A Short List of Things Not to Do When You Shop

I'm five years into my retail career, which is to say i'm 4.5 years farther in that I ever anticipated or desired.

I started as a cashier then worked some photo department and after two years or so got promoted into management. Which was nice, because I was tired of ramen. Now I have a car payment, higher rent, higher gas and more credit card bills so i'm basically still eating ramen and wearing a dirty tie.

Anyway, the point of this is a short list of things customers should know NEVER to do because it ****** people off more than you know. Many people simply never worked retail in their lives, which is admirable. Things should be known, though.

I never worked in food service but I treat them with more respect than I give anyone, even my store managers or district supervision. Because my District Manager can never spit in my Whopper when i'm not looking. Retail people simply can't retaliate in any subtle way against the ever-amassing assitude of the common man and woman. I'm tired, but here's what I can recall from the past few days of rage i've tried to forget about.


1.) Stay the **** off your cellphone. Even if you're not ringing up. Don't talk on it in the store unless its important.

"Are you finding everything alright?"


1.5.) Bluetooth headsets are for complete assclowns. Nobody is impressed with this. You're not driving and at most you have a cart which can be steered with one hand. You look like an lunatic fucktard walking around with empty hands talking to yourself about "meetings" and "projected results." Everyone knows you're listening to your voicemail and trying to make yourself seem like you don't work where you actually do. Or you're just a real *******. But read on, and stop being a scourge.


2.) This is not a ******* casino. You can put the money in my hand. I will not call the Pit Boss. You won't be backroomed. If my hand is out... put money... in it. Not on the counter right next to it. This is the retail equivelant of teabagging the cashier. In fact, this has pissed me off so much in my time in retail that on certain occasions I might actually prefer the mushroom stamp once than having to have people drop change all over the ******* counter ten times a day. Do. Not. Do. This. Who teaches you this? Were you raised by a lumberjack on a chemical high? The cashier most likely makes less than $8 an hour. And imagine the amount of customers per hour they have. And ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THEM drops the change on the counter to gather. You may only shop three times a week but they ring up 5 days a week and almost everyone does this. So stop it. And tell your friends to stop it. Tell your ma, tell your pa. It's disrespectful and we wish you ill will as soon as you leave. Karma might catch up to you eventually, Skippy. I hope you like how that telephone pole tastes.

3.)  If you decide, mid-shop, that you don't want something... put it the **** back. I know, I know. You're thinking "but they get paid to do the work." Sure, but you're still an *******. If only you could make a commission on that. Retail people get paid to do a hell of a lot of things. Things that you will mostly likely complain about if they're not done. Like, I don't know, stock the things you buy. Placing a detergent in the stationery aisle because you think "ah, **** it. I have 2X Tide at home. I can wait two days," then someone has to straighten up and move it. Which doesn't seem bad. But multiply one **** times 50 or 100. That's a lot of roundtrips to pick up behind indecisive bastards. If you don't want it, put it back.

3.5) This is just an extension. Especially don't "decide not to buy things" at the counter. "Oh, its that much? Nevermind." With rare exceptions, everything is price marked. I'm broke often and if i'm broke I don't pick up **** I know I can't afford. They have to put all this stuff back at the end of their shift. Again, one ******* is negligible. 50 is intolerable. A cart full of Oh-Its-That-Muches is savage.

4.) If you're homeless or simply schizophrenic, you're probably reading this from the comfort of the Public Library (is your home address 123 Palm Tree Court?) but its worth a mention. Do not **** on the bathroom floor. You're so close to the toilet. Just drop it right on in. And flush. It's a nice touch. One can almost say its part of the whole process. Although it is a nice start to the maybe one lunch break I get a week to have to flush someone else's feces because that handle is just too inconveniently placed.

5.) Try not to return things. Stores are designed to take money in. Giving people money is... well, counterintuitive. It's also a massive waste of a few peoples' time at once. It also tends to start a line. Which, surprise, ****** them off. So next time you return something for a not-so-great reason, look in front of you, at a manager and cashier who have better things to do, look behind you... at the three or four or twenty people who've gathered to wait for your cheap *** and think... "is this worth it?"

