Bright Side

15+ Things That Irritate Shop Assistants That We Probably Don’t Even Know About


We’ve all been startled with the annoying, “May I help you?” in stores, but we should also try and look at this situation from a different angle. There are a lot of annoying things that shop assistants deal with too. And they ask us these questions only because of the rules they have to follow to avoid paying fines.

We at Bright Side have read some personal stories from shop assistants and found out that some of the habits of customers make their jobs and mood worse. And in the bonus feature, you’ll see a shop assistant that all clients are very careful and polite with.

Stereotypes we should finally stop believing

  • As we said before, the question, “May I help you?” is asked not because they want to be annoying but because they have to. A Reddit user that spent 4 years working at Zara says, “Greeting all clients and offering help is one of our duties. But sometimes we are so busy with our jobs that we just don’t have enough time for that.”

  • It is really annoying for shop assistants when clients ignore the offer of help and pretend that the employee isn’t even there.

  • From a retail staff’s point of view, there are only 2 reasons why you’re in the shop, either you need the item now or you need help as you haven’t figured out what you want yet. If you’re in the shop for more than 3 minutes, it’s clear you don’t know what you want and need help or you would have bought something already.

  • A salesperson that just started working shared one of her fears and said, “Oh, I’m so scared when clients ask me if something looks good on them. It is easy for me to tell my sister or my friend that she made a wrong choice but how can I tell this to a client that can complain to my boss about me?”

  • The customer is always right and the management of any store will always take the side of the customer. And no matter what the final decision is, the customer will be blamed for letting this situation happen.

  • Few people like when a salesperson’s recommendations are taken as attempts to sell unpopular stuff. Assistants are just doing their jobs. “We approach people often because they just need that extra help in making a decision,” one clerk explained.

The non-obvious bad things almost everyone does

  • “You can see the clients that aren’t going to buy anything. They walk around and look at all the things. They might touch something and take it to the fitting room but mostly, they just talk, watch something on their phones and listen to music.”

  • Nobody is happy to see a client come in 5 minutes before a store closes. Most of the time, by the end of the working day, shop assistants have started to sort things in order to go home on time.

  • “I’m a bit annoyed by the clients that take the same model but in different sizes. This leaves a minimal choice for other clients and if everyone does this, all the working time will be wasted on taking the clothes back to their places.”

  • What’s even more annoying is the phrase that even customers are embarrassed to say after trying something on for a long time: “I’ll think about it.”

  • “It’s very annoying when a shopper takes something and puts it back quickly without even trying to put it back neatly.”

Some innocent habits that make customers look rude

  • “When I see women with bright lipstick and a lot of foundation of their faces going to the fitting room with a bunch of white clothes, I pray they’re not trying on turtlenecks. After trying stuff on, there might be some stains that are really hard to remove.”

  • People that try on clothes several sizes smaller than they need worry salespeople a lot. They might tear or stretch the clothes.

  • Customers with children are a great risk for any store. Very often, parents either don’t watch their children or allow them to do a lot without even thinking about other people in the store.

  • People who just love communication take a lot of time and energy. “There are people who just come for help which is totally okay. But there are others who have a lot of time to kill and they just came to walk around. Unfortunately, it’s my job to answer their questions. They don’t really mean anything bad, they just need to talk to someone but it makes me feel annoyed.”

Things that are downright awful

  • The clothes that clients just leave in the fitting room are very annoying. It’s not hard to put them back on the hangers but it will make a shop assistant’s life much easier.

  • Nobody is happy to see a client with food or drinks that are prohibited in many boutiques.

  • People who come for a fight really exist. A Pikabu user that worked as a shop assistant in an underwear store for 2 years explained, “Arguers come at least once a day. Yes, shop assistants develop immunity against them over time but they still can be really annoying.”

Bonus: a bookstore clerk that has never heard anything rude

Have you ever done any of these things in stores? How did the shop assistants react?

Preview photo credit dobrze / flickr