The 7 Worst People You’ll Meet While Working In Retail


1. The Mom:

She’s the sweet lady that spends two hours in the shirt and tie section with a cell phone in hand. “I’m shopping for my son’s prom next week,” she says. You try to help her pick out the right color combination to match her son’s date’s color swatch, but she is very insecure and indecisive. “Let me text this photo to him,” she says. “Wait how do I do that…” As you help other customers over the next several hours, you glance back to make sure she is doing fine. She stands there holding a tie in each hand accompanied by the most distressed facial expression you have ever seen. For her, this is choosing between the red pill and the blue pill, taking her further down the rabbit hole. Before long, she has her very own fashion show featuring yours truly, because suddenly, you’re the exact same body type as her son! Your manager chuckles as you struggle to explain the difference between pastel purple and magenta, skinny versus boot, and how a reversible belt works. After consuming an enormous amount of your time, she ends up leaving because she “has to think about it” or “wants to be sure it’s what her son wants.” She asks you to put both shirts and ties on hold. But of course, she never returns.

2. The Flush Foreigner:

In his flip-flops and cargo shorts, he certainly doesn’t look the part. He takes a quick glance around the store and then asks you where the sale section is. Half an hour later, he dumps four bags full of clearance items onto the counter. Twenty, maybe even thirty items. Yellow polo shirts, white cargo pants, hot pink graphic tees, flared jeans. All discounted, all hideous. But he isn’t purchasing them for the looks, he’s buying them for the brand recognition; importantly, an American brand. Yet as you ring one item up after another, your jaw slowly drops. Five hundred, Five twenty-five, five eighty, six fifteen. The number usually stops short of a grand. As you stare questionably at the tourist, he reaches into his pocket and pulls out a wad of bills. “Cash,” he says with a smile. “Wow, big purchase, huh?” you remark. “Gifts for friends at home,” he replies, in his Middle Eastern accent. Or Swedish. Or Indian. Or Japanese. At this point, it’s all moot. All that’s on your mind is that you’re making eight dollars an hour.

3. The Annoying Couple:

“Just browsing,” they reply, when you ask if you can help with anything. They seem to wander the store aimlessly, hand in hand, picking up and tossing back items as they go, destroying your folds. And now they’re making out in the trouser section. They spend an hour laughing and flirting in the dressing room even after you specifically said only one customer in each dressing room at a time. “Does this color look good on me? Honey, you have such a nice butt.” They remove nine dress shirts from the packaging to try on, and then buy none of them. They leave an empty Starbucks cup on the tabletop of graphic tees. It leaves a water ring. Guess what? Now they’re making out again. They eventually make their way to the exit, empty-handed. “Which way is the California Pizza Kitchen?” they ask.

4. The Chatty Professional:

She doesn’t waste any time browsing the store. Upon entering, she heads straight for the studio section, where workplace attire is located. She soon shows up at the register with a decent collection of professional attire. “Just doing some shopping for new work clothes, you know,” she says to you. “Oh, cool, very nice,” you reply as you continue scanning the tags. “Yeah, I’m an event planner,” she says with some excitement in her voice. You eye the line of customers forming behind her and begin to move faster. “Yeah, it’s actually pretty tough. Everyone thinks it’s all fun and stuff. It’s a lot of work, but I really love my job.” She rambles on and on about her professional career and feels the need to justify the purchase to you. Lady, does my name tag say LinkedIn on it!?

5. The Trust Fund Babies:

Damn rich kids walking in, looking like they belong in a Pac Sun catalog. They don’t take long to browse. If they don’t immediately leave with a scoff, they quickly arrive at the cash wrap/register. They are ready to make their purchase on that full price item, which they have not tried on. Girl One is buying the distressed denim jacket with leather sleeves, because she “forgot her jacket in the car and it’s cold.” Girl Two picks up a pair of earrings and a $60 bracelet simply because Girl One is taking too long. Cash? No way, girlfriend. Both pay with plastic, paying no attention to the total on the register screen. “Where should we eat?” says Girl One. “I want Chinese!” screams Girl Two. “I’ll text my mom to give us a ride to P.F. Changs!”

6. The Douchebag Metrosexual:

“Is this genuine leather?” he asks, while feeling the cuffs of a polyurethane jacket. “Well, I only wear real leather.” Um okay, thanks for sharing that with me? You assure him of the quality of the item, but also recommend other more upscale stores nearby that carry genuine leather goods. “No, no,” he says, “I like this color. I have five leather jackets, all in different colors. They cost like a thousand dollars each. But I don’t have this color.” He spends twenty minutes in the dressing room staring at himself before asking for your opinion. “I think it looks great,” you say with your commission in mind. “Yeah, I work out every day,” he says leaning over the counter. “That’s why everything fits me so well.” Um, what? As you ring up the $150 leather imitation jacket, he asks if he qualifies for the 5% off discount. Really bro? I thought all your other fine Italian leather jackets are worth a grand each…

7. The Extreme Coupon Bitch:

“These are on sale, right?” she asks firmly. “Yeah, they should be 20% off,” you reply. “Well can you check?” she demands. You check and confirm that they are indeed 20% off. “Well, they were in the 30% section,” she fires back. She still tries to get the items for 30% off after you inform her that obviously another customer must have misplaced the items. “These tops are buy one get one free, right?” she asks. You kindly inform her that only those tops are buy one get one free. “Well, the sign was on the table next to the tops over there.” Yes, but only on that table next to only those tops. “Well, you guys shouldn’t do that because it confuses people!” she fusses. No, it only confuses you. “Okay, well here are my coupons.” You inform her that each customer can only apply one coupon. “Why not?” Her tone gets angrier and an eyebrow perks up. “Can’t I just get in line twice?” Technically, yes. But who does that!? That’s just not how it works! After you kindly deny her coupon advances, she demands to speak to your manager. While watching them argue for ten minutes, you see your manager give in; she happily walks away with a grand total savings of $6. You and your manager exchange a look. #extremecouponbitch