Retail is a very tough industry to work in. Whether you are walking in to the stock room looking for a tiny makeup brush in a slightly different colour than the one on the shop floor, or you are being berated by an unhappy customer about the line being too long (which is obviously your fault because you happen to be standing in the vicinity of the queue), you will find it hard to adjust initially to the industry.

There are multiple categories you can place almost every customer in when you work on the tills in retail. Here are just a few:

  • The storyteller:

This type of customer always begins a story as you are packing away their purchased items. Stories can range from “I hurt my back last week, and I was in the hospital for 10 hours” to more trivial things like “My cousins best friends sisters friend talked to Johnny Sexton for 3 minutes in Diceys you know”. The transaction doesn’t end until their story ends however, as you could be well packed up and ready for the next customer, but until they finish their rambling shit talk, they ain’t leaving.


  • The Nutjob:

These customers are much more frequent than you would think. This person is the type to go through their bag for their purse or wallet and find crumbs on the top of their bag. They then proceed to begin eating the crumbs, all the while making awkward eye contact with you (Yes this actually happened). It’s understandable if you really liked that chocolate bar you had before coming up to the till, but don’t start nibbling on the random crumbs you find on your person like a feral squirrel. Go off somewhere and eat it in a corner or up a tree you freak!


  • The complainer:

Probably the most frequent of all on this list, the complainer is the worst type of person on earth (No exaggeration). Fair enough if the person has a genuine complaint about a product, but don’t start complaining about every single thing you see. “This line is too long” (Well you shouldn’t have come at a busy time then), “That is reduced to a fiver” (No its not, you are just too blind to read it properly), “Another person told my child to be quiet” (Well they were probably acting the bollocks in fairness, they aren’t exactly angels at that age).


  • The arguer:

Why are people like this? People who will argue to the last, even if they are completely wrong. “I got this in the 50% off section over there” When it clearly came from the new product section. Then comes the most infuriating question of all time; “What happened to the customer is always right?”

Well actually,The customer isn’t always right, you are clearly wrong in this argument, look over there, there is about 20 of the same product over there on the shelf in the new section, you idiot.

“I would like to talk to the manager” they say as they can see they are getting nowhere with you. The employee is hardly going to turn around and say “Oh no please don’t, take the thing for free, just don’t call the manager, I beg you”.  The customer will then repeat everything to the manager that they said to the employee. The manager will repeat what the employee said before the customer threatens to take it up with management. A common occurrence in retail.


  • The Ignorant Bastard:

These are just annoying. They walk up to the till, throw whatever they have on the counter and say nothing. Depending on your mood, you might actually welcome the silence. Once the transaction is completed, they walk away without so much as a thank you. Its just ignorant and they are probably just a horrible person in fairness.

John McAuliffe