Stop torturing the tortured

We have all been there: you are waiting in line to buy something simple like a carton of eggs and the person in front of you is screaming at the cashier over something entirely out of his or her control. The manager comes over, it develops into a whole situation, and your quick trip to the market turned into a whole production because someone never learned how to be a rational person. 


In modern society, retail and food workers are mistreated far too often by customers who believe they have some sense of entitlement over the employee. Whether it be in a common chain or a local store, there is a constant chance that one employee or another will end up being mistreated by the customers they are trained to serve. As such, here is a semi-formal calling to be nice to retail workers.


The majority of employees working in retail are grossly overworked. Employees are instructed to stand on their feet for hours on end to help customers find the products they need. I have worked retail jobs where it is company policy to schedule shifts just under the legal amount of time for a required 30-minute break, solely to avoid giving their employees “unnecessary” breaks. To add, the pay for a vast majority of retail jobs is, legitimately the bare minimum. Retail workers are often paid minimum wage for work that often feels far more than the minimum amount of work. With these employees being underpaid and overworked, why do some individuals find it crucial to be hateful to employees who have ultimately no control over the purchases of the customers? If a customer wants to get mad over the price of an item, a discount that is not working or even a policy that the store follows, there is utterly no reason to blame the bottom level retail employee. These employees are just people trying to make a living or some side cash. They are not trying to have problems with any customers, so why create this unneeded confrontation.


As a person who has worked multiple retail jobs, if the customer is nice to the cashier even in the slightest, then we will do our best to decrease your total with some unknown or unused coupons. The sheer number of times that I have scanned a coupon hidden under the register for a customer who did something as simple as asking me how my day is going, is monumental. Retail workers are a vital part of society. Without them, the modern shopping system would crumble. Be nice to them, not only for their sake, but for your own well-being too. 

Photo: S. Warman

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