Friday, March 13

Bayley Needs to Vent...

As I’m sure you've figured out, as a poor, starving college student, I've worked my share of customer oriented retail positions, but it wasn't until I dove into this latest restaurant venture that I realized, it’s not just retail consumers that fall under the category of taxing individuals, it’s everywhere. We always joke at work that everyone should have to work in the retail/service industry for just a week or so just so that they can feel our pain. Well seeing as that’s probably not possible I decided to put together;

1) Coupons:

Ah yes, the little golden tickets to savings. You love them, we hate them. Sure for the most part your cashier is a young kid (me) and they’re probably pleased to have ketchup and bread in their fridge at home, and hell, if we think about it we may even use those handy scraps of paper to save a buck or two. But when we’re staring you down from the other side of the checkout counter, we hate them. Understand that there is practically nothing we can do about the coupon policy and in this day and age we are almost always having to enter them into a computer, a computer that we don’t have the power to override. To save ourselves further hassle we are always going to do the best we can with your coupons because frankly we don’t want to spend the time arguing with you, but if we say we can’t take your coupon, or your coupon has expired, or it only saves you $1.40 instead of the $2.00 you were expecting, I promise, we aren't doing it on purpose. Give us a break.

2) Keep it clean:

Believe it or not, cleaning up after you is not “giving us something to do,” we don’t appreciate it, and generally we have about eighteen million other tasks that we are responsible for while we’re on the clock. This goes for your little ones too, yes they’re precious and I adore them too, but when you sit there with googley eyes as they smear their mashed potatoes across the table…yeah, we hate that. And why would throwing rugs and towels around the room be beneficial to anyone? If you feel the need to build a nest of fluffy linens, please help yourself; just put them back on the shelf afterwards. Certain things can’t be avoided, as a fellow consumer I understand, it is impossible to fold that shirt back the way it was before, but believe me –we appreciate the effort.

3) There’s a reason for everything:

For the most part, we aren't cold hearted working machines. With a few exceptions we’re usually plenty happy to accommodate you and help you the best you can but there is only so much we can do. If your host is leading you to a certain section of a restaurant, I promise there’s good reason. And if your store associate is opening a new register for you, please forgive them if it’s a little out of your way and you have to walk to their checkout line. We are generally assigned registers that we are expected to stay on and cannot open other lanes even if it means you have to take a few extra steps. We’re just trying to help!

4) The truth about tipping:

Bad tips don’t just affect your server. Bad tips adversely affect servers, bartenders, and support staff because most, if not all of their income is derived from tips. Their ‘base pay’ is often less than three bucks and taxes usually take a big bite out of that minute sum. Non-tippers seem to think that it’s okay because their server neglected them or their food was cold. If the service is miserable ask to speak to a manager, they are more likely to correct mistakes or poor service than robbing someone of their livelihood.

5) The more vague you are when you ask for help, the less I can actually help you:

“I’m looking for that vegetable thing I saw on TV.” Really, that’s all you’re going to tell me? Do you know how many things they put on TV? And then, on top of that, don’t complain when I bring you everything vegetable related As Seen on TV item that I can find before you tell me that you’re actually looking for a blender. That would’ve been nice before I got these for you. You’re only going to get frustrated if you aren’t clear about what you want.

6) The price signs usually aren’t wrong. You are.

“But the sign said it was on sale for $10.” I really doubt it, considering it’s a top name brand and it was just put on the sales floor this morning. In general, most products are marked with the prices right on the tags, or are marked so that you know they’re clearance. I can’t control people picking something up and putting it back wherever they’re standing when they realize they don’t want it anymore, (see commandment #2). If you’re still not sure, there are generally associates all throughout the store for a reason. Not to mention, the countless signs and price stickers can tell you how much something is too.

7) When I greet you, answer me:

Me: “Hi, how are you today?”

Shopper: *silence*

Me: “Did you find everything you were looking for?”

Shopper: *grunt*

Me: “Would you like a bag for this *insert product name here*?”

Shopper: *lifeless zombie-like stare*

Me: “Have a wonderful afternoon!”

Shopper: *slack jaw, shuffles away*

No, just no. Nothing else to say about that.

8) Actually, just one more thing.

Get off your phone. Honestly, when you’re in the checkout line put the phone down. You can call them right back in three minutes, or finish reading this blogpost when you get home. I promise, there is almost nothing that your server/hostess/sales associate hates more than you being on your phone. We generally have things to ask you, and don’t appreciate being hushed or spoken over, and if your cashier is anything like me, they are going to ask you 15 extra questions just to get under your skin, and we’ll relish in every eye roll and exacerbated sigh.

9) We don’t price the items:

Despite big dreams of ruling the world and everything and everyone in it, I don’t yet possess that power. So unfortunately I am not the individual pricing that vacuum at $379.99 or that steak at $22.50. It’s really not my fault, and I really don’t feel bad about it. You could always just get a broom or the salad bar if money is that big of an issue to you, or even better, you could have stayed home. I’m sorry if you’re upset about it though, feel free to call corporate.

And lastly,

10) Retail workers are people too.

We aren’t your servants, your maids, or your babysitters. We are here working because we need the money, that’s it. If you treat us kindly and respectfully, you will get the same from us in return. Consider our time and the fact that most days, we hate being here, so don’t make that feeling worse.

For anyone in a servile and menial position, you’re not the only one suffering, believe me.

I'm going to bed now.  It has been a long week...


  1. I'm sure you do perfectly already, as always Nunni. Hahaha.


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