8 Things I Will Never Do Again After Having Worked In Retail

This summer is my first time working in retail, and let me tell you, it is not a walk in the park. There are angry people, there are crazy people, and there are not enough hours in the day nor ounces of patience for me to please all of them. I’ve been a retail shopper since I could walk, and probably even before that, but being on the other side for the first time has taught me a couple things. There are some things I will never do again now that I’ve worked in retail, like:

1. Put something back on a random shelf. Yes, I know where the Benefit mascaras go. No, I do not appreciate having to put one back because you shoved it on a shelf with the OPI nail polishes.
2. Spray ALL THE PERFUMES. I used to be so bad about this. One time at Bath and Body Works, I sprayed so many on my own arm that I needed more smell space, so I sprayed like 20 on my sister’s arm and caused her to break out in hives. Now, I curse the people that cause me to suffocate every time I wander by the fragrance aisle. Karma smells like a huge cloud of Katy Perry’s newest fragrance.
3. Complain when people ask me if I need help twenty times. It turns out, retail people are told by their bosses to check up on people. It’s not our desire to take you out of your shopping zone every five minutes by asking if you need anything or stalk you so we can sell you things.
4. Complain when register service is slow. There is probably someone ahead of you in line that has asked to exchange five things, wants to use fifty coupons, and refuses to pay in anything but arcade tokens. Please be patient. We are actually trying as hard as we can.
5. Ignore those stupid receipt surveys. I get my name circled on our break room bulletin board with a smiley face every time I get good reviews, and I get super excited when that happens. Or at least I will when that happens (no one has written in to sing my praises yet). If we were awesome, please tell us. You will put a smile on a short blonde girl’s face for a whole hour, and that’s worth five minutes of your time.
6. Fail to appreciate small lengths of time. I look forward to my 15-minute breaks like I’d look forward to a vacation in Jamaica. Fifteen minutes seems like two hours of bliss when you have been on your feet all day. I’ll never look at the clock and say “I only have half an hour…” because half an hour is actually forever in retail time. In a half an hour I can drive to Subway, order the exact same sandwich I always order, eat said sandwich, and sprint back to work.
7. Buy any more black business casual clothes. Where I work, we’re only allowed to wear solid black or solid white tops, with no patterns allowed. Do you know how bored this makes me? My wardrobe cried when I found this out. I had to actually go buy solid black things. Nope, never again. I will be embracing bizcaj color in all future jobs. You don’t know what you have ’til it’s gone.
8. Bring my children into a store if they cannot behave. I haven’t actually done this yet, seeing as I don’t have any children, but I will never, ever do this. I get that you want to shop, but please do not bring your five-year-old to run through our store and knock things off of all of the shelves. I think the reason why that is totally unacceptable speaks for itself.

Have you worked in retail? What are some things you’ve learned?

Xoxo, Taylor


14 thoughts on “8 Things I Will Never Do Again After Having Worked In Retail

  1. I will never complain when a barista screws up my drink or is slow, as a barista, I’ve had terrible customers who have made me remake things 4 times to point where I’m shaking I’m so mad, and then after that sometimes I’ll slip up on the next drink. I will just drink what I get, it’s a rough life. There have been times I’ve almost screamed and just left.


    • Aww that’s so hard! I can’t imagine being a barista…people get so sassy. I’m like, “It’s coffee, people. It’s really not the end of the world.” But some people don’t think that way and forget the people making their coffee have feelings and stuff. I’m glad you pay it forward though and are polite to the people that make your own coffee. 🙂


  2. The job description for a retail position should read:
    Wanted: high energy extrovert with extreme creative abilities and the patience of Job. Should have extensive financial background and a degree in Psychology. Should be physically fit, emotionally stable and pleasing to the eye. Should be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and not rely on their checks as a sole means of support.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My first job was at a fast food restaurant, and it really made me appreciate how the process worked, and how it is not always a well-oiled machine.

    When I eat out, I have become much more understanding of SNAFUs that happen in the food industry. Then again, I am easy to appease and difficult to provoke.


  4. I spent last summer working retail, I totally agree it’s no walk in the park! I think the biggest thing I learned was that when cashiers hassle you about loyalty programs, they’re just doing their job! They don’t care if you get spam emails with coupons, its what they have to do. Now, I take the extra 30 seconds to give them my email address or sign up for the rewards program. I know deep down they’re silently thanking me for signing up so their boss isn’t chirping about it in their earpiece later.
    Good luck with your job!!


    • Love that! I feel way more inclined to sign up for loyalty programs now, especially now that I realize the benefits of many of them. If you’re shopping, you might as well be racking up points or whatever the case may be!


  5. I have worked in retail before, by far the worst thing is when someone leaves heaps of clothing in the dressing room. I always hang up all my clothes now and put them on the rack or back where they belong. It’s surprising what you realize when you work a part time job


  6. I almost had a meltdown at my retail job earlier. We had a big delivery to put out, they took me away from hanging said delivery so that I could help put it out on the shelves/rails. The manager then asked me to tidy the till area of all the returns, which I did, as happily as possible. 5 minutes later after sprinting up and downstairs to get hangers, serve customers, deliver articles to their relevant areas, hike around step ladders to place articles in their relevant places and answer customer questions, I was asked again to tidy the till area. I said I was doing my best, she went on some more, I said ‘It takes time’. She responded ‘It doesn’t take that long!’. The customer I was serving at the tame gave me a pitiful look and told me to take deep breaths. LOL!

    Sometimes (often, actually) the customers are awesome.


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