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Rants, confessions, blames, complaints. Call them what you may, these are the things (more like life lessons) I've learnt as a Sales Assistant in Retail.

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I know so many people will look at the title and say, "Here we go again! Another retail worker complaining about their blessed and bountiful life!" As truly blessed and bountiful my life is, hear me out! And if you don't want to, then feel free to choose another article to view. Just establishing the facts here for a moment before we begin, these are "Common man's rules" and every able-bodied, able-minded, and soul-carrying-vessel-you-call-a-body should know these. More than rules, this is common courtesy.

1.When you come in the store and see something you like that is folded or in a pile and need a size, don’t just mess up the piles, ask us (sales assistants) for help! That’s what we’re there for! When we interrupt you messing our piles, ones that we spent back-breaking hours on perfecting, we don’t do it for fun! We are politely asking you to BACK THE FU*K UP FROM OUR PILES!!!! DON’T TOUCH MY KOHINOOR!!!

2.No matter how posh you are dressed, or how elite your accent seems, or how “millionaire” you look, if you skip the whole shop floor and go straight to the sale section, or dismiss tonnes of clothing only because they’re not on sale; believe me, we’re judging the fu*k out of you.

3.If you’re looking for something specific to add significant value and class to your wardrobe, ask us! We know what and where the best stuff is! Again, that’s what we’re there for.

4.When you ask us to help you with something and you’re rude about it we’ll say everything looks shit on you if it looks good, or everything looks good if it looks shit. Don’t be offended by this, and most definitely don’t dismiss this as passive-aggressive behaviour, because your posh arse just treated another human being like trash! You totally deserve it!

5.People who take tonnes of clothes in the fitting room and leave a mess behind as if a tornado just hit, please don’t be do*ches like that! If you wanna try out stuff at least be considerate enough to straighten it out and put it back on the hanger. And don’t you dare say, “But it’s your job to do that!” We do our job very well, thank you, otherwise we wouldn’t be employed. And, we do our “job” 8 hours a day 5 days a week (mostly). A little help goes a long way.

6.People who take ages in the fitting room to try on 3 shirts. I’m talking about an hour for 3 blouses!!! What do you need to do so damn urgently, especially in the smelly fitting room that can’t wait until you are out? Honestly, there are other people waiting in line to try on one shirt! Be considerate!

7.While we are on the topic of fitting rooms, couples! Yes, I’m looking at you horny teenagers and new parents! If we see you with a pram, we try to give you a bigger fitting room so you don’t have to leave the baby behind! That doesn’t mean you can take your husband/boyfriend/fiancé inside and get fris-kay! Yes, we know; and yes, we will annoy you every 5 mins if you take more than 15-20 mins for 3 blouses (see point no. 6).

8.People who come in 3 mins before we close the doors! You can clearly see that we are in the middle (more like towards the end) of bringing order to the chaos your fellow species has left in the store throughout the day, the piles looking like the Great Pyramids, the rails looking like your straight perfect teeth, floors clean, fitting rooms clear, tills being tallied; DO NOT ASSUME YOU HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DISTURB THAT SERENITY! I mean you do, you are a customer and warmly welcome to the store as long as it’s open, but if you see something neat and tidy, why do you have to go and mess it up? THAT is passive-aggressive behaviour!

9.People (I mean stuck up, selfish, daddy’s-spoilt-brats-who-think-they-are-above-others) who love swishing clothes on the rails backward and forward to “get a good look”, please do the world a favour and go die in a ditch! (Sorry, I am not generally such a rude person, but this annoys me, and I’m pretty sure many others, to no ends!) You’d be surprised by the amount of times we’ve had to screw the rails back on because they keep getting loose, God forbid if the glass above falls, shatters and breaks! Then obviously, we are the bad guys! I mean come on!

10.Now for the good parts, if you are a nice person, and talk to us like normal people, we’ll remember you forever! I cannot begin to tell you about how a customer has made my day just by saying “Thank you for your help, darling!” with a genuine smile! I know it’s not a big deal for you, but if we’re working in a store that you are shopping in, it probably means we need this job and are quite frankly struggling with a few things. (Those who are not, kudos to you!) And honestly that small gesture makes us fight a little longer.

11.When you recommend how good we were and how we helped you, to a manager or at the tills, and we get praised for it later; OMG! That is simply incapable of being put into words! Even if we don’t know who you are, we will send lots of blessings and good wishes to you!

12.Customers who actually take a moment to talk to us about our personal lives or even something as irrelevant and trivial as the colour of the skirt resembling fish, and have a little laugh, are the best! It take a small load off our backs and gives us the boost to be nicer to others.

13.If you ever want to witness genuine selflessness, (I know we’re getting paid, but we’re not getting paid to silently listen to your bullsh*t!) look at a sales assistant who is being yelled at for calling 2 men ‘gentlemen’ instead of SIRS, and them taking all that without uttering a word! The only thing that repairs that broken piece of self-esteem is watching your manager take your side and escort the customers out and refuse to serve them as they disrespected the employee and indirectly the brand!

I know the list of complaints is longer than the good points, but the good points outweigh the bad ones, which is exactly why we get up every day and arrive at work to start a fresh new day with a smile. One thing I’ve learnt from working in retail is that, if we are not considerate and kind to our fellow humans, we and our generations to come are going to be doomed to live a life no better than the slavery era, only this time the differentiation won’t be made according to colour or caste or religion or social status, but according to your profession, your wealth, mainly how big of a douche you are. Is that the kind of future we imagine for your children, and their children? I urge you to let go of your artificial facades and masks, be yourself! Unless you are Clark Kent, then be SuperMan!

Lots of Love (the original long form of LOL)


Retail worker.

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