24 Ways You Know You’ve Worked In Retail Way. Too. Long.


I’ve been working retail in one way or another for six years. Clearly that means that most of the time, I really enjoy it. I totally do! However, my time in the trenches means some days I stop what I’m doing in the middle of the store and think, “God, I’ve been working retail so long. It’s kind of insane.” Have you?

1. You hear cash registers opening and closing in your dreams.

2. In addition, you occasionally have nightmares about something going wrong at the store in your absence or a drawer being off a small amount of money.

3. Spider. Veins.

4. The feeling of that cushy pad behind the cash register on your poor, sore and tired feet is a bliss that cannot be described.

5. You can finish customers’ sentences for them. “Do you have the [popular item]?” You’re escorting them to it before they finish their question.

6. You know which customers to greet and which to avoid. For example, women in cowl neck sweaters are always high-maintenance shoppers.

7. You’ve gotten very good at saying, “That looks terrible on you” in much friendlier terms.

8. Going shopping at other stores can sometimes be stressful because you’re always absentmindedly folding piles of jeans and hanging up fallen items.

9. Nothing fazes you. Blood in swimsuit bottoms, underwear balled up in a corner, diapers in the fitting rooms … no big deal. Just another day.

10. You have friends at the food court and the closest coffee spot.

11. You look forward to Wednesdays instead of Saturdays because that’s when you’re off.

12. You know that having a Wednesday off is actually kind of great because grocery shopping and errand running is far more pleasant when the masses are at work.

13. A Sunday brunch may as well be a unicorn, so mythical is it to you.

14. Most of your friends work retail jobs because it’s much easier to sympathize. You have no idea what it would be like to work a 9 to 5.

15. When you have the same day off as your best friend it’s like a holiday.

16. You wish the “Eternal Sunshine” memory-erasing service was available in real life so you could erase holiday season each year.

17. Holidays don’t mean anything to you anymore because shoppers keep canceling them. Thanksgiving? Forget about it. Doesn’t exist. You work at 8 PM on Thanksgiving now.

18. You never pay full price for any clothes. Between your store and your friends’ stores, you don’t need to. Plus you know when to shop.

19. Your family members often say that shopping for big items like suits is better when you’re around because you know what you’re doing.

20. You’ve got strong opinions about the other stores in your vicinity.

21. You know you have to exercise BEFORE work. After spending 8+ hours on your feet, you’re not gonna want to do anything when you’re done except get drunk and watch TV.

22. You have a huge appreciation for dead silence. You have to explain to your friends that some nights, the last thing you want to see is another person. It’s nothing personal!

23. You’re the first person a friend will ask if she needs comfortable, last-all-day shoe recommendations.

24. The real enemy is teenage girls. Always teenage girls.