10 Things Retail Workers Won't Tell You


Working retail is pretty close to hell right?

I worked at JC Penney on holiday breaks from college...and I can tell you...it was a nightmare. Keep this in mind the next time you go on a shopping trip. Yeah.


1. Folding shirts is like being stuck in purgatory.

Over and over and over. Same shirt, different sizes. Once you have finished your arduous task, low and behold...someone comes over and fucks it up. It's like that old story of Sisyphus. He was this Greek figure that rolled a giant rock up a hill every day, only to watch it roll back down again.

That's how it feels when you go rifling through shirt displays to find your size. Like we're being crushed by a giant fucking rock.


2. Saying, "Hello, welcome to JC Penney, welcome to Forever 21, welcome to..." takes a small part of your soul each time you say it.

So much happiness.

Greeting is sometimes the hardest part of the day.


3. Difficult customers are easy to deal with the first, second, third and even 10th time. But every day? No.

People don't just get grumpy right off the bat. It takes years of wearing down. Months. Retail workers put up with a lot of shit. You may not be the problem, but don't get all bent out of shape if they take it out on you.


4. No, your coupon doesn't work. No, there's nothing we can do.

You see, computers work like...well, computers. We can't always go in and manually override things. If your coupon is expired..there's nothing we can do! It's totally beyond our control and you placing wrongful blame on us won't do you any good. Sorry.


5. Just because you want a refund doesn't mean you can have one.

You can say all you want about how things didn't fit or how you didn't know the policy, but we can't do anything! Imagine someone coming to your job and being like, "Make this stock go up, or sell a million cars today." It can't be done. So stop asking. We can't change corporate policy.


6. We really try hard to help everyone, so try to be nicer.

Honestly, I ran around like a mad person and never appeased everyone. People expect 5 workers to accommodate like 100 people all asking for things we ran out of 10 minutes ago. It's hard out here, so be patient.


7. When you come in at 9:55 and the store closes at 10, it ruins everyone's day.

It's not a convenience thing, it's just that when you've been working for 9 or 10 hours, and the end is near, you don't want to be bothered. Imagine if someone came into your office, sat at your desk at 4:55 PM and said, "go get me coffee, you're not done with work yet."

You'd be pissed right?


8. We can't give you a discount. Especially if our store is corporate.

It would be like you asking Starbucks to like, "Just give it to me for free." Because you go there a lot or something. Sorry. Bye.


9. It's really disappointing when you yell at us after we spend a lot of time trying to help you.

I once spent 2 and a half hours trying to help a mother find a prom dress for her daughter that wasn't even in the store, and she ended up yelling at me for not being able to find the right color. I'm sorry I don't control the entire store. Damn it.


10. We're just like you, trying to get it together and make an honest living. So be kind and treat us with respect. After all, we're all just trying to help, and we're not in control of every aspect of the store.


Appreciate that someone's there to help you in the first place! Don't be a jerk!

Love, all retail workers. Thanks.

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