18 Things Anyone Who’s Ever Worked In Retail Can Relate To

Whether it was a clothing store with the clothes you loved (but the customers you hated) or a fast food joint that never actually served anything fast, we can all appreciate the struggle of retail jobs. All former and current customer service workers have survived major events or sales that almost destroyed us. Somehow those were worse than the millionth customer who wants to speak to the manager. Regardless, we all have some funny things to relate to and remember.

1. A retail 12-4 shift was different than a 4-8 shift.

No one can argue with this – there are different moods when working different shifts throughout the day.

2. Fake laughing became second nature. 

And has helped us through painful family conversations and first dates.

3. Telling a story to your coworker while helping guests. 

This can be a tough task, but it taught us how to multitask.

4. Songs that used to play on loop give you PTSD to this very day.

I bet you’ll never forget the year those songs came out in either.

5. When a customer would come in nearly at retail closing time and had the audacity to say, “I made it just in time.”

No one will ever forget that punch in the gut feeling.

6. Bad tippers drive you nuts.

Especially when it’s someone financially established who is leaving a terrible tip.

7. You gained a new appreciation for people who work holidays. 

Because we all remember hearing, “must suck to work Thanksgiving instead of spending it with your family,” while you are scanning foods for people’s dinners with their family.

8. The sarcasm behind “yes, we’re closed,” when someone asks why the doors are locked and the lights are off.

No shit, Sherlock.

9. Clothes hangers still piss you off.

But you’ll always fold things nicely when you put them back.

10. Insulting old people in your head when you see one yelling at a young clerk just trying to do their job.

And this is really how they wanna live the last few weeks of their lives?

11. We still feel bad for people who have to fold clothes in a messy store. 

Because we all know how aggravating and time consuming it is.

12. We grew a thick skin. 

Because we’ve been yelled at so many times it started to become funny to us.

13. We all have stupid customer stories that still make us question humanity. 

Thank God the children are our future because these morons are ruining things for everyone these days.

14. Feeling forever obligated to tip 20% after working in a restaurant.

Because we recognize that they are struggling to save for education and have been through the struggle.

15. We became master liars and excuse-makers.

Let’s be real, some of our excuses to get people to take our shifts are still used at our new jobs. 

16. Seeing your coworkers (past or present) working with customers still makes you laugh. 

Because you know who they really are outside of that hell hole.

17. Feeling uncomfortable listening to stranger’s life stories like, “I’m getting a divorce” or “my mom just died.”

And then cutting them off by saying, “$12.80 is your total. Cash or debit?” 

18. Working in retail or at a restaurant made us better people and customers. 

We’ve seen how poorly people get treated and have felt that pain first hand. We now know how to act in public and are more understanding, patient, and kind than the older generations will ever be.

All in all, we’ve all been there through the early rises, late nights, shit shows, and big company changes. They might’ve sucked while we worked them, but they taught us a lot of lifelong skills. Plus, they provided us with some of the best memories and friendships. But most importantly, they gave us some nice paychecks and employee discounts that we’ll never forget. 

What’s your favorite memory from working in customer service? Tell us in the comments!

Photo by Becca McHaffie on Unsplash


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