April 22, 2014 by timbuckler
I love working in retail. At least I used to back when I was passionate about the products I sold. Times change.
Now that my daily mantra is “it’s better than being on jobseekers” I have started to question my career choice.
I’ll be fine. Soon I will making money from my scribblings (another reason to like and share bitches, my soul is on the line) but at this current time I realise that shop work isn’t necessarily what the people working in store want to do. It’s what there forced to do in order to make ends meet.
This is where you lovely people come in. I have constructed a guide to so you can help out the poor miserable bastards working on the other side of the counter.
The mouth my be smiling but the eyes are pits of hate.
In this guide I will be using my personal experience working in Blockbuster video as a guide, because a.) It’s where I spent the vast majority of my working life and b.) they ain’t around no more so the fuckers can’t get me.
So heed my words dear consumer and you can make your local shop keeps life a little easier.
1. Don’t be a dick.
It may sound simple, but remember if something goes wrong for you in store it wasn’t done with malice (and if it was by all means you have every right to kick off.) If an item is wrong or faulty, or if your just having a bad day please remember your please and thank you’s. If you come across as a pleasant person then who ever is serving you will go the extra distance to make you happy out of guilt. If you talk down or treat someone like a piece of shit they will treat you the same. That’s how burgers get spat on.
My own experience.
Once I was serving some chap and as usual I greeted him and asked him how he was. This is how most human beings interact but apparently the customer skipped this lesson in common courtesy.
Now as a child of the 90’s I grew up with the word dude in my vocabulary. It’s a word I use with affection. It’s my way of saying your my friend. But when I informed the gentlemen I would be “back in a second dude!” he snapped back with “I’m not your dude.”
“I said I’m not your dude. Don’t talk to me like i’m your friend”
I have no idea what happened to that man that day. Maybe he lost a loved one. Maybe is house was robbed. The only thing I knew about him was how he spoke to me and that was shitty so I took a guess that he was a shitty person. I got him the most scratched version of “Sahara” I could find. As if that film didn’t suck enough.
2. Don’t be too nice
Ok this may sound silly after I told you to not be a dick but make sure you pick and chose your moments when you try to make new friends. A shop assistant is at work and probably has a lot to get on with without listening to you going on about how your son is doing on his veterinary course or how the husbands piles aren’t getting any better. Banter is fine if the store is quiet and the clerk looks bored but at 1pm on a Saturday afternoon it’s probably best to grab your shit and get out.
My own experience
Before Netflicks ran the world video shops used to get quite busy on a Saturday night. One eve I was serving a gentlemen when he asked me who my favourite director was.
“I don’t know sir, I like Scorsese…Kevin Smith….”
“I like that Guy Ritchie.” Replied the slightly cockney sounding chap.
“He is good” Says I.
“Yeah……I like that lock stock…..snatch…revolver”….
He started to just endlessly list off Guy Ritchie films. After that he started naming Guy Ritchie actors. All I could do was smile and nod as the line behind got bigger and bigger and the faces in it got more and more annoyed.
But what was I supposed to say? “Fuck off sir! Your banter is boring and people need their movies!”
It is you, the customer, who should be weary of your surroundings and know when to say good bye.
3. Control your kids!
I love kids. I enjoy their company more than most of the cynically, joyless swines I know. That doesn’t mean I like them screaming at the top of their lungs while I am trying to serve people or have them running around my feet as a navigate the shop floor with my arms full of stock. Most parents are great when it comes to keeping their kids in check. Just a simple “calm down” or “stop shouting” will do. I’m not saying give them fifty wacks with the beating stick when you get home. I’m just asking you to be a good parent. There is nothing sadder then seeing a Mother or Father ignore their child. Except for perhaps seeing a parent shout back at their offspring in a equally childish manner.
My own experience
Once I was putting out the return rental cases on the shop floor when out of nowhere a young rap scallion with his arm stretched out and a Ben 10 boxset in his hands came speeding round the corner and whacked me square in the bollocks with said dvd case. As I fell to my knees the only sound I could muster was a short but quite loud “FUCK!”.
I looked up with tears in my eyes to see the Mother staring down at me with judgement. “Please don’t use that language in front of my son.” Behind her I saw little Jimmy climbing up a rather weak ten foot tall shelving rack. I didn’t say anything though. She was such a good Mum I’m sure she would have stopped the youngling before he got hurt.
4. Put things back where you found them!
This is my top pet hate of working in retail. It’s not people not knowing where they got something from. That’s human, we all forget things. It’s when people put things back in the wrong place.
This is the reason you are sold the wrong shoe size. This is the reason you can’t find out the price of something. This is the reason why you have to sit around for twenty minutes whilst the assistant looks for an item of stock.
If you don’t know where something goes leave it in plain sight or take it to the counter. Don’t try to disguise the fact you are a forgetful arsehole.
My own experience
Blockbuster used to sell pornography. Great for the lonely. Not so good for the kiddies. So when a pretty young lady came up to the counter with “Pirates XXX” who was I to judge?
Trouble is she found the film in the kids section. Trouble is she was a baby sitter. You can see where I’m going with this.
She came back to the store three hours later red faced and ashamed. Apparently she went upstairs to run a bath and when she came back down the little ones where sat in front of the telly, open eyed and confused, as they lay witness to Jenna James Yo ho hoeing on a Jolly Roger. It wasn’t her fault for grabbing a pirate film from the kids section. It wasn’t my fault for shaming a customer buying smut. It was whatever pervert placed a box on the wrong side of that shop.
So I beg all of you people. Don’t be that bastard. You may find your shopping experience will improve.
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Tim Buckler will return….