15 things that piss off retail workers

The Growing Up Guide retail shop open customers job

If you work in retail you are a saint. No, really; hats off to you. I have seen an array of annoyances when browsing shops, from a women shouting “silly bitch” at a worker in New Look for not hanging up her clothes for her, to watching an acquaintance opening a (non-tester) lipgloss.

I may have never have worked in retail, but I commend the people that do. We asked the retail workers of the Twitter world to share their horror stories with us and let us know what really grinds their gears.

Not putting things back properly

One Twitter user noted how when working at Yankee Candle, people who came into the shop would not replace the lids on the candles properly. Obviously, the lids would fall off, smashing on the floor…

Retail workers do not make the rules

People who work in retail are unlikely to own the company they work for. They don’t make the rules of the shop, such as return limits, prices, what to do to complain, etc. So why complain in front of them?

Returning clothing that’s inside out

Until another Twitter user spoke up I had never thought consciously about this. Because in returning items, they have to be in good/original condition, surely? So, right way round, folded neatly, etc. But if you’re returning clothes, make sure they have their seams inside.

Going into a shop minutes before closure

If it’s an emergency, it’s probably more acceptable. But, in general, why leave your shopping until the last minute? After all, the shop is trying to close!

Someone I know also said to me recently how, when trying to close, a man dashed in at the last minute. He said “*laugh* it’s good you’re not closing!”

Blaming the prices on someone who works at the tills

Prices are set to cover production costs and to hopefully make a profit.

It’s very well shopping around for the better deal, in order to be a savvy shopper, but why complain about prices to someone who works there?

Not engaging in conversation/ignoring

Replying “Good morning”, or “Hi, how are you?” doesn’t take a lot of effort. Ignoring a greeting deliberately is just plain rude.

Verbal abuse

Why swear at someone? That’s going to piss people off.

Asking for a discount

Where I live, there’s a local charity shop; there’s a sign up, noting how the charity aims to set prices. Therefore do not ask for a discount, or money off!

Besides, it is unlikely that someone who works in retail could give you one, unless there is a promotion.

Being on the phone

Again, if it’s an emergency, it’s probably more acceptable. But when at a till, why keep talking on the phone? Or play a game, or be online, when you need to pay?

It’s polite to look at someone, and not ignore them by proxy.

Expecting a retail worker to fold your clothes

That’s for you to do. If you don’t want to buy them, at least return them in a neat condition.

Asking questions when on a break

“I know I’ve caught you at a bad time, but…” People who work in retail need a break! So ask someone who is ‘on duty’.

Not queuing up

It may be a terribly British stereotype, however a queue is there to keep a shop orderly. But going straight to the front is rude. Barging is not on, either.

Not asking specific questions

“I was looking at that thing with the pink glitter writing…” Hmm. Do you see the problem with this? Be specific in your line of questioning.

Returning an item that has been used

Generally speaking, items that have been used can’t be returned, unless there is a severe fault with it. So why try exchanging them?

“I spoke to the manager, and he said…”

It’s best not to lie at the best of times. So why say you spoke to the manager, when you clearly have not?

Retail workers we really do salute you for everything you have to put up with, especially during times of busy periods, like weekends – let alone Christmas and sales!

If you’re guilty of one of the above then try to be a better shopper next time and make the shop assistant or cashiers day by saying hello, smiling and jus being polite.



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