retail store jobs

What I really hate about retail is that it’s just a fucked up cycle of customers getting what they want. They yell and yell until they get their way, and then they learn that it works, and they keep doing it. Grown ass adults, throwing a tantrum over some perceived injustice that has been done to them. 

I think it should be mandatory that every person work in customer service at some point in their life. 

I was ringing up a customer and told him his total. He handed me cash and then said, “You’re taking all my money! Just like a woman.”

I was irritated, so I didn’t say anything. Then he continued:

Customer: “I bet you take all your boyfriend’s money too.”

Me: “Uh no, I make my own.”

Customer: *laughs* “Yeah right, you take his money.”

I can’t express how angry I was (and still am) about this.

Please fire me.  I think we all know working retail sucks, with rude customers and high expectations when you’re just one person.  But when you’re desperate enough to work at Dollar Tree of all places, you know it’s bad.  (And yes, you “funny” customer, everything IS INDEED a fucking dollar.)

My job description is basically “cashier first, stocker second”.  But apparently no one told me I was also a janitor, a babysitter, a shrink, and the brains behind the manager who can’t think for himself half the time.  Okay fine, I’ll clean up your crap that you’re too lazy to put back in its original spot that’s two feet away from you.  Fine, I’ll watch your kid for a moment if you need to use the restroom.  I’ll listen if you really want to tell me about the shitty day you’ve been having prior to coming to my register.  Okay manager, I’ll handle the customer for a few minutes while you back me up on the register.

However, if you’re going to take all the shit from the party aisle and shove it into the empty cavity on the shelf specifically made for bread, get out of my store.  If your child won’t listen to me after I’ve told them 4 times to stop pulling the balloons out of the corral, you need to put your child on a leash.  If you’re going to blame me for your shitty day and take all your frustration out on me, then I WILL make myself the reason you’re not in control of your own damn life.  And manager, for the love of whatever you believe in, do your fucking job as a manager and not talk to your wife about moving to Florida in *certain time frame*; stop bullshitting on the side-lines and help me on the register when I need it.

Don’t argue with me over something coming out to $1.06 because you didn’t think to bring change with you for tax.  Don’t argue with me when I say we only do exchanges and that I am not authorized to do full refunds.  And especially don’t argue with me when your card declines and you don’t carry cash.

And I swear, if you come into my store, and I have a small line of two people, and you want a new line to open because you woke up late for work and you’re too damn impatient to purchase a single bottle of water, I will gladly step away from my register to hand you an application so you can ring up your own fucking water, you impatient, sweaty, suit-and-tie dickweed.

Retailers are going bankrupt at a staggering rate

Where’s the Trump and Republican outrage? There are more retail jobs than coal jobs.

shoppers’ habits are fundamentally changing, and some retailers just aren’t cut out to survive in the new retail environment.

Retailers are running out of cash, and the dominoes are starting to fall.”

More than 3,500 stores are expected to close over the next several months.

“Private-equity firms [and] banks seem less willing now to step in to save these failing retailers as the issues this time around are more structural rather than quick operational fixes,” RBC analysts wrote in a recent research note.

Cashier pet peeve #20

*customer hands me $50 bill*
*I mark it with the counterfeit pen*
Customer: (angrily) why are you writing on my money?!
Me: its just to make sure its real
Customer: Of course it’s real! I just got it from the bank!

Okay calm down, its literally part of my job. I get in big trouble if there aren’t marks on every big bill at the end of the day.

Managers: “You guys need to be faster! Your transaction times are too slow!!  But also unload all of the customers’ groceries from their carts for them. And put all the bags into their carts. And try to get them to sign up for a rewards card. And try 18 different phone numbers to get their card, don’t use the store’s card if they forgot theirs. And explain this new rewards program to them. And be more talkative! Have a conversation with them! Ask them about their weekend plans and what they’re making for dinner. But be faster!!!!!!”

Cashier Problem #88

When customers try to give you change after you’ve already typed in the amount they paid and opened your drawer.
Robots Are Replacing Workers Where You Shop
The U.S. retail industry’s 16 million workers are at risk of seeing their jobs replaced by automation as large chains, under pressure from Amazon, increasingly use technology to do rote tasks.
By Sarah Nassauer

Robots, AI, and Amazon are placing increased pressure on retail operations to automate, and axe or redeploy workers:

Last August, a 55-year-old Wal-Mart employee found out her job would now be done by a robot. Her task was to count cash and track the accuracy of the store’s books from a desk in a windowless back room. She earned $13 an hour.

