Things You Should Know Before You Go Shopping


Blogging about Crazytown ( “a.k.a. Wal-Mart) the other day got me thinking about customers in general. I’ve been in retail for a long time. It’s a thankless job at times but it’s never boring. You get to see a really diverse (i.e. crazy) bunch of people and acquire skills that will enable you to survive the Apocalypse. Customers in general are not bad. They come in, get what they want, and get the f–k out. Very few are considered awesome. Then there are those who can wreck your entire day and make you lose faith in humanity. The following is for them:

Things You Should Know Before You Go Shopping

1) Stores do not employ babysitters. Staff are hired to generate sales, maintain merchandise, and ring through customers. DO NOT let your kids run amok like the inbreds that they are. They can get lost, fall down, or even worse, GET TAKEN! Furthermore, don’t ask them to discipline your kids. I had a customer once ask me to tell her daughter that she was “being bad”. Like that is not going to screw with her head? Honestly.

2) Make sure you have enough money. It really sucks to scan in a gazillion things and then have to either delete items or do the transaction over because some numbnut does one of the following things:

(a) forget that they’ve already reached their account’s daily limit

(b) forget that a check can take up to five business days to clear

(c) leave their wallet in the car

By the way, if your credit card/debit card doesn’t go through, maybe you should stop shopping. Forever. Clearly you have no money management skills.

3) Cashiers are not therapists. If you’re asked “How are you?”, please don’t go into how your father died or how your ex-girlfriend cleared out your bank account. It’s a little awkward.

4) Stores have no control over system crashes. If the debit machines aren’t working, the problem is usually at the bank end. This can happen when it’s really busy (i.e. Boxing Day). Too many transactions can overload the system. Please, for the love of God, always have an alternate form of payment.

5) Speaking of debit…it is NOT the same thing as cash! This applies to refunds. Paid in cash? You get cash back. Paid by debit? It goes back onto debit. One of these tenders involves a plastic card. That’s the difference.

6) You can’t use someone else’s credit card. Yes, some stores don’t check to see if the signatures match. They are stupid. Read your cardholder agreement. Actually, I’ve saved you the trouble. I’ve provided an example from Visa:

You will not allow any person whose name is not embossed on a Card to use a Card or the Visa account. If this happens, the Primary Cardholder will be liable for all resulting Transactions and any interest, fees and losses incurred, even if the other person was a minor or did not comply with any limitations you placed on their use of the Card or Visa account.

The key point is “whose name is not embossed on a Card“. Verbal permission or a note does not allow someone to use another person’s card. Stores check for your protection. If you want your teenager or wife to use your Visa/Mastercard/American Express, get them their own damn card.

7) Speaking of credit cards, SIGN THE BACK! And, don’t get all huffy if you’re asked to show ID. I had a customer get all condescending when this happened. “I just got this card” she whined. That’s nice. But I don’t know if you applied for this card legitimately or fished it out of someone’s mailbox. This is for your own protection. Better yet, sign the back and add “See photo ID”.

8) Staff don’t set the prices. They have absolutely no influence over how much an item costs. Zip. Zilch. Nada. You can complain until you’re blue in the face. But that $50 top is still $50. If you think you’re being gouged, lodge a complaint with the head office. Better yet, don’t shop there.

9) Codes are always needed. You may know that the price is $9.99. The clerk may know that the price is $9.99. The person next in line may know that the price is $9.99. A code still needs to be entered. Save everyone the aggravation and only bring up tagged items.

10) Read properly. If the sign says “$20 and up”, it means that not everything on that rack is $20. Duh.

11) Customers misplace merchandise all the freaking time. Just because you found that cashmere sweater on the “75% Off” rack does not make it so. Don’t go postal on a cashier when they tell you the actual price. It’s not their fault people are stupid. I had a customer tell me that it was false advertising. Yeah, except that the item had a sticker with the correct price. There’d be some chlorine in that gene pool.

12) Have a little respect. Walking into a store is like walking into someone’s house. Time and care is put in to make it presentable and inviting. Would you go to your mother’s place and throw her things onto the floor? Would you dump your snotty tissues and empty pop cans wherever you wanted? No? Then don’t. Employees don’t get paid enough to clean up after you.

OK. I think I’m done. I could go on I’m sure. But ranting is for crazy people. I do feel better though. By the way, what do you think store staff do on their breaks? Bitch about sh–ty customers. Don’t be one of them.


About myra36

parent, housewife, advocate, diva
This entry was posted in shopping and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Things You Should Know Before You Go Shopping

  1. darkeve says:


    I’ve alway felt sorry for the poor salespeople, some of them are terrible of course, but they’re mostly good.

    Speaking of wallmart, My sister lost her daughter for 3 seconds last week there and the salespeople there were of great help..

  2. myra36 says:

    thank you! i think that some people forget that sales staff are people too or have forgotten what it’s like to have a “mcjob”. I’m so happy that your niece was fine. that is the scariest thing in the world to lose your child, even for a few seconds. props to that wal-mart!

  3. kb29 says:

    Thank you thank you thank you. I can agree with all of these things that most people don’t even think about.

  4. sgottahurt says:

    You are absolutely right, of course, compared to my Scroogeman post. I was writing more tongue-in-cheek anyway, because my aunt pulled that line out at a Verizon phone store.

    She wanted to get my cousin a new phone, but the contract expired Dec 29th. They wouldn’t give her the new price and told her to come back after Christmas. That’s why she called him that, and it worked.

    I used to be in retail, and even being a consumer, I do respect the employees. Many of my friends are still in the biz.

    People overall could always be nicer, but alas, they do not. Not many people think beyond themselves, hence, them being asshats.

    Happy holidays, and I hope more people follow your advice than mine!

  5. dontai says:

    This is a very funny post. As a former retail worker I can so relate. It’s amazing how bonkers people can get when spending money.

  6. lizbang says:

    Lovely. My favorite line during my days at Target was, “I did not make up this rule to ruin your day, I have to apply the same rules to all of our guests”. I may also have been the supervisor you did not want to cross with your Christmas return in May. I’ve been known to get a bit short…

  7. myra36 says:

    dontai – Thanks! It never ceases to amaze me how some people behave in public. If they could only see themselves.

    lizbang – I love your line! I’m guilty of being short with customers too. Do they not know how idiotic they’re making themselves look? I wish I had a dollar for every customer who didn’t understand why I couldn’t give cash back for a return without a receipt.

  8. alorea says:

    OMG, love this! Can we post this to the entrance of like, every store? It’s funny how working in retail makes you very aware of the quirkiness of the general public.

    Add to the list: If the store closes at a certain time, leave by that time! You’ve had your opportunity to shop, now it’s our turn to clean up this mess. You know that straggler that always seems to be the last person to leave your party well after everyone else has? Well, that’s you right now!

    • myra36 says:

      Thanks for dropping by missprettyname!

      We’ve had to deal with so many stragglers! We’ll have the doors shut halfway and they’re STILL coming in. I almost feel like asking if they’re there to help clean up. LOL.

      Take care!

  9. Pingback: I Kid You Not « TinyYetMighty

  10. materix01 says:

    Awesome post
    Can’t wait to get my first job.
    Actually I want a job, even if it’s minimum wage…
    As long as the moolah is coming, I’m happy to put up with crap.
    Although knowing me, I’d prob be making my pocket money tutoring people’s kids after my final highschool exam ends in 2 months.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s