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23 Secrets Retail Workers Won't Tell You

Your faith in humanity will be seriously tested.

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1. Holidays are not the most wonderful time of the year.

Between late nights doing inventory and rude customers, it's a virtual never-ending hell scape of sadness and despair.

2. You have to force yourself to smile every time you ask a customer, "Do you need any help?"


Asking the same question dozens of times a day, every day starts to wear thin.

3. If you work at a clothing store the majority of your paycheck goes toward buying the store's merchandise.


Because of course you have to "look" the part.

4. Few things are more stressful than when a new line or collection comes in.

The entire staff will be unpacking boxes, setting up displays, and dressing mannequins until 4 a.m.

5. Headsets are great for gossip and shit-talking.

It's an inside thing.

6. You've faked being "the manager" just to keep a bad situation from getting worse.

7. Comfortable shoes and breaks are both worth their weight in gold.

When you're on your feet eight-plus hours a day these things are precious.

8. Even when you're not at work, you still obsessively fold, rearrange, and organize clothes.

Work habits die hard.

9. It secretly drives you nuts that the manager checks your bags every time you leave the store (i.e. loss prevention).

The CW

For the last time YOU ARE NOT A THIEF!

10. You loathe the fact that most customers assume "the back" is a huge archive of unlimited items in every size, color, and variation.

"Can you just check for me? I drove a block to get here."

"Can you just check for me? I drove a block to get here."

11. But you secretly don't mind going back there sometimes to take a much-needed break from the action.


You know damn well you don't have any more size 9s, but you'll check anyway.

12. At least once a shift a customer asks or implies if you can "hook it up."


"The item didn't scan so it must be free riiight?"

13. The break room is small, overcrowded, and almost always messy, but you definitely make the most out of your time there.

You would be surprised as to what can be accomplished in 15 minutes.

14. Co-workers are the best part of your job.

The inside jokes and shared struggle with them make the job bearable.

15. Every time a customer starts to write a check, you die a little inside.

All that's required is a photo ID, a passport, your past three electric bills, and a credit check.

16. Outside of the usual piles of clothes and hangers, you have found unspeakable messes in the fitting rooms.

Yes caca, urine, and pads. Yes, pads to name a few.

17. It fills you with rage when people shoplift so openly.

20th Century FOX

For the most part most stores don't let you confront shoplifters directly, so in essence you have to sit back and let them steal.

18. Sometimes no customers is actually worse than too many customers.

At least the time goes by quickly when you're busy.

19. The satellite radio station your store has on repeat secretly drives you insane, and you have every single song memorized.


A person can only take so many dance remixes of Miley Cyrus songs.

20. Dressing a mannequin from head-to-toe is a hell of a lot harder than it looks.

Compression shirts? Really!?

21. Your spirit gets dampened when a customer approaches the register with a ton of items and a handful of coupons.


Coupon hoarders are the worst.

22. Your soul is secretly and thoroughly crushed when a customer undoes four hours worth of folding and setting in under 30 seconds.

23. In the end you realize everyone should work retail at least once in their lives.

Few other jobs teach you more about how to interact with, treat, and respect people.

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