You would think that most of society knows how to act in a retail, food, or any kind of store.
There is the exception of children and well, drunks, but for the most part, people are expected to act like well-behaved human beings. From my experience, that is not always the case. Here are some ways you can check yourself on if you are shopping like an adult.
1. Be Clean
Believe it or not, it is not the job of the person helping/serving you to pick up after you. In a store, all the employees want is for you and others to be happy. Nobody is happy if they walk in on a destroyed store with trash and items not where they are supposed to be. I am not trying to say “clean the store”.
But please do not discard unwanted items on the shelf above you after walking around and debating whether or not you want it for the last twenty minutes. Either leave it on top of the pile you took it out of or give it to a cashier when you are ready to check out. It makes everyone’s lives easier not searching for an item that is not where it is supposed to go. If you don’t remember where something is, go ask an employee they will gladly take it back or show you the location!
Employees really do not want to touch a tissue you just used. There are usually at least two trash cans throughout the store. Please discard unwanted trash in those bins to help us keep a cleanly store.
2. Be Polite
Working in the food industry, as well as the retail industry, I have learned that if a person is polite all I want to do is help them have a good experience. It makes me happy to help someone, but when someone comes up to me already in a crummy mood with a matching attitude, all I want is for them to go away. Just remember, we are all humans. Humans make mistakes.
If a cashier forgot to give you your change, it is not because they want to swindle you out of money. If a sales person is trying to upsell you, they are most likely required to ask you these questions. If an employee asks you not to run in the store, it is probably for your own safety and others (I’m looking at you, lady in the baby blue shirt and talk-to-your-manager hairstyle).
Also remember that though we are there to provide customer service, we are not servants.
3. Be Ready When You Go to the Register
Please finish your shopping before heading to pay. Having the cashier wait while your partner looks at two more things only makes for awkward small talk and an irritated line of other customers.
Also it is very helpful if you have your money or card out to pay. Don’t be that person that dumps out their whole bag to find two dollars.
If you keep your money in your bra or in your sock (many of us do we all know it) have the money out before you reach the cashier. I work in a desert. It gets really hot, and people get really sweaty. I would like to pretend that the damp five dollar bill you just handed me got water spilled on it than know the truth. In this instance ignorance really is bliss.
4. Read the Signs
Signs are put up in stores for a reason. The reason is not decoration but information. The Entrance says ENTER HERE and the exit says EXIT. The menu is above our heads, and no we do not have hamburgers at a place that only sells drinks (I’m looking at you, angry old bald man who REALLY wanted food at our establishment. I don’t care if “We should sell food.” We don’t. Soz). The line starts where the sign says ‘line starts here’ or ‘please wait here for the next cashier.’ Not on the other side.
Reading signs makes everyone’s lives easier. Things are organized, and the easy questions are answered before you even get to the register.
5. If You Are Going to Make Jokes Be Original
I love jokes. I love to laugh (#I’MFUNNYGUYS). If you come up to me, and I’m working, and if you make me legitimately laugh, I think you are just over all an awesome human being. However some retail jokes are extremely irritating and awkward.
Please don’t make the “it must be free” joke if the tag isn’t on the item. I guarantee that those serving you have heard that joke at least 3 times that day. It isn’t funny. We do not want to fake a laugh just to provide customer service. Don’t ask if we have an item you know we don’t, and then laugh. You know the answer. “Bet you get that a lot” Yes…yes we do.
If you follow these simple rules, you should have a good experience shopping. I know it goes both ways. Some people do provide awful customer service. Know that it is not everyone, and one bad experience should not allow you to treat someone else awfully.