The Daily Aztec

Retail’s advice to shoppers

by Nick Knott, Entertainment Editor

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Being a broke college student is rough.  Many of us without parental subsidies opt for a part-time job so that we can continue to enjoy the many different vices and pleasures we’ve come to love.

The balancing act between classes and work can be be difficult so students typically go for a type of job that’s accommodating, such as a barista, waiter or retail clerk.

I went with the worst of them: retail.  And every day I wish I had went down either of the other two paths.  What makes retail awful is the customers.  As much as I’d like to put full blame for that on soccer moms, coupon Nazis and the elderly, college kids prove themselves to be much worse.

I spent just over a year working at one of those huge one-stop-shop drugstore chains in a beach-city part of town that’s highly populated with college kids.  And it was awful, thanks to the kids my own age.

I’ve compiled a list of five faux pas that seemingly every college kid I encountered at work did.  Take notes people, please for the love of the retail gods take notes.

  1. Always have your ID ready

You’re always going to get carded when you’re in college.  I know you think the puny mustache you’ve been growing out since freshman year or the fact you finally matured out of your push-up bra certifies you to not get carded when shopping.  But it’s going to happen.  Don’t act surprised.  Don’t look at the cashier with a perplexed look wondering why you’re being asked to prove your age.  It’s the law.  We’re not going to risk our job so you can snag a 30-rack of Natty Light or some Skinny Girl Mojito mix without flashing your ID.

  1. Hang up the phone at checkout

Trying to do cashier for eight hours straight is rough enough as is, but having customers chit-chat on the phone while you’re trying to do your job makes it exponentially more difficult.  I’m trying to talk to you and tell you how much your total is for your purchase, and you’re yammering on about some sick tank-top you copped or how you met some girls at the beach who are “DTF.” Hang that phone up. Beyond the fact that it makes my job more difficult, it’s just plain rude.  You’ll be done and on your way shortly, just hold the phone call.

  1. Respect the line

I know this seems silly, but I will never understand why people assume that they’re the only one in the store shopping and there’s no line.  There’s always a line, always.  Half the time I see kids side-eye the line, fully knowing that it’s there, and then continuing to walk right up to the register to check out.  I mean, really? In what world were you raised where your time is more important than everyone else’s?  The funniest thing is, is that they’re always “surprised” when there’s a line.  Even at noon on a Saturday, kids are still surprised that other people decided to shop the same time they did.  It’s safest to just play by the elementary school rule: no cuts, no buts, no coconuts. Get in line.

  1. Don’t act a fool

Personally, I thought that once we all graduated high school there was no longer a need to constantly be loud and obnoxious.  Man was I wrong.  Is there really a need to walk into a store with your four “brothers” and yell obscenities at each other throughout the whole store? It just comes down to some simple respect.  Don’t run around the store, if you knock over something then pick it up and don’t harass other shoppers.  The store employees reap the consequences of your debauchery whether having to be the one to clean up your mess or take the complaint about you from another customer.  The less of a hooligan you make of yourself, the easier it will be for everyone.

  1. Don’t ask for the homie hookup

So I commented on your San Diego State shirt, since I go there.  That doesn’t mean we are now instantly BFFs and I’m going to cut the total for your weekend barbecue purchase in half.  And when I shut you down, don’t give me lip for it.  I don’t even know you.  There’s not even a way on the register for me to even throw in a hookup.  There’s no button labeled “homie hookup” where I can type in 50 percent off for you.  I know times can be tough, thus why I’m working at the crap store you’re shopping in.  Just don’t ask for a discount, it’s kind of tacky.  Well no, it’s plain tacky.
I know this list may seem like petty stuff, but if you haven’t experienced working behind a counter then you can’t really knock it.  Usually us college students stuck at these types of jobs hate it as it is, and we don’t need our peers to come through and make things even harder for us.  Just take a step back and show a little respect, that’s all I ask.  Now, have a nice day and see you next time.

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