Working in Retail

A rant drafted during my years as a retail slave. This information no longer describes my job, but its points are still all too true . . . and the experience of working retail has contributed to the person I am today. So listen up.

Rude people. Every day.

I worked in retail (in a chain bookstore) for six years, so it's to be expected that I had my share of brushes with rude people. And really, most of the people I rang up, helped out, and generally encountered were nice enough. But there was always that one person a day, sometimes more, who did everything possible to piss me off. So I'm just going to vent here and list their transgressions, where you can laugh at them and think, Gawd, I'm sure glad I don't have her job!

This list is divided into three groups: People and situations that REALLY piss me off; people and situations that just annoy me slightly; and people and situations that are so irritating that I laugh at them. Have fun exploring my angst and annoyance. I must thank my old co-workers for helping me add to this list when I brought its various drafts in for their amusement: Thanks to Chris S., Diana, Lara, Angie M., Melissa, Mike S., Adam, Ariel, and Cliff.

People and situations that REALLY piss me off:

People and situations that just annoy me slightly:

People and situations that are so irritating that I laugh at them:

Here are some connections:

Any comments left here are PUBLIC. If you are not comfortable with that, mail me directly.

Email address:

Comments from others:

Alison: I think the creepiest thing that has happened to me during work was that some guy asked me where the restrooms were. I showed him,then went back to what I had been doing. A little while later he came back and said, very, very seriously, "God bless you." It just creeped me out >_>:

Mikey: Well I got a real kick out of reading this, and I can comment that sometimes it really sucks that stupidity doesn't hurt, I have made the comment many a times to various co-workers about the same type of mentality of where I work.

Kim: I worked in bookstores (both independent and chain) for six years, and have experienced nearly everything you mentioned. Another one that always got me was when someone wanted me to suggest a book for a twelve year old boy and then, after I made three or four suggestions, said "Would a boy like these, or are they only for girls?" If they had no faith in my suggestions, why not ask someone who had once been a twelve year old boy? Anyway, very funny.

Somnite: Hahaha. I pity you. I worked in a library for 4 years and thankfully only had to deal with about half that stuff.

My favorite occurred recently when a guy dropped off a large storage tote of "donation" books and then called back 3 weeks later to say that he had put one of the in their by mistake. By then all the books were either added to our collection, sold in our books sale, or trashed.

Evigool: Hm...after reading this piece I wonder if working in a bookstore would be a good idea. Lord knows how I despise grocery stores.

Jarrod: 'When people say "yes" to things that are not yes/no questions. (Like "would you like me to put the receipt in your bag, or do you want to take it now?" "Yes please.")'

I don't work in retail, but that annoys the hell out of me too.

Edel: English is my mother's second language so she has difficulty understanding people and thus responds incorrectly or often asks people to repeat what they've said. It's embarrassing but she can't help it. I've always been pleasantly surprised by people who can keep a seemingly genuine smile on their face when they encounter my mother at a store. I don't understand how they can do it because even my frustration shows on my face whenever she does those things!

I do some of the things you've mentioned here. I promise to do better! I've always had a weird phobia of talking to people who work at stores, so that doesn't help me, haha. I have to build up my courage and repeat what I want to say in my head. That usually doesn't help at all because I usually stutter and end up saying that doesn't make sense and then I spend the rest of the day mulling over how stupid I sound.

Matt: OMG one of the best list I have read in a long time. Did someone really take a crap in the sink when the toilets were not working?

You have to check out its got some amazing retail horror stories to.

Sandy: Hi, I just wanted to ask how you usually deal with office politics/bitchery. I'm asking because just like you I'm quite a 'unique' person to and I have trouble dealing with this puzzling behavior of 'ordinary' people. So how do you not let it get to you and how do you manage to maintain your cheery attitude (and happiness in general) while at work?