Despite one in ten people having a career linked to retail, customers still seem to think they have the upper hand.
Like many students and young people my weekend revolves around my part-time job in retail. I stack shelves, I smile politely, I push trolleys and I loathe the time I spend there.
But, despite years of retail experience I was shocked by today’s events.
Today’s customer was too lazy to even leave her car in order to exchange a product which she had incorrectly purchased!
Instead she thought nothing of rallying a sales assistant over to her car. She then sent him to queue with her products at customer services and exchange them for her. Meanwhile she sat waiting in her car.
Now, I’ve had managers tell me the golden rule: ‘The customer is always right and when the customer’s wrong, the customer is still right.’
But surely this pushes the boundaries?
I admit that yes we are paid to serve the public and that customer service is central to retail work. But I do not remember a clause in my contract stating that customers may use us as common slaves.
When somebody believes that just because another person works in retail that their sole duty is to serve them and run to and from their car with shopping, there are some serious issues.
Customers seem unable to realize that a large proportion of people working in retail are in fact students, mothers, fathers and young people. We are not dumb and I for one refuse to be treated like a slave or butler.
I especially reject this treatment as even if I did run around after such customers, I am not going to receive any tips, commission or bonuses. After all, that’s the retail way.