Cat’s Rules For Retail Customers
(I wrote this back when I was in retail. Obviously. Many of my retail friends saw it when I brought a copy into work, but it bears publishing here, I think!)
1) When we ask “How are you doing today?” it’s generally because we are so bored that we’re desperate for any kind of socializing. Snapping in a demonic voice that you’re “just looking” is not the correct response and will probably ensure that you will have to crawl under the door to gain entrance into the otherwise locked fitting room. And then we’ll call security and put the tape on YouTube.
2) We have to ask if you’d like to open a credit account. Big Brother is watching us. Most of us will get fired if we don’t open at least one a month. Yes, most corporations are unaware that we’re in a recession. So please don’t pitch a fit and start accusing us of being banking Nazis, or we’ll add an extra 15% to your purchase as a grievance tip. And then we’ll call security and put the tape on YouTube.
3) Just because your little angels Bucky and Bitsy are cute in their matching outfits doesn’t make their public shrieking sound any less like banshees being hit by an ocean liner. The fact that you’re ignoring them while you browse in a zombie-like state says less about your saintly patience and more about how deaf your evil progeny have made you. If Bucky turns into Damien the second he sees the mall, you may perhaps choose to find an alternative means of bringing him into public. Such as an iron maiden.
4) There is nothing in this world you need so badly that you can’t wait until the store re-opens tomorrow to purchase it. Unless the store in question is an oxygen-machine retailer, take a shot of whiskey and cool your heels until 10am. Walking into our place of business 5 minutes before close just to browse is usually the best way to get locked in and have the security tape of your dumb ass sleeping on the Martha Stewart bed display wind up on YouTube. And yes, you make lewd gestures in your sleep.
5) If we’re helping someone, don’t come up and interrupt. While we’re sure that you will wet yourself if we don’t retrieve that Ed Hardy jacket off the top rack right this instant, this other more industrious customer got to us first, and you now have two choices: learn patience, or bring your own ladder. There’s a Home Depot down the block.
6) If you recognize the sales person as someone you tortured in high school, it’s probably best that you don’t ask her to assist you in selecting your outfit for that all-important job interview, or she may decide to get back at you for that whole “no one at this school will stoop to date you” incident and send you out looking like Lady Gaga on five hits of speed. Just saying.
7) We know stuff is expensive; we’re the ones who had to spend all morning putting stickers on everything. You, however, are the idiot standing there with yet another Gucci sports coat in your hand, griping about the price when there are perfectly good jackets elsewhere in the store that, while they aren’t designer, are just as quality and a lot cheaper. If you’re enough of a jerk to complain about the cost of a luxury item to the sales person trying to help you, you’re enough of a jerk for us to send Bruno from the stock room out to your Mercedes and have him push it into the food court.
8 ) Your home is not the fitting room. You have obviously been misinformed. The fitting room is actually right around the corner. If you don’t have time to try it on, you don’t have time to shop. There is a secret online record of customers who purchase three items, take them home and try them on, and return the two that didn’t fit. Every night, we retail slaves check the list, show the pictures to rabid hounds, and release them if we see you return to our store with the same bag we gave you yesterday.
9) On a similar note, if your dearly beloved hates shopping, we understand. Getting most men into a mall is like getting Fluffy into her cat carrier. So don’t buy him clothes. Once he gets to the point of having to leave the house naked because none of his clothes have fit him since 1994, he’ll make the pilgrimage. Until then, if you come in to purchase items so he can try them on at home, your name is on the list for Randy the Rabid Rottweiler too.
10) If someone has spent the better part of two hours helping you pick out the perfect pair of shoes for your blistered, calloused-up feet while you complained about your bunions, ingrown toenails, and the economy, don’t take your things to another department to purchase. More than one transaction won’t kill you, but a psychotic sales person who just lost their commission to someone in housewares because you had to have that Farberware knife just might.
11) On the other hand, we don’t all work on commission. We may recommend that more expensive pair of Calvin Klein underwear over the Hanes just because it won’t ride up your ass, not because we’ll make an extra two bucks on our paycheck for the sale. So take a breath, Rocky. Or else we’ll sell you the clearance rack tighty-whiteys that were recalled two days ago because they cause a rash.
12) The Antichrist has arrived, in the form of a soccer mom who waits outside the store door at 9am so she can be first in line to return the clearance rack shoes she bought her 13-year-old son two months ago that didn’t fit. It’s a great way for us to start a morning, and we celebrate making voodoo dolls in the stock room using the hair strand she left in the shoe box.
13) There is no need to punch the security guard because he doesn’t open the door right at 7am the morning after Thanksgiving. Truly smart shoppers know the sales on Black Friday are the exact same ones we had November 3rd, April 7th, and August 11th, and once the idiots who got up at 4am for the same prices that were there yesterday figure it out, the merchandise will still be there in December – at an appropriate hour for consumerism. If you’re that desperate to get 20% off a comforter that you would physically harm another human bring, you may be happy to know that you can get a brand new comforter free of charge in your local Happy Hyatt. Cheers.
14) When we ask if you’d like to be in our client book so we can call you about sales, it’s really because we want to call you about a sale. It’s not because we’re going to sell your number on the black market, find your house and boil a bunny in your kitchen, or are planning on drunk-dialing you every weekend. You’re not that hot. Unless your name is John Cusack, get off your imaginary catwalk and let us actually do something nice for you.
15) Most of us are not in retail because it’s the career we dreamed about as children. We’re in it because we needed a job and it was there. But since we ARE there, we’re trying to do our job as well as we can. The country is in a recession; times are tough, so let’s all make things a little easier on each other and be nice while out in public. Besides, between the iron maidens, foaming Dobermans, and voodoo dolls in the stock room, we don’t have any more room anyway. So don’t give us a reason to go buy that blow dart gun on eBay, and we’ll send you home happy and fifty dollars broker.