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27 Things You'll Recognise If You've Ever Worked In Retail

By Alana Laverty

December 20, 2016 at 12:10am


I feel like everyone has dabbled in retail at least once in their lives.

Whether it's your full-time job right now, a part-time job you had when you were 16 or something you tried once on a J1 – we've all done it.

It's trying, taxing and can be a fucking nightmare, but at the end of the day you're better for it. 

1. Having to greet people

Against your will.

I hate being confronted by shop assistants the second I enter a shop when I'm just browsing, so naturally I feel even worse when I have to do the confronting. 

2. Customers replying "NO THANK YOU"

Before you've even had to the chance to greet them.

When, literally, all you're doing is saying hey. 


I'm not asking for your firstborn. Chill.

3. Having to act as a therapist

Spending a Saturday afternoon on the shop floor consoling a recent divorcee was most definitely not in the job description.

4. Evil customers

There's a special place in hell for people who are mean to people who work in retail. 

We're just trying to get by, a day at a time. 

5. People fucking up something to try and get a discount

Do you think I was born yesterday?

That's your fake tan all over the top and no, I will not be giving you 50% off.

6. When someone tries to return something they've clearly worn or used

And you awkwardly tell them that you can't give them a refund due to the distinct stench of vodka, Red Bull and cigarette smoke from them wearing it out the night before. 

Nice try though.

7. Hagglers

"Any bargains?"

8. Doing your makeup on the bus to work

You've mastered applying a full face, with just one eye open while you're still half asleep. 

It's not till later that you realise you only put eyeliner on one eye. But sure it's too late now.

9. Not making eye contact when you're hungover

In the hopes that everyone and everything will just GO AWAY. 

10. Making meaningless tasks last as long as possible

"I just have to run to the stock room, I'll be right back."

In a week.

Hours Later

11. Playing 'Where's Wally?' when you wanna avoid someone in the shop

Blending in with the mannequins is harder than you'd think when you're 5"3'. 

12. Last-minute customers

I don't normally mind this. 

Unless it's 5:59pm on a Sunday evening and you need to get the bus home before you disintegrate with tiredness. 

The till is cashed up, the fitting rooms are closed, the shop doors are being locked and you want a "fresh one"? 

13. Spending an hour selling something to a customer

Only for them to turn around and say "Yeah, I'll think about it". 

Seriously? What's there to think about? It's a pair of socks!

14. Embracing your new role as a saint

Because of all the shit you put up with on a daily basis.

Which you talk about. 

All the time.

Angel 20 Emoji Original

15. Referring to the stockroom as 'heaven'

A customer-free zone where you can Snapchat to your heart's content?

Spend as much time here as you possibly can. 

16. Being asked bizarre questions

That do not relate to your job at all. Like: "Do you know where the nearest podiatrist is?"

"Eh, let me just ask my manager." 

17. Being asked awkward questions

"Does this make me look fat?"

Screen Shot 2016 06 21 At 09 32 09

18. Spending ALL your money before you've even finished earning it

Because you're surrounded by things to buy, 24/7. 

19. Awkwardly smiling when you see customers outside of the shop

It's like seeing your teacher out of the classroom or your doctor out of the surgery. 

20. That feeling when you've fucked up


21. Having sore feet


22. Subconsciously tidying other stores while you're out shopping

And not even realising it. 

Old habits die hard. 

23. Holding a funeral for your social life

When you have to work on the weekends. 

And it's busier than ever.

24. Cherishing time-and-a-half like it's your first love

And it very well could be. 

25. Crying when your alarm goes off at 6am on Stephen's Day

Confirming that Christmas is well and truly over. 

Those 24 hours were good while they lasted. 

26. Catching someone shoplifting

And announcing at the top of your lungs, "Hello, I see you have selected our cherry red nail polish. Would you like me to bring that to the cash register for you so that you can pay?"

It's never a pleasant experience but you can't help but feel smug.

27. When your manager finally accepts how cool you are

And wants to be your friend.

The Cooliest

Retail may seem like the absolute bane of your life.

But at the end of the day it's a means to an end – just like every other job out there.

Suck it up.


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