Annoyances: Miserable shop workers

Okay, before anyone tells me or gets annoyed because they were/are someone that works on the tills in retail please know that I have only felt the need to write this because I want to make the world a better place! Well, actually because these things seem to have happened quite a lot to me recently and it’s time to make a stand! I’m sure there are many lovely, happy and well mannered people out there but they are certainly not behind the tills I have been buying things at!

I get it, you’re probably being paid a naff wage, you can’t sit down and your manager probably makes your life hell. But please, please just crack a smile!

  • ‘Next customer please’ said in the most uninterested voice possible. It happened 3 days ago and I was in fact the ONLY customer in the entire shop. The girl managed to ring my shampoo and toothpaste through, take my money, tell me I was 9p short and then give me my receipt ALL WITHOUT MAKING EYE CONTACT. That’s impressive. Impressively rude.
  • People who continue their conversation about what they’re wearing that night/who they’re texting/what they’re having for dinner etc with their fellow shop assistant whilst serving me. Even worse when both of them are serving someone. I really wish I had enough guts to tell them how rude they are. If it happens again I just might. I don’t even talk on the phone when I am at a till being served. In fact I don’t even leave my headphones in if i’m wearing them, even though I have muted whatever I’m listening to. Common courtesy people.
  • Checkout people in shops who comment on almost everything they ring through. It can get awkward (in Boots, buying maternity pads ‘oh so how long ago did you have your baby? the post natal bleeding is the worst, eh?’)
  • When you get given your change with the coins on top of the note/receipt. All you’re doing is holding up the queue because I then have to somehow extract the note from under the coins, without dropping them, then get it all in my purse whilst holding the shopping bag you just gave me (and possibly manoeuvring the buggy one handed) Please, just give me the coins to shove in my purse, then the note.
  • “Do you want a bag?” me: “no thanks”… gets given shopping in a bag. This annoys me for two reasons, firstly why ask if you’re not going to listen to me? Secondly, think of all those bags that get given out unnecessarily! save the planet, people!
  • Please say thank you, or at least good-bye! It makes such a difference, and I always thank whoever served me even if they did it all without eye contact (more fool me, eh. Clearly too polite for my own good)
  • Snotty noses/dirty hands/general smelliness. I really don’t want to buy things from someone who has their shift times scribbled all over their hands, or dirt under their nails, or who is wiping their runny nose with the back of their hand, or worse still sniffing it all back up. URGH.
  • People complaining about their boss/the company to me. This is common sense surely, yes you may have a problem with the situation, but don’t talk about it in front of customers, and definitely not TO the customers. I know why the lady in my local post office left, came back and is thinking about leaving again. This is all information I would really rather not know.

Anyone had any more to add? If you enjoyed this you might want to read my rant about facebook too.

10 thoughts on “Annoyances: Miserable shop workers

  1. Loved this post! I worked in retail for a good 3 years and now I notice when all of the above happens to me, and I hate it. However, customers can sometimes be equally as awful, my major pet peeve, people talking on the phone whilst you’re serving them and not getting a word out of them/eye contact, bleeeeh.

    Sophie x

  2. The change/note thing drives me crazy. I used to work in McDonalds and would only do it if I was on drive thru, so the note didn’t fly away in the wind!
    Primary seem to be the WORST offenders, ticking off everything in your list. Last week I had to most miserable woman serving me and I made extra effort to smile and be SUPER HAPPY and I think she picked up on it because she got really awkward.
    It really irritates me because, yeah there ARE some idiot customers you need to deal with but after 6 years in McHell I learned to fake a smile and a cheery voice and then go laugh about it in the office. Not hard! Xo

  3. I’ll admit working on tills isn’t for m, but my god I hate it when they carry on their conversation the entire time of serving you, only to stop to accept your money and carry back on. The note and change gets me too, oh and food shopping I’ve had a guy read the papers and magazines I’m buying before going back to scanning!? Lucy xx

  4. Love this! I have a real thing for customer service; I got trained in House of Fraser and rule number 1 was you do not have a conversation whilst serving a customer. SO rude! I just hate unprofessionalism (is that a word?!) in general. I had to return an online order the other day….(a) she told me I couldn’t do it instore (I could…she just didn’t know how/couldn’t be bothered and (b) she nearly had a breakdown telling me she hated doing returns, getting flustered and nearly crying! I was the most laid back customer she could have got, but jeez, I could have been a mystery shopper!! x

  5. Yikes, let it all out Lauren, haha! I loathe it when I have to cue behind someone having an almighty convo, it is so rude. In a PO once I waited over 5 mins for them to finish discussing so-and-so’s yaught. I couldn’t believe it, SO rude.

  6. Great post! I’ve worked in retail/customer service since I was 14. I started working in Woolworths at 14 whilst at school and from there moved on to my current banking job and have been there for 11 years. I pride myself on being AMAZING at customer service, always smiling, being welcoming and always being happy to help. It is MY MISSION to eradicate any instances like the ones you’ve said above. It’s why I mystery shop and why I moved into management. I love this post because retail people should read it, take note, and smile at work next time they’re in!

  7. I worked in Tesco for years and I think it has made me so aware of right and wrong customer service. I get annoyed when people throw food down the conveyor belt at you at rate of 10 boxes a second and get annoyed at you when you can’t pack fast enough! Also can’t stand when people don’t say pls or thank you. When this happens to me though, I make sure I’m overly nice to make them feel bad. When I went to Ikea last month, the woman scanned all my stuff and completed the whole transaction without talking once. She just pointed to the price on the till. Effing rude! So I made sure to say, ‘thank you so much for your help. Have a nice day’ – I got the dirtiest look but hopefully it made her think!! x

  8. You should come and shop in Lewes Waitrose sometime. There are two particularly lovely staff members, one of whom I was served by for the first time the other day. She was so sweet to the boy in front of me I assumed he was her grandson, but then she was equally nice to me! It’s impossible not to respond in (literal) kind when someone is so lovely; much better than being faced with rudeness. xxx

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