Retail Workers Shared The Worst Things Customers Do While Holiday Shopping, And You're Probably Guilty Of A Few Of These
TBH, you're probably guilty of a few of these things. 👀
The holidays are a chaotic, stressful time of year for everyone, but this is doubly true for the good folks out there working at retail and grocery stores.
From massive Black Friday crowds to last-minute Christmas shoppers, stores are especially wild right now. So I decided to ask the grocery/retail workers of the BuzzFeed Community about the worst, most annoying things customers do while shopping during the holidays. And y'all...these people truly deserve a raise.
Here are 21 things you might be doing that make work 100% harder for store workers:
1. Getting upset that high-demand, seasonal items are out of stock right before the holidays.
"This woman cursed me out when she found out we were out of gingerbread houses on Christmas Eve. I told her we'd been sold out since the previous week, and she then proceeded to say that it was the store's responsibility to always have them in stock because we know people need them. It’s not my fault you waited till the last minute."
"Don’t wait till Christmas Eve to buy gift bags or wrapping paper, then get upset and yell at staff for not having any left. And no, we’re not hiding any in the back."
2. Telling workers "It's a shame you have to work on [insert holiday]" when you are the reason they have to work.
"Thanks, but the fact that you’re here is why I have to work!"
"They tell us they are sorry we have to work on the holiday. We and our families are also...so stay home so we can too!"
3. Expecting an employee to pick out the perfect gift for your friend, family member, or S.O. they know absolutely nothing about.
"It's my biggest pet peeve. They want me to choose a gift for someone I don't even know and have never met. They seriously come in like, 'What’s something you like?' or '[Person's name] is about your size; what size do you wear?' PLEASE, people, I’m not Santa Claus. I can’t pick out the perfect gift FOR YOU when you can’t even give me a favorite color or a size."
4. Getting mad when a cashier says, "Happy holidays!" instead of "Merry Christmas!"
"You try your hardest to be respectful of everyone by saying, 'Happy holidays,' and they clap back like you’re the biggest dick ever for trying to be considerate."
"Not everyone celebrates Christmas. Even if the cashier does, there is New Year's less than a week away, which makes another holiday. So stop trying to make such a big deal about a cashier saying, 'Happy holidays!'"
5. Ignoring when an employee tells you they don't have something in stock, and insisting they check in the back.
“'What do you mean, you don’t have it? Can’t you just check in the back?' Sure! Let me go to the magical, mysterious back room where you believe all your random desires exist...but I’m actually just checking my phone for a few minutes and enjoying the quiet."
"People sometimes think that if they make enough of a scene, suddenly their inconvenience will disappear."
6. Getting mad at a cashier because they can't fit the massive item you purchased in a bag to hide what it is.
"People coming in and buying their kids' Christmas gifts and then saying we've ruined Christmas when it won't fit in a bag and their kid sees it. If you know you're buying a big item like a bike or a dollhouse, it's not my responsibility to try to hide it from your child, and it's not my fault they know what they're getting."
7. Not knowing whether or not you need gift receipts.
"I hated when customers would ring up huge purchases and say no to gift receipts...then throw a fit when the transaction was finished and they saw that they only got one big receipt. I'd have to refund the whole purchase and ring it up again, with the people on line behind them screaming the whole time."
8. Not being prepared or knowing what you actually want to buy when it's your turn at the register.
"Don't throw anything you might want in your cart and then decide what you actually want to pay for at the register. If you buy less than 90% of what you put in your cart, you're a nightmare to me. The time it takes you to decide makes other people who were actually ready wait even longer, AND we have to put back everything you didn't take."
"Know what coupons you’re using and how you’re using them before going to the cash register. It eats up so much time either to run back and get another one of [insert product] or to figure out the best deals for you with your coupons. You want shorter or quicker lines? Get your shit together."
9. Unfolding or messing up displays of items you have no intention of actually buying.
"I once spent three hours tidying our three-aisle Christmas section. I did a spectacular job, but when I went back an hour later, it was trashed. Please, just be respectful and don’t make a giant mess."
