If you’re between the ages of 18 and 24, you’ve probably had a shitty job as one of many retail workers at some point in your life. Although it’s been almost a year since my last retail job, to this day I STILL get recurring flashbacks to that nasally “can I speak to a manager?”, and the faint static of a walkie talkie that is permanently etched into my memory *shudders*. Here are 10 problems that are all too familiar to everyone who’s ever had a retail job.
1. When a customer interrupts you mid-conversation with your work bestie
They can CLEARLY see you two catching up yet still have the nerve to ask you where the graphic t-shirts are located?! I’M OFFENDED.
2. Hearing the same playlist…over…and over…and over…and over…and over…and OVER AGAIN!!!
I can recite every lyric to “Where Have You Been” and “Bad Blood” without pause, and NO I am not proud of it. And hearing any of the obscure indie rock songs that used to play at my store in settings outside of work? TRIGGERED.
3. When a customer tries to argue with you over a price that you literally have no control over
Can we PLEASE stop blaming retail workers for prices that we literally have no control over? No, I cannot do anything about the full priced item that you happened to find in the sale section, and no, I cannot give you a discount.
4. Two words: BLACK. FRIDAY.
The entrance to the gates of hell opens on the eve of Black Friday. It’s the one dreaded day of the year that every retail worker is obligated to work on. The trauma from last year’s stampede still haunts me to this day…
5. Coming to work all depressed and then realizing you’re zoned with the lit squad of co-workers
There’s nothing that would lift my mood like finding out that I’m working on the same floor as the 3 most entertaining co-workers on the team. 9 hours with y’all?? OK, WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS.
6. The tension between you and that one manager
My interactions with these particular people consisted of forced, painful smiles, and curt one-word responses. Is there a reason why every manager insists on becoming buddy-buddy with their workers? Because for the most part, we’re here to pick up a check…and that’s about it. Note to all managers: STOP LASHING OUT AT WORKERS WHO JUST DON’T WANT TO BEFRIEND YOU.
7. When you show up 30 minutes late and your managers pissed but they know they can’t fire you because you’re their best worker
I’ve seen a lot of managers come and go throughout my 5 dreadful years in the retail industry, and of course when you work for that long, you’re bound to encounter managers you just don’t f*ck with. But that still doesn’t erase the fact that you’re their best worker and you can get away with a lotttt of sh*t and they still won’t fire you.
8. Sitting in the bathroom on your phone for 10 minutes on the clock so you don’t have to waste any of your break time going to the bathroom
Every retail worker knows not to waste any second of our precious break time on the toilet. If you go to the bathroom during your break time, you’re doing it ALL wrong.
9. Working 17 hours for a $54 check
You know the deal- you work 9 hour shifts 4 days in a row, but your sad, pitiful check two weeks later reflects none of those grueling hours you put in. Honestly, getting my check every two weeks felt like God was just laughing in my face.
10. When a customer asks to speak to the manager and you know they’re just going to tell them the exact same thing that you told them
Customers- WHY do you have to be so difficult sometimes? Oh, you don’t like the price of that sweater? Let me get a manager who’s going to repeat exactly what I just said to you about that price being the price.