things I've learned from working in retail.

I've been working pretty much since I was seventeen, with a few gaps here and there for education or personal reasons. In that space of time between my first job and my current job, I've worked in four different retail stores. Over the years, you eventually learn that there are some things that only retail staff with understand. I'm going to list them here and chances are if you've ever even remotely worked in a shop environment, you'll agree with most of them. (I'm aware these could apply to other jobs too, but just go with it..)

» Your "phone voice" becomes your work voice.
»  Your fake smile also becomes your work smile.
»  No matter how quiet the shop is, when it's time for your break, a crowd enters.
»  The customer isn't always right, no matter how loud they shout it.
»  "I've already spoken to customer services"...
»  You've perfected a greeting that gets the customer to say hi and skip the chat.
»  Ten minutes before closing, someone will inevitably come in to complain.
»  When customers tell you their life story and say something awkward.. *pretend to type*
»  Shouting at me will not make me refund this, it's your fault it's broken.
»  "I'm sorry, the systems are down" - customer thinks you can still help.
»  That inner excitement you feel when you get an angry customer to back down.
»  The same excitement you feel when you win an argument with an angry customer.
»  You never work your actual hours, there's always opening and closing.
»  You've forgotten what a weekend is, since you're always working it.
»  Therefore, your life runs at a completely different time from your friends / family.
»  You have a new found tolerance for other retail / sales staff.
»  Unless they're bad at their job, then you judge them and their poor service.
»  You wonder why anyone would enter your shop at 9:02am... on a Sunday.
»  Customers blame you for something another department has done.
»  Being told that "you're the face of the company" and must be able to fix it.

Those are just a few of the things that I've learned, but that's like maybe 10% of it. I do enjoy working in retail, as it's always something different and talking to people on a daily basis (when they're nice!) is quite interesting. However, it really does come with some challenges. Most of which make you think through with the outcome of "will I get fired for saying this?..." We've all had that thought at one point or another. Don't deny it.

If you have learned any major lessons from retail, then please share, because chances are I, or someone else, has felt the same way!


  1. I could write a book about working in retail. Still, it's not forever (hopefully)

    I had one customer last weekend who was clearly in a foul mood the moment she came up to me. I got on with serving her, was just as pleasant as I ever am despite being kicked by her children and had my hair pulled by them (which she did not apologise for), was probably more helpful to her than anyone else that day and then the nasty horrid cow told my manager I was rude to her!

    Fortunately my manager came over and said "I'm just coming over to talk to you so it looks like I'm telling you off as that customer has just mad a complaint but I doubt you're even capable of being rude so I'm not really going to".

    Would have been nice if he had said that to her face though :/ Anyway, rant over!!

    Megan x | MeganRoisinn

  2. This is so perfect and relevant!

  3. Can fully relate to all of these, working in fast food suuucks!


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