Working in Retail – Dealing With Difficult People Like It’s Your Job

30 Jun

Jobs in retail, or even the food service industry, are thankless. Most involve long hours, lots of standing and running around like a maniac, relatively low pay, and last, but certainly not least, dealing with difficult people all day long. I got my start in the retail industry at the strapping young age of 15. It didn’t take me long to learn the biggest no-brainer in customer service, the customer is not always right. In fact, the customer is rarely ever right. It is my firm belief that every person on the planet should have to work in customer service, kind of like some type of right of passage, in order to be allowed out in public.

Rude customers are nothing but "donkeys."

People are ridiculous. Working in various retail and restaurant industry jobs, I witnessed some pretty asinine behavior from grown adults. Dealing with difficult people is annoying.

Follow These Tips to Avoid Being a Public Nuisance:

  • It’s unnecessary to return 30 different items, on 5 different receipts, that were paid for in 3 different ways. If you do this, shame on you. Please don’t take offense to this (or well, do), but you’re an idiot.
  • When trying clothes on in a fitting room, put them back on the hanger. It’s not that hard, trust me.
  • The fitting room is not a restroom. Repeat, the fitting room is NOT a restroom. Wear diapers if you must. Whatever it takes. Just don’t forget this rule.
  • Don’t yell at me when you don’t like the total amount of your purchase. There’s these things called price tags. They are on every item. Actually, scanning these nifty price tags is how I totaled your sale. If you cannot read, that’s not my problem. Idiot.
  • Don’t go to a popular restaurant at 7pm on a Saturday evening and act surprised that there’s a two-hour wait. People go out on Saturday nights, this is not a new concept. If you want to be served quickly, go to Burger King.
  • Checking in every five minutes to see how much longer it will be until you get a table will not get you there any faster. In fact, you’ve just earned yourself a seat in the section of the laziest, stupidest waiter on staff. Muah ha ha.
  • Sit down and shut up when I seat you at a table. A table is a table, there’s no need to be persnickity about it. For example, a certain athlete, we’ll call him “Jax Tarks,” once refused to sit and stay at a table I sat him at. I still look down upon him. And yes, I’m sure he does care…
  • Don’t go into a restaurant 10 minutes before closing and ask to be sat in the dining room. Go to the bar. Of course, the hostess has to seat you, or risk losing her sweet job, but she’s also at risk of a beat down from the servers in the parking lot. I was once forced to sit a table at 11:50pm, when the dining room closed at midnight. The server (admittedly a full-blown psycho) threw such a raging, scary, evil fit that he was fired. Don’t throw your friendly hostess into that situation.
  • If I don’t smile when leading you to your table, it’s probably because I hate my job. Don’t make it worse by complaining that I did not smile as I led you to your table. That’s a real douchebag move, my friend.
  • Don’t go into a store and unfold every item on the display table, unless you plan to buy every item on the display table. “Retail folding” is annoying. Especially when you realize you’ve “retail folded” the same shirt 6 times in the past hour.

Finally, before you complain to a store manager, a hostess, or any other poor, innocent retail employee, remind yourself of one thing, the customer is not always right. Repeat, the customer is not always right.



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