Morality of Shopping

By Tanner Schmid

The Gaucho Gazette (Petaluma, California)

The general consensus among American citizens is that the retail industry as one of the worst jobs a person can take, just short of fast food and any job that is janitorial. There are many reasons behind this stigma that affects people both in and out of the retail industry. The perspective of the customer will always differ from that of the retail worker, with the exception of those who have worked or currently work in retail. However, just because the perspective is different, the level of respect has no reason to shift.

From the perspective of the retail employee, the world is always ending. There have been countless stories and memes about the types of customers that retail workers have had to deal with, whether it is the “Can I speak to a manager?” haircut, obnoxious prepubescent children, or simply rude customers who smack gum or talk loudly on the phone at the cash register.

There is no excuse for this terrible behavior.  The general reason for this behavior is high-strung lack of patience due to the fast world around them. The simple idea of having to actually talk to an employee and physically pay for what they want leaves them angry and grasping for words.

 Another possible reason for these types of manners could merely just be malice. While it would be nice to believe that all people have good in themselves, seeing how some people treat those who work in retail leaves a gap in that argument.

  Many adults also hold onto the idea that teenagers and children are the people who are rude and inconsiderate to those who work in retail. However, this is commonly not the truth. Many times, the stories are all about middle-aged and elderly people who are not helped immediately or are not able to find what they were looking for. Generally, teens and children by themselves are respectful and patient when things go awry at the register or elsewhere.

Countless options are available for changing how the common person treats retail employees. There is the obvious answer which is merely to learn the value of patience. Customers could also try to be more understanding and helpful instead of piling more work on the worker’s plates.

The retail world is an already a stressful place and employees do not need the extra pressure from shoppers. As a store goer, be respectful and manage behavior towards all retail workers. It should just be common courtesy.

Photo Credit: 1Flatworld

There is one comment

  1. thedevilsintheretail

    Great points raised in this post! I agree that retail can be such an emotionally demanding working environment as it is and a little bit of patience can go a long way. Many customers don’t realize that snapping immediately into an aggressive or rude offence with staff will achieve nothing when things go awry – retail workers are much more likely to solve your problem when you are understanding and helpful. We are running a campaign on our WordPress to help customers understand how the way they act can really impact on retail workers. Our latest post is about how customers can find value in managing their emotions and keeping calm and we’d love it if you could give it a read and tell us what you think! – Jennifer N

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