#419: Things Customers Do that Annoy Retail Workers

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RECORD STORE TALES MkII: Getting More Tale
#419: Things Customers Do that Annoy Retail Workers

A few days ago, I saw this “20 Things Customers Do that Annoy Retail Workers” via George Takei’s daily (hilarious) Facebook posts.  It is so true that it hurts!  The memories it brought back…shudder.  I could relate to almost every single one.  The list was generally about clothing stores, but many of the points were wide-ranging.  Here are my favourite parts from the list that applied to us, with my own notes from the front lines of the Record Store!

1.  Asking “Do you work here?”  That used to drive me nuts.  Our boss used to make us wear these ugly STAFF tags.  It was like wearing a big hanging sign around your neck, it was so humiliating.  And still we’d get these questions!

5. “Tell you that an item that you sell is cheaper in another store.”  I’m not sure why people felt the need to do this at my store.  Their tone didn’t make it seem like they were trying to help.  Especially that one lady who told me, “Walmart has this cheaper than you.  HAH!”

7. “Try to return products which have been damaged by misuse”.  Ugh!  Someone in my store sold a brand new, sealed copy of Hit Zone 2 to a lady whose kids clearly used it as a skating rink.  When she returned it, she was furious!  “Do you always sell CDs that don’t work?” she asked me in a huff.  I said no, I’m really sorry, but we can exchange it for you.  Then I looked at the CD!  I had never seen a brand new CD that had been so quickly destroyed.  I did the exchange, but then I made her open up the new copy at the counter, inspect it, and sign her receipt saying she had seen the CD in perfect condition and it could not be returned.  She was just abusing the system.

8. “Spend half an hour browsing the when the store is trying to close.”  I can add my own note to this one: “And then leave without buying anything.”

10. “When they hand you a $50 or $100 bill, and while you’re checking it they say ‘I just made that myself’”.  I know you think you’re really original, coming up with that line, but half the people that hand me a $100 bill say it.  The other half got really pissed off when I said “We don’t take $100 bills.”  (We had a sign that said so at the counter.  One employee named Chris liked to say, “Don’t make me tap the sign again.”)

12. “Parents that allow their children to run rampant”.  This was one sure-fire way to ruin my day.  There’s nothing like watching a kid destroy your store, while the parent is browsing Limp Bizkit yelling, “Calm down!”  Obviously, the kid doesn’t calm down, and so he moves on to another section to destroy.  One youngster tore down my entire country section – put the whole thing in one gigantic pile on the floor.  The dad just said, “That’s not too bad, you’ll have that back together in no time.”  Thanks for the help.

14. “Complain about the prices. News flash, I don’t set the prices!”  Self-explanatory.  As manager I had the ability to offer you a discount.  However, being annoying and complaining constantly would not get you a discount.  Being polite would.  Turns out we gave very few discounts….

18. “You look like you need something to do.”  Usually said by someone carrying in a box of 400 CDs for sale, which will take me the rest of the morning to look at.  Thanks for the joke asshole, and so help me God you better not have more Limp Kizkit in here.

20. “So that means it’s free, right?”  That was probably funny the very first time somebody said it, when a price tag fell off the item they were buying.  Probably.  But that was also probably in ancient Greece and it hasn’t been funny since!

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23 comments

    1. NICE! Glad you liked that one John. I wish I could say I came up with it myself. The guy who said it, he was a funny guy. My other favourite quote of his was regarding dinner. He was going to his girlfriend’s family’s house for dinner. But he didn’t like what they were preparing. “Pork chops are stupid,” he said!

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        1. I used to tell people that every highschool kid should have had to work in retail — Mandatory to get your final credit. Just so they can see what it’s like to be treated like dirt, so they don’t do it in turn.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. That’s a pretty good idea. When you’re prime minister, perhaps you can push that through parliament.

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  1. So many reasons I’m glad I don’t work in retail. I’m at a factory and getting close to calling people idiots. I don’t think I could handle the front lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m at a factory too. I like it there, the people are more like me. They like toilet humour and wang jokes. Plus it’s all inside sales, so you don’t run into these customer problems! YAY!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This brings back memories. I used to love that “do you work here?” line. My first retail job was as a temp at the Disney Store and you’d be surprised by how often I was asked that. Jings. I thought the big blue cardigan would give that away.

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    1. Disney Store? Oh man. We were in one whilst in Taranna in June. The staff were… frighteningly perky. Obviously told to be that way. Did you have to endure that brainwashing?

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      1. Oh man indeed! They had a swell uniform at the time, though (I’ve always been a sucker for cardigans). The cheery demeanour was an essential attribute, of course. An attribute I struggled with. Only so much a man can take.

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  3. Right on. I have so many retail stories. Hell, even at the bank people tried all manner of stupid crap.

    But don’t forget the other way around: you give a teenager employee more than the asking price so it can come back to you in even coins (this was when we still used pennies, of course) and they couldn’t do the math in their heads. The panic in their eyes.

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