Retail is a necessary evil. Without retail outlets we would not be able to purchase goods, this even includes online shopping,though I admit I am relatively new to this.
I have worked in malls in large cities, in “strip malls” and free standing buildings. Most of my experience comes from selling hair products, baby needs, medicine, hygiene supplies, etc. found primarily in drug stores. I have also sold furniture, appliances, food, blinds, flooring and accessories.
Dealing with the public can be both rewarding and distressful. A lot of people are kind and understanding that this is a job and you are doing the best you can.
Then there are those people who are not so kind. Surprisingly, or not, it has nothing to do with what colour a persons skin is or what religion they belong too. In actual fact, most of the irate customers I have had to deal with shared a certain characteristic, namely, egotism.
Many might automatically think I mean men – no, I don’t. Granted, many men do have egos, but so do women.
Egotistical people like to walk around like they know everything and own everything. Many don’t own anything.
How can I prove this? Well, I can’t exactly show you paperwork or studies at this point in time, perhaps if people who remain working in retail outlets would care to share their stories I could write them down.
Personally, I have had people treat me with ill respect because I am a woman who “shouldn’t lift that”, or they challenge my knowledge by saying, “how would you possibly know the answer to my question about fishing?” Well, perhaps I do and perhaps I don’t. If I don’t know the answer, I am fully capable of learning it! About being a woman, well, I can dead-lift 135 lbs (61 kg), squat 115 pounds (52 kg), and bench press 55 lbs (25 lbs), and I’m just starting! Of course, when I was in retail, I have no idea how much I could lift (at least 50 lbs or 23 kg). The biggest issue: I was not lifting correctly, though I tried. Now I am learning to lift properly!
Back to retail. One customer claimed, when I was 16 and had only worked at the place for six months, that I should know the price of everything in the store. He was upset that I couldn’t give him a price, without help, on an item that he chose.
Another time, I had a female customer tell me I should get a stock boy to do my job. She was mortified when I told her I was the stock boy (girl, of course). I complained to my manager and told him we should be called merchandisers and that it was hence forth.
You might say that I had the ego, well, I had to prove my worth!
“I demand you get me the item I want now.” That was always a good one when an item was out of stock. As if I could go in the back room and majick one up or something.
As exciting as this is I am near the end. I shall continue my rant another time!

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