Crazy customers, coat hanger spacing + closing time stragglers. It’s all in a day’s work...
People are annoying; especially when they’re busy and/or stressed about doing their Christmas shopping and having to part with their hard-earned cash.
And when you work in retail, YOU have to serve them. So it figures that it's quite a challenging career.
Here are 47 things you'll only know if you've worked the tills at Christmas...
1. It's super-annoying when people come in at one minute to the closing time and proceed to wander around at a glacial pace, messing things up, asking for stuff and generally being the bane of your life.
2. It takes FOREVER to fold a whole table of jersey basics.
3. It takes thirty seconds for someone to mess up a whole table of newly-folded jersey basics.
4. You can wrap something immaculately in tissue paper.
5. You can twizzle a ribbon with a pair of scissors.
6. You know how an answering machine feels when it has to say the same thing on the phone again and again and again.
7. You know what numbers mean what colours. 01 = black, obviously.
8. The stock room is your safe haven.
9. There are MANY meal ideas you can microwave for your lunch, when you're not having a Pret baguette.
10. Henry The Hoover is heavy
11. It's pretty annoying to space coat hangers
12. And it's heartbreaking when someone shoves a rail of clothes you’ve just spaced.
13. Those fluff balls can become massive if you don’t hoover under the rails.
14. It's REALLY difficult to get mirrors un-smudgy when you clean them.
15. It's boring to wear the same outfit every day.
16. You can’t be bothered to take your uniform (in a delicate and practically un-washable fabric) home to wash.
17. When you’re positioned in a zone away from your friend, it's the worst.
18. But it's SO fun talk to them over the walkie talkie.
19. You can basically erase the pay from the first and last hours of the day as it takes about that much to get to work. (One of the bad things about knowing your pay per hour.)
20. Christmas or New Year – take your pick.
21. The ‘Christmas holiday’ isn’t really a thing.
22. Size order rails are the enemy.
23. You know how long it takes to sort a delivery.
24. You can hold A LOT of style names in your head.
25. People often say ‘do you work here?’ when you’re wearing a lanyard and/or a head-to-toe outfit from the shop you’re in.
26. It feels weird when you have to wear clothes from a shop you’d never usually shop in.
27. But it can be funny when you’re all hating being at work.
28. Magazine discount periods, sales and Christmas are pretty much the worst days in the calendar year.
29. Many years after leaving said job, you’ll hear a song and know all the words, and won't know why.
30. You know what those symbols on washing labels mean.
31. And HOW annoying it is to listen to the same music day in, day out.
32. You're brilliant at the phonetic alphabet - from all those mail order forms.
33. You know how to look like you care that the shop doesn't have a size or style in that a customer wants.
34. The phrase 'the customer always comes first' is also annoying. (Especially when 'the customer' is being totally and outrageously unreasonable).
35. It's hard to crack a smile the millionth time a customer says 'oh, it must be free then' when a barcode doesn't scan.
36. The thing you dread the most is the question: 'How does this look?'.
37. The unmistakeable signs of wear when you're asked to do a return.
38. People think you're lying if you say you don't have a piece in stock.
39. It feels pretty rubbish when you have to use your measly pay to buy your expensive uniform. Yes, I can't even afford 60% of this dress.
40. Time can go unbelievable slowly when you're in a quiet area of the shop.
41. And you'll wonder what's happening on your phone, while it's trapped and alone in your metal locker.
42. It's very tricky to take clothes off a mannequin without finding yourself in a compromising position.
43. And annoying when the customer then doesn't want it anyway.
44. It's the worst thing in the world when you cash up and you're 10p out.
45. It's humiliating to keep asking 'how are you getting on?' when customers are in the changing room, because you're manager told you to, EVEN though you know how annoying it is.
46. It's hard not to say 'yes, I know - my manager told me to' when a customer barks back how annoying it is to be repeatedly asked if they're doing ok.
47. That it would be simply impossible, for your mental and physical health, not to chat on the shop floor with your colleagues.
(Think of the poor people when you're considering kicking up a fuss over the Christmas period.)