stories Archives - I Hate Working In Retail


The Ten Worst Things About My Life As A Cashier


Cashiering is probably one of the worst jobs out there – okay, maybe not, but it still sucks sometimes.  You wouldn’t think so, right? Me neither.  I mean sometimes it can be an alright job, but some days I want to take customers and teach them manners – you know, those things your mom taught you when you were six.  That brings me to

#1. When people don’t show common courtesy.  Please – just say please and thank you.  You see, I have this disease called ‘chronic bitch-face.’   This means that unless I am smiling, or making some sort of other face, I look like a bitch.  I know that.  So I try really hard to smile and be nice to people to make their day better even though I hate smiling a lot unless I am really happy (which I usually am anyways, but not always at work).  So if I am making an effort to smile and be nice, why can’t they?   This is how it usually goes.  Me: “Hello, how are you today?” Customers: “How much for two seniors?”  Why not at least say hello?

#2 When people complain about the price.  I DON’T CHOOSE THE PRICES.  Yes, I think that it is a little high, but nobody is forcing you to eat here, I am not taking the money out of your wallet and putting it in the register.  So stop complaining to the cashiers.  If you have something to say, put it in the suggestion box, because I honestly don’t care. 

#3 When old people take too long.   Example:  An elderly couple comes in and they want to give me exact change.  I am okay with that, sometimes I even give people exact change.  The old man looks in his pocket and pulls out every single coin he has and puts it on the counter.  I try to help him, but he is a big boy and doesn’t need anybody’s help.  The line is getting longer and people are looking at me like “hey cashier, why is the line so long?  My time is valuable and I really want to hurry and get into this buffet.  I don’t have 5 minutes to watch this guy count all of his change.”  The woman finally realizes that people are getting impatient, so she decides that she will get out the change.  She lifts her purse up onto the counter and finds every single coin she has and adds them to her husbands.  By now, there is probably 3 or 4 dollars worth of change and they are struggling to find the exact amount.  The crowd is now furious.  After about 45 seconds of trying to count out 14cents, they decide to screw the change and give me all dollar bills.  This was neat because they didn’t waste anyone’s time.

 #4 When old creepy guys flirt with me.

#5 When people quiz me to see if I know where my name comes from.  OMG my name is from Les Miserables?! Thanks for letting me know, you must be really sophisticated.

#6 “Cash back you ask? Well, is it free?” Old people think asking this is hilarious.  It is a simple question.  You would not believe how many people will ask this.  It is not funny, and I only laugh because I will feel bad for you if I don’t.

#7 Guessing if customers are 60 years or older.  The buffet I work at has a senior discount, so if somebody is 60 or older they get 10% off.  Sometimes I give seniors the regular adult price because I am not sure if they are 60 0r not. How am I to know?  Well, here’s an idea: TELL ME YOU ARE A SENIOR.  I am not going to ask you.  That is asking for trouble, and more angry people.  The worst is when I give people the discount and they are only like 5o.  Hit the gym and eat better, then maybe you won’t look so freaking old.  Sometimes it is my fault though, I am not a very good guesser.

#8 Stupid questions.   

A:  “Is the carrot cake healthy?”  

B: “Do I have to wait in line?”

C:  “Can you tell me all the foods that are made with milk?”

D:  “I want to have my wedding here.”  That one is not really a question, I just thought it was funny.

Sometimes after people ask me questions like that, I just look at them like this:

#9 Stupid suggestions.  They say things like, “You need to make the booths bigger, I don’t fit.”

#10 When people think that they know more than me.  I realize that this sounds a little egotistical, but what I mean is that…well,  I know more than them.  They complain that we usually might have this or that, but we don’t.  And I know that they are old and confused but sometimes it makes me want to hit them.  I would never hit an old person, but you probably know what I mean.

Guys, I usually try to be positive, but I needed to vent okay?  Sometimes there are even customers that I like a little.  I guess what i’m trying to say is be nicer to cashiers.  And for all you old creepy guys out there, please leave me alone, you make me uncomfortable.

Sourced from


Things Your Barista Wants You to Know


3. To those of us who work in the coffee industry, and every Italian in the world, an “espresso macchiato” is a single or double-shot of espresso “marked” with a small amount of steamed milk, not a bucket of cold sugar. Also, please notice it’s called “espresso”, not “expresso.” You will get an eyeroll, and deserve one, for saying “expresso.” It’s even written on the damn menu board. Or can’t you read through your diabetes?

