10 Thoughts You Have Working In Retail

You need balls of steel and an expert poker face to work in retail. You’ll deal with the worst of the worst customers on a daily basis and you have to smile and nod while they insult your intelligence and make your life a living hell. While you may be cheerfully saying, “The customer is always right!” you’re thinking some very, very different things.

  1. “People are so needy.” Some customers are completely incapable of handling the simplest tasks on their own. They need help finding absolutely everything and then they have to ask you a metric ton of questions about every item in the store. You can answer 999,999 of their questions correctly, but Zeus forbid you don’t know the answer to the millionth question. Prepare for the customer apocalypse if you don’t know everything about everything.
  2. “I can’t change the rules.” You’re not working in the corporate headquarters of your retail chain, but some customers seem to think that you can bend the rules for their stupid expired coupons and their stupid poorly-thought-out excuses. While the customer rattles off all the reasons why you should risk your job for them, you are seriously considering headbutting the idiot and fleeing across the border.
  3. “Why is everyone so messy?” Some people lose all sense of decency in retail settings. They don’t feel the need to clean up after themselves because the store isn’t their own house. These people have a special place in hell waiting for them. Every employee they screw over should earn them ten years of being locked in a room with the Bee Gees playing on an endless loop.
  4. “This is the worst job ever.” It’s paying the bills for now. There is always something better out there. Batten down the hatches and endure the ceaseless disaster. You’ll be stronger because of your time spent in this godforsaken store.
  5. “I didn’t think it was possible for people to be this stupid.” You lose your faith in humanity piece by piece on a daily basis. Everyone is so silly. The customers, your coworkers, your boss…it’s hopeless. Working in retail has taught you that the human race is doomed.
  6. “I hate my life.” Only seven more hours until your shift is over. Seven. More. Hours. Then it’s straight home to drown yourself in whatever hard liquor is available.
  7. “I can’t believe adults behave like this.” Far too many customers think retail employees are “beneath” them. Those employees are there to help and ensure that the customer has a pleasant shopping experience, not cater to every irrational whim and endure insults from dysfunctional, broken adults. Retail employees could probably decimate an army of Spartans with all of their built-up rage.
  8. “Is it lunch time yet?” Taking a break from the chaos is your only salvation in this job. That precious thirty minutes of nothing but eating a sandwich and contemplating your life is what keeps you sane and a level under “murderous vengeful she-demon.” All hail the lunch hour.
  9. “You must have a crappy life.” When you get a bitchy, rude, impossible-to-please customer that screams at you for no reason, it’s safe to assume that his/her life is terrible so they take it out on anyone within their reach. They’re powerless, weak douchebags in their own lives and the only way to relieve the pressure of their failure is to find and abuse verbal punching bags working in customer service. Being on the other end of a vicious, unnecessary tirade is inevitable in retail. While a mommy whale beast is spraying angry spittle in your face, just smile and imagine the merciless inferno that is her home life.
  10. “For the love of God, please control your children.” You’re not a babysitter, and yet somehow you always seem to find yourself chasing after some clueless parent’s gaggle of unruly kids. The hell spawn destroy everything they touch while the nonchalant parent browses Facebook and plays games on his/her phone while saying, “Kids will be kids LOL.” After witnessing this scenario dozens of times on a daily basis, you feel that a sign reading “Unattended children will be turned into coal at the North Pole” is necessary on every wall of the store.
Lauren Clark is a writer and news curator based in Denver, Colorado with bylines here on Bolde and at Inside.com. While she’s vehemently anti-social media, you can find her on LinkedIn.