This is a great list. The sad part is that out of the 30 things, only the last 4 are the good things. So that’s 26 bad things about working in retail out of 30. Not a good score.
I can personally vouch for #3, as I am SO sick of hearing the Gecko Insurance commercials that play every day where I work that I literally feel like buying a gecko just so i can kill it. And #20–yes, yes, that really happens. Any cashier who tells you they’ve never slowed down ringing out a customer to avoid getting a problem customer who is next in line is full of crap. It usually becomes a battle between you and a coworker of who can slow down the most without appearing too obvious or upsetting the customer you’re working on.
As my summer all too quickly comes to a close, and the beginning of the school year approaches, I’ve begun looking back on my time at home. One of the things that stands out the most to me, has been my first opportunity to actually work. In the past, even when I have wanted to, I have either been too busy, not home often enough, or plain not old enough to have and commute to a job. Luckily for me, even though I was only home for a few short months, I was able to work 30+ hours a week. Most of all, I have learned about the best — and worst — parts about working retail.
1. You still don’t understand some people’s need to be at the store 20 minutes before it opens.
2. Or what deep part of hell people that walk in five minutes before closing are from.
3. You know all of the overhead advertisements by heart.
“Ask any of our associates how to start saving with our _____ savings card today!”
4. As well as all of the songs that play over the radio.
Because you know that the same 50 songs play everyday.
5. You can make change like a boss.
5. The bag struggle is real.
You often have to choose between too small, too big, too stuffed and too heavy. And you know that sometimes there is no right choice, so you just go with your regular-slightly-large-bag-with-handles hoping that the t-shirt and shorts the customer bought was enough to kind of fill the bag.
6. But the Chip or Swipe struggle is the bane of your existence.
I mean how many times can you possibly hear “Each one of these is different!” in a single day.
7. You’re even luckier if you have a SPECIAL reader…
You know, the kind that either doesn’t have any instructions, or that has some god-awful number of steps that the customer has to do in order to pay.
8. Asking customers if they want to start a credit card will always suck.
9. But hey, when someone finally says sure, it’s great!
Because your boss will stop asking you to get more cards.
10. And of course THAT’S when 20 people all decide they are ready to check out at one time.
Part of you knows that you need to be patient and give them your full attention, but another part of you cringes every time someone else gets in line.
11. AND turns out that they didn’t want three of those pairs of pants…
So of course you have to remove those…
12. Then they remember that a jacket was 25% off, even though it didn’t come up in the system.
13. Oh and don’t forget those expired coupons (or Retail Me Not coupon codes) that they will try and use.
And then proceed to get mad at you for not being able to use them.
14. Finally when you think you’re done…
Turns out she had a return she wanted to apply to her total, as well as some store credit. Time to Post Void the receipt!
15. Wait, Mary Sue doesn’t have her receipt?? AND the bag she’s returning is outside of our return policy?
Time to call the manager!!! So much fun!!!!
16. You experience something new and ridiculous every single day.
Whether it’s really stupid shoplifters, people running into displays, conspiracy theorists who “won’t give out their phone number” for fear of who-knows-what, and so many more FUN things that people try to pull.
17. Your favorite thing is when the line finally dies down.
And you get to (have to) find something else to do.
18. But of course by the time you come back, five people have somehow already formed a line.
19. But when you’re working with your work friends, it’s great!
Because you can all complain about your difficult customers together!
20. Although sometimes you check your current customer out a little bit slower, just so you don’t get the next person in line who has three bags full of returns.
21. You somehow always see the same people at work.
Do you people have lives outside of my store??? How do you have money to shop at the same store every week?! Are you rich? God I wish we could take tips…
22. But there is always that customer…
You know, the one who comes in every other day… Almost never buys anything… And when they do, they bring 10 things up, only buy one item and continuously complain that there aren’t enough discounts.
23. Or when people ask, “Are there any discounts on this?”
Because of course I’m going to give you discounts that don’t exist. Especially since you don’t belong to our rewards program (and vehemently opposed it), refused to get a credit card AND nothing you bought qualifies for any discounts.
24. But you always know (and dread) which times are prime time for returns.
By the 7th return and 4th call to the manager for approval in a row, you are already drained. And it’s probably not even two hours into your shift yet.
25. Ten minutes has never seemed shorter in your life.
Your breaks honestly feel like two minutes.
26. And the last half hour of your nine hour shift will never feel longer.
But there are some times when it is all worth it…
27. When that direct deposit hits.
28. When somebody compliments you.
I mean seriously, I have never gotten as many compliments in my life as I have while working retail.