‘Tis the season to be jolly – unless you work in retail. Long hours and bustling crowds mean the holiday season can turn into a living hell for those working through the thick of it. So to make life just a little bit easier, a handful of retail workers offer their best tips on how not to make shop assistants hate you this Christmas.
Leaving everything to the last minute is a bad idea
“Don’t come into the store five minutes before closing on a very late night and decide to try on everything. We’ve already been there for hours and now have to clean up after you before we get to go home.”
“Don’t yell at retail workers when we close at 7 pm on Christmas Eve because you were unorganised. We also have families and have all managed to finish our shopping even while working late hours.”
“I once got told I was ‘a fucking cunt’ and I could ‘go to hell’ because I had to close the store on Christmas Eve.”
Keep your receipts
“Even if you don’t think you’ll need to return or exchange something, you never really know so please try and keep your receipts for as long as possible. We really have no way of telling if you bought said item at this particular store without proof of purchase, and even if we’re able to look it up on our system through your loyalty card, for example, please keep in mind how time-consuming that is, especially when there are a million people waiting in line.”
We’re not your babysitters
“Don’t let your child run wild in the store destroying everything. Also, don’t use us as a threat to get your child to behave and then get shocked when we really do tell them off.”
Don’t be a slob
“Don’t get appalled at how messy the store is. Please try and clean up after yourselves. Remember: clothes go on hangers, not on the floor.”
Please listen to us – we’re trying to help
“Don’t ask to see the manager when we’ve already told you something is impossible. Nine times out of 10, they’re just going to tell you the same thing.”
“If we tell you everything is on the floor and we don’t have any other stock, please don’t get us to check the stockroom for you anyway ‘just in case’. We don’t have it and we don’t have time to go stand in our empty stockroom for us to then come out, try and find you again, and say ‘sorry, we don’t have it’.”
If you’re going to be a dick, at least go to the right store
“We once had a customer come in and yell at us because ‘the quality of our chairs were terrible’. After calming him down and looking at his receipt, it turned out he had bought them from a completely different furniture store.”
Prices are non-negotiable
“Don’t barter with us. We’re just the middleman and we don’t decide the pricing (nor have the power to change it).”
Be a decent human being
“Please just have some patience and realise we want to be with our loved ones too. We’re working our asses off over Christmas doing ridiculous hours like 9am to midnight just so you can have the chance to buy last minute gifts.”
“A customer once told me to tell my manager she made me cry because ‘that’s the only way things can get done around here’.”
“A customer went off at me and then came back later bawling her eyes out, apologising for being such a bitch. I ended up having to console her and convince her that I didn’t think she was a horrible person which was…awkward.”
“If you’re a bad one, we’ll remember you. We always remember the bad ones.”
“Don’t tell us how much you hate the Christmas music because we hate it too.”
Read about how not to be a dick at a nice restaurant here.
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The Spinoff’s business section is enabled by our friends at Kiwibank. Kiwibank backs small to medium businesses, social enterprises and Kiwis who innovate to make good things happen.