5 Ways to Be Nice to a Retail Worker This Holiday Season

  1. Remember that we don’t get time off over the holidays. No matter how stressed or frustrated you are, you are currently out shopping and not at work. So please, try and show some consideration for us poor bastards who have miss family events and celebrations in order to restock margarine. Taking an extra second to be polite or even to treat us like Real People will be remembered and appreciated.
  2. We are humans: ergo we can only move and talk at a certain speed. Yeah, I’m looking at you, the woman rolling her eyes as she waits for me to serve the three other people in front of her. If you’re running late/in a hurry then you need to get better organisational skills, it’s not my problem. I’m working as fast as I can to get through the queue and make sure everyone else gets decent service.
  3. Don’t be a dick. “I thought I’d give you some work to do/you looked bored.” Is frustrating at best and insulting at worst. I get this several times EVERY SHIFT when people look at the self checkout machines and then elect to come over to me. 97% of the time I’ve just had to deal with a massive queue/a spillage/an unhappy customer before you graced me with your presence. The look on my face is not boredom, it’s exhaustion.
  4. We are not magicians. ‘The Back’ is not a magical wonderland, it’s not Narnia or Mary Poppins’ carpet-bag. It’s the place where we put the things that won’t fit on the shelves. We check it regularly and restock three or four times during the day. If it’s not on the shelf then it won’t be in ‘The Back’. In 18 months of being a supermarket dogsbody I have NEVER found something in ‘The Back’ that isn’t already well stocked on the shop floor.
  5. We have been customers too. Yes, we understand that it’s annoying to come a long way and find out that we’ve run out of something, or that we don’t stock it, we actually do understand these problems and sympathise with you. We understand that some things are overpriced, we understand the queues are long, we understand that this is a stressful and busy time of the year. Sadly life is not fair, we have to deal with these problems just as much as you do. Yes it sucks, no, we can’t change the world.

’til next time,

Wren x



5 thoughts on “5 Ways to Be Nice to a Retail Worker This Holiday Season

  1. Well put. I have worked many a holiday and the thing I hate WORST is to be working on Thanksgiving and have someone come in and say are you having a good Thanksgiving? Well NO, you moron! My bosses are greedy enough to stay open so that people like you who are incapable of planning ahead can come in here and buy your bag of chips or two liter of pop. YES, my holiday I s wonderful. I am standing here waiting on people while everyone else is sitting down with their families. Good grief!

    • Thank you, I love having people come in over the summer and talk about how beautiful the weather is… I know they’re trying to be nice but it can be infuriating! The only day that the store where I work actually closes is Christmas day itself, so at least I’ll always have that day off work. I feel your pain, customers can be unbelievable.

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