Having worked in retail since the tender age of 16, and this having been the first New Year where I haven’t, it seems only right to see off my past career with this post. So here it goes – a small selection of realisations, types of customers, redundant questions and general horrors that I am sure every retail worker will have encountered, whatever it is you sell.
- The realisation that the customer is NOT always right.
In fact, they rarely are. If ever.
You can argue with me all you want. You still won’t be right, and the more you argue with me, the less inclined I will be to fix your problem.
It is quite possibly the most British solution to any problem faced. Stressed? Have a cup of tea. Ruthlessly dumped? Tea will make it better. What is the first thing people do when they get in to work – often even if they were late? Make a cup of tea. What’s the best kind of procrastination? Making a pot of tea.
I wrote this earlier in the week to post today before the terror attacks on Paris this weekend. I’m still going to post it, because given Friday’s awful events, the message I wanted to convey now seems even more poignant than it was 3 days ago – as humans we should be there for each other in whatever capacity we can be: whether than is in one individuals time of need, or an entire nations. The images of Parisians queuing up to give blood, and opening their homes to keep strangers safe shows how, as humans, we have a unique capacity to come together in times of crises. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt this week is that small acts of kindness can help us though dark days. #PrayforParis – but let’s also take a moment to remember other countries being affected by terrorism every day. We’re all humans, whatever nationality or religion we are.