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Shopping should be fun for customers and employees alike. But innocent oversights by shoppers can unintentionally make retail workers’ jobs tougher. From thoughtless messes to awkward jokes, even well-meaning patrons sometimes partake in headaches-inducing behaviors. Here are 18 common things customers do that secretly drive retail employees nuts.
Asking Where Everything Is
Aimlessly wandering the store trying to locate items and asking employees where to find things that could easily be found with signs or a quick search is time-consuming and reduces productivity for workers.
Not Having Payment Ready
Fumbling for your wallet or payment at the register slows things down for everyone. Having your payment ready speeds up checkout and is respectful of others’ time.
Leaving Frozen or Perishable Items Anywhere
Decided you don’t want that ice cream or steak? Don’t just leave it on a random shelf. It can spoil, leading to waste and extra work for employees.
Not Reading Signs
Stores often have signs indicating sales, store policies, or item locations. Ignoring these and then asking employees questions clearly answered by the signs can be frustrating for them.
Trying On Countless Items and Buying None
It’s okay to be indecisive sometimes, but trying on a mountain of clothes and not purchasing any can be disheartening for workers, especially if they’ve spent time helping you find sizes or styles. Plus, they have to spend extra time returning all those items to their rightful place.
Dumping Change on the Counter
When it’s time to pay, some customers pour out a handful of change on the counter, expecting the cashier to count it out. Placing money in the cashier’s hand is not only polite but also speeds up the transaction for everyone in line.
Ignoring Their Greeting
You walk in, they say hello, and you… say nothing. It’s a small gesture, but acknowledging their greeting can make a world of difference.
Leaving Items Everywhere
Found a shirt you don’t want? It’s tempting to leave it in the home goods section, but it creates extra work for employees.
Complaining About Prices
Retail workers don’t set the prices, and complaining to them won’t lead to a discount.
Can I Speak to the Manager?
Often, the issue can be resolved without escalating it. Give them a chance!
Ignoring Store Closing Times
Staying past closing isn’t just inconvenient; it’s keeping employees from going home.
Using Fitting Rooms as Trash Bins
Empty drink cups, snack wrappers, and discarded tags don’t belong in the fitting room.
Asking for More Discounts at the Register
If there’s a sale, it’s already applied. Asking for additional discounts can be awkward for everyone involved.
Phone Calls at the Checkout
Being on your phone during checkout can slow down the process and comes off as a tad impolite.
“It Doesn’t Scan? Must Be Free!”
Retail workers have heard this joke a thousand times. Trust us, it’s not as funny as it sounds.
Not Controlling Your Kids
A store isn’t a playground. If your child is knocking items off shelves, it’s a headache for employees.
Abandoning Carts at the Front
It might seem helpful, but leaving your cart at the front entrance can block others from entering or exiting.
“Back in My Day”
Comparing today’s shopping experience to the “good old days” isn’t constructive feedback. Times change!
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Michelle Harler is the founder of Guide2Free, a website dedicated to finding and sharing freebies, product testing opportunities, and other ways to save money. With over a decade of experience in the industry, her expertise in finding quality offers makes Guide2Free an invaluable resource for anyone looking to try new products and save money.