Whether you work in a supermarket, clothing store, or corner shop, here are the things only those who’ve done stock checks and manned a till will understand.
1. It’s so frustrating when you’re wearing a visible name badge or company uniform and a customer asks you if you work here. No, we’re just wearing this horrid, bright green fleece because it looks so cool!
2. When a customer wants to return something with no receipt, no original labels or packaging, and it has clearly been used or worn, they ALWAYS seem to think it’s your fault they can’t get a refund.
3. When an item’s barcode isn’t scanning and the customer says ‘that must be free then’. It never gets old!
4. The pain of having to ask every single customer you serve if they’d like to purchase some overpriced, promotional item, or sign up to the company newsletter. There’s only so many ‘nos’ you can take.
5. The music the shop plays becomes so frustrating when you hear the same songs over and over again. Worse, when you can guess what song will play next, you feel like you’re going to go crazy.
6. Dusting mirrors and mannequins, mopping shop floors and wiping shelves, takes forever. Especially when you work in superstores. God help us!
7. The awkward moment a customer’s card is declined. You feel their pain as they desperately avoid your gaze.
8. When a customer asks if you have any more out the back, you’re faced with an impossible decision. Root through boxes and boxes of stock for the next 15 minutes to find it, or stand in the back room for 15 minutes texting your friends.
9. When you’re ready to close up and someone wants to come in and buy something at the last minute. They always say, ‘I’ll be really quick,’ but they end up taking forever. Even subtle hints like turning off the music, and standing by the half-closed shutter don’t seem to hurry them up. Darn you last-minute shoppers!
10. When the tills are down and you’re forced to write out receipts on carbon paper pads. And there always seems to be a massive queue of huffy customers when it happens.
11. The devastation you feel when you cash up at the end of your shift and find your float is mysteriously short. You’re humiliated that your colleagues might think you’ve stolen. Truth is. when it comes to counting change at speed, mistakes happen.
12. There’s nothing more annoying than when customers leave a pile of clothes in the changing room. Surely you’re not the only one who knows how to use hangers.
13. The almost impossible challenge of assembling mannequins. You dread the day you’re asked to redress them as you can never seem to get the things back together again.
14. When the shop’s air conditioning has packed up, and customers have the cheek to moan how hot it is. Try being on your feet in this sweatbox ALL day and then you’ll know real pain.
15. You can never make plans in advance because the rota at work is always changing. You work in retail! You don’t know what shift you’ll be working one day to the next.
16. Your Christmas is ruined and you feel you can never go shopping during the festive period again. The endless queues, and impatient and demanding customers, is enough to put you off for a lifetime.
17. There’s nothing more terrifying than when your store has a sale. You dread the late shift which involves re-ticketing and pricing every reduced item.
18. Two words which give you nightmares… Stock checks!
19. You are a professional when it comes to folding and packing a shirt.
20. You’re an expert when it comes to killing time. You can make folding a few pairs of jeans take hours.
21. When your boss asks you to tidy the sale section, you just want to die. It’s like a jungle over there!
22. Nothing is more humiliating than having to greet customers at the door. And when they completely blank you, you feel like a failure.
23. When it’s time for your lunch break and then a customer asks you for help, you’re tempted to just carry on walking out the shop.
24. There’s always that one customer who asks for a discount, for no reason at all. At least try and spin us a decent story about why you warrant one!
25. Customers who don’t read promotion posters properly are so irritating. No, the sign doesn’t say it costs £5, it says items are from £5!
26. It annoys us when customers argue when an item isn’t in the sale, just because they claim they found it on the sale rail. Anyone could’ve put that item there, even you! Unless it has a sale ticket on it, it’s full price. End of.