4.  And speaking of scalding liquids, do you know what tastes awful when you boil it and combine it with espresso? Milk.You will also get an eyeroll and a groan if you don’t know this: “mocha” is coffee mixed with chocolate. It is not a third thing. It is not a plant. So when you say “can I get more mocha in that?” we contemplate tossing a pitcher of boiling water in your face so you will never be loved, and thus, never be able to procreate.

5.  Milk contains several proteins which denature (i.e. unfurl and break apart) as the milk gets hotter. Things get dicey above 140F, and above 160F, the proteins are denaturing so fast they are no longer so much proteins as amino acids. This is called ectoplasm and it’s not fun to drink. So please stop ordering your latte “extra hot”. Want to impress your barista? Order it “on the cool side”. Milk tastes sweetest when it’s just above body temperature. Afraid your latte will get cold in the car? Order a smaller one so you drink it faster. Or better yet, sit still for five minutes and enjoy it from a porcelain cup in the shop.

6. Here’s another thing: espresso does not have more caffeine than a cup of coffee. It does by volume, but not by serving. In fact, a small cup of coffee may have as much as SIX TIMES the caffeine as a single shot of espresso. We don’t mind making you a redeye (or the quad-shot “black eye”), but we think they’re gross, and probably bad for your heart.

7′  You may also be surprised to learn that not all professional baristi hate Starbucks. In fact, many of them began their careers there. Starbucks did a lot to make craft coffee popular in the US, and years ago their machines were all manual and their baristi, skilled. But gradually, shareholders and capitalism intervened, as often happens when a company gets that large and goes public. They still crush most independent stores for cleanliness, customer service, and employee benefits. So no need to hate just to impress us.And yet, despite our constant eyerolling and groaning, baristi don’t mind your ignorance. In fact, one of the pleasures of the job is helping to educate customers, and introducing people to new things that make them happy. What we hate is your arrogance. We work with coffee all day. We read about it. We talk about it. We taste it. We experiment with different ways to prepare it. Therefore, we know more than you. Moreover, we like when you ask questions. Treat us like professionals and we’ll treat you like human beings instead of cattle to be herded quickly out of doors.

8.  However, we’d appreciate you not using terms like “skinny” and “tall” in our stores. “Skim” and “small” have never not worked. And while I’m on the subject of marketing gimmicks, you should probably know that real coffee doesn’t come in flavors (i.e. “hazelnut”), and there is no such thing as “bold”. Dark coffee, which is probably what you mean, is dark because it is roasted longer. The longer a coffee bean is roasted, the more the carbohydrates and acids that compose it break down into components that taste bitter (look up “phenols”). The lighter the roast, the more you will taste the terroir of the bean, exactly like a fine wine. The darker the roast, the more you taste the roast. But a coffee that’s been roasted and roasted is like ordering a steak “blackened”. You won’t taste the meat any more, just the flames and the grease on the grill, and perhaps the cook’s sadness.

9.  If you want to taste the terroir (and better yet, smell it), order a pourover. It might seem intimidating, and the price often is too, but it’s actually the simplest method of making you a drink, and baristi love to do it. This is a slow-food method of preparing a single cup of coffee, custom-made for you with freshly-ground world-class beans. There are many methods, such as the Hario V-60, Beehouse, Clever Dripper, Chemex, Aeropress, the crowd-pleasing siphon pot, and even the humble Melitta. Any reputable shop will have at least one or two of these ready to go. Prepared correctly, a pourover is meant to be consumed black, and should not be bitter, but more like a strong cup of tea. Don’t know what to get? Ask.And this is why you’re so used to loading your coffee with milk. Big coffee companies over-roast their beans (often a simple business calculation ñ over-roasting hides defects in cheap beans and increases uniformity) so the coffee on its own is pretty unpleasant. The proteins and fats in the milk are very good at masking this fact, as is sugar.

10.  If the barista makes you something you don’t like, though, please don’t complain and tell him he did it wrong. But do tell him it wasn’t right for you, and ask what you might try next time. You may be surprised how much he wants to help if you’re polite about it.

11.  And don’t forget the tip. The guy likely isn’t making much per hour. He may be doing it because he likes it.

12.  One last thing: when you order an espresso over ice, we know exactly what you’re up to. The plan is to amble your fat ass over to the condiment bar, empty the milk canister into it, and gain an iced latte while only paying for the shot. This is called a “ghetto latte”, and if we catch you doing it, you may get an earful, or at least may be looking for a new coffee shop. We’re not stupid. Pay for the drink you want.

Caffeine is your god, and god loves you

Sourced from


25 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning When You’re A Retail Worker

1. Holidays

What it usually means: A time to relax and enjoy time off with your loved ones.
What it means for retail workers: The most horrific, exhausting time of the year, and the only place to hide is the stock room.

