10 Struggles You Can Only Understand If You Worked In Retail
Human stupidity knows no bounds!
Working in clothing stores may seem to be easy, but TRUST ME, it isn`t. It changes the way you think. It changes the way you feel. And honestly, it makes you lose hope in all of humanity.
Let me tell you when you work for a clothing store, you will meet all kinds of people, and most of them aren`t ones you want to be interacting with. I don`t know what it is about shopping but it honestly brings out the absolute worst in people.
My first ever job was in retail, and I stayed there for two years because I didn`t know that there was anything else out there. And it really surprised me that when I talked to other people who worked in different stores, they understood every single one of my struggles and knew what I was going through.
So if you`re working retail and you sometimes don`t think that there`s a light on the other side. Don`t worry. There are tons of other people who are struggling with the same things as you. So here are 10 things no one else can truly understand:
1. Customer who don`t know when to leave
You know usually when a store is closed, people should leave, right? Well, apparently when it comes to clothing stores that isn`t the case. I cannot tell you how many times I was walking to the door to lock it and at 4:59, someone will stroll in and say that they`ve still got a minute left to shop. Yes, technically you do. But you are the worst human being on the planet if you come in during closing. Because when you come in, we know you aren`t leaving after a minute. You`re going to walk around for 15 minutes and then, obviously, not buy anything.
2. The pain of color coating
You know those beautiful displays that just happen to look perfect? Well, someone had to make it that way. And let me tell you it is NOT a piece of cake. I don`t know about other stores, but the place I worked (that I won`t name), has the most complicated color coating system in the entire damn planet. I had a list of colors that got as specific as shades and everything in the store had to follow that exact format.
3. People who treat the store like a garbage can
It`s one thing to leave your clothes all over the store, but it is a whole other thing to leave your garbage lying around. Oh yeah, people actually do this! If they have a coffee or just finished a snack, they don`t bother to ask if the cashier has a garbage can behind the counter, nope, they just put it where they want. Sometimes they even try to hide their garbage as if I`m not going to find it. Where do they think it`s going to go? Someone has to clean it up. And that someone is me.
4. Always having to be super happy
I don`t know about you but I am not super chipper every single day. But when you work in retail you have to act like everything is completely fine at all times. I honestly think that my cheek muscles got bigger after working in retail. Smiling constantly can actually really hurt. Everyone has bad days. We should be allowed to act like it. We are HUMANS.
5. “Can you check in the back”?
One thing that people just need to understand is that if we say we don`t have something it`s because we.do.not.have.it. Why would we lie to you? When helping customers look for a specific size we actually want to help them. And yet they still doubt us at every turn. Asking if we can check in the back pretty much just guarantees that we`re going to walk into the back, check our phones, take a little break and come back and tell you that it`s not in the back. That`s because we already know that there is nothing there.
6. The DRAMA
I don`t know what it is about working in retail but for some reason, everyone that I know who has worked in a clothing store agrees that the people they work with are freaking crazy. There is always something to gossip about or someone fighting with someone. It`s actually ridiculous. I could never find a moment of peace. Someone always wanted to shit talk another worker to me, while I just wanted to fold my damn clothes without being bothered.
7. Watching customers take apart your masterpieces
One of the most time-consuming parts of working in retail is cleaning up the store. And sometimes, you have an actual mountain of clothes to go through and replace. The most frustrating thing is that whenever you finish a display it seems as though there is a customer right behind you ready to take it apart. And when they take a shirt, they can`t just look at it and put it back neatly. They`ve got to pull it out and mess up the rest of the shirts too. It`s great. Really, it`s great.
8. Customers who argue over the price
The price tags are there for a reason. The price is the price. That`s it! I don`t know why people think stores are markets where you can bargain and barter. No, this is a company that determines the prices and it`s set. Notice how I said that the company chooses the price. That means that I have absolutely no control over how much you have to pay and I can`t make it cheaper. So stop yelling at me because you don`t want to pay so much. It`s really not my fault in any way.
9. The horror of changing rooms
When the store closes, you get to go home and enjoy your purchases. But for the workers that isn`t the case. We have to stay here for another hour and clean up after you. You know all those clothes that you tried on and didn`t buy? Yeah, there`s an enormous pile of them at the changing rooms that we have to place. And yeah, the entire plan of the store changes every week so even if you thought that you knew where those pants went, they`ve been moved around.
10. Having to act like you`re doing something when the store is dead
It really sucks when the store is busy, but honestly, it might suck even more when the store is dead. You`re not allowed to just chill and hang around, you have to constantly be working. But when there`s nothing to do, then there`s nothing to do! Well, too bad. Look busy. That`s probably one of my least favorite things about working retail. You can`t talk to your friends, you have to just walk around replacing shirts that you already folded. Once the store is completely clean and there`s nothing to restock, there`s really no need for employees. And yet, you have to act busy.