Let’s talk about working in retail



In today’s post I just wanted to talk about something that bothers me. Some food for thought if you will. Some of you may do this or have noticed others doing this and maybe it’s just me overreacting but this is something that really grinds my gears.

I work in the retail industry and people come to order their food/drinks and a lot of people are in a rush so sort of grunt their order at you and throw the money your way. Working in this business i’m more than used to rude customers. On a day to day basis I probably serve more rude people than polite customers. A lot of people who come in see you as some sort of service robot rather than a human.

Anyway that’s not the point that I was trying to make (I’m so easily sidetracked). The thing that I was going to focus on, the thing that really gets to me is people who are on the phone/have headphones in whilst ordering/purchasing their items at a shop. Why can’t people just take out their headphones/hang up the phone for 2 seconds whilst I take your order? To me it’s the peak of rudeness. I just find it super rude and belittling as it makes it seem like i’m not ‘worthy’ of your attention or time. It may seem a bit dramatic to some of you but working in the industry can be so upsetting sometimes and make you feel so small when people are constantly just being blunt or making no conscious effort. I try hard sometimes to engage people in conversation and I don’t mind if they’re not interested because yeah whatever you don’t want to speak to me or you’re in a rush but there’s just no need to be rude.

Rudeness aside it’s inconvenient and makes the process slower especially when i have to ask questions/clarify your order and you can’t hear me because you have bloody headphones in. I understand maybe you don’t want to talk to me or whatever but the process would be over a lot faster if you would just actually engage in a conversation or be clear about what you want. Especially when people order the vaguest drinks like ‘a coffee’ so i’m stood there like ??? But they’re talking on the phone so have to just stand there like a lemon until they give me back their attention.


Newsflash – people who work in restaurants, shops, coffee shops and any hospitality are still humans with feelings and emotions. You being rude is not okay.

Another thing, when people can clearly see there is a queue and they’re trying to rush me – ‘ i have to get to work/need a train so make it fast’. You’ve just stood in a queue for 10 minutes, if you don’t have time then maybe just don’t go to a coffee shop?

I feel like people expect a lot of us and it can be really draining when you’re trying your hardest.

I’m sorry for such a ranty/negative post. It’s just something I wanted to share. I see a lot of tweets/posts talking about how everyone should work in retail once in their life and I so agree. People who have never worked in retail don’t know how challenging it can be sometimes.

Nothing irks me more than people who look down on retail workers, or people who take the piss out of people for having a certain job. I’ve had customers make comments about my education level and why I work in a cafe. Literally feel like saying if i didn’t work here then how would you get your coffee? So sick of people thinking it’s okay to look down on retail workers and then to want that service. Makes no sense at all. Do they think that places like Mcdonalds open on their own??

Next time you feel like being rude or insensitive to a retail worker please think twice about how shitty it can feel.

I’d love to know your views on this and what you think about this post.

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  1. March 15, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    Great points. We now live in a world where no one looks up from their devices: whether walking, talking, ordering, or even driving…and multi-tasking that involves texting or talking on the phone while also interacting with a real live person is the height of rudeness!

    • Grace
      March 15, 2018 / 4:33 pm

      Exactly, I think it’s such a shame that this is where we are headed. It seems like nowadays no one has any interest in being polite or having friendly chat. It’s something that really gets me because I just don’t understand how people can think it’s an okay thing to do! Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂

  2. March 15, 2018 / 4:47 pm

    Yes yes yes!!!! love this post! you tell em girl!xxxx

    • Grace
      March 15, 2018 / 5:12 pm

      Thanks babes, really appreciate it xxx

  3. March 15, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    I don’t understand how people have the nerve to be rude or keep their headphones in when talking to retail workers, if you want a service you should respect the people giving it to you!!

    • Grace
      March 15, 2018 / 5:14 pm

      Exactly, this is what I think! Not sure what is going through peoples minds when they do it to be honest, just fed up x

  4. Fatimah
    March 15, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    I can honestly relate so much! I am a sales assistant working at paperchase so things are slightly different but still get the odd rude customers coming in and just complaining about prices etc like please?! I don’t make the rules ugh xx


    • Grace
      March 15, 2018 / 6:55 pm

      Omg that’s the worst! When people complain about prices as if you have any say in the matter! Just don’t get what goes through peoples head xx

  5. March 16, 2018 / 2:18 pm

    I used to work in retail and so I can totally relate to this psot! I understand that people can have bad days but they shouldn’t take it out on people trying to help!

    • Grace
      March 17, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Yeah exactly like just no need to take it out on someone who’s just doing their job x

  6. March 16, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    Yes girl. I could write an entire blog just about my experiences as a server/bartender. Rude people are the worst, but don’t let them get you down!

    • Grace
      March 17, 2018 / 12:50 pm

      Aw it’s such an easy topic to write about as it’s something that really riles me up! Theres just no need for it at all! Thanks, will try not to x

  7. March 16, 2018 / 7:03 pm

    It was great reading about your perspective. I have never worked in retail, and I don’t understand how people can be so rude.

    • Grace
      March 17, 2018 / 12:51 pm

      I think when you’ve not worked in that environment it’s easy not to realise your being rude x

  8. March 17, 2018 / 8:48 am

    Ohhh I hear you! I have worked in retail banking and you would get people just shove their bank book at you and say “50” or whatever amount they wanted, no looking up, still with headphones in. So blooming rude. One thing I used to do, was just stand there waiting for them to look up and actually speak to me. I wouldnt carry out their grunted request until they showed some manners. It used to drive my boss mad but I was adamant. Try that. You deserve more!

    • Grace
      March 17, 2018 / 12:53 pm

      It’s so annoying isn’t it!? Like people want to just speak to you as little as possible and just get away. I don’t blame you to be honest, it doesn’t take much to just give a little respect. Thank you Kerry, will definitely try it out!

  9. March 17, 2018 / 11:58 am

    I see stuff like this happen so often and I always feel so so sorry for those who work behind a counter like that. I always struggle with placing orders and always go out of my way to try to make it as easy for the person I’m ordering from as possible.. 90% of the time I write my order down and just hand them the note so I won’t have to answer all of their questions. It probably seems weird but it works :’)

    • Grace
      March 17, 2018 / 12:54 pm

      Awww that’s so sweet of you to do, at least then it’s clear what you want! Like sometimes people are very vague about their order and just talk at you expecting you to know wht they want :/

  10. Samantha Leigh Kresz
    March 17, 2018 / 6:58 pm

    Great points! I worked in retail in the past and it is really hard and people can so brutal!

    • Grace
      March 18, 2018 / 9:56 am

      Yes people can be so awful sometimes and make you feel so low

  11. March 20, 2018 / 11:41 am

    It annoys me when I see other customers doing this. I’d always take my headphones or end my call before going into a shop to order something x

    • Grace
      March 20, 2018 / 4:02 pm

      Same here like it’s a small gesture but it really does make all the difference x

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