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Retail Rules


Problematic Shitlord
Those who work or have worked in retail, share your rules/stories/advice as well!

Working in management in a big name department store for the last four months (my first return to retail since my high school years, go education!) and most likely longer, I've been wondering how many people are actually aware of how to behave in such a place. It's no secret that some people are slobs, some are mean, some are rude, some are polite, etc. But I decided to piece this thread together as just general tips and advice and perhaps a bit of insider information for you, the customer. Feel free to ask questions!

If something isn't in stock, don't bitch about it
Yes, it happens. Big "we have everything" stores sometimes do not have everything. Sometimes something is in the backroom, which is okay to ask. It may take us a few minutes (be patient) but we can always check for you. Technology is so advanced that hey! Some of us carry mini computers that can answer it right there for you! Always ask if you want something in stock and we'll always do what we can to meet your needs. All retail is about customer service, not about kissing your feet. If we can't get it, then we can't get it. Don't yell at management, it will just give us funny stories to tell at break.

Prices WILL change/about pricing
Regular course of business at any chain involves routine price mark ups or mark downs. Complaining about a price change will do nothing and get you no discounts. I repeat no complaining will help. Our price changes are directed by corporate and we have to comply with them without question. If something is labeled with an actual label that shows a lower price, it is at management's discretion whether or not you get the item at that price. Nine times out of ten, you will. If an item has been placed in a wrong location, do not expect the same odds. We cannot always give you a discount in that situation because you could have easily put it there yourself. Once again, we try to do what we can, but don't be a bitch about it.

Those are my two pieces of info/advice.

How about anyone else in retail? Any other tips for shoppers or fellow workers?


Creeping On You
It takes a certain amount of time for a person to pour coffee into a cup. The more stuff you request, the longer it takes. It's just a fact of life, the more stuff you need to do to a cup of coffee, the longer it takes. Or any other consumeable thing. Also, the more stuff you order, the longer it takes as well. So don't complain when you aren't getting your stuff as fast as the guy who just ordered a single coffee. Stuff takes time, so shut up and wait a second.


Where is my Queen?
Don't expect Black Friday sales last through out the holidays, and also don't request a rain check if the item is not available. Most companies can only sell a limited quantity on most items and don't get upset if you wait until December 23rd to try to get the same deal and the store is completely sold out.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
I've worked in retail for about seven years before getting this Government job. I worked as a Grocery Clerk and I worked as a floor person at a Retail Store. One the biggest things in working in retail is most of the people don't like their jobs, so customers please try and be nice with the employees. I'm sure a lot of you don't like every minute of your jobs either, so if your nice to the employee then you'll get great customer service, the employee will try to go the extra mile for you.

Also if you see an employee helping someone, then go and try find someone else, don't wait ten minutes staring at the employee helping out another customer.


Registered Member
I work in a petrol station/convenience shop as Assistant Manager. I'd like to offer a few little requests, regarding general customer habits.

1) I don't have any handling in petrol prices. They are set by the company, who are generally forced to set them as they are according to the economy. Don't moan about it to me, because I am not responsible for how expensive it is.

2) When you browse through items and pick stuff up, don't put anything you've picked up in any old place. since when does a pasty go with crisps? And especially don't do this with stuff that belongs in a fridge, it'll quickly become waste due to temperature regulations. It's not much effort to put it back where it belongs.

3) The toilet is there for your convenience. Could you try your best not to leave it in an appalling mess?

4) Why don't you try reading the instructions on the tyre inflator machine before using it... Oh you haven't, and now you've fucked it up and need to drag me up there to show you what to do... I wish you'd read the instructions, they're pretty clear and straightforward.

Just a couple of little things that I wish certain customers would adhere to, respect, or do or whatever. In general most of our customers are awesome though, no trouble at all. Just the odd few that are annoying...
Worst customers of all are those with grumpy personalities. Misers, and that. They bring your mood down. Miserable buggers.
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It's not me, it's you.
Screaming at someone when something goes wrong with your order/purchase doesn't get you anywhere. Employees will go the extra mile and help you more if you are nice and courteous, and understand that most of the time...what went wrong is not their fault. Screaming at someone is only going to get them to do the bare minimum.


Registered Member
Worst customer ever: - As far as I've experienced.

Had a customer moan about a 'special offer' price tag not being clear. Although it was, the customer had to simply think and consider what to buy. The customer moaned about a certain similar product that he insisted was part of a special offer, the offer being stated as: 'Pringles Range 160g'.
The difference in price being 70p - He moaned about taking this offer, on the 'principle' of the matter -- I don't know if this is common lexicon for a customer, I've had loads of them harp on about the 'principle' of having something for a lower price based on shoddy, and wrong semantics...

Well I say this. There is no principle involved with 70p. There is no principle involved with servicing you with a Salt n Vinegar flavour over a BBQ flavour. The offer is set and operated on facts. Pringles 'Rice Infusions' don't weigh 160 grams. It might take some eye work, but it's bloody clear - Stop being such a pedantic, moany sod and stop giving the cashiers a hard time you wanker. Thanks to you a queue has amassed and every frigger is miserable. You tosser.
Honestly, there are people in war torn African countries going to bed with ribs sticking out their chests tonight, and you moan about the principle of a 70p offer. You absolute twat. I think this was the worst customer I remember, mostly because he honestly moaned like fuck and swore at the cashier. We had to bloody give in and discount the ruddy Pringles. I hope he choked to death on them...

Honestly. If I'm in a shop and an offer doesn't work on the till or whatever, I never ever bother the cashier. I simply live with it. Fair enough, it's cost me more, but I couldn't care less. Going without that shit I'm buying is not going to kill me.
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Registered Member
My biggest thing was "Know who's at fault". If something didn't go right, and it's corporate's fault, it's fine for you to express your displeasure to me. But don't take it out on me.

I don't really mind if customers ask for me to extend deals to the next day (even on Black Friday). Sure, there's almost no chance they'll get it, but it doesn't hurt to ask, and some stores WILL give it to them, so why not? My issue comes if they get upset that they don't get it.


I hope I don't get into any trouble but here is an awesome site for retail related stories and it is NOT my site but I am a member and I am NOT recruiting just letting you know about it.



Sally Twit
"The customer is always right" is a phrase I can't fucking stand. I've never even worked in retail but I think that is absolute bullshit. It doesn't give you the right to be rude to the person serving you.
And it makes me laugh that someone places a huge order for something and then sighs when it takes them a while to do it. It's not going to make the employee work any faster if you're acting like a jerk. Manners will get you far!