Everyone should have to work in retail for at least 6 months at some point in their lives.
It’s something you can’t possibly understand unless you experience it first hand. And I promise you, you will never shop the same way again.
All of us in retail have seen things that would make your head spin. And then pop off. There are the people who open the curtains & drape them across the towels to see if they match. And the ones who put every rug on the floor to see how they look under their feet, then leave the aisle looking like a U2 concert. And then there are those who wipe their kids’ noses on the clothing (it’s why you should always… ALWAYS… wash what you buy before you wear it. New clothes smell be damned).
Now don’t get me wrong. There are many shoppers who are genuinely kind & who appreciate when you help them. But there is also a daily, random weirdness that makes you scratch your head. So to get through the day, I end up saying things in my head to amuse myself about each situation because frankly, if I’m amused, it will just go better for everyone.
Customer: “I need a 2×8 runner.”
Me: “Ours are 25×84 inches.”
Customer: “I don’t know what that means.”
Me (in my head): “It means you should be shopping somewhere that doesn’t require basic math skills.”
I’m sorry I directed you to the wrong aisle, ma’am, but your accent made, “Where’s detergents?” sound like “Where’s da Trojans?” and, hey, who am I to judge?
You know people in my area really hate The Yankees’ A Rod when his picture won’t even sell for 75% off.
Would the brass polish you’re looking for be for your hair, ma’am?
If you know each other well enough to have this discussion in the aisle of your friendly neighborhood retailer, then you probably know each other well enough to have this conversation in the privacy of one of your own homes, away from the employee of the friendly neighborhood retailer who just wants to fold the towels. By the way, I’m glad your baby is finally able to latch on & that it made a big difference in how chafed your nipples are.
You can say “buffalump” as many times as you like, ma’am. I’m not ever going to know what it means.
Apparently on your planet it’s called “milk oil.” Here we call it “chocolate syrup.” Welcome to Earth.
This is an actual store, sir. Not a flea market. We don’t haggle.
Sometimes it’s the customers who inject the humor:
“I see boys clothes & I see toddler clothes. Where are the old fart clothes?”
Me, to a customer with a full cart: “Did you need help finding something?”
Customer: “No, thanks. I think I’ve found enough all on my own.”
Me: “Can I help you find something?”
Customer: “My husband… Wait! What am I saying? I have the car keys. This is my chance!”
And then there are the inspirational:
80-year-old Eileen is going back to college & came to the store to buy a computer desk & chair. “It’s just a number,” she said of her age. “If you stay engaged in life, you won’t grow old.” God speed, Eileen.