what i learned while working retail

customer service, life, retail, working retail

Here's a short review of what I've learned while working retail…


  • Some people really ARE that stupid
  • Even quiet voices carry
  • Which means not all private phone conversations are private
  • A good pair of shoes is essential
  • Even if it means wearing purple sneakers with your red shirt
  • There is nothing I can do to cheer up a negative person who is determined to be negative
  • I still don't like complaining
  • A 9 hour shift is made easier by doing it 2 hours at a time
  • Some children really ARE that terrible
  • Some parents really DON'T care that their children are terrible
  • Nice people can be found everywhere
  • People respond really well to a friendly smile
  • Some people are uncomfortable with direct eye contact
  • Men and women give directions differently
  • And therefore men and women receive directions differently
  • It doesn't matter what policy is, there will always be someone asking for an exception
  • More people than you think have 2 jobs
  • I like folding towels and making sure they all face the same direction
  • I can survive for 4 weeks on two 3 hour naps per day
  • Anything more than 4 weeks is untested
  • If I focus on one thing at a time, with an eye to the future, I can handle it
  • Good friends are essential
  • Please don't ask me to not organize the 70% off clearance section. It gives me anxiety to leave it a complete mess
  • If you wear glasses to work everyday, then the one day you wear contacts everyone looks at you weird because they recognize you and know they should know you

But the biggest thing I learned, and possibly the most important; if you show up to work on time, do your work with a smile, help out your team, and keep a positive attitude, they can't help but like you. Because you really are that awesome. 

open letter to customers

black friday, customer service, holiday shopping, life, open letter, retail, shopping

Dear Customer,

I'm new to working retail. Very new. And after working my first Black Friday ever my sunny disposition has turned a coordinating shade of gray. I have a few things to say.

Don't come to my store the weekend after Thanksgiving and give me the stink eye about being sold out of the Christmas trees that were on sale. They went on sale at a god-forsaken early hour Friday morning. It's now Saturday night. I don't feel bad for you. And I now want to poke you in the eye.

Keep your teenagers under control or leave them at home. I'd say this about 2 year olds as well but that's child endangerment and against the law so I don't recommend that. But your (blanking) teenagers (blanking) know better and should (blanking) behave themselves.

Is it really so much work that you can't put things back on the shelf where you got them?  I'm not talking about the fitting rooms. I even understand when you're now on the other side of the store and have to take something out of your cart to make more room for 20 cases of beer. But when you're on the same aisle?  In front of the same shelf? When you haven't moved far enough away from the origin of the item to warrant putting it in your basket? Put it the eff back where you got it.

The person in the aisle pushing the cart in front of you is not your enemy. They have the right to shop here as much as you do. Please put on your patient pants, take a deep breath, and count to 10. Backward. Slowly. Expecially since this gift-giving season has brought 3x as many people in to the store. Do unto others lady, ok?

I appreciate that you are out and about spending money this holiday season. It's good for the economy (though I will refrain from spouting about spending your money at small local business establishments as opposed to the big chains), it's good for morale, it's good for the gift-giving season. And most of all, it's good for those of us who need the work. Just please remember that everyone else is there to spend money too. And money is money, it doesn't matter who it comes from, and you're all on the same playing field. If you want the experience of spending money to make you feel superior and elitist go spend it at Barney's, or Lexus. Because I don't give a rat's hind quarters.

So put on your big girl pants and be a grown up about it. And if you have a problem with shopping in crowds, you should come in after 10pm. It's dead in here after 10. But you better be able to finish up in an hour because after 11 I'm going the (blank) home. Whether you're done or not.