Things I Learned Working in Retail This Summer

So, if you didn’t know this already, I spent my summer working retail at Hobby Lobby, and I learned a lot. I’m not really sure how to format this post, but I really want to share some of the things I learned, so I guess I’m just gonna go with it.

1. This sh*t is hard

Seriously people, you need to realize how hard this is. People tend to look down on retail workers, which is completely ridiculous, really. Not only is it extremely painful to be on your feet all day every day, most retail jobs require much more physical labor than you’d expect.

2. I’ll repeat it, this is not easy

Aside from the physically taxing aspects of the job, people are incredibly rude. Quit taking your bad day out on cashiers.

3. Read the fine print, please

This kind of goes along with #2, but basically, quit being rude to cashiers just because you didn’t actually read your coupon, or the sale display. You’ll save yourself a lot of time (and probably money) if you just read the fine print.


4. Stop arguing about sales

At least at Hobby Lobby, cashiers were required to memorize all of our sales. Plus, we always kept a cheat-sheet of the sales at the register. Yes, if something seems off, feel free to ask us about it! We are human and we make mistakes, but seriously, stop arguing on every item. We do (at least sort of) know what we’re doing.

5. Way too many people pronounce coupon weird

I don’t think I’ll ever understand why people say “Queue-pon” instead of “COO-pon”, but this is very much just a personal preference thing. (See, this is where my confusion on how to structure this post came from, because mostly these are do’s and don’ts, but I also have a few random observations to include. Bear with me.)


6. Get off your phone at the checkout

Most people like to assume that this is directed at teenagers or the dreaded ~Millennial~, but that’s generally not true. In my experience, middle aged women are the absolute worst culprits for this. And along that same line of thought…

7. Everyone’s a shoplifter

Okay, no, not everyone. But seriously, I didn’t realize how damn many people shoplift. It’s almost an everyday thing. And it’s every type of person that does it. The 6-foot-something buff dude, the tiny little grandma, the group of teenagers, anyone. This was one of the most shocking things about retail.

shopping cart

8. Carts break really easily

Especially when you’re walking through the store and leaning the entirety of your weight on it. Carts also aren’t super cheap, so it’s a little annoying to have to replace them when it would be so easy to avoid breaking them in the first place.

9. Put your stuff back where you got it

Seriously, if you pick something up, please for the love of God, don’t just shove it into a random rack across the store. Yes, I understand that sometimes, it’s literally across the entire store, but in that case, at the very least, bring it up to the register and tell them you changed your mind. It’s still annoying, but it’s better than thinking you’re done with returns, only to turn down an aisle and see 487 random items scattered throughout it.


10. Glitter never comes out of your clothes

No matter how many times I washed my ~super cute~ Hobby Lobby polo, there was still glitter in it. Christmastime is the worst for this (even though I worked through the summer, I dealt mostly with Christmas decor in the stockroom. Retail seasons are weird.) Also, I guess I kind of knew this one before working here, but it just became that much more evident when you’d spend hours on end sorting through glittery ornaments.

11. Corporate rules are weird

Like, really weird. From controlling the thermostat, to dictating what we can and can’t tell you about sales, our corporate rules are really strange, so please don’t get mad at your entry-level cashier over them. We can’t help it, and chances are we’re just as annoyed about it as you are.

12. We have absolutely no control when it comes to these weird corporate rules

It’s worth reiterating: your cashier cannot change the rules that are handed down from the corporate level. So, when a price changes, or a sale suddenly excludes things that never used to be excluded, don’t yell at your cashier. There is nothing–zero, zip, zilch–that we can do about it.

13. The customer is definitely NOT always right

You’ve probably heard that “the customer is always right!” but seriously, this is such bullsh*t. It would probably be closer to the truth to say that the customer is never right. Please stop arguing and just admit that you’re wrong. (That’s not to say that cashiers have a pass to be rude! Of course not! It’s just that this is literally our job, so we probably understand sale protocol better than you do.)

14. Say please and thank you

You’d think this should go without saying, but nope! People have terrible manners. Please, make a conscious effort to say please and thank you. We cashiers would really appreciate it. 🙂

15. Retail can be extremely rewarding

All in all, my retail job this summer was a great experience. I met some amazing people that began as coworkers and became friends. I got to help brighten someone’s day, just by listening to them. I was able to help people find the perfect item to make their house a home. I got to have so much more impact than I ever imagined I would through this job, and I am forever grateful to have worked with Hobby Lobby over this summer.

This may look like a post that’s just trashing on working retail, but it’s definitely not. I just wanted to draw attention to some of the things I noticed in my three months in retail, because many of these are things that I never would’ve even considered. So, the next time your in Walmart, or Target, or wherever, take a moment to appreciate your retail workers, because much of the world couldn’t run without them.

Have you worked retail before? Do you have any weird work stories? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay tuned for more updates,

xoxo, second sister suzie

3 thoughts on “Things I Learned Working in Retail This Summer

Add yours

  1. I worked at Lowe’s for 7 years and I always say that it should be required for everyone to either work retail or as a waiter/ waitress for at least 6 months. I think people would be a lot more respectful to other human beings.

    Liked by 1 person

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