Instead, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. started using a hulking gray machine that counts eight bills per second and 3,000 coins a minute. The Cash360 machine digitally deposits money at the bank, earning interest for Wal-Mart faster than sending an armored car. And it uses software to predict how much cash is needed on a given day to reduce excess.

“They think it will be a more efficient way to process the money,” said the employee, who has worked with Wal-Mart for a decade.

Now almost all of Wal-Mart’s 4,700 U.S. stores have a Cash360 machine, turning thousands of positions obsolete. Most of the employees in those positions moved into store jobs to improve service, said a Wal-Mart spokesman. More than 500 have left the company. The store accountant is now a greeter at the front door, where she still earns $13 an hour.

“The role of service and customer-facing associates will always be there,” said Judith McKenna, Wal-Mart’s U.S. chief operating officer, in an interview. But “there are interesting developments in technology that mean those roles shift and change over time.”

Wow. ‘Interesting developments’ is some serious doubletalk.

Now for the numbers:

Nearly 16 million people, or 11% of nonfarm U.S. jobs, are in the retail industry, mostly as cashiers or salespeople. The industry eclipsed the shrinking manufacturing sector as the biggest employer 15 years ago. Now, as stores close, retail jobs are disappearing. Since January, the U.S. economy has lost about 71,000 retail jobs, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The decline of retail jobs, should it occur on a large scale—as seems likely long-term—will make the labor market even less hospitable for a group of workers who already face limited opportunities for stable, well-paid employment,” said David Autor, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Wal-Mart has long squeezed efficiency out of its business, both in stores and throughout its vast supply chain. Although it employs 1.5 million people in the U.S., it has around 15% fewer workers per square foot of store than a decade ago, according to an analysis by the Journal.

Some Wal-Mart stores are experimenting with touch screens to let shoppers process returns. Self-checkouts are becoming a larger percentage of its total registers, according to a person familiar with company strategy.

So they automate the back office, and ‘free’ those employees to work on the store floor. But they also are automating check-out and customer support in the front of the store, ‘freeing’ associates to… do what, exactly?

Please fire me. I work as a cashier at a local supermarket where we have a campaign that we hand out a small sticker for every 5 dollars our customers shop for. The customers collect the stickers in a booklet which the customer then hands in, in order to get nice silverware and chef knives and such,

The first 10 customers rejected my offer to give them stickers by laughing at me. The eleventh customer had a big grin on her face and told me she would love to get some stickers for every 5 dollar she shopped for. Turns out she had bought an entire new kitchen set for over 5000 dollars… I seriously had to close my cash register and count stickers for the rest of the day while the customer was humming and playing with her phone. When I was done she told me maybe her son would like to play with these.

Cashier Problem #13

When customers say things to you like, “Don’t look so excited!” or “Smile!” What do you want from me. I am standing here doing nothing other than serving ungrateful assholes who think of me as far less than human. Also, I don’t know many people who stand around at their jobs grinning in euphoric bliss. 

I do not want to be here. I will not stand here smiling. I will not stand here looking excited. Leave me alone about it.

Company Jokes

So a year ago on April 1st, the fabric store company I worked for announced that they were closing all their stores nationwide, due to filing their second bankruptcy. Literally that day, we had to hang signs all over the store announcing this. I had soo many customers who were regulars freaking out, thinking it was some sort of April fool’s stunt. I simply told them “I wished it was some sick joke that corporate came up with, but no” and watched their expressions change.

The days that came after were awful and a whole bunch of smaller stories of the fuck corporate kind. As much as I hate customer service/retail, the fabric store job was something I was good at and had a good rapport with various people in my community and had some wonderful customers. Granted yeah we had some grade A monstrosities of human beings masquerading as customers, but I think that’s just retail anywhere you go.

My store closed its doors for good on July 13th.

Things I've learned while working in retail. (Mostly pet peeves.)

