Friday, 17 April 2015

20 Problems Only Retail Staff Will Understand

I've worked in and out of retail since I was 16 and I've come to learn that if there's one thing that tries your patience, it's working with the general public. Of course, shop work isn't all bad - it can be a great way to earn money while you're at college/uni, the hours are flexible and some of the girls I've met along the way have become life long friends. There are, however, times where it has made me want to cry/scream/become a hermit. This list is dedicated to all those who have had days ruined by bitchy colleagues and irritating customers. How do we cope?! 

Couples who 'fight' over who's paying. "I'll get this for you! My treat!" "No, it's fine!" "Go on, I insist!" Just give me the money.

Or worse, PDAs at the till. Please no

That one member of staff who's on the same wage as you but takes great delight in bossing you around

Listening to the same pre-approved playlist for eight hours a day, five days a week

Customers who assume you have some sort of sixth sense. "I saw a white top in here about two months ago, I was wondering if you still have it?" "Okay, do you have a code or a picture?" "No"

Customers who claim to work for Trading Standards

Customers who don't put clothes back on hangers after they've finished trying them on. IT'S NOT THAT HARD

Never getting the 'Friday feeling' because you've worked every weekend for the past two years

Managers who think they're Alan Sugar

Getting a grilling for being 2 minutes late on shop floor, even though you'll probably have to stay behind for an extra half hour (unpaid) to help tidy

Cheesy meetings and 'team briefs' 

Customers coming in to browse five minutes before the store closes

When that one colleague pulls yet ANOTHER sickie, meaning you're understaffed and will have to work twice as hard

Customers who beckon you over from the other side of the store rather than walking to you to ask for help. I'm not a dog

Staff who constantly ring around asking people to cover their shifts yet NEVER return the favour

Customers who don't realise that sales assistants have no say whatsoever on prices/return policies/marketing decisions etc. Yep, it's expensive. Nope, the price wasn't my decision, so don't take it out on me

Getting a phone call from your manager on your day off asking you to come in and not being quick enough to think of a decent excuse why you can't

Customers who completely ignore you when you say hello or ask them if they need any help

Watching a customer mess up a fixture that just took you forever to tidy

And finally, getting paid an absolute pittance for your troubles 

If you can think of any more, please feel free to leave them in the comments below! x


  1. Oh, fun one! I have never worked on that but now I can understand better your problems! I'll try to be more careful next time I get into a shop. Have a nice day,

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  2. The accuracy of this is outstanding. Two more: When customers talk down to you just because you work in retail. Also, having to work holidays. Retail can be frustrating, but it has its fun moments! Great post, Kate! :)

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  4. The "Can I speak to the manager?" line that every customer drops when you don't givee them the answer they want to hear!


  5. Years ago I worked 3 weeks in a shop and I am glad I changed career :)
    great funny post :)