2. Sensors

What it usually means: Items that prevent theft and help protect merchandise.
What it means for retail workers: Subtle reminders that people are stealing and ripping holes in everything your store has to offer.

3. Teens

What it usually means: Young people experiencing the best years of their lives.
What it means for retail workers: Vicious monsters that will ransack every pile, every shelf of merchandise they set their beady eyes on. Thank god you were never seventeen.

4. Standards

What it usually means: A high level to set your sets on for consistent success.
What it means for retail workers: Having brief existential crises over cleaning things that are already clean.

5. Shrink

What it usually means: A reduction in inventory due to shoplifting and employee theft.
What it means for retail workers: Protecting your store’s merchandise until someone threatens to punch, stab, or shoot you.

6. Returns

What it usually means: A chance to return goods you’re unsatisfied with.
What it means for retail workers: A chance to get yelled at by customers when you tell them that you cannot return or exchange the merchandise they destroyed.

7. Dressing Rooms

Are you fcking kidding me. Like seriously, this is not okay. #retailprobs

What it usually means: The private space where customers can try on anything your heart desires.
What it means for retail workers: The frightening hellhole where any amount of filth, dirt, and if you’re lucky, urine will be left at your expense.

8. Customers

What it usually means: A person who purchases goods or services from someone.
What it means for retail workers: The worst people on earth. As soon as you clock in, they assume you’re a robot without feelings and thoughts of your own.

9. Meals

What it usually means: An intimate occasion between you and the most majestic thing in the world — food.
What it means for retail workers: Fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, usually stuffed into your facehole between driving to and from work.

10. Displays

What it usually means: Fixtures that showcase how wonderful a store’s product will look in your home.
What it means for retail workers: Repeatedly telling customers that they are not for sale, and telling them you’ll lose your job if you sell it to them.

11. Taglines

What it usually means: Cool catchphrases that increase sales for a company.
What it means for retail workers: A highly efficient way to embarrass yourself and get ignored by a customer.

12. Sales

What it usually means: A discount on normal priced items.
What it means for retail workers: Explaining to customers the math behind 50% of $100.

13. Hangers

What it usually means: A shaped object with a hook at the top. They hang clothes and keep ‘em wrinkle free.
What it means for retail workers: Annoying, frustrating pieces of crap you’re forced to finger space.

14. Black Friday

What it usually means: The only day where you can get discounts on LCD TVs and pay $5 for overpriced DVDs.
What it means for retail workers: You dread this moment all year round.

15. Salary

Fox / Via

What it usually means: A regular paycheck, typically paid on a monthly or biweekly basis.
What it means for retail workers: Having just enough money for gas, maybe rent, and some gorditas at Taco Bell.

16. Shipment

What it usually means: Sending goods through the mail so another party can enjoy them.
What it means for retail workers: Moving, scanning, cutting, emptying, and folding endless boxes of merchandise until you’ve completely lost track of how many hours you’ve lost.

17. Marketing

What it usually means: Presenting, communicating, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers.
What it means for retail workers: You have the exciting opportunity to read these signs to customers because they cannot do so themselves.

18. Downtime

What it usually means: A time to relax and collect yourself.
What it means for retail workers: Something terrible will happen soon, whether you’re ready for it or not.

19. Rushes


What it usually means: To move quickly and with urgency.
What it means for retail workers: The time where customers flood your store and put the “fast-paced environment” in retail.

20. Complaints

What it usually means: A way to express your disinterest or concerns with a company.
What it means for retail workers: Hearing every terrible decision your company has made that you have absolutely zero control over.

21. Prices


What it usually means: The amount of money expected, required, and used for payment.
What it means for retail workers: Being scolded because you do not have the power to lower them.

22. Employee discounts

What it usually means: An agreement where employees can purchase their employer’s products for a fraction of the cost.
What it means for retail workers: Spending more money than you actually make at your job.

23. Walkie-talkies

What it usually means: A portable two-way radio used to communicate suspicions of theft, as well as general comments and concerns between coworkers.
What it means for retail workers: Another chance to vent by talking shit to coworkers about customers.

24. Going out

What it usually means: Spending quality time with your family and friends, relieving stress with or without some alcohol.
What it means for retail workers: Drinking before, during, or for a brief period after work.

25. Closing

What it usually means: It’s time to for customers and workers to go the hell home.
What it means for retail workers: If the doors aren’t locked and sealed, customers will continue to shop in the store until you’re forced to kick them out.

Sourced from