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Retail Etiquette 101: 7 Tips To A Smoother Shopping Experience

By Compelledbywords @compelledbyword
Retail Etiquette 101: 7 Tips To A Smoother Shopping Experience Okay, listen up!   This post has been on my mind for a few weeks now, but after the madness ensued at my store today, I simply HAD to finally get it out. I work in retail and come across hundreds of customers during every shift. Some of them make me adore my job, while others make me want to kill people. This post is specifically for the latter. 
Christmas is but a few short days away. A good majority of people are stressed out and running around like they belong in the looney bin. An even higher majority are doing their last minute shopping with only days to spare. If you are one of those people, I have a few "rules" that will help you get through your shopping experience with as little hassle as possible. Because if you don't heed my warning, you might come across a sales associate like me who will not hesitate to risk losing their job to punch you in the throat. Ready?
Rule # 1
If an associate greets you when you walk in the door, do NOT ignore them. Are you too good to acknowledge someone who is trying to be nice to you? No. I'm afraid you're not. Completely ignoring an associate who goes out of their way to say hello and welcome you to their place of employment with open arms is grounds for receiving attitude for the rest of your stay, period. They don't want to be there any more than you do, so try to be pleasant, eh?
Rule # 2
Look for the shopping carts before asking an employee where they are. There are three possible answers to your question. The particular store you are frequenting either doesn't provide them, all of them are currently being used (as you are not the only jack ass waiting until the last minute to do your shopping) or you just walked right past them in your mad dash to be first through the door. Do NOT interrupt me to ask me an asinine question that you could have answered yourself had you opened your stupid eyes.
Rule # 3
Once you've got your shopping cart and you're ready to go, take a breath and collect yourself. Scope out your environment and get a feel for what you need and where you need to go to get it. Do NOT bother me (for the second time while I have a line full of customers just as rushed as you) again to ask me where something is. More than likely, it too is right in front of your stupid face.
Rule # 4
This one could lead to serious injury. Regardless of whether or not I'm helping someone else at the moment, do NOT say "hey" or "psst" to get my attention and ask me another moronic question. Just because I work in retail does not mean I am lower on the totem pole than you. I am simply passing time at this crap job until I can find a decent one in the area that matches my COLLEGE DEGREE criteria. Excuse me is a perfectly good start to any friendly conversation.
Rule # 5
Now that you've failed miserably at your entrance, let's try to turn things around a bit. You're shopping and things are starting to look up. While picking up each of your items, take one second to be sure you have an item with a barcode (depending on the store you're at, of course). Majority of stores need the barcode to scan the item and sell it to you. You telling us the price doesn't change a thing. Do NOT ignore the fact that it has no tag and then get pissed off at me because I have to run around (or call someone else up to run around) looking for the damn thing. The situation could have easily been avoided had you paid any attention to what you were doing. The only exception is that it's the last one on the shelf and it had no tag, which is by no means your fault. But if you've broken any of the previous rules, we will assume it is your fault and continue to be hostile towards you. Or I will anyway.
Rule # 6
So you've picked up quite a few things already, then suddenly you realize that you don't really need one of the items. Do NOT just randomly place it wherever the hell you want. You don't have to walk all the way back to where you found it, but at least hang onto it until you're done and hand it to the cashier. It's a lot easier for them to put a basket of random stuff away at the end of the night than walk EVERY aisle looking for one or two misplaced items. Just because you're lazy doesn't mean everyone else wants to pick up your slack.
Rule # 7
Ah, the checkout. For some it is the home stretch of the shopping day. You've gotten everything on your list, you're going to make lots of people super happy with your amazing gifts, and you're ready to get the hell outta there. If your store is like mine, they use both shopping carts and baskets to hold all of your goodies. In my opinion it's stupid to have both, but whatever. No matter which means of transportation you decide on, do NOT leave it sitting on or right in front of the check out counter. Put it back where you effing found it! Seriously, we are not your maids. Is it not enough that we have to clean up all the crap you knocked out of place and throw away your stupid trash that has nothing to do with us? Just think, you could be the person who comes in later and has to WAIT for me to put that ish back, therefore causing even more hostility (in both of us)...
And that's all I have for you guys today. You know, sometimes I love my job. Well not this one, I actually despise it. But when I worked at the bookstore, it was heaven on earth. No matter how rude a customer was, or how big of a mess I had to clean up, I could honestly say I was content at the end of the day. I was surrounded by books and awesome people that I enjoyed working with. Now that I've moved to a new area where 80 percent of the population seems to have a stick up their ass, I'm miserable. I love some of my customers, but not enough to stick around for much longer. 
I hope you will implement some of my tips. Obviously I'm not talking to everyone in these little rants, solely the people who go into stores hell bent on bringing someone else down to their miserable level. I try to keep a smile on my face at all times, but it's hard when there are such rude and inconsiderate pricks constantly bothering me. I wasn't meant for retail, I know that now. And not everyone is. But still, try to be happy and let that happiness ooze out onto other people during this festive time of year. You never know when your attitude could help someone else feel better. All it takes is a little common courtesy. Because one of these days, I really am gonna shank a bitch.
Do you guys have any other tips you'd like to add? Tell me about them! I feel like I'm missing something but my brain is too tired to dig any deeper tonight.

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