Letter 3 - How to Treat Retail Workers

Hey Mag,

Here we go again, day 3! 

As you know, I worked retail for two years. As you also know, it was not exactly a shining beacon of light in my life;) However, I will be eternally grateful for it, because I learned so much.

The most difficult jobs I've had, are those working with the public. All I can say is, you'll be glad your Mama and Papa raised you right, because you will see the worst of humanity. It is actually kind of unbelievable the amount of anger not having a particular pair of scissors can cause some people. And forget one of their discounts? You must clearly be the dumbest person alive.

You know how you just can't make some people happy? Well one of my cashiers called me up to the front one time, so a customer could complain that the cashier had been TOO friendly. True story. I'm not rarely at a loss for words but...uh...sorry?

The truth is though, if I hadn't gone through that, I wouldn't know all the quirky things that drive retail workers nuts...and I wouldn't have learned that sometimes you may be the ONLY person in their entire day that says thank you.

You may end up working customer service, and learn this for yourself. But until then, here you go. 

1) DO NOT call them by name, if they're wearing a name tag. It's weird, and uncomfortable since you don't actually know them.

2) DO say "hello" or "excuse me" before you ask a question rather than just yelling it out at them.

3) DO always say thank you, because you would be shocked how little that happens. Smiling? Same deal. It's rare.

4) DO understand that most of the time, they're doing the best they can, and they don't make the rules. So don't make them the bad guy.

5) FINALLY, realize that there are a whole lot of incompetent people out there. And I'm not telling you to put up with that. I'm just saying, treat them like a person. Be extra polite to try and make up for all the people that don't try at all.

And if you end up working retail? Buckle up, and put on your big girl pants, and get ready for quite a ride and working a whole lotta weekends ;)


Aunt B