How to not be a complete dick during holiday shopping season.

I love the holidays. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years help make the dreary winter months bearable.

I love the nostalgia, the candy and baked goods that you can only get once a year, and giving/receiving presents. There isn’t much in this world better than seeing someone’s face light up when they open a well picked gift from you. And I’m not just saying that to make this sound like sappy Christmas bullshit, I actually believe that.  It’s fun to get gifts, but it’s also lots of fun to give them away.

However, the boon of this season has got to be the retail shopping scene. Now, admittedly, I haven’t really paid that much attention to it, because I’ve never worked in retail before August of this year, when I got my current job.

Now that I have worked there a while, I would like to put together a list of tips one can follow to ensure they will not be acting like a dick this, or any holiday season. And really, most of these rules could be applied to year round shopping.

If you have any suggestions you think should be added to this list, feel free to send me an email at melodyevapope@yahoo.com. Just make sure to put “suggestions” or something of the like in the subject line.

How to not be a complete dick during holiday shopping season:
(These are in no certain order)

+I don’t care if you run into a small family of people you know that just happen to be in the store at the same time you are; do not queue near the checkouts to have an impromptu conference with them. Other people have to come through my line, and you’re in their way.

+I can’t speak for every store, but in most of them, the cart racks are pretty damn close to the doors you use to exit the place. Don’t leave your cart at the end of the checkout line, or better yet, in the middle of my line, blocking in the person after you. It’s not that hard to push the cart a few extra feet, especially if you only have one bag’s worth of items.

+If there are any items you don’t think rang up for the right price, please tell me before your receipt is printing out. If you wait until then, you’ll have to go to customer service to get that fixed. I would love to help, but once that receipt prints out, I offically can’t do anything for you.

+If you thought an item rang up wrong and you waited until I gave you the receipt to tell me, don’t act pissy with me when I tell you to go see customer service. It makes me uncomfortable and just makes you look like an asshole.

+On that note, don’t get all defensive and rude when something rings up wrong (i.e. clearance stuff that hasn’t been put in the system yet). Cashiers have absolutely no power over this. It would make our lives a lot easier if everything just automatically rang up right, so trust me, we would do something about this if we could.

+On another related note, don’t be impatient (i.e. tapping your feet/fingers, sighing, making that clicking sound with your tongue, etc) if we need to call over a manager to override something, or to check the price of something. Again, it makes us uncomfortable and just makes you look like an impatient jackass.

+Don’t get mouthy with me when you try to use an expired coupon. ‘Well it was out by the shelf:’ (i.e. in those coupon dispensers). Tough shit. You can tell me so I can have someone take it down, but that’s it. Again, cashiers have no control over whether expired coupons get taken down. Maybe if you paid a little attention to it yourself, we wouldn’t be in this position.

+When I’m holding out my hand to take your money, don’t plop your money down on the counter, right next to my hand. I mean, honestly. My hand is out, right down on the counter. Clearly, I am waiting to take your money. My hands aren’t that dirty. Money is dirty, sure, but it’s not like you haven’t already touched some. I’m not a leper. If I was, they probably wouldn’t let me be a cashier, so I think it’s pretty safe to just hand me the money.

+I know I already kind of said this already, but when there’s a long line or when something is taking a while, don’t tap your feet/fingers, sigh, make that clicking sound with your tongue, or etc. That’s not going to make the line move faster. In fact, that’s just going to stress me out and make you look like a little spoiled 12 year old.

+Don’t bitch about how there is only one register open. Again, the cashiers have no power over this. We don’t control when people come in, or how many other people are scheduled. Just because there are other workers here doesn’t mean they can just hop on any register and help.

+Don’t get mad when we don’t have an item that is in our ad. I can’t speak for other stores, but our ad is nationally released. That doesn’t guarantee that 100 percent of our stores will have an item Most of them will, but not all. Don’t get mad at the cashier for that. We’d love to carry everything you want, but we don’t have the inventory space for that.

I’d just like to add that when the training video you have to watch to work at most of these retail stores needs to add something in. When they tell you that you’re ‘the face of the store’ and often ‘someone’s last impression’ of the store, they forget to say that we also get a lot of shit for things we can’t control. Like the expired coupons, the clearance stuff never ringing up right, the old signs that don’t get taken down, not having something released in our NATIONALLY RELEASED newspaper ads. Talk to a manager about that shit. Don’t get angry at the little peons.

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2 thoughts on “How to not be a complete dick during holiday shopping season.

  1. LOL I do like the..I don’t have the plague comment because it is very true. I also am tired of people throwing things where they don’t belong..and literally. THROWING and item over the rack you just grabbed it off of? yes, yes it is my job, but wtf? Or tossing things on the floor. Or yelling at me when we dont have an item. Getting mad at me when the % off coupons don’t apply to gift cards or charity items…getting mad when the computer freezes up…or the day I said Hi to a customer and asked if she needed anything and she said “no, Im just out havin fun, please don’t ruin it…” Okay so ya bitch when no ones around to help but If I am here you think Im out to RUIN YOUR DAY? wtf…

    • That has got to be so irritating. Also, probably one of my top pet peeves is people who talk on their phone at the register. Unless someone you know just got into a car accident or something, nothing is so important you can’t fucking hang up and call them back when you leave the store.

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