3 Things NOT to do to Retail Workers this Holiday season

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.

Mich. x

Simply Michelle

Hi! I’m Mich. I’m a 26 year old young woman trying to navigate adulthood and all the challenges it brings. On Simply Michelle you will find genuine posts about a wide range of topics from mental health & faith to makeup & baking. This is my safe place to be vulnerable and hopefully you'll feel that you can do the same. I hope you stick around!

Be Nice. Be Good. x

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  1. Good Lord

    I don’t miss retail
    I worked in Allsaints and that place is well Boujee lol!
    The Xmas music is enough to drive me up the. Wall.


    1. thankfully i get to pick my own music but i do have customers who are fairly rich and just the way some of them speak to me is mind blowing

  2. There’s never been a more important post for this time of year! I get so frustrated if I ever see people doing thing like this in shops x

    Morgan //

    1. really it just makes them look silly! because it’s out of our control

  3. Posts like these are SO NEEDED. I’ve never worked in retail, but as a consumer it shocks me how badly people treat retail workers sometimes! Especially at this time of year!

    Jas xx |

    1. i’m so glad you enjoyed it! but i completely agree it’s insane how people get treated

  4. charlotterick says:

    I’d hate to work in retail at this time of year! It really annoys me when customers have a go at employees for things out of their control too. There’s no need to be rude!

    Charlotte | x

    1. it makes me so uncomfortable because half the things they are upset about is out of my control! thanks for reading xx

  5. I worked in retail a few years ago and Christmas is such a crazy time! I agree with all of these points, I remember customers complaining about so much that wasn’t in my control, it was so frustrating. Being kind and friendly can really change someones day, we all need to be more patient at this time of year as Christmas shopping is stressful enough. Thank you for sharing Mich, this is such an important reminder and I hope you have a peaceful festive season with nice customers <3 xx

    Bexa |

    1. it really is so frustrating I want to shake them sometimes lol! thank you for reading xxx

  6. I agree with all these points. I work in retail and people can be so horrid especially at Christmas as they get agitated and stressed. It’s not nice as a retail worker and it can make me feel really upset especially when they get really nasty and start blaming you when it’s not your fault. Thank you gift sharing this and pointing out about working in retail!

    1. i completely agree, honestly more often than not it’s not our fault. I once had a woman flat out tell me she didn’t like me because i wouldn’t let her return something 🙄

  7. I work in retail and Christmas is always such a stressful time sometimes. Cannot believe how crazy rude people can be in such a festive time! I am not looking forward to hearing Mariah singing all she wants for Christmas over and over 😂. Same as cd every year!! Great post! Thank you for sharing! Xx

    1. LOL! that’s one of the good things about my job is i get to pick my own music so if i ever get tired of christmas music i can change it up! thanks for reading xx

      1. That’s definitely a good perk for sure! Xxx

  8. I can totally relate to this. I worked at Topshop one Christmas and we used to move things almost daily because of new things going in the sale. One woman had found a random top or something one day, asked me where the others were then had a full on screaming fit when I said I’d have to check with a colleague because I was on fitting rooms that day. She threw it on the floor and stormed out. People are soooo nice when they shop in December! Retail at Christmas is quite the experience. Great post! x


    1. it’s ridiculous how people get treated when they work in retail. people can be so so awful it’s sad but thank you for reading xxx

  9. Ashley Firth says:

    I always feel so sorry for retail staff at this time of year. Not only are many of them spending time away from their families over Christmas, but they also have to deal with some horrid people. Manners cost nothing 🙂

    1. yup exactly! i have to work christmas eve and the day after christmas when i’d really love to be with my family as it’ll be the start of my brothers last round of chemo. definitely don’t need the added stress of mean customers lol

  10. Jayne says:

    It’s nice to be nice

    1. completely agree ❤️

  11. I love this post on what not to do in the store. I’ve had people in front of me in line making a big scene about how long it was taking. People kept looking and starring. It was uncomfortable.

    1. totally uncomfortable for everyone involved, so unnecessary. thanks for reading xxx

  12. myspottedblog says:

    First of all, gorgeous photos as always! Second of all, yes! Everything about this post. I worked retail for a few years and it brings out the worst in customers sometimes. Something else is treating employees like they work for you, or that they are not human beings. I absolutely hated the saying “it’s their job.” Like one time I folded half a table and I moved to the other side. A mom and her son walk to the other side and she literally flips the stack over to get to a bottom shirt and they all come unfolded. She starts to walk away and her son goes “mom aren’t you going to fix that?” And she goes “no honey that’s her job.” Oh. My. Goodness. I was so mad, and I was less than 4 feet away! Great post and thought to blog about! This may have inspired a future post of my own.

    Cheers xx

    Rachel |

    1. oh my gosh that’s so frustrating, i’ll sometimes say “oh no problem just doing my job” but that’s only AFTER they have expressed how much they appreciate my help. it’s not hard to treat others with respect. i hope you do your own post on this i would love to read it xx

  13. Absolutely, I’ve been in their position so many times, that I have respect for them x

    1. it’s always so appreciated when people are respectful and appreciative of us, as least it means a lot to me lol xx

      1. Respect is the least we can do, kindness above everything

  14. I do not miss working in retail at all! It was the worst, especially during the holiday season! People can be so rude and arrogant and not realise that we are human beings too! Loved this post, thanks for sharing xxx

    1. oh goodness exactly! I do love my job don’t get me wrong but i can’t stand that people talk to us like we aren’t humans that have feelings

  15. Omg. I love you for writing this post. I’ve worked in retail for a couple of years now but Christmas is always so mad. I don’t get why people go can be so rude, there’s honestly just no need for it. I hate that we don’t get a lot of time off either, it’s the worst. I hope I’m not working in retail for much longer, I don’t think I can take much more haha.

    Samantha |

    1. absolutely no need for it! we’ve just hired someone new so thankfully i can now have the day after christmas off but it really wasn’t looking good for a while so i totally understand not having much time off! x

  16. This is such a great post, and should be highlighted more often! I don’t work in retail, but I do deal with customers in IT, and sometimes they get so angry at me if I can’t fix their computer in 5 minutes, I’ve been called some nasty things. You’re so right, there’s so many things out of our hands. Even the little things, I’ve seen someone moaning at someone behind the counter because they looked ‘miserable’ and that it wasn’t good customer service. It’s so difficult to be smiley and happy all the time and you have no idea what might be going on in their life so it’s so important to be kind, no matter what.

    Chloe xx

    1. ugh I couldn’t agree more! it really costs nothing to be nice to people. they are helping you the best they can. thanks for reading chloe xx

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