"It's the people who feel the need to grab every shirt and unfold it to check the size, then just throw it down."
10. Taking your anger out on an employee because the popular toy your kid ~needs~ is or has been sold out since September.
"I can't tell you how many times I've been cussed at for not having a toy in stock that had been out of stock for months, only to have Sharon show up at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve looking for it."
11. Expecting stores that don't do gift wrapping to make an exception for you.
"Even though we have a very clear sign during the holidays at every register saying we don’t do gift wrapping, customers always think we will make an exception, and then make us feel bad when we say no."
12. Letting your kids play (unattended) while you shop.
"The number of parents who get their kids a treat at the beginning of a shopping trip, only to have the sugar-fueled kids losing their minds in the store, just boggles my mind."
"I had one customer who screamed at me when she came back and couldn’t find her child. She assumed that since I was stocking the aisle, I would keep an eye on her child. First of all, I had no idea the kid wasn’t with a parent. The aisle was packed with people, despite being early morning. It’s not my job to watch people’s kids for them while they shop."
13. Choosing curbside or in-store pickup and being annoyed that it isn't instantly ready.
"Please don't wait there before store hours and spam the 'I'm here' option the second we open. You are supposed to hit the 'I'm on the way' button so we can prep your order and have it ready for when you arrive. We have two minutes to bring your order out when you're here, otherwise we can get in trouble. Being at the store right away means we can't get everything out in time, especially if you have a large order. At least give a five-minute courtesy before you show up."
14. Complaining about long lines when shopping during the busiest time of the day.
"The one thing that I hate the most is when customers complain about the lines. We have all registers running AND it’s the busiest time of the year; you should expect lines no matter where you go. We cashiers are all trying to move as quickly as possible."
15. Complaining about the price of items to store employees.
"Trust me, the floor workers and cashiers who make minimum wage (or just above it) do not control the prices. There's nothing we can do."
16. Not putting perishable items back where you found them.
"Nothing is worse than coming into work in the morning and finding perishables left out because someone changed their mind. The holidays make it 10 times worse than usual."
17. Alternatively, putting nonperishable items in the refrigerators or freezers, or tossing things you no longer want wherever you feel like.
"If you know where something goes, please put it back. If you don't remember where it came from or don't have the time, please just give it to an employee. It's hard enough putting everything back where it goes without also having to hunt down piles of abandoned merchandise to sort and put away as well."
"It's surprising how often customers are willing to leave nonrefrigerated or inedible items in a fridge. I could find a hairbrush, aluminum foil, doggie bags...why?"
18. Strolling in 10 minutes before closing and taking your sweet time.
"The worst was when customers would walk in right before closing and decide to fill up two shopping carts of junk. We were already open later than usual for the holidays, and we weren’t allowed to tell them to leave. It was so annoying!"
19. Getting mad at employees for "being in the way" when they're restocking shelves.
"My pet peeve is customers who see me socking and rudely tell me to move my 'stuff' out of the way so they can look. A simple 'Excuse me, can I get in here?' Is completely acceptable."
20. Blaming employees when your coupon doesn't apply to the things you want it to.
"I hate when customers don’t read coupon exclusions or dates, then act as if the store is deliberately trying to deceive them."
"Like, hello, Shelly, it's not my fault you didn't read the small writing saying Levi's are excluded from the coupon!"
21. And finally, not treating employees like human beings.
"Sure, you’re stressed because you messed up and waited until the last minute, but that isn’t our fault. Supply chain issues aren’t our fault. People deciding to buy the last can of cranberry sauce before you get there aren’t our fault. It doesn’t take anything to remember we’re people too, just trying to do our jobs. Yelling at us, telling us we’re incompetent, and rage-quitting by throwing your stuff on the floor? That’s ridiculous. You wouldn’t do that at home or at your work. Where we work shouldn’t be any different."
Now it's your turn! Did we miss any frustrating things customers do during the holidays that make your job waaay harder? If so, tell us about it in the comments below or via this anonymous form. As for everyone else...PLEASE be extra nice to retail workers.
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.