23 Problems All Retail Workers Will Understand. -


23 Problems All Retail Workers Will Understand.



There comes a time in a person’s life where they must leave all sense of dignity behind and take a job that’s going to pay their way through life, and that job is in retail. Usually, this is known as the “Student Phase”, and you’ll find most high street stores are full of these people, clocking in for four hour shifts for no reason other than to fuel their liver-ravaging social habits.

But that’s not to say that all retail workers are students, as the age spectrum is insanely broad. But one thing unites all of them: the hatred of the business. They may not dislike their job as such, but they’ll definitely hate the little details. After all, it’d be a great job, if it wasn’t for all the…customers.

So let’s take a look at the worst things the slaves to the wage of retail must endure in the name of funding that Saturday night pub crawl. For some of you, these disturbing accounts will be nothing but horrible, distant memories, but for the rest of us, they’re a chilling experience which haunts our very existence. So add your sufferings in the comments section, if you’ve still got your sanity about you.


23. The Bolted On Smile

Dreamworks Animation

We’re taught to be cheery and full of sunshine and rainbows at all times, whatever the situation. So yes, madame, I totally agree that you should get a refund for your six month old, very much worn underwear, and please, continue to throw them at my head, as my hygiene comes second to your customer rights.


22. The Optimistic Sizer

20th Century Fox

Those of a nervous social disposition dread this most of all. A lady of larger stature comes striding towards your till, doughnut in hand, and lays out an exhibition of bikinis, all of which in a size six. Everyone’s entitled to wear whatever they like, it’s a free country, but the flossing walrus look is not an image we needed. Which leads us to…


21. Meetings With The Health And Safety Guy

20th Television

Health. And. Safety.

Are there three more blood boiling words in the English language? We all know not to run with scissors or feed a Mogwai after midnight, so why do we need a 45 minute lecture about it? We work in a clothes shop, what possible untold dangers can possibly come from not being given a specialist course in the art of box lifting?

20. You’re Late. You’re Rushing. You’re Stuck Behind A Slow-Walker

20th Century Fox Television

Great dancing Jehovah. Could anyone be more irritating? If it was legal to carry a cattle prod on your daily business, the retail workers of the world would be the number one consumer.

Tempted to overtake? THINK AGAIN! The Slow-Walker will suddenly turn into your new path and stop dead still. So be late, or knock grandma flat, those are your choices.


19. The Scummy Returner

Walt Disney Pictures

You’ve just returned an item for a customer, all seemed well and harmless until OH SWEET JESUS!?

IS THAT…IS THAT A STAIN? WHY IS IT THAT COLOUR!? There’s not enough bleach in the world to make your hands feel clean ever again.


18. Getting Bailed Out By Security

20th Century Fox Television

As the delightful, tracksuit-wearing gentleman you’ve just refused to serve on account of him being out of his mind on blue bottled cider continues to yell at you, there’s nothing more tense than the wait for security to arrive.

You standing there, twiddling your thumbs as he spouts all the abuse he can muster, just praying someone with a walkie-talkie will turn up to bail you out. Awkward.


17. Working With The Guard Who Has Seen Some Action

Paramount Pictures

What could make that wait more awkward? How about the guard who saves the day being a shell-shocked looking dude with a spaced out look in his eyes, whose body is more protein and steroid than any human should be possible of supporting?

He shuffles up, mumbles something from his ridiculously muscled lips and scoops up his target with the lift of his pinky. Impressive, and monstrous.


16. Meerkatting When The Police Catch A Shoplifter


This is the closest you get to the grown-up version of someone screaming “FIIIIIIGHT!” on the playground. Word spreads like wildfire that something’s kicking off and you HAVE to see it.

Cue a rush of employees appearing from behind stands, straining their necks so much it’d impress a giraffe, and stare in awe as security drag some ne’er-do-well kicking and alcohol-fueled screaming out of the store. God speed, scumbag.

15. Do You Work Here?


Good. God.

Is there any question more infuriating than a customer asking if you work in the shop?

No, Mr. Customer, I do not work here, I merely enjoy spending every waking hour of my life dressed in a depressing uniform, folding clothes in a store, with a name badge pinned to my chest.


14. Is There A Way Out?


Okay, I stand corrected, there is a more ridiculous question.

No, sir and/or madame, there is not a way out, how do you think I came to work here? I simply gave up the hunt for an exit and asked for sanctuary.


