Annoying Things About Working in Retail

So I’ve worked in retail, hospitality, and also call centres. Trust me, I KNOW it’s hard work. Customer service is exhausting, and I swear customers are getting cheekier. I’ve made posts before about how frustrated I am in the way we get treated – people seem to think we’re a bit scummy if we work in a business like that, and they take their anger out on us all.

So this is just a little post that will hopefully A) make you customers understand how annoying you are (!) and B) make fellow customer service workers giggle. Obviously with the trusty help of memes.

Shall we get started..?


“Why don’t you have my size? And I don’t want it delivered, I want it now.”

I think this one is a biggie, and a very common occurrence. When we don’t have THAT jacket in THAT particular size, and the customer is frustrated. You offer to get one delivered either to the store or to their house within the next couple of days, but then the customer’s response is “but that doesn’t help me now does it?” Stock goes at some point. Just accept it.




“Oh you haven’t got much in the sale have you?”

Wellllll we did have loads, that we worked very hard pricing, it’s just you’ve decided to come in ages after it started. I believe it’s pretty standard now that most UK stores have a Christmas sale and a Summer sale – at least! So why do people come in at the end of March still expecting there to be a crap ton of stock? It doesn’t work like that.


“Can’t you look out the back?”

I’ve seen other posts on this before. Some stores have a huge stock room, some don’t have one at all. In my case we did have a stock room (a very claustrophobic one). We also had huge deliveries every single day. “I know for a fact sir that we don’t have a pair of those shorts in a 38 waist, we didn’t have any of those delivered today”. “Well can’t you look anyway?” At this point you can’t say no really, because that would be bad. So cue me walking out there and standing around staring for no reason, before heading out and giving him the same answer.




“How much is this?”

……….why don’t you look at the tag?


“No you cannot take my email, you’ll sell it on!!”

These days lots of stores have to take email addresses to give electronic receipts – but mainly to bombard customers with marketing. One thing the customers can’t quite seem to get their head around, is the fact that they don’t absolutely HAVE to give it. I’ve had heated discussions before with customers, who rant about how many they get blah blah, and I just have to repeatedly explain that they can just say no, but I still have to ask. And don’t forget the magic “unsubscribe” button that they think doesn’t exist. Customers also assume we sell details on to other companies, which we don’t.


“No I don’t want any of that rubbish on offer”

Again, very common procedure in shops nowadays.  A little section of delightful, cheap, little items proudly sit around the till to be sold. Whenever you offer these products it can either go two ways; the customer can actually recognise that it’s a good deal and buy some little socks or something, or they can rudely state that they’re already spending money and that I need to stop selling them rubbish. Firstly, I am actually a SALES ASSISTANT- my job is to make sales. And secondly, if you think our products are rubbish, why are you in here in the first place?




People who are angry because they’re in a queue

This is especially worse at Christmas time. People are stressed because they still haven’t sorted out Uncle Joe or their mother-in-law and they’ve only got half an hour until the shops shut and they haven’t organised themselves well enough so are now in a queue like a normal person getting themselves worked up. Then the over-Britishness starts coming out – you hear tut tutting and people shifting from one foot to the other, or complete strangers making friends over a discussion of how much of a shambles we are or how we’re understaffed. We’re not necessarily under-staffed, we’re just over-customered. I’m literally going as fast as I can. But unfortunately company policy means I still have to ask all 1 million of you what your email address is or if you’d like a 5p bag or if you’d like any of the items on offer.


“I want to speak to the manager”

Sure, go ahead. Now let me stand close by and look smug while they tell you exactly the same thing I just did.


“Hello there!” *Gets ignored*

Every. Single. Day. We have to cheerily say good morning or hello to customers in some form, so why do they just ignore us? I’m not inviting myself round for tea or trying to sell you anything, I’m literally saying hi. Also when you ask if they need any help and they ignore you. If you don’t need any help just say no. One thing that makes me laugh though, is within minutes, there actually is something they need help with, just for some reason at first they didn’t want to admit it.





“So and so’s range is much nicer/cheaper”

Every sales assistant or retail worker has faced customers questioning them over the company they work for. For example why that pair of shoes is that much money, or why we don’t do any tops in this material. We tell them as politely as we can that we don’t make the prices or run the business, we just work there. Then the customer passive-aggressively starts comparing your company to others and saying how they have this so why don’t we. Why are you even in here then? Go there instead! Another thing they pick out is other companies that are much cheaper than us. You get what you pay for so by all means, get your coat from there instead, but it won’t last you two seconds.


“Do you work here?”

No, I just like to dress like the other staff to blend in. I also expertly made a name badge to look exactly like all the others. AND I’m also folding all these T shirts just for fun, and asking customers if they need any help just to be friendly.





1 minute before closing: “I just want to ask you a few questions”
Or customers who SHOW UP 1 minute before closing

So a customer has been in the shop for half an hour, declining any offers of help you give them. It’s 7:59 and we’re about to close, so you want to boot them out so you can get a move on with closing up. But wait! The customer chooses 7:59 to ask you all sorts of questions and tell you their life story. This would have been fine if you did this earlier. After you’ve helped them as much as you can and your manager’s giving you evils because the customer is still in there, the customer decides they’ll “have a think about it and come back next week”. Thanks for that. And for those of you who start to head in at 7:59, please turn your butt around and walk straight back out.




It makes me so angryyyyyy. “The customer’s always right”…no. No you’re really not Brenda.

Give this a little like if you can relate to this post, or if it made you chuckle!





I do not own any of these images, they are from the Google search engine



2 thoughts on “Annoying Things About Working in Retail

    1. I have too, that’s the job I spent the most of my career in! They genuinely do I know what you mean, speak to us like we’re not human sometimes. I have another post lined up for what it’s like working in hospitality:)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s