The Retail Industry: Why It Kills Your Soul

I totally need this sign for my work.

I totally need this sign for my work.

I think it’s fair to say that anyone who’s worked in retail will tell you that there will always be a customer who comes into the store that is intentionally coming in to make the retail worker’s life, a living hell. Being in retail for 5 years at *Censored, since I don’t want to lose my crappy job*, has made me a somewhat more cynical person, and it’s sad to say that I’m not the only one who’s experienced this as a result of their job. Don’t get me wrong, not all customers are the equivalent of Satan’s scrotum. I do have a large amount of regulars who come into the store who I absolutely love to help out. But this is more or less targeted towards those typical customers who just seem to take joy from bringing misery to myself while I’m at work.

For your knowledge, whilst reading this rant, I work in the electronics department in *Censored*, which has it’s own counter and register. Reason for this is that I have stuff in the counter that can only be purchased in my area. While I am allowed to process sales from other departments, I generally try to avoid it if I can, since I don’t have the space to put 50,000 hangers for clothes, or wrapping paper for glass products. That, and I hated having to remove the hangers from the clothes to even begin with.

But what types of customers get on my nerves, you may ask? Well let’s go through some of them right now!

That ONE Customer Who Decides to Turn Up 5 Minutes Before Closing Time

This needs to be on a shirt, so I can wear it.

This needs to be on a shirt, so I can wear it.

It’s 9:55pm The store’s doors are half-closed, indicating that we are about to close. I’m all set to leave at the end of my shift, my register’s ready to be locked for the night and I’m in a good mood that my day/night in Hell is nearly over. And then some bitch decides to turn up to my counter, wanting the bundle deal that will take me a few minutes to set up, before processing the sale. My chances of escape are foiled. Look, I know that you thought you’d try to be smart and come in when the store is nearly closed, but did you ever think that maybe, just maybe, that I was kinda… You know… WANTING TO GO THE FUCK HOME?

I’m sorry but if you can come into a store at 9:55pm while carrying other bags from other stores, you could’ve just as easily come in earlier. I do not want to have to stay behind for 5-10 minutes to process your sale, while you’re on the phone to your son, who is being indecisive about what game he wants as part of his bundle deal. The same goes for people who come to my counter with a butt-load of clothes and stuff from other departments, wanting to pay for it at my counter. I know that I’m allowed to process this stuff at my counter, but seriously guys. Electronics. Department. Not Homewares. Not Toys. Not Ladies Underwear. Electronics. Home Entertainment. Games, etc.

This wouldn’t be a hassle if I got paid for staying back x amount of minutes, which sometimes can go up to 30 minutes, but as it turns out, *Censored* doesn’t do that without management’s approval. Good luck with that.

The Customer Who Doesn’t Know What They Want

Tara is my Spirit Animal.

I understand that sometimes people shop for the hell of it, but it really does irk me when I have to help out a customer who doesn’t even know what the hell they want. I try to be helpful and find out what exactly it is that they’re looking for, but they’ll either say that’s not what they’re looking for or that’s something that the person who’s being given the gift isn’t into. If you’re buying a present for a 23 year old guy, listen to the retail dude who’s 25 and knows what the hell a 23 year old would like as a present. Elderly customers are exempt from this, because half of them aren’t too familiar with technology and would have no idea about 90% of the stock in my area. The Elderly, I’m always willing to help out with this sort of stuff. That’s not to say that with other people, I don’t help. I just get frustrated when they begin to waste my time after I’ve presented half my department to them with gift ideas and they’re still not happy.

Advice I always give to customers who aren’t able to find a gift: If you don’t know what the hell to give to someone, just give them money. Everyone loves money and they can use it to buy whatever the hell they feel like. They’re happy, you’re happy, I’m happy. Problem solved.

The Customer Who Tries to Get Discounts

Brother, come on. Just drop it down 90%. No one's gonna know.

Brother, come on. Just drop it down 90%. No one’s gonna know.

