What People Don't Get About My Job: The Retail Clerk

"The customer is always right? Absurd."

The customer is always right? This is the most absurd statement that I've ever heard, yet I have to adhere to it day in and day out. I am not your personal shopper. I am not here to write down the numbers of everything you need and size you (or your child) for over $300 worth of clothing for you to then buy it online at a discount. I do not make commission when selling you boots, so please don't complain that I'm trying to get you to buy a more expensive pair. It's not my fault that the vendor hasn't shipped your order, and calling back multiple times per day to complain is not going to make it ship any faster. I am not here to babysit your kid when you drop her off in the store so you can go to your salon appointment.

What I am here for is to answer questions. To share my expertise. To prove to you that you're shopping at a store who hires knowledgeable, reliable staff who work hard to find you the things you need. So next time you're at a retail store, don't tell the person helping you that the customer is always right. Smile, explain the situation, and be sincere. It will get you much friendlier, helpful service from people who really do want to go the extra mile to help you find what you're looking for.

Lastly, remember the golden rule of shopping at a retail store: always put things back where you found them.
Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Business

Just In