The 9 Rules of Retail, 2020 edition

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Lulworth Cove © Chris Kotsiopolous

I wrote this in 2015. If anything, it’s gotten worse out there.

The customer is not always right. Sometimes, the customer is an asshole.

1) Christmas is on the same day every year. It is not the fault of the stores, the store managers, and/or the employees of those stores that items are out of stock three days before Christmas. It is your fault that you waited until 36 hours before dawn on Christmas Day to shop.

Let me say that again. It is your fault; yours, and yours alone.

2) Screaming at young people who make 19 cents above minimum wage over your lack of foresight, planning, and time management skills will not magically make this season’s hottest toys re-appear in the stock room.

3) “I swear to you, sir or madam, if we had any (insert name of this year’s hot toy here) left in stock, we’d have them on the shelves.”

4) “No, sir or ma’am. None of these cheap-ass toys are made in the USA. Or England. Or Japan. Or any other first world country where spoiled-rotten employees like me insist on earning more per hour than the cost of a McDonald’s cheeseburger.”

5) “That’s true, sir or madam. They’re not on sale. But we do have three left in stock. What’s that? They’re on sale at my competition but they don’t have any left in stock? Well, hell, when I don’t have any in stock, they’re not just on sale, I give them away for free!”

6) “No, sir. That’s a ham. It is not returnable.”

7) “How tall is your wife? You don’t know. Well, how much does she weigh? You don’t know? Then, no, I cannot tell you what size she wears. Sir, I am the manager and I cannot tell you ‘what the fuck is wrong with you people?’”

8) “No, sir or ma’am, we sell skis. We do not stock any handguns.”

9) “I’m afraid I don’t know what your future son-in-law whom you have not yet met would like for Christmas. Perhaps a gift card? No? You say you need something more personal?”

Yes, it’s like that. Be kind.

And Merry Christmas, and Happy Chanukah, and a joyful Winter Solstice, and Happy Holidays, and a most glorious Festivus to each and everyone.

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