This is it. This is the big one. This is the NUMBER ONE thing about Retail that completely and utterly pisses me off to the point where I become the Avatar of Satan himself. I absolutely HATE the customers who will always try to barter with me to try and get a cheaper deal. The keyword here is TRY.  For those who don’t know, I’m Turkish in background. Naturally, this makes me look somewhat ethnic and thus customers of Middle-Eastern and European descent are usually the ones who will try to barter with me to get a cheaper deal, the most common tactic is referring to me as ‘Brother’.

… I am NOT your brother, fuckwit. If I were your brother, judging by the amount of bags on your face, my father would’ve died of old age. I love my Dad too much for that, so you are NOT my sibling! Seriously, I do not work at Paddy’s Markets where I can negotiate and barter a deal. This is not my family’s shop where I can make the price whatever I want. This is a retail store that is part of a chain. The prices are SET. The most common way I deal with these sort of customers is simply asking them,

“If I can’t give my own mother a discount, why should I give you one?”

One smart-ass bitch decided to comment and say that she was prettier than my mother. I acted accordingly and told her that she had definitely screwed up her chances of getting a discount and that she could pay for everything down at the front registers, meaning whatever the hell she wanted from my area was NOT going to be sold to her.

Which leads me to the next part.

The Turkish Customers

See? Even the pumpkin is sick of your shit.

See? Even the pumpkin is sick of your shit.

I am singling you out. Why? Because I am NOT going to do you any favours, simply because you are from the same country as I am. I wasn’t raised in Turkey, I was raised in Mt. Druitt, NSW, Australia. I was raised around Aussies, Kiwi’s, and Islanders. You REALLY think that I’m going to give you a discount, or do you a favour, just because you’re the same nationality as me? Good luck with that.

Now I’m not a racist. I believe that everyone should be treated equally and fairly.

But the main thing that irks me about Turks at work is how rude they will be to you if they do not get their way, and the proceed to insult you in Turkish, saying some of the most vile things I’ve ever heard. I’ll give a couple of examples:

One lady literally swore at me and called me a traitor to Turkey, because I refused to speak Turkish at work to her. She saw my name badge and then tries to get a deal on some shoes by asking in Turkish. I spoke back in English, saying that I don’t give discounts and then she proceeded to tell me off because I didn’t answer her in Turkish. Apparently, I’m obliged to speak Turkish back to her. Fuck that, I speak English at work only, unless it’s an old man/lady who needs help with something and cannot speak anything else. She then called me a traitor to Turkey and said that if I were in Turkey and spoke to her like that, I’d be bashed. I simply told her, in English, that it was people like her that made me happy that I didn’t grow up around Turks and I’d happily be a traitor if the country were filled with backwards thinking assholes like herself. I then walked off, like a boss.

Another example was during a massive sale. I was swamped with customers and one lady and her daughter wanted to return a telephone. I didn’t have my name badge on at the time, so she didn’t know I was a Turk. She wanted to refund a home phone, and I told her that refunds are to made at the front of the store, not in my department since I only did sales. This is after she barged in front of everyone, much to their annoyance. She kept on asking, and I kept giving the same answer. She then told her daughter, in Turkish, to make up a story about her uncle being in hospital or something so that I would feel sorry for her. The daughter said what she was asked, and I told her, in English, that I don’t do refunds, and she had to go to the front. I didn’t tell them that I could understand them. The mother got frustrated and then basically said, in Turkish, that I was an ungrateful prick and that I probably had a whore of a mother since I was so rude. I just looked at my colleague who was working with me and just said, “Hey, you wanna see something funny?” and looked at the lady and said to her in Turkish that i could understand everything she was saying. She was shocked that I could understand and speak Turkish, and then proceeded to call me Brother and ask me to help her.

Yes, because I’m going to help the fucking cunt who called my mother a whore… I told her, in English, that if she has the balls to call my mother a whore, say it in English so that the customers around her can hear it. The lady went red-faced, saying that she was only joking. I just told her that if she didn’t want me to kick her out, she’d leave my department and refund her phone at the front, like I said. She just scurried off.

I could go on with these examples, since I have 5 fucking years worth of stories, but I think you get the idea. You’d have better luck fucking a crocodile doggy-style than trying to use my nationality as a way to get a discount at my work.

