Friday, 18 December 2015

12 Things you should know when doing your Christmas shopping

This is the 5th year I have worked in retail throughout the Christmas period but it's the first time I have been in a clothes shop. During the past 3 and a half months since I started at the high end fashion store, I have noticed there are a few little things that really really irritate the staff. And, as we are approaching Christmas, I thought I would share these with you - everybody wants the shopping process to be as smooth as possible in this final mad week. So just you make sure you follow this advice, or you might find your Christmas shopping doesn't go as well as you hoped.

1. If we greet you as you walk in the door it's because we have been told to, not because we are going to jump on you and make you buy clothes
This is a common misconception. All you have to do is smile and say hi back and then walk on purposefully through. We are human beings who are fairly adept at reading body language - we can tell you don't need help without you saying 'I'm fine!' really shirtily.

2. If you mess up the rail I have just tidied, there is a possibility I might kill you
This all depends if you mess it up for a reason. It's perfectly ok to go through a rail if you are looking for a size to try on. But you people who just move the clothes around and then move on - murder may happen. I swear some people do it on purpose - they are on their way out, see me crouching, sorting a rail of clothes, come over, swish it about a bit and then run out the shop. Yeah you'd better run...

3. Ditto with the table
I have just folded a load of t-shirts and you pick up a couple, hold them up and then chuck them back down. I don't like you people either. In fact, I dislike you more. Do you know how long it takes to fold a whole pile of jumpers perfectly!!!!!

4. If all hangers face one way and you place it the other way, we think you're dumb
Are you stupid? It actually takes more effort to hook it across the rail from behind. We try to make it easier for everyone by having the hangers hook on forwards but no no, some people just want to challenge themselves.

5. Politeness is key
If you smile at us, say thank you and don't treat us like dirt, we will do whatever you want. In fact, we will basically be like personal shoppers, running around and finding bits for you. Be rude to us and be warned - most of us do own a voodoo doll and it may be used on you.

6. Don't tell me the products are too expensive
I don't care - I get a 50% discount. But do you think I have any control over the price? At all? Like I can text the CEO and tell them to lower it for you...get a grip.

7. If you are going to stick around until after closing you had better buy something
Anyone who comes into browse at 5.28 may be hunted down and shot....especially at Christmas when really all we want to do is go home and drink.

8. There is no such thing as a cleaning fairy
If you drop clothes on the floor, or spill something, it isn't going to magically disappear. Somebody somewhere is going to have to clear that up. And if it's me, I will not wish you good tidings or a merry Christmas

9. I will not be impressed if you give me a £20 note when you're only paying £1
Did you know torture is illegal? What kind of sick pleasure do you get from watching us scrabble around attempting to scrape together enough money from both tills to give you your change?

10. Flattery gets you everywhere
All those wonderful people who tell me I look lovely or am lovely and slim or lovely and tall...thank you...I am very insecure and your compliments are just what I need to hear sometimes. Especially if it has been a long day and customers have been hell. I will literally do anything for anyone, but I will give it an extra 100% if you are nice to me.

11. We do care
This might not be the same for everyone but I know in my particular shop, we are not going to let you walk out of it unless we have done our very best to help you look amazing or buy amazing gifts. If you look bad, we will (politely) tell you so. So politely that you may not even notice (eg. we would try and find you something else!!). And if we say you look good, it's not because we are working on commission, but because we genuinely want you to be happy and to look/feel amazing. It's called job satisfaction. So don't doubt and question us a million times about our motivation. It gets boring after a crazily busy afternoon...

12. We are people
This may come as a shock to some, but we Product Advisors/Sales Assistants/General Assistants/Fashion Advisors are actual human beings. Not robots, not droids sent from head office to do their business, actual people. Please bear that in mind when you are shouting about something which is out of our control. Or if we make a mistake. Or if our smile is more of a grimace because we have had a horrible day. We deserve the same respect that you expect from us. Yet how many of you give it?

Merry Christmas to you all and may your shopping days be merry and bright this week!

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