Every job has its ups and downs, and, while everyone insists that retail is hell on earth, a retail job is not always the worst thing in the world.
I won’t lie: I work at a pretty well-known retail store, and I love it, but there are definitely some downsides.
I’ve worked at my current job for three years now, and have since learned to compartmentalize rude comments and get over it, but am I supposed to put up with a customer’s abuse because I wear a name tag?
Next time you’re considering lashing out at your friendly neighborhood minimum wage worker, here are some reasons you should be nicer to retail employees.
We do a lot of work for little pay.
Believe it or not, retail employees really do a lot of work for very little pay.
Of course, every person’s experience is different, but a typical day for me included standing at a register for eight hours or more, while also making displays for the sales floor, cleaning up customer’s messes, putting things into top-stock and completely re-pricing items that have gone on sale.
While this may seem like a very simple job — and some days it is, on busy days when the line of customers goes around the store, it is stressful to do anything besides stand at the register all day.
We deal with irate customers all day.
I am not exaggerating at all when I say that some days, it feels like every person in the world is having their worst day ever.
Trust me when I say this: being the person to tell a customer that something that they want is out of stock is my own personal hell.
I, of course, couldn’t write this without mentioning the coupon ninja customers!
I have literally seen my managers be physically and verbally assaulted on numerous occasions because of things that are out of our control at a store level. Of course, we are trained to be able to deal with these types of customers in the best “retail way,” but the point is: we shouldn’t have to deal with it in the first place.
We don’t make the merchandise you buy.
I can’t put into words how many times I have had a customer yell at me for something that was not manufactured correctly, or something that broke.
No one who is working in the store is making your vacuum. The reality is that we don’t make the products, we just sell them!
We are human beings!
Enough said. This shouldn’t have to be explained.
While working retail can be extremely difficult, it honestly has taught me some of the best lessons.
I have learned patience, compassion, the customer is almost always wrong, and, most importantly, how to pretend like I’m not about to blow a fuse after a particularly bad interaction.
If the world was a righteous place, everyone would have to work a retail job at least once in their life. Maybe their experience would change their attitude towards retail and customer service employees.