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AIBU to wonder why people are so rude to shop workers?

(103 Posts)
Hofty Tue 24-Apr-18 09:37:45

I work in a shop. For context it isn't a supermarket, it sells quite expensive gifts. This is relevant only because it's not a busy and stressful place to shop.

Yesterday morning a woman came in, it was very quiet and I was quite bored so I left her for five minutes and then went over and said 'hi, how are you?' she then preceded to lean into my face and barked at me 'I don't want to talk to YOU. I want to shop' whilst looking down at me like I'm a piece of shit. I walked away. I cried out the back though.

At a different retail job I had a customer actually scream in my face once because I didn't hear what they said because it was loud in the shop.

I also seem to get quite a lot of tutting and eye rolling for absolutely no reason from the general public, I could maybe understand that if I was making mistakes, but I'm not. I'm just serving them on the till.

So, AIBU to wonder why on earth customers are so rude to staff in retail?

Skinnyboneylittlepony Tue 24-Apr-18 09:39:16

Go onto notalwaysright.com - you’ll see you are not alone!

bookmum08 Tue 24-Apr-18 09:58:22

Ah my life for almost two decades. I would never go back to working in retail. I would rather work at a sewage farm!

tishhope Tue 24-Apr-18 10:05:11

Not everyone is rude to shop workers but yes I agree that in general actually people seem to be getting ruder than they used to be, to any and all workers who have to deal with the public. Look at NHS workers, teachers, firefighters etc etc

ludog Tue 24-Apr-18 10:07:47

I've said it before, there should be some sort of compulsory national service where everyone has to work in retail for a year, you feel so different about how you treat retail staff when you have been one.

MissionItsPossible Tue 24-Apr-18 10:08:35

People do seem to be angrier these days...

I’ve also noticed a decreasing lack of professionalism in shops by staff lately so it’s a two way street.

Bowlofbabelfish Tue 24-Apr-18 10:13:32

Anyone who is rude to shop workers is an arse. Some people, alas, are arses. There’s a lot of it about.

Having said that, I HATE being approached and helloed when I’m browsing. Absolutely loathe it. I will usually utter a polite fine thanks and take my custom elsewhere. It’s a real pet hate of mine.

Her0utdoors Tue 24-Apr-18 10:14:55

I put it down in part to how much coffee some people drink when they shop these days. If I saw a customer coming towards me with a massive vat of coffee in their hand, I'd pretty much guarantee they were going to be picking a fight. I've served my time in retail, and the world is a better place without me behind a till smile

dayswithaY Tue 24-Apr-18 10:16:40

But as a shop worker you are told to approach customers so what are they supposed to do? BTW shop workers hate it too.

plominoagain Tue 24-Apr-18 10:19:40

Because they think they can . Because you’re only a lowly shop assistant and “they pay your wages “

Same people who bitch about teachers having long holidays , police officers eating during a 12 hour shift , and nurses eating kettle chips at their desk .

madein1995 Tue 24-Apr-18 10:24:05

Because a large portion of the public are arseholes. There's something about entering a supermarket that makes normal rational adults turn into overgrown rude children. Overgrown children who tut at the disabled and elderly, shout at cashier, blame shop workers for lack of shop in store and generally behave rudely. There was a great thread a few weeks ago on the main gripes of retail workers. I think everyone should do 6 months working in retail. I bet customers would have a new-found respect for shop workers and behave decently in future

Lacucuracha Tue 24-Apr-18 10:28:01

I often stand up for retail staff against rude customers, knowing I can't be sacked. Or I just give the customer a death stare when they try to collude with me in being rude.

SneakyGremlins Tue 24-Apr-18 10:33:12

You do know if these people did six months in retail they'd say "I've done this and it was no problem, you're just incompetent" or something along those lines....

spatchcock Tue 24-Apr-18 10:33:36

I reckon it's a class thing. We've just moved away from the UK and DH (a builder) can't believe how much nicer clients are to him. Builders, retail workers etc are seen as lower class in the UK.

Obviously there are rude people everywhere, but there's definitely a certain dynamic in the UK.

angryburd Tue 24-Apr-18 10:43:06

@bowl rest assured we don't want really want to speak to you anymore than you want to speak to us.

tidiot Tue 24-Apr-18 10:43:24

I haven't worked in a shop but was a waitress - what people do not seem to understand is that as waiting/retail staff, you HAVE to ask customers if they're OK/need help. Some people are arseholes and that's their problem, not yours. Customer service can be a pretty thankless job, smile passively and moan about them once they're gone.

applesisapple5 Tue 24-Apr-18 10:44:41

That's really upsetting!! The way I used to get through it was thinking 'that woman has to go through her entire life being like that... what a truly miserable existence' really, I bet she is the sort that is constantly stressed and on edge, with no friends.

JenBarber Tue 24-Apr-18 10:46:08

Try being a care assistant.

Being hit, scratched and spat at is a daily occurrance.

RoadToRivendell Tue 24-Apr-18 10:53:10

Sorry to hear this, OP.

I keep to myself in more expensive shops because the amount of customer attention can be overwhelming and counterproductive. I tend to avoid eye contact, etc.

If I'm walking by let's say, something like Maje upwards and I see that it's empty, I won't even bother stopping. Can't deal with that much attention.

But I'd never speak to anyone like this in a million years. Some people are just twats.

Polarbearflavour Tue 24-Apr-18 10:55:48

Sometimes I am bored in my office job and think how nice it would be to work part time on a beauty/make up counter in Boots or be a train conductor. Then I read posts like this. sad

Many people are simply vile. I have worked as cabin crew and as nurse. Now I don’t work with people! I’m looking at an office job where I can work 4 days a week from home.

People look down on retail workers which is ridiculous. Most of us have to work for a living. A minimum wage retail worker on 15k is looked down on and people assume that an office administrator on 18k is higher up the food chain. It’s mad. And snobbish.

Rufustheconstantreindeer Tue 24-Apr-18 10:58:44

I cant stand it when i say hello and customers are rude to me

Just say hello back ffs

WhingyNinja Tue 24-Apr-18 10:59:35

Because some people are rude asshats! I wouldn't dream of speaking to anyone like that.

Knowivedonewrong Tue 24-Apr-18 11:01:58

This is why I work shift in a supermarket. No arsehole customers to give you shit.

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 24-Apr-18 11:02:41

Unfortunately you're also the only accessible part of the company. Businesses are having to work ever harder to cut costs, which means trim anything that you can get away with, and it impacts on the customer. So shop assistants bear the brunt of the frustrations the company is imposing on the customer, while those responsible for the decisions are snug in their offices with no direct line of communication.

Marieamy96 Tue 24-Apr-18 11:04:53

Yes and I found it changed my attitude to people in general. It made me realise how disgusting some people can be, and I have such a low tolerance to rude people now.

Now whenever I go to a shop I always make sure I say hello and converse with staff, I know how they feel!

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