’all lose all of the manners and good sense you never had to begin with (I know that doesn’t make sense, but neither does your attitude). ‘Tis the season to just do better. So do it.


Retail Workers Everywhere

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