Things Only People Who Work in Clothes Shops Understand Too Well

After a two-year absence from the retail scene, I have returned to earn a little side cash for my Mustang (or, you know, something of that sort). I’ve done retail for three years in two different shops, and I have seen numerous shite happening while I was on duty.

These are just some of them…


Getting annoyed when your friends make weekend plans and you have to turn them down because you’re doing the closing at 8pm. Again.

"No, I can't get off early."

Being asked whether something is on sale when it obviously isn’t.

"Oh it doesn't say it's on sale? Well it's probably not on sale then."

“Oh it doesn’t say it’s on sale? Well it’s probably not on sale then.”

“Does it show a discounted price? No? Use your head, ma’am.”

When customers pick something up and don’t put it back in the same place.

How very CONSIDERATE of you.

How very CONSIDERATE of you for giving me something to do.

The importance of making sure every hanger is facing the same way.

And that every row of hangers is evenly spaced.

And that every row of hangers is evenly spaced.

The very specific pain you can only understand if you’ve been on your feet for more than 8 hours straight.

When you’re asked to explain the returns policy and you’re like, “SURE I’D LOVE TO READ YOUR RECEIPT TO YOU.”

Just don't buy things you don't want, OK?

Just don’t buy things you don’t want and we’ll both live.

The art of using a folding board correctly.

And then lining up every shirt perfectly.

And lining up every shirt perfectly, and in size order.

When a customer tells you to enjoy your weekend, even though you’re very obviously working instead of enjoying.

When a customer says, “You must be exhausted!” and you’re like, “YEAH, NO SHIT.”

When a customer comes out of a changing room and you have to tell them they look great even when they don’t.

Um, maybe if it were opposites day.

“That floral top with bright colours and studs all over is so in, ma’am!”

Being handed a shirt that someone has just tried on and left makeup all over.

Hating Christmas by Dec. 1 because you’ve been surrounded by decorations for MONTHS.

If you see one more set of flashing lights...


If you see one more set of flashing lights…

Not to mention never wanting to hear Christmas music ever again.

And then being asked to wrap all your family’s Christmas presents because, you know, you’re so good at it.

Damn you, gift wrap.

Of course, the only thing worse than Christmas is January sales.

When people take 1,000 items into a changing room and leave 999 of them scrunched up in a pile on the floor.

 Or they hand them to you thinking you have nothing better to do.

The moment you’re about to take a break and suddenly the shop is full again.




When all you want to do is sleep but all you’re allowed to do is greet.

"Hey! Welcome! Have a great day!" Bleurghhhhhh.

 “Hey! Welcome! Have a great day!” Bleurghhhhhh.

The intense fury that builds up inside you as a customer pays exclusively in coins.

Especially if they put the coins on the table instead of in your outreached palm.

"I'm not diseased. You can touch my hand."

When an item doesn’t scan and the customer jokes that it must be free.

"What an original joke. I have certainly never heard that one before. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL."

“What an original joke. I have certainly never heard that one before. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL.”

Finishing your shift at 6 p.m. and having to rest instead of drinking with your friends.

Feeling close to tears every time you’re asked to put together a window display.

People who are “just looking”.

People who are “just looking” two minutes before the shop closes.

"No, honestly. Take your time. It's not like your casual browsing is affecting my evening plans. OH YEAH IT IS."

“No, honestly. Take your time. It’s not like your casual browsing is affecting my evening plans. OH YEAH IT IS.”

When someone asks you to get your manager and you’re like, “Oh sure, I’d love to get my manager.”

"Because I'm obviously not capable of dealing with your very difficult problem myself."

“Because I’m obviously not capable of dealing with your very difficult problem myself.”

When a customer tries to use a discount voucher that expired three years ago.

"Can you READ?"


“Can you READ?”

Or worse, when a customer tries to return something that has very clearly been worn.

When you don’t know whether the card machine’s being glitchy or the customer just doesn’t have enough money.


FINALLY being given a weekend off, and being called at the last minute to cover someone else’s shift.

Like why. Why.

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From Claire's POV

20-something year old. Blogger. Aspiring writer. Teacher's Assistant.

2 thoughts on “Things Only People Who Work in Clothes Shops Understand Too Well”

  1. Haha I spent so many high school and college years working in retail and all of these are so so true!! ALTHOUGH, I was the minority and I looooved working retail during the holidays, somehow never got sick of decorations or Christmas music haha

    Liked by 1 person

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