10 Things You Hear Working in Retail

By Justin Japitana on September 16, 2015

The relationship between college students and retail jobs is a bitter one — not because of the job itself, but because of the people we encounter on a daily basis.

From cashiers dealing with impossible customers arguing about an expired coupon to sales floor workers having to re-fold 20 pairs of pants because you were salvaging for a 32 x 34 in the shelf that was clearly labeled 30 x 30. As if a tidal wave of stupidity engulfed a horde of people and took away their common sense, us retail workers can only respond with sighs and shouts of “I can’t even” or “I’m done.” Let’s be honest, we’ve all had our own experiences in retail.

On a personal note, I’ve been working at Target for almost two years now as a multitude of jobs: cashier, guest service, and even cart attendant. I’ve had to deal with fights in my checklane, pickpockets, shoplifters, and even those people who put wrong price labels on items so they can get them cheaper, but somehow the only people who wear me down to the point of mental and emotional exhaustion are the multitude of customers who demand I honor their three month old coupons for a product that isn’t even sold at Target.

No matter your position or job in retail, there’s always that one customer who somehow amazes you that they’re even alive to begin with. And the way they ask you these ridiculous requests with a straight face has you thinking “You can’t be serious right now…”

Here are the top 10 most ridiculous things I have heard and had to deal with while I was either cashiering or working customer service.

10. “I’m 100 percent sure the sign said buy one get three free.”

9. “You’re telling me the previous person you rung up gets her groceries for free because she used a welfare check? How do I get one of those coupons?”

8. I was going through your clearance aisle and you only had one of these glassware sets. Do you have any in the back?

7. “I’d like to make an even exchange for this item. Do I have to get the item or do you get it for me?”

6. “Does your store honor Safeway coupons or Walgreens coupons?”

5. “The price of the TV is 750 dollars? I thought it was 300 dollars. Is there any way I can talk to your manager or someone in charge so I can get it cheaper?”

4. “I extreme-coupon a lot and if I’m right, all these items should be free and I get five dollars from you.”

3. “It says this coupon expired two months ago. Is there some way you can still give me the discount?”

2. “I know you’re cashiering and ringing me up right now, but is there any way you can run back to the grocery aisle and get an item for me that I forgot?”

1. “My total is 101.50? I only have 40 dollars, is there any way you can help me out?”

As a courtesy for your fellow peers working in retail, please be polite and patient. While their job is to help you, it’s also their job to be help everyone. So please for the love of humanity, don’t be “that” person.

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