While working in retail for 20 years there were times when it took all I had to be pleasant to customers – who were not!
When people shop they seem to get a different attitude – like “I’m here to spend my money, so you better be nice to me.” The flip side to that statement from the customer is “I’ll call a manager if you even look at me the wrong way.” So you smile and try to please, and then take a short walk to another department or look busy straightening some items.
There were a few times (few? – like 4 times a day) when you really wanted to tell it like it is.
It was quite easy to spot a possible shoplifter. So you discretely watched them while also alerting the other staff. I remember one time (of many) the person grabbed something and tried to hide it while making their way to the door looking like an angel. Another time they took what they wanted and ran.
I remember one time a man took an article and ran out the door. Well, one of our managers ran after him (which we were told not to do). He chased him through the parking lot and when the man jumped the fence, so did the manager. In the meantime, someone called the police. After a few minutes our manager came back empty handed. This was just one of many times people tried to get “freebees.”
One of the big things they did was to switch price tags. Sometimes if the employee wasn’t aware of the prices of items in the store, they would get away with it. But then came the age of updated registers that describe the item on the tag and if it didn’t match the actual item – “Gotcha!”
This is only one of the areas of enjoyment working retail. Stay tuned, I have many more events to write about. I’m sure those who worked retail can relate to many.
Till next time – be nice!