I work in retail. That’s my nine to five job at least. When I can get a freelance gig or client work as a photographer, videographer, or journalist I jump on that opportunity. Anyways back to the point of this post.

It’s the holidays and that means that a lot of people are out shopping. That also means that the stores are busy and when they don’t look busy on the sales floor, they’re still busy recovering the store or even on the backend of the store. Which consist of paperwork, maintaining the stock rooms, cleaning, training new hires and whatever else that may be going on.

What I want to say is please be patient and nice to anyone you talk to or ask for help from at a store. Be it your local grocery store or the big box store. If no other time during the year, please do so during the holidays.


We work with a lot of new people, i.e. the seasonal hires. That means everyone in the store that has been there for awhile is helping to train them in some way. I know from my personal experience that it’s great when a customer picks up on that and is patient and understanding that I don’t have the process down and that I am trying to help them as fast and as best I can.

We also have a lot of stock and a lot of customers, both of which we are trying to work and help respectively. So if we said we don’t know or we don’t have it. But you find it later on, we’re sorry. We, despite our bet effort, don’t always know every single thing in the store or if we have it in stock. Recently I had a bit of an awakening with our stock. I didn’t know we got a seasonal product in yet. That is in part to I’m not the stock manager anymore, I don’t work stock and thus don’t see everything that comes off our pallets. As well as that I run our furniture department. So I know, for the most part, that I have this and not that. That I have to order these items if you want them, and that this bed frame is a custom order.

Getting back to customers. We see virtually every breed of customer in retail. Let alone the higher end location I work at. The overly nice people, the quite people, that rude and the yellers. The thrift is and the spendy. Please just work with us and know that despite the fact there may be a lot of us working, we may not be able to help you right just now. Typically I let people know I’ll be with them in a few minutes. That phrase is never more true than now. I work as fast as I can, but I can’t always get to you in a few seconds or a minute. Sometimes it’s five minutes before myself or someone else can help. It sucks I know, and honestly I hate doing that to a customer. But it happens. So if it’s important let us know and we can figure it out. If it can wait a moment, that works too. Either way just work with us and know that we’re try and that we aren’t ignoring you.

I know that the things I talked about aren’t always the case, and that sometimes you can get an associate that doesn’t care or put the effort in. Again that sucks. I don’t enjoy working with those people myself.

That being said those people that hang in there with us, say thanks, or simply understand that we will be with them as soon as we can are always our favorite customers. These people make our day.

I also want to note that this isn’t some post or story about how retail workers have it so hard or asking you to have pity on us. But it’s something for you to think about. In the long run it’s our job to keep the store running and to help cusers. But we are people and it’s always nice to be treated like a person.

To everyone out there, especially those that are those nice, unserstanding, and patient customers.
Thank you and have a good holiday season.


One thought on “Hang in There With Your Retail Associates

  1. I once worked in retail for about three years – I swore I’d never go back. It was great at times, don’t get me wrong but some of the customers were ruthless. I think many customers underestimate the patience and kindness it takes to work in such an industry. Great piece! Really spoke to me.


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