I’ve worked retail …

On Monday I started a new job, which is quite different from where I previously worked. I was at a high-volume store selling cheap crap including items that hadn’t sold at other stores. Working there often resembled being a chicken running around with its head cut off.

My new place sells clothing by one manufacturer so you have to know the product you are selling. The pace is much slower and there may be hours without a customer so you learn your product and you straighten up after customers.

Two days ago, I straightened all of the clearance piles and organized the area by size so it was much easier to find things.┬áToday, I had a customer come in to do a bit of Christmas shopping for her sons. She avoided the regular priced merchandise and only selected from the clearance shelves. At one point she tugged out three shirts made from the same fabric and then returned them to the shelf – not on one of the pre-existing piles but between piles so they were close to tipping over. It was then I noticed the mess she’d made of the top shelf, which had been five neatly stacked piles of shirts, but was one big hill.

Don’t get me wrong, part of the job of recovery at a large store or just working at a small store is straightening up after customers have looked for items. But her remark to her husband is why she earned a blog post:

“I’ve worked retail so I know she’ll be bored if I put things back. This will give her something to do.”

Luckily, we were at a slow point of the night and I could neaten up the stacks in the 10 minutes I had left. But not before another customer, who had tried on a shirt and didn’t know how to fold it just tossed the unfolded shirt onto the top shelf hill. The problem with a customer who is a slob is the mess they make becomes an excuse for the next customer.

But the real problem with this customer was she was rude and assumed I had nothing better to do than clean up after her.