Everyone Should Work Retail At Least Once In Their Life

everyone should work retail at least once in their life
I honestly never thought I would write a blog post about this, but the other day I just had the rudest customer. I do not know if she was having a bad day or what, but she just blew up in my face.

I started by asking if she had our store credit card, she said no and that she was not interested. Okay, so, me, being the cashier, and being that I get paid to always ask twice, I asked again at the end of the transaction if she was sure she did not want to open one since she could save so much.

Most people at this point just say, no thank you, that is the polite thing to do, but this customer said no and looked a little upset. So I said okay, and went on to payment. Next, we have to ask for their e-mail, and this is where she exploded. I do not remember what her exact words were, but she felt as if I was hounding her, and said something along the lines of she loved shopping in our store but does not like that every time she comes in she gets harassed.

It is a cashier's job to ask twice for opening a card and we also have to ask twice for e-mail. Our store ratings are affected by how many cards we open and how many e-mail subscriptions we get. I also was not forcing her to do anything. I was politely asking if she wanted to open a card.

If she does not like getting asked, then one, don't shop at our store or two, just open a card and give me your e-mail! We still have to ask "Do you have our store card," but then we only ask once and you just have to say yes, or just lie and say yes, we won't know the difference! Also, once you enter your e-mail, it connects to your credit card so it won't ask again unless you use another card or you get a new card. You can always create another e-mail for junk, or you know what, make one up! Again, we won't know the difference!

I know it is annoying and I hate getting asked all the time too, but since I work in retail, I know why they have to ask. It is what they get paid to do and guess what, it also affects how many hours they get! Those who open more cards and get more e-mails are going to get more hours because they are the ones helping the store, so before you get upset, think about why sales associates have to do it and realize they aren't out to get you!

Seriously though, I think everyone needs to work retail once in their life to understand what the sales associate go through. We are not there to make your life miserable, we are just doing our job, and all you have to do is say "no thank you." Maybe you have to say it three times, but just politely say it and we will leave you alone.

I had a customer that got annoyed and was like "do you ever get tired of doing that?" YES! Yes I do, but that is what I am paid to do, I can't just stop asking customers if they want to open a card or for their e-mail, or to take our survey. If I don't ask, then guess what, I won't have a job! Plus we have to ask because all of these help our store!

Is it really the end of the world that a sales associate asks you these questions? It is not like I am asking how much you weigh or where you live. These are not personal questions. They are simple yes and no questions.

Also, some people like knowing that if they take our survey they can get entered for a chance to win a gift card or get a coupon for their next purchase, and some people might like to open a credit card so they can start saving or earn rewards. We also don't have psychic abilities. I don't know if you are going to be one of those snippy people or if you are going to be a nice and polite person just by looking at you! So I can't just pick and choose who to ask and if I do, well then, that makes me judgmental, which most people consider a bad thing.

So please just let the cashier ask you these questions, let them do their job, and all you have to do is say "no thank you" and "thanks for letting me know!" It is just the nice thing to do.

Here are a few more customers that annoy me:

The late returner 

Seriously, I don't know why we continue to take back items that were bought after 90 days. Three months is enough time for someone to return an item, heck I think one month should be enough! Then people get all upset because we tell them we can return it, but it is going to be for what it is worth now and well, after three months, items go on clearance. So you may have paid $20 for it, but now it's only worth $5. Why should our store lose money because you couldn't make it back to the store in 90 days? I don't understand some people. Do they not read the return policy?

The "I want to return this" (but I ripped the tag off) 

Here is another, why? Do not take the tags off until you try it on! I am not talking about the stupid paper tags that always fall off, but the ones inside, attached to the seam! I can understand if the paper tag falls off, they do all the time, but why rip out the one on the inside? We can't take it back of course because we can't sell it. Again, why should our store lose money because you for some crazy reason decided to rip out the washing instructions!

One customer threatened to sue the store because we wouldn't take her items due to this (plus they were also wet, said she left them in her car, well that is stupid and probably not true). I don't think she ever did. She had no case, our return policy says we don't take items that appear washed or worn and taking the inside tag off = worn.

The "I thought this was ___% off"  

I can understand this. I mean signs can be confusing, but often if you read the fine print, it answers the question. A lot of the time signs will say "up to" as well, which people often miss. What I don't get is throwing a hissy fit at the register when something is not as cheap as they thought it was. It is not my fault, I did not do the signage, and hey, maybe you read the sign wrong? Don't go blaming me! Why not just pass on the item if it was not the price you thought it was? Do you really need it? If so, then don't get upset when someone goes to check the sign for you.

What is worse is when the sign is for something else and then the customer has to go back to see it for themselves. These people must really have nothing better do in their lives. Seriously, just pass on the item, it is not like you will die without it or pay what it rang up as, most of the time it's only a few dollars more, which is really annoying. Who gets upset over a couple dollars? Really? If you are that poor, go to a consignment store or garage sale!


By working in retail, I have become a better customer. I am more patient when it comes to waiting in line. I often give out my junk e-mail to help out another cashier. I may not open a credit card, but I politely say "no thank you" each and every time they ask, no matter if it is once or four times (sometimes we go on repeat, even I have asked more than twice on a few occasions, it is just a habit).

I think everyone should work retail at least once because by being on both sides, you become more understanding and also learn to always read those return policies! And hey, if it is passed the return date, why not sell it on eBay? Or gift it to someone else? After all, it is your fault for not returning the item within the given time frame, and 90 days is plenty of time for you to decide if you want or need the item.

Attribution: Image used in blog post photo does not belong to me and was found on Pexels. 

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