13. Working With The Mysterious Stockroom Goblins

Warner Bros Pictures

You need to build a new stand for the shop floor, but you’re lacking the equipment needed, so you must call upon the mythical creatures who dwell in the stockroom.

They’re strange beings, taller than your average human, and often so well built that they could easily run through walls. If ever you need one, just say their name three times whilst looking into a mirror, and they’ll appear.


12. Overtime: The Necessary Evil


Student? Then you must be desperate for money to spend on suitably irresponsible things, and that’s difficult when you only earn £40 a week. So you’re faced with two choices: you become teetotal, or you agree to sacrifice yet more free time to the art of hanging t-shirts.

The horror, the sheer horror of spending a sunny Saturday afternoon trapped inside, surrounded by a pile of disheveled jeans is only made worse when you realise all your mates are sat in a beer garden.


11. Let Me Just Pick Up The Jeans From The Middle Of The Pile


What makes that unwanted extra shift surrounded by denim even worse? When a customer tootles over to your freshly rearranged table of jeans, only to pull a pair from the middle of the pile, causing an avalanche of stonewash hate to come tumbling down upon you.

It’s at moments like this you curse the day they made beating someone to death with their own severed leg a crime.

10. The Secret Hangover (That’s Totally Not Secret)


Of course, the advantage of overtime means that you eventually get to treat yourself, however, you often have to work the morning after indulging in a few alcoholic tipples. Your mission: to hide the hangover.

Don’t even bother. Everyone knows you’re rough as a badger’s behind, especially the managers you think you’re getting one over on. THAT is why you’re working in the warmest part of the store, doing the heavy lifting. THEY KNOW!


9. The Secret Hangover Hideout (Even Less Secret)


But there is a second plan in covering your hangover: the hideout.

There’s a secret lair where no cameras can spy you, most often in the stockroom, or the quietest part of the store. THIS IS A LIE! They know of the place because managers use it too! Avoid at all costs or face widespread ridicule and tasks which are most definitely not welcomed in a fragile state.


8. When Your Managers Chat Next To A Pile Of Mess

Buena Vista Pictures

“See that enormous pile of burning fury in clothing form over there? Would you mind tidying that up by yourself as eight perfectly able managers stand two foot away and have a lovely chat about our social plans?”

The rage. It’s enough to cause a 28 Days Later stampede of irate retail workers.


7. The Bank Holiday Massacre

Buena Vista Pictures

Think having to work overtime was bad? Brace yourself for the world of hurt and emotional turmoil that comes with a Bank Holiday Shift. Yet of all these, Boxing Day is a particular heartache.

Waddling your turkey-bloated blob-ish form through a scene which could only be described as a clothing-based re-enactment of Platoon is soul destroying to say the least.


6. Fighting Through Early Morning Shoppers

United Film Distribution Company

The terror of beginning a shift before the store is open comes from the ever-watchful eyes of the public, pressed up against the glass doors like the zombie apocalypse is already in full swing.

The same rules apply here: move slow and don’t attract attention to yourself, and you’ll get through unscathed, but if they see you, you’ll be dragged to the floor in a chorus of “BARGAAAAAAINS!”

5. “The Time Is Now 7:55 And This Store Will Be Closing In 5 Minutes”


Oh the joy, the true elation, it’s finally over!

Eight hours of hell are finally coming to an end, and all that’s left is to tidy the unholy mess left by the customers for one final time. But wait…


4. … The Stragglers

Warner Bros Pictures


Why!? Why would you leave paying for your shopping until the store has closed? Now we all need to stand around like lemons, waiting for your £425 sale to go through, finally allowing us to leave about 3 minutes before our next shift starts.


3. Fitting Room Shenanigans


There’s no dressing this up: people who use the fitting rooms as an emergency reproduction pod are just plain mean. Nobody enjoys having to deal with that. But of course there’s something worse… The fitting room has been turned into a toilet.

I cry for humanity.


2. You Recognise Every Quirky Regular Shopper


Every shop has its selection of regulars; the quirky ones who can be spotted a mile off.

But there comes a point of shame when you realise you can recognise them before everyone else, and have even become chummy with Trevor, the one-legged man who wears a wig and caresses the jogging pants. Time to reevaluate.


1. Realising You’ve Become Trapped

DreamWorksThere’s nothing sadder than realising you’ve spent seven years of your life working at a job that was just meant to last you through university.

You’ve become one of the staff regulars; you take the fate of reduced t-shirts on your section extremely seriously. In short: you’re stuck.




Sourced from whatculure.com




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