Who here works retail?

So we guess most of us here are here because we relate to the bad customer stories, but how MUCH do you relate to them? How many of us here actually work retail?

Most of the NAR staff are retail survivors and escapees, including me! I worked at a Pizza Hut, a call center, and travel store before I realised that dealing with customers was not worth the paycheck and found a boring office job.

Where in retail do you or have you worked?

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I’m sure UK readers will recognise most places here.

First job was in an orange supermarket. Have also worked in the catalogue store they own, during first months of pandemic we were all put into our nearest supermarket, hadn’t changed too much… as in how the company is run is terrible but all your coworkers keep each other going without wanting to blow your brains out.

Worst was big chain pub/restaurant with a cutlery item in their name. Good god, just don’t, even if you’re desperate.

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My brother’s first job was in-SAIN(sbury) and he lasted three days! And this editor wouldn’t even like to DRINK in a Spoon of Whether let alone work there. You are a braver worker than I!

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Fast food veteran here. My first job was at a burger place with two drive-thru lanes on each side. I remember being thrown in to the lunch rush on my first day - a real “baptism by fire” - standout memories include being screamed at over the comms because I asked what size drink when there was only one; an old lady yelling about her chips getting cold; and another person muttering about “kids these days can’t do simple maths” because I got flustered trying to make change (under pressure + not being allowed to punch it into the cash register for some reason).

After that, I worked at Pizza Hut for three years, first as a delivery driver/CSR/dishwasher and then as a cook. It was a beach resort town with lots of tourists and the usual attitudes that go along with it. It was a great crew and I’m still in touch with a few of them today, although I don’t think any of us would work in customer service today if we had the choice.

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I work in retail. I started working for a place that done kids parties with a massive playground back in 2005, got screwed over by the boss (who was a family friend) and demanded my back pay and then quit. I then got a job working for a supermarket in 2006. Was there nearly 6 years before I had my daughter and left. 5 years later I went back to work for the same company. Been there almost 3 years now.

I don’t mind working in retail but as of late customers have been so rude. We literally have certain days of the week where the rudeness really stands out.

Don’t get me started on the entitlement and lack of manners and respect. I hate that I get treated like crap by customers but I’m the type of person that if you push me too far I will snap and say something to you. The wonderful nice customers make up for the crappy ones.

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I work in a petrol station that has a posh food franchise. I’m currently off sick due to stress and anxiety, for the first time in my life, caused by the customers.

I generally love my job but the last months of lockdown have made the customers into even bigger buttmunchers than usual.

I once worked for a mobile phone company but never again as even though they had a reputation for being the best at the time they shady af and wanted us to lie about everything and I just couldn’t.

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I’ve worked at a couple of retail places in the past, as well as my current job.

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Worked retail most of my working life. Have worked in several different stores, and I think it is fairly recent that the real nightmare customers have started to surface. Any run ins I have had has been this past couple of years. Never before that have I seen or heard of any. Is it a recent phenomenon do you think, bar isolated incidents?

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I’ve had one paying retail job. It was at a budget clothing retailer in the UK. I thought I just didn’t like retail until I moved into the admin office and still hated the place. Then I moved to another store for university and loved it.

Quite the job entirely before finishing so I didn’t have to go back to the original store.

I started volunteering at a charity second-hand bookstore in 2019. It’s a lot different than retail, and I think customers generally give more slack as it’s a charity store. Hasn’t stopped the occasional customer asking stupid questions and asking for a discount because they expect second-hand to be pennies worth. Overall though, I love it there. The banter with the other volunteers is great, and it’s fun chatting with the regulars too.

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I currently work in a bookstore cafe that is NOT the mermaid. If I could have a dollar for every time someone wanted to argue that I should take the mermaid card or app, well…I’d be able to afford a nice vacation each year. I’ve worked several different types of retail over the years, seen it all, now I just have to (privately) laugh over some of the shenanigans that customers like to pull.

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Back in the early 80s, I worked in a high-end chocolatier. When I say high-end, I mean one of the cross streets was Rodeo Drive. Want to talk about entitlement? What I found interesting was that generally speaking, the celebrities, especially the big names, weren’t so bad. It was the spouses, kids, staff, etc. who caused most of the problems.