Children

Your kid might as well be doing this.

Your kid might as well be doing this.

Parents. Leash your fucking children. Seriously, I do not understand how there are parents out there who can just stand there as their child/children run amok and be a danger to themselves as well as to others. I understand that kids are going to be kids and they want to play. But if you’re going to go shopping with them, do not just stand there, looking at shoes, while your kid is riding around on a bike, nearly hitting people with it. I make it my personal mission to tell these kids off, as anyone who works with me will tell you. I run a VERY tight ship when it comes to kids breaking the rules and I am not afraid to put my foot down and tell those little fuckwits off. Especially if their parents are around. Why? Because it makes the parents look bad, and hopefully it makes them feel bad.

I’ve had parents tell ME off for telling their child to not run around. I simply tell that mother or father that if they’re cool with their kid potentially hurting themselves, that’s their choice. But in my department, I will not tolerate kids being naughty. I work in a department store, not a fucking playground. Seriously, there’s like a kiddy playground where parents can dump their kids  just outside of my work. Tell the Dad to stay out there and keep an eye on them while Mum shops around. PROBLEM SOLVED, BITCHES!

Teenagers also fall under this category. Look guys, riding around on scooters in narrow aisles may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. It’s stupid and so are you, if you do it. Screaming like retards to get attention is just that. Retarded. Being a smart-ass to me when I call you out on your bullshit is not going to end well for you. I am older and much more smarter than you. And I’m not afraid to use the occasional swear word to illustrate that I am not fucking around with you. Usually, I just end up calling security and getting them to handle it, since I’m not allowed to beat them, unfortunately. Note to Self: Make a Rant about Parents needing to Smack their Kids.

Screaming babies/toddlers are the worst. I HATE that sound with a passion. Luckily for me, I’ve perfected the Death Glare that every wog (ethnic) parent seems to have. Whenever I see a screaming child who is 5 or under, I just look at them directly in the eyes with that look, and they immediately shut up. Parents don’t seem to mind this, since I’m probably doing them a favour. YOU ARE WELCOME!

The Customer You Can Not Satisfy

... Ok, I'm not going to lie, that's a totally legit reason to be pissed off

… Ok, I’m not going to lie, that’s a totally legit reason to be pissed off.

I personally think that there are some customers who, like the Joker in The Dark Knight, just want to watch the world burn. They will usually ask for the most popular item that is on sale this week, usually towards the end of the sale, and then get frustrated that it’s not in stock. Surely you MUST of realized that if something’s really popular then it’s going to sell out very quickly. But then they’ll start going on a rampage about how it’s not fair for them, that they didn’t have time earlier in the week, that they’re so disappointed, and all that other shit. Yeah, I know what it’s like to miss out on a good deal, but it’s not the end of the world. This shit goes on sale all the time. You’ll get another chance. But no, they’re chucking the biggest hissy fit you’ve ever seen. Swearing, saying that I’m personally a bad person for not having the stock on hand, saying that they’re going to call head office to get me fired, etc.

Mind you, this is DURING the time I’m telling them that we can put a raincheck so that the next time it comes in, even if it’s not on sale, you get it for the sale price. Or maybe calling up another store to see if they have it in stock there, or organize an online order. Seriously, there are plenty of options available for you to get what you want in a short amount of time. But no, they want it there and then. Well if I can’t have a mansion in Kiama with a naked Mila Kunis in my bed, why should you get what you want on demand?

The Life-Storytellers

No more story-time! I want to sleep, damn it!

No more story-time! I want to sleep, damn it!

While the main culprits for this are the Elderly, I really don’t enjoy being told your life-story. I’m just the guy behind the counter, not a psychologist. While I am sorry that your kids aren’t talking to you at the moment, I doubt that I’m going to be able to fix that. Don’t get me wrong, I like to engage in friendly conversations with customers to try and make them feel comfortable. But there’s a limit to everything, people. Let’s not over do it.

I Could Go On & On…

I really could. But I think you guys get the general idea.

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