21 Things You’ll Only Know If You’ve Worked In Retail

Besides “people are kinda terrible.”

1. Sometimes you have to turn on the charm, no matter your mood.

“How can I help you?”

2. Hangers should always face inward. Otherwise the world descends into chaos.

3. “Let me check in the back for you” = opportunity for a mini-break.

4. You become a machine at folding shirts. Crisply.

5. Customer being rude? Snapping at you? Take a deep breath. Otherwise you’ll throttle them.

Do not punch face, do not punch face, do not punch face…

6. Relying on your coworkers for back-up is the only way to get through the day.

7. People will buy anything if it’s “buy one get one half off.”

8. Nice customers get sale prices that technically ended an hour ago. Jerk customers don’t.

You are judge, jury, and executioner cashier.

9. People will do unspeakable things in fitting rooms.

Behind those curtains lurk Eldritch horrors the likes of which drive men insane. And require a mop.

10. You deal with plenty of non-English speakers, and learn to say the same 10 words in six languages.

11. And you memorize sizing across two sexes and three continents.

12. You become a pro at hiding from your manager so you can text on the floor.

13. Nothing scares you after dealing with holiday weekend crowds.


14. You develop the ability to spend two hours folding three pairs of jeans.

Just really swamped over here.

15. You can also cash out the registers, clean and close the entire store in under seven minutes.

16. Forced listening to the same store soundtrack for months on end does strange things to a person.

Please, no more John Mayer. Please.

17. This is a Brannock device. It’s a useful tool, except in the summer, when it’s a instrument of torture.

Bare feet in sandals all day + sweat + close to your face = hell.

18. The stock room can be even more treacherous than the floor.


19. It’s not worth picking up smoking just to get extra 5-minute breaks. Probably.

20. Work uniforms don’t have to be washed after every shift— until you help a really smelly customer.

Then burn your uniform and get a new one.

21. It’s crucial to be friendly with employees when you’re out shopping for yourself.

You’ve been there before. You know the struggle.

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