Be Nice to Sales Assistants

Okay, so maybe it’s me – maybe it’s the paranoia of thinking that one of my family members is following my supposedly anonymous blog – but recently I feel as though the blogger in me has died. It’s not as though I’ve got much going in preventing me from logging back onto WordPress and writing until I’m blue in the face – I mean, I’ve been working, but not to the extent that I can’t plonk my arse in front of a laptop for twenty minutes and just write.

But now, I find myself motivated to write another post on this blog for no other reason that I am pissed off right to the moon and back. As some of you may know, alongside my degree, I work in retail, which seems to be an industry in which people feel as though they can treat other humans however they so choose for no reason other than the fact that they’re wearing the company uniform. The tagline that the customer is always right infuriates me most, as they very seldom are.

Now, I don’t know if I’m not technically supposed to name the place I’m working at for legal reasons, so, just to be safe, I’ll just go with the description that I work in one of the UK’s largest news agents that gets a pretty bad rep and I think you’ll all get the gist.

Anyway, today ended like every other normal day. The time was 2:57pm turning 2:58pm and, at the end of each day, we have to bundle up all of our unsold newspapers, fill in two forms to say how many we are sending back, tie them up, cover them in stickers, and take them out the back ready to be collected to be sent away. On a normal day, this must normally done by 5:30 – that’s when my store closes – but working on a Sunday, we close at 3, which, conveniently, is also the point at which I’m no longer getting paid to be there. This means that as we countdown to the closing time, we get everything ready: machines are turned off or logged out of, any signs that are outside are brought in, and, you guessed it, the papers are bundled up.

So, like every other day, I had the papers all ready and bundled by approximately 2:57pm and as the time was turning from 2:59pm to 3:00pm, I had a man come in, having briefly checked the opening times on the door outside and decided that I would still serve him. I was walking to lock the door as he entered and he saw the pile of Sunday Times tied up on my trolley ready to be taken into the back and not so subtly uttered the word “shit”, realising that he’d missed the four-hour window he had to collect his newspaper.

He saw that I was walking up to the door and pompously tapped his coupon on the side of one of my bundles and said “Sunday Times please” in a tone that said you will undo this bundle because I am the customer and you will do what I want. Now, I’m not one that responds well to pomposity and I’d already put all of the paper work through the system, so I told him just that. The only way that he was going to get his paper was if he was really, really nice to me, which of course he wasn’t.

Instead, he looked down at his watch and said “your closing time is three, not five to three,” and still continued to look at me with the same expectant face that suggested I should undo everything I had just done to ensure that I left work on time. I replied saying “but it’s not five to three,” and walked over to the till to prove it. He then stormed out of the shop and called me a plethora of things on his way out.

That happened nearly two hours ago and I’m still seething. So please please please pleeease be polite to the sales assistant serving you. Please stop complaining about self-service machines (because believe me they’re going NOWHERE) and if ever the impulse comes across you to act like the entitled little dweeb who came into my store today, suppress it with all of your heart, soul, might and mind, and try to remember that the person behind the till may perhaps be coming to the end of a 6 hour shift without so much a toilet break and who hasn’t eaten anything in nearly 8 hours.

If ever one is in doubt of how to act towards any employee of any establishment, one should consider purchasing their newspaper elsewhere and is advised to insert it somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine while their at it.

(Photo by Pj Accetturo on Unsplash)


22 thoughts on “Be Nice to Sales Assistants

  1. I worked in retail when I was a student. It is the absolute worst. I am always nice to any person on any job. They are just doing their job and trying to earn money. Be kind to them x


  2. ‘realising that he’d missed the four-hour window he had to collect his newspaper.’
    I laughed so hard at your dry humour I nearly spat out my lunch. You’re right though, everything about this post is a resounding ‘AMEN BROTHER!’ Are we allowed to put call centre workers in this category of ‘Please Be Nice To…’? Because that’s another job that only the mighty can survive.

    I sincerely hope that you, one day, find yourself in a job which you are happy to wake up to in the morning and fills you with less anger than this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I get paranoid too about family finding my blog! I was so hesitant to put up a picture. Wow, it’s awful that people are so unkind. I worked fast food for years,and so many people could be so cruel.


  4. Amen, I’m so glad someone finally made a blog post about it.
    I too work in retail and I get very annoyed with stupid customers. I once had somebody throw something at the till to buy and anyone just said before I started to speak that they – don’t want a bag, a card for our shop and how they are paying!
    Christmas is the worst I think, good luck


  5. Ugh I never go to stores when they’re about to close because I know how it feels. I worked at a beauty supply shop and this guy went into our back room to use the bathroom. We told him he can’t do that (not safe with just us females working there) and he said I know and did it anyways. He got threatening so we almost had to call the police. People are jerks! 😡

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is just wrong on so many levels!!! We never let people use our toilets. But yes thank you, it’s not totally unreasonable to find a shop closing down a few minutes before they actually shut – we didn’t get paid after we close!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel you!!! I work in retail (soft furniture) and we had a costumer last week being a twat to me, my manager and one of the colleges because we wouldn’t give him money back onto the card (and it wasn’t even his)!!!!! But I agree people think because we got our uniforms on we just machine that they can have go at…


    1. It’s so true that people think they can treat you however they want and it’s awful. Half the time people think about the way things “should” be done and don’t understand the practicalities of that. Like askin to be refunded on a card that’s not yours – sometimes I just wish customers would apply a tiny bit of logic


  7. I work in retail (supermarket) and I feel your pain! The other week I had a customer go to management and demand I put the meat slicing machine back together whilst I was cleaning it just so she could have 5 slices of turkey and guess what I had to do just that and then dismantal the machine and clean it again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ugh that sucks! Although this didn’t happen for you on this occasion, I love it when customers ask for a manager and then the manager says exactly the same thing as you aha. Some people are just so entitled!


  8. Having worked in retail for a long time, I feel your pain. I once hid crouched on the floor in the dispensary until a particularly nasty and abusive customer left the shop. I was determined not to show my face until he was gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve done that before! I think what irritates customers the most is when you stand your ground and stick with your decisions – the amount of people who I have irritated by refusing to do a return without a recipt is hilarious!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, do I feel for you! I so remember those days! I worked retail for along time and then as a waitress for a while too when I was younger! I finally decided I just dislike people to much to do this job. Really, I think I liked the job fine, it was a few rude people who messed it up for me. I am truly sorry that jerk was…well… a jerk too you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahah yeah I totally get what you mean. It’s weird. Even though I know for a fact that this is not what I want to be doing with my life, I still kind of care about it! I actually also quite like the job but I also think it’s a really humbling experience. I bet you’re really nice to Sales Assistants now!

      Liked by 1 person

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