Hello! Welcome Back! The Christmas season is in full swing which means all the stores have amped up on staff and stock. With the increase of stock that means an increase of shoppers with low patience and the increase of retail workers who get treated poorly. Today I want to talk about working in retail during the holiday season, and basically give a public service announcement to be nice to employees. If you don’t know, I currently work in retail at a beauty supply store. All these things that I’m going to ask you all NOT to do are things I have dealt with at my store, and I’d love to not have someone else go through the same headaches. I also want to stress that this isn’t just for people who work in “typical” retail stores. These things apply for those working in the food service industry, and barista’s at coffee shops. Basically anyone dealing with the general public.
1. Don’t make a scene about having to wait in a long line.
During the holidays everyone is in a rush and no one wants to wait for anything. I understand, it seems like we all have 500 things to do everyday to get ready for the big day and waiting takes time away from us doing other things. However, that doesn’t mean that you can be a smart ass to the employee working. Take a moment and realize that they are moving as fast as they can to swiftly check all their customers out. Sometimes there is a technology glitch that they have no control over. Sometimes they need approval from a manager which again is out of their control. There is no need to make passive aggressive comments when they finally get to you like “I ordered my drink online so that I wouldn’t have to wait.” or about how they are understaffed. That just makes them uncomfortable and makes you look rude.
2. Don’t complain about the stock the store has
Listen, I understand it’s annoying when a store doesn’t have what you want in stock. However causing a scene with the employee really isn’t going to help anyone. Of course ask if they have any more in the back but if they don’t then leave it at that. The general public needs to understand that most retail employees have nothing to do with the ordering or stock. We can’t control what gets ordered or what gets shipped to us from distributors. Believe it or not we didn’t sell out of it just so that you could complain to us about how we don’t have it. Please remember that we aren’t making this stuff in our basements at home. Also remember if it’s a shop like Starbucks and they don’t have what you ordered, they will give you anything you want to make up for the inconvenience regardless of it’s going to result in a monetary loss for them.
3. Don’t be a jerk about the return policy
Retail employees are not out to make your holiday season a nightmare, I promise we aren’t. We want you to have the best holiday possible but there are policy’s we have to follow whether we agree with them or not. People for some reason think that the ones working at the register make the return policies, when we don’t. It’s either done on a corporate level or by the owner of the store so please, do not threaten to call your lawyer on us because we won’t let you return something. We can not change our return policy just for one upset customer. If you really have a problem than please take it up with those who are higher up in management because that’s the best we can offer you. Sure there are probably times that we can get approval to override the return but, 90% of the time it’s not even that we don’t want to return it for you, it’s that our computer system physically will not let us.
Those are the three biggest issues I run into with customers during any season, but especially during the holiday season. Anyone who knows me knows that I am the biggest advocate for being kind whenever possible, so please be kind to retail workers. Most of them are being overworked and underpaid, they don’t need the added stress of you being rude to them. Just because they are working in retail does not make you better than them and make them any less deserving of respect. This is where the golden rule comes into play, treat others the way you want to be treated. They are just doing their job, making money to pay for any expenses they might have. The holiday season is meant to be filled with happiness and joy, so do your part in spreading kindness. For all you know, your act of kindness to an employee could make their day. I hope this post reminded you all to be kind to those working in retail this holiday season. Thank you for stopping by…until next time,
Be Nice. Be Good.