As a side note, returning things at 6 or 7 AM? How sad is your life? "Well, time for bed. Better set the alarm early and get up, I've got **** to return." Learn to cross-stitch or play a Casio, *****. Your boredom shouldn't be my lack of productivity.

6.) This is pharmacy-specific, but many big retailers have pharmacies so learn it. When the pharmacy technician or pharmacist rings you up, don't say "What? It's HOW MUCH? NO."

If you just said that it means one of three things.

6.1) You don't have insurance. That sucks. I'm sorry. You get ******.

6.2) The insurance information the store has is incorrect. You ****** up. Give them new information BEFORE you pay.

6.3) Your insurance company changed their rates. They ****** you. 

Notice that 6.1 - 6.3 have nothing to do with the store itself. It's either your fault or the insurance company. I know, they're awful people. They're one of the many problems our country has to deal with. Until legislation changes that... that's the way it is. So don't yell at the people in the pharmacy becuase either you ****** up or your insurance company ****** you. Don't yell at the middle-man. Write your congressman or congresswoman and tell them that healthcare shouldn't be a profiteering clusterfuck. Feel free to ask for contact information for your insurance company so you can tell them what bloodsucking, heartless bastards they are, though. You'll make a few friends in the pharmacy. For every one time you call your insurance company, a pharmacy tech or pharmacist calls them 100 times. They hate them more than you do. They. Are. Your. Friends.

7.) A simple one, and a closing one, because i'm ready for bed and tired of complaining (I never thought it would happen) for today. If an employee passing by says "Hello! How are you?" don't just look at them and keep walking. Just say, "Hi." At least. Dozens of times a day I answer the question, "Ok, and how are you?" and most of the time I'm lying and say i'm just fine. If I can do it fifty times a day, i'm sure you can do it once or twice. Just say hello and be nice. At worst a shopper has to deal with one or two ******** in a week. Imagine a few hundred or thousand. It could be worse.


So, in closing:

Be nice. Buy your ****. Be nice to people who help you unless they demand negative attention. We're mostly good people and most shoppers are too. ******** on both sides of the front line stand out, though. So let's all try to be the forgettably-friendly. Let's play as a team. We can do it. We talk a lot of **** about the jerks that pass through but you wouldn't believe the warmth and joy (and that's not a joke) we feel when we get a genuinely friendly person pass through. We talk about that too. So ... be on the positive side of someone's day. You can go home and watch ESPN but we'll still be there... thinking about you.


UnoriginalForumID UnoriginalForumID
31-35, M
4 Responses Feb 21, 2009

Unbelievable as it may be, people **** on the floor in the public bathrooms in my office, too. Sometimes they even draw on the walls with it. Yes. Very mature.

ROTFL!!!<br />
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awesome list I worked retail so many years ago and I have seen this happen so many times.<br />
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I'm still in customer service which my place of work calls Quality Service Now all I do is hear people ***** all day<br />
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Thanks for the laugh

Number 1.5 had me laughing so hard!!!<br />
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Nobody used to think that talking to one's self was cool...until the Bluetooth was invented.

This is so RIGHT ON!! The other day I was in the express lane at the super market, and the guy in front of me had a bag of apples and his receipt. He had thought the apples were $1.69 a pound, cuz there was a sign, but it was for the oranges that were on sale, not the apples. He was charged $2.79 a pound for the apples. He had gotten all the way home, noticed the overage, and came all the way back to get his refund. He raised holy hell with the cashier, who had to get the manager, who had to check the sign, then fill out some paperwork, then re-ring the apples, all for a guy WHO DIDN'T READ THE SIGN RIGHT!!! Meanwhile, the EXPRESS lane was getting backed up. He probably paid more in gas to get back to the store than he saved on the frikkin apples!!<br />
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What a ****!!!<br />
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I agree... smile and be nice. Better to be remembered for being the out of the ordinary nice customer, then the asswipe who ruined someone's day.