these holidays just might kill me.

As you know I have this super awesome job in a local Toy Store.  It’s OMG TOYS every day.  However, then you fill it with customers.

To quote Randal Graves, “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fucking customers.”

Okay, so that’s a bit much.  But seriously.  We get some people in there that should just stay home and order everything online so no one ever has to deal with them.  As I’ve mentioned to friends before, it’s like every day is a lesson in how not to be a parent.  It’s also interesting to see people’s spending habits, in that some people will buy gifts for practically anybody.

So, Erin recently shared her thoughts and tips on considering those who work in retail.  I greatly appreciated this.  And now, as a person in retail, I’m going to share some tips that can make your experience and definitely mine a lot better…

  • Be like Santa, make a list before you go to the store.  People seriously do this in store, and make stacks as they’re trying to decide between gifts.  Know how you need to get gifts for, how old they are, and somethings they like if not what they want.  Then when we ask if there’s anything we can help you find, we can not spend 30 minutes going over the ENTIRE store.
  • If you don’t know the kid/person, don’t get them a gift!  Seriously, do you really really need to get every little kid in your 5 year old daughter’s reading class a gift?  If you’re going to a party and don’t want to show up empty handed, then I expect you to have your kid do research as soon as they’re invited — find out what the kid wants and likes.  And if you still seriously don’t care about knowing they kid, then…
  • Trust our suggestions.  We know these toys.  Yes, I am still learning about some of them, but I’m with these toys for hours and hours and not only am I checking them out all the time but I’m learning from my coworkers who have more experience with the toys.  And if I need help, I ask.  Therefore, trust us.  If they don’t like it, they can return it.  It’s not the end of the world.
  • Don’t leave your baby unsupervised.  You take your purse with you all over the store, but you leave your baby in the middle of the floor.  This is only asking for someone to take it, because, hey, free baby… or for me to trip over the little brat angel as I’m either carrying armfuls of toys and games to restock the shelves, or am showing a customer around the store.  And no, the slightly older kid is not watching the baby.  That kid is running amok.
  • Manners, manners, manners! Both you and your kids!  Please and thank you! And never forget “I’m sorry, I’ll pick that up right now.”  And then pick it up and put it where it goes (ask me if you need help!)
  • Yes, it is my job to pick up and tidy the store after the hurricane that is your family hits.  But seriously, if you knock something over, pick it up.  If you don’t know where it goes, just give it to me.  And if you pick up a toy and decide you don’t want it, put it where you got it.  Not 2 feet away.
  • If you see that the staff just got in a shipment and is inventorying and pricing that item, don’t take it! If you want that product, ask if it’s okay to take it from the stack that we may or may not have counted or even put a price sticker on.
  • No, we will not hold your coat for you behind the counter.
  • Don’t take toys, games, or books into the bathroom — especially if there is a sign posting that.
  • Yes.  We took the price tag off before we wrapped it!

Okay.  Remember, it’s the holidays and you may be in a hurry, but we’ve also been on our feet for days on end.  Some of us don’t have another day off until Christmas.  Some of us don’t have scheduled lunch breaks and just have to take them when we can find them — even then we’re generally still standing.  (Side note: your friends that work retail will LOVE you if you stop by just to drop off food or coffee — we’d love to chat, but well, work.)

I still really enjoy the job and am still keeping a positive, can-do attitude.  Even with the troublesome customers, I’m doing my best not to let them ruin my day.  I’m not a jaded clerk yet.  Don’t turn me into one.