1) We are underpaid, underappreciated, and expected to do way to much for minimum wage.
2) If you are shopping in our store, and you see us trying to straighten up our area (zoning, folding tables, fixing racks, ect.) and you mess it up, I will give you a dirty look. And I will talk about you to my co-workers because now we hate you.
3) If you’re nice and polite to us, we will move mountains to try and help you with whatever you need.
4) Likewise, if you’re rude to us for absolutely NO REASON, we will not help you in anyway. (Unless you count dirty looks as helping, then I’ll help you a lot.)
5) If you are at my register checking out, and I ask you how you are doing, do not ignore me. That’s just rude. If you do that to me, I’ll bag your food with your bleach and pray that the bottle spills and you eat the food and die. Clear? Just respond “Fine.” That’s good enough for me.
6) If you are checking out in my lane, and you decide you don’t want something, do not lay in on top of the gum, or on the bottom of the check lane. JUST HAND THEM TO ME!! I’d be happy to take them from you, rather than have to go back later and clean up after you.
7) Because I work at Target, it is my job to ask you about the redcard. If you aren’t interested, simply say no, and I won’t continue talking about it. You don’t have to be rude to me because I’m doing my job. (Speaking of credit cards: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ABUSE THE CARD READER TO GET IT TO WORK. STABBING IT WITH YOUR FUCKING FINGER IS NOT GOING TO GET IT TO WORK! Pick up the stylus and use it. It’ll will work 99.9% of the time. And no, I do not have the “magic touch.” I just use the damn stylus.)
8) I am not your maid, babysitter, disciplinary figure, or parent. I will tell your kids to stop running, to get out of the racks, and to get off my register. I will give you dirty looks if your kid is screaming uncontrollably and you aren’t doing a damn thing about it.
9) If you drop something, for God sakes, just pick it up. Don’t look at me, say “Oops” and walk off. I might walk over and punch you in the vagina, you prick.
10) I work retail to support myself. This job is my only source of income. Please don’t be an asshole and make my job miserable.

Please be considerate, polite, and courteous. It makes our day better.

Hey, imagine that, I actually know more about my job than some pissy customer!

Last week this woman walked up to me in the dairy department with a tub of our higher-end store brand shredded Parmesan cheese, which I knew was one we carry in the deli department, not the dairy. So, she asks me if we have any more of it, and I of course tell her that that’s one we carry in deli (across the store), not in dairy, and she’d have to ask them about it.

Oh hell no, things are never that simple, are they? She starts arguing with me, tells me it goes on this shelf over here, that that’s where she found it. Now, the shelf she’s pointing at is clearly filled with much taller shaker canisters of Kraft shredded parm, clearly labeled as Kraft on the tag in front of it, and as a bonus, my store even has pictures of the item that goes in the spots right next to the tags for them. But of course this woman wants to argue that this is the spot she found it in, so that HAS to be the spot it’s supposed to be in, and she always has to come over here to find it, it’s never in the deli and whenever she asks the deli people about it they send her down here because they “don’t carry it”.

Okay, no. So much wrong. I’m trying to remain polite as I inform her that that particular one does not go in the dairy, it never has, and it has ALWAYS been a deli item. I try to tell her that if she found it on that particular shelf, it’s because some customer before her put it back in the wrong place and it’s really common for random deli items to find their way tossed onto a random dairy shelf because we carry similar items and people have a habit of putting down the more expensive deli ones in favor of the cheaper dairy ones, and then just leaving the deli ones wherever. I point to the full shelf of Kraft parm where she found her store brand tub, point to the label that clearly says “Kraft”, then indicate the completely full shelves around it and show her that we don’t have a spot/tag for the item in her hand because we don’t stock it in dairy.

She still wants to fucking argue. Still telling me that “I always find this one here! Every time I look for it in deli they tell me to come down here!”

Now, I don’t know about the deli people, but I’ve worked in the dairy long enough to tell at a glance which items are mine and which are theirs, and I KNOW this one is theirs, so there’s nothing I can do at this point but literally say to her, “Well, I don’t know what to tell you, ma’am, because this one is the deli’s.” 

So, all huffy-like, she finally says “Well, FINE, I’ll go ask them!” and finally, finally leaves me alone. 

Now, I want to quickly interject here that the reason I didn’t walk her down to the deli and point it out to her myself (besides the fact that it’s all the way across the store and she was being such a fucking asshole about it) is that even though I KNEW I was right, her carrying on had me actually second-guessing myself, so I didn’t want to take that tiny little chance of being wrong and having to deal with smug customer “told ya so, told ya so!” attitude. Because I figured her for the type who would actually come back all the way across the store to rub it in my face if I were wrong, I knew she must have found the damn cheese where I said it was when I didn’t see her again that day.

Out of curiosity I went down by the deli after I’d clocked out to take a look and found the cheese immediately. Now I really wish I had walked her down there myself, because the look on her face when faced with the evidence that I was right and she was wrong after all her pissy arguing must have been glorious.

Please fire me. I’m not allowed to say may I help the next guest, because help implies something is wrong with them. I must say may I serve the next guest.

Cashier Problem #109

When customers mumble or speak to you with their face turned AWAY from you. Like, we are in a loud ass grocery store. I cannot hear you. Speak the hell up and look at me when you’re talking to me.