One of my two jobs is at a plus sized clothing store. Our clothing and bras are expensive- like, before I started working there and got the pretty great employee discount, I wouldn’t have shopped there unless it was a semiannual, I had a REALLY good coupon AND gift card, or mega clearanced. (For example, basic jeans are generally $75-85. Designer jeans START at $98. Most of our shirts are at least $45. Bras average $40-$45 for your basic black/nude/white.)

Well, yesterday, I got this lovely mini-rant from a customer after she came in, powerwalked to the register, dumped a large bag of our merchandise on the counter, and shoved her receipt in my face:

“I fucking HATE this store. You have NO RIGHT to charge me this much for your shitty clothing that doesn’t even fit me! My leggings split down the ass seam, my bra won’t even hook closed, and the tops are like fucking plastic wrap! I need a manager NOW to give me a FULL REFUND!”

—–

Well, maybe if you didn’t buy size 14/16 and 16 when you clearly need a 22 and/or 24….

some of the best customers I’ve had at Dollar General
  • the woman who comes in every day and buys a single can of cat food. The brand she buys has the deal that if you buy 5 cans, you get them for $2. When I told her that she said “I don’t need five at once. Terrence only needs one a day.”
  • The old man who came in and asked me “Why do you think McDonalds doesn’t sell hotdogs?” When I told him I didn’t know, he said “Well, I guess it would be hard to keep a straight face and order a McWeenie.”
  • The teenage girl whose boyfriend held her foot up as she hopped around the store to get her things. Come to find out that she had lost her flip flop and didn’t want to step on the floor with her bare foot.
  • The elderly spanish man who comes in every day to get a pack of Marlboro Lights. His english isn’t very good, so when I asked him if he wanted shorts or 100s, he looked at me confused. Realizing he didn’t understand, I said “Pequeño ?” His face lit up and nodded enthusiastically. Now every time he leaves, he smiles and says “Hasta mañana” and I say it back.
  • The other day when I was outside on a smoke break, he was riding on a bike and yelled ”HASTA MANANAAAAAA” as he rode by.
  • The old woman who came in and bought 24 air fresheners. I asked her if she was stocking up, and she told me about how she got a new boyfriend who lived in a mansion, and that she was putting one in each of the rooms. She then proceeded to tell me about how the mansion is haunted.
  • The little kid who was probably around 4 or 5 who ripped open a pack of skittles. As me and the people in line watched the skittles scatter across the floor, he looked up and said. “It wasn’t me.” 
retail etiquette

alternatively titled, “how to be a decent human being to people who are suffering enough as it is to help your supposedly entitled ass”

1. get off your cell phone.  
      - cashiers ( not to mention the people patiently waiting in line ) don’t need to hear about how little Kelsey’s doing on the soccer team, or how your mother-in-law is coming into town for her birthday and you’re just SO INCONVENIENCED by having to purchase paper plates and cheap napkins before her arrival.  just tell them you’ll call them back when you’re done.
      - if you can’t be assed to think about other people, at least acknowledge the cashier with a smile or a wave.  if they speak to you or ask you a question, don’t shush them.  tell your BFF Tanisha to hold on for what might be a total of four seconds. 

2.  when an item doesn’t immediately scan, please say anything but “oh, it must be free!”  please, dear god, anything but that.  you’re not being funny.  or clever.  or original.  they hear this at least ten times a day.  

3.  the number of items listed on the express lane is not a suggestion.  if you know that you have more items, don’t go there.  it’s that simple.  the express lanes have to be kept open for people who have small orders, so they’re not stuck behind someone with a cart piled high with what’s maybe a week’s worth of food and clothes you’ll inevitably be returning. 

4.  while unloading your cart, put the big items ( i.e., packages of toilet paper, crates of water bottles ) last.  there’s very little room for the cashiers to work with.  when you’re done unloading your cart, pull it up to the loading space and start putting the bags and other items into your cart instead of standing there and staring off into space or fiddling with your phone. 

5.  when you ask a cashier a store-related question ( i.e., how many coupons are allowed per order, whether or not you’re getting the right BOGO deal, etc. ), and they answer you politely and confidently, don’t challenge them.  they work there.  you don’t.  they know the way the store works.  you don’t.  if they’ve forgotten something or made a mistake, by all means, ask them about it – but do it politely.  we all make mistakes.  

6.  do not – i repeat, do not – put your money down on the counter or conveyor belt, especially if the cashier is visibly ready to take it.  hand it over to them.  if you need to count out some change, tell them so they can wait.  oh, and if they’ve already cashed you out, don’t hand over some random amount of change after the drawer’s open.  

7.  if your card’s declined, it’s not their fault.  don’t ask them why it wasn’t accepted.  they don’t know.  and don’t get angry or impatient with them, or insist you have money because you just deposited a check – they do not care.  they cannot help you with problems that are clearly on your end.  

8.  do not yell at a cashier.  once again, for the people in the back:  do not yell at a cashier, especially someone who’s clearly new to the job.  would you appreciate being yelled at for something beyond your control, or a simple, fixable mistake?  no.  so don’t do it to them.  

9.  if you get an answer you don’t like from a cashier and ask to speak to a manager, guess what?  you’re most likely gonna get the same answer from them.  here’s a news flash: the customer is not always right, the company will not always pander to your temper tantrums, and making a scene in front of a line of people with quickly-diminishing patience will not change their minds. 

10.  overall, please just be polite.  these people are working their asses off to help their customers, most of which don’t appreciate their efforts at all.  they’re constantly ignored, mistreated, questioned and degraded, and over time, it really does a number on their emotional state.  just be kind and courteous.  they’re human beings, not mindless drones.  smiles and nice conversations go a long way.  

if anyone else has anything to add, feel free.  floor associates, back room / production workers – go crazy.  share your woes and pet peeves.