Behind The Scenes: Our Job (3C)

Did you know…

Sales associates are human beings too?

Shocking huh? I never really understood how customers could come into the store and instantly become rude. It’s as if I’m…

  • Spitting in their face
  • Kicking their kitty
  • Holding them at gunpoint

If looks could kill, then I died over and over and over again. I mean, just because you’re wearing Ed Hardy, doesn’t mean you can be a douche bag… Actually if you’re wearing Ed Hardy, you’re already a douche bag.

But not to worry, I’m not that judgmental. ‘Cause I get it, sometimes there are those people who are having an absolutely terrible day and their mood just can’t be lifted. I feel for you. I have those days too. But sometimes, that asshole is simply just an asshole.

Working in retail for 5 years, I’ve come across many different characters. I’ve had people argue, yell and cuss at me. For what you may ask?

For doing my job.


“I can’t return this?!”

A customer came into the store with a couple of things to return. The first thing I needed to do, as the cashier, is check the date on the receipt. She bought it a month ago and the store policy is the customer could only get a full refund on items bought within 14 days. If not, the customer could only receive a store credit as long as the tags on the products are still in tact. Which they were, so I proceeded to tell her, “Sorry mam, you bought these a month ago so I can’t give you a full refund. But what I can do is give you store credit.”

Her facial expression dropped and she quickly turned into the devil…

And yelled “What do you mean I can’t return this?! That’s bullshit. Fuck this place! Nobody told me I had only 14 days. What the fuck am I suppose to do now? My husband bought these for me and they’re the wrong size. They don’t fucking fit me and I want my money back.”

What I Wanted To Say

  • “Shut up. You’re dumb. The policy is on the back, you stupid fool. It’s not my fault you didn’t read it. And it’s also no my fault your husband bought you the wrong size.”

What I Really Said

  • “Our return policy is clearly noted on the back of every receipt. I apologize; I can’t give you your money back. You can still get a credit note that can be used at any —– location.”

She wasn’t havin’ it. The lady stormed out of the store. 10 minutes later she came back and asked for the credit note. No apologies. Nothing. She just left and was the joke of the day between my coworkers and I.



Sometimes, I’ll come into work on a very happy note. On these days, my manager will choose me to be the store greeter. I welcome customers and inform them about the current promotions. Sounds easy enough right? Usually. All I ask for in return is for the customer to smile or nod pretending like they heard what I said. As hard as that may seem, I’ve gotten customers who have given me dirty looks or straight up ignore me. The best response was when a customer cut me off in the middle of my greeting, looked me right in the eye and said, “No!” He continued walking around the store mumbling under his breath, “So damn annoying.”

What I Wanted To Say

  • “It’s my job to greet people and tell them about our sales. My manager told me to do it. I’m getting minimum freakin’ wage to stand here and say hello to you grumpy ass people. If you don’t like that then go home and shop online you inconsiderate jerk.”

What I Really Said

  • Nothing

Comic from Retail Comic

Seriously customers, make up your mind!


“This is $49.99? What the hell.”

I finished my rounds of asking customers if they needed help. When they say no, I go back to cleaning a section. Fold, fold, fold and I’m soon interrupted by a customer who has a question. He asks, “How much is this?”

I pull the tag out of the collar and read, “It’s $49.99”

He does a double take on the tag, widens his eyes and repeats, “$49.99?!” I nod,“Are you serious? This shirt is $49.99? That’s so expensive. Your prices are terrible.” He continues his rant on how overpriced the shirt is and lectures me on how other stores sell this shirt for half the price. I stand there listening, but not really.

What I Wanted To Say

  • “Then go buy it from that store. I don’t make the prices so why are you getting mad at me?”

What I Really Said

What good is it to complain to me, a sales associate? I am employed by the company to help customers. Do not shoot the messenger because sales associates are merely the middle man. Remember we do not make up the prices!



I was on YouTube the other day and came across this video titled ‘Rude Customer Service American Apparel’. I prepared to watch a video on a sales associate giving the rest of us a bad name… but let me tell you, the title was very misleading. There was rudeness in the video, but it wasn’t from the service. It was from the customers themselves.


I could go on and on with similar situations but these are some of the most common ones. Not to worry, not all customers are like this. I’ve had many pleasant customers tell me lovely stories about:

  • Their 3 kitties
  • Their children
  • Their boyfriend/girlfriend
  • Their travels

All of which, I enjoyed listening to.

But customers with no souls should be sent into the Hunger Games where they could just be grouchy and yell and fight till each other’s death. Yeah, sounds like a perfect plan!

Sales associates are only human and are only doing what we’re paid to do. We greet, because we have to. We ask customers if they need help, because we have to. We follow the store rules, because we have to.

It’s our job. 

Customers! I hope this helped you realize the kind of stuff us, sales associates have to do and put up with. We love you and want you to love us! Comment below and share your feedback!

And fellow sales associates, share a time you’ve ever had a rough time with a customer!

Happy Shopping!


13 responses to “Behind The Scenes: Our Job (3C)

  1. Words can not describe how perfect this is. Sometimes I wish I knew where the customers worked so I can go into their workplace and make them miserable for simply doing their job.

  2. My coworkers and I joke about how we need to write a book about the horrors of working in retail. It’s amazing how ignorant, rude, and just plain dumb some customers can be. This was perfect.

  3. Patricia, awesome blog! I really like the simplicity of the layout and how it doesn’t attract to much attention away from the material without it being bland or boring. It was a good read too with the involvement of narrative. Well done.

  4. Pingback: Calling All Sales Associates! | Secret World of Retail·

  5. Pingback: Behind The Scenes: Bending The Rules | Secret World of Retail·

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