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7 awkward conversations familiar to everyone who has worked in retail.

For anyone who has worked in retail and customer service jobs, we’re all aware of the phrase ‘The customer is always right.’ And we’re also aware that phrase is actually a complete lie.

There are many trying aspects customer service jobs – whether it’s dealing with a child throwing a tantrum because they didn’t get the right Happy Meal toy, or having a customer yell at you in front of the whole store about a situation clearly out of your control.

But there are also the aspects of working in retail where you encounter having very strange and bizarre conversations with people. We’ve brought you some of the best.

1) The customer who indulges in sexual innuendo.

Some customers think they are rather hilarious when it comes to puns or jokes of the sexual nature. While it’s awkward pretty much all the time, it can also be increasingly weird when you’re actually employed as a Santa’s helper during the Christmas shopping peak. Exhibit A:

Kid: For Christmas, I want XX, and XX and XX and XX…

Santa’s Helper: That’s a lot of things. I don’t think Santa could fit all of that in his sack.

Parent: I bet Santa’s sack has fit inside you before. *laughs*

2) The customer who is always angry at the staff for something beyond their control.

Staff being yelled at for a situation that is 100% out of their control is just another day in the retail industry. While the customer vents about how their triple-shot latte only having 2.8 shots in it, you can guarantee on the inside, the staff member is basically like this:

3) The customer who tries to pay for everything in a ridiculous amount of shrapnel.

Well, we’ve all been there. Trying to desperately get rid of useless 5 and 10 cent pieces. Some people however take it to the next level and seem to effectively get rid of their whole piggy bank… even for transactions over $50.

4) The customer who tries to return items….years after they bought them.

We heard a story of a customer going into JB Hi-Fi, trying desperately to return his singles he had bought years earlier. ‘Singles?!’ You ask, perplexed. You know, the $4.99 you’d save up to spend on a shiny CD that only played 2 songs. Why anyone would want them past 2002, we do not know the answer to.

5) The customer who treats you like their new best friend, and divulges too much information

Quotes overheard vary from; “She likes it when I do this” (grab’s girlfriends arse in the middle of the aisle) to “He’s f***ing late to everything. When he gets here, you tell him, that I’ve had enough. Give him his ticket, and just let him know not to bother even trying to sit next to me!” (after turning up to the movies and finding out husband is M.I.A).

6) The customer who is very wrong, but you have to pretend they’re right.

Whether it’s a price issue, an opening hours argument or any other ridiculous kind of debate, sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is pretend the customer is right, when they clearly are so very very wrong.

7) The customer who is convinced they know when the world is going to end

To wrap it up, I was told by a guy the other night that the world was going to end on February 7th, 2015… Nuclear weapons are to blame for the record. Also he feels really good about this because he decided to cut down his hours at work, to enjoy life more.


Have you ever worked in retail/customer service? Do you have any awkward stories to share?

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