Retail workers are just there to help you out. We’re there to make your shopping life easier. But that isn’t to say, we aren’t internally dying every time we endure certain customer quirks that make us want to scream out loud.
More often than not, customers don’t realise what they are doing could be considered annoying. Or generally unhelpful. And that’s totally okay! Everybody does it. Even on occasion, the odd retail worker will slip up when shopping in another store. However, we’ll always catch it.
Here’s a list of some customer habits that you may never know you do, but you should try to avoid.
Throwing money at the cashier
Probably one the most obvious things you shouldn’t do. When an employee is serving you, maybe think twice about throwing money at them when you’re paying. Most cashiers will not react very well to this, as we’re there to help you. We’ll treat you and your items with care, so please do the same when you’re paying for them.
Touching items and/or dumping them
Unfortunately a huge problem when working in a retail store. More often than not you’ll stumble across items shoved behind others, thrown on the floor, stacks of folded clothing knocked over… the list is endless. The best way to avoid adding to the mess is by asking an employee to help you. They’re much more likely to help you grab an item themselves than have to clean up after.
Anyone shocked by these “Karen” videos has never worked a day in retail.
— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) July 6, 2020
Ignoring personal space
Sometimes customers won’t realise they are being intrusive when they butt into an employee’s personal space. While we often won’t be too upset as it’s more often than not unintentional, it’s helpful for everyone involved to be mindful of it. As this has become ever more important in our current COVID world, maybe we should just stick to the 1.5 metre distance?
Refusing to sanitise hands
Another problem that has run rampant in our post-COVID world, customers who refuse to sanitise their hands when entering the store. Unfortunately, sanitising your hands has become commonplace for most stores, for your safety as well as the employees’. Maybe you’ve over sanitised already? Maybe you just did at the store you entered before? There may be many reasons, but at least a little heads up for the staff is better than just ignoring the request.
Being rude to employees
Sometimes you’re in a rush? Sometimes you’re stressed out? Whatever the reason, it’s absolutely not okay to take your frustrations out on a retail employee. Our job is to make your day easier, it’s quite unfair for you to make our day harder. Yes, its frustrating when that top you like might not be in stock, but that’s not the staff’s fault. We’ll be more than helpful, if you treat us we the same respect we treat you with.
Said “sorry for the wait” to customer today and she turned around and said “no you’re not”. you know what you’re right
— Stephanie France (@Stephfrancex) November 26, 2017
Every store will have a set of rules that each employee must follow, sometimes this may include up-selling or asking lots of questions. We can assure you, we know the incessant questions are annoying. Unfortunately, we have to ask them. So please, if you hear us rattling off a bunch of questions we have to ask, wait until we’re done and politely decline. We’re not judging you for not being interested, but we are for the interruption.
Making us reprimand your child
From time to time, employees will be faced with an unruly child who may run amok in the store. That’s totally understandable! They’re just being who they are, they’re children. However, we don’t appreciate being made to reprimand the child if they get a bit too out of hand. Please just help us out and say something.
Not alerting us when you spill or break an item
Last, but certainly not least. A huge pet peeve for any retail employee is cleaning up a spill or broken item that they find themselves. If you accidentally break something or spill your drink, just let us know immediately. We’re not going to reprimand you or force you to pay for it, it was an accident. Not only is ignoring it kinda gross, but it’s also quite dangerous for the staff and other customers. Nothing, and I mean nothing, will irritate a staff member more than having to stumble across a spill.
When the customer blames you for prices you have no power over pic.twitter.com/3TvOJF1AYH
— The Retail Job Life (@RetailJobLife) November 23, 2015
Honestly, we’re not expecting you to change your shopping behaviour overnight. We just want you to be mindful of some of these habits when out shopping. Not only does it make it easier on the staff, but your shopping trip will go as smoothly as it possibly could.