Selling out

I’ve worked my share (hell, more than my share) of retail jobs, and I know how miserable they can be. But maybe I’m an oddball; I’ve always felt that if you take someone’s money for a job, you owe them your best efforts. And if you’re disgruntled, you don’t take it out on the customers.

With most of my jobs, I don’t view my employer as “the folks that pay my check.” They’re the ones who do the paperwork; the customers are the ones who actually pay my check. And they get my full respect for that (until they prove not worthy of it — and I’ve met a LOT of them).

As someone who’s spent a lot of time behind the counter, I’ve got my own “pet peeves” about people who work retail.

The biggest one is becoming more and more common. “Is that it?”

I’m giving you my money, you schmuck. I’m paying your salary. Could you possibly phrase it a little less condescendingly? “Will that be all?” Even a “would you like anything else?” would be preferable. “Is that it?” just drips “you cheap jerk.”

My second one is probably more annoying, but not as common. I was making a purchase at a convenience store when the clerk finally noticed me. He came up, rang up my purchase, took my money, and gave me my change without a word spoken.

Rather, without a word spoken to me. The whole time, I heard all about his estranged relationship with his father as he explained why he wouldn’t be passing a message on to him, despite living under the same roof. He did my whole transaction without ever taking the cell phone from his ear.

Anyone else feel like giving vent to their retail pet peeves?

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