25 Thoughts That Only Retail Workers Will Understand

So even though I have moved on from working in a retail/supermarket environment, I never fully understood how frustrating it was for those behind the counter until I worked at Sainsbury’s for just over 2 years.

Let’s face it, we as customers can be very annoying and irritating from the moment we walk through those front doors to the moment we end up on the checkouts. I have had my fair share of awkward and incredibly annoying customers who I have just wanted to swear at but couldn’t.

Here are some of the thoughts I and most of my former colleagues have and will continue to have:

  1. The timeless “Oh it didnt scan, it must be free then” phrase when we fail to scan an item the first time – No it’s not free, nothing is ever free! Barcode is still readable regardless of it being 20 number long and having to manually enter it!
  2. “Do you work here?” response – No im just wearing the Sainsbury’s uniform for the fun of it
  3. We HAVE to ask if you want help with you packing! – there have been a number of occasions where an elderly or disabled customer has approached me and they have right out refused. So much for being polite then
  4. The damn right ignorant customers! – 90% of customers will not say anything and will just be rude and as a result, I have on a number of occasions just shoved their shopping the other side!
  5. “Your name is from an Elton John song” – ok so my name is one of Elton John’s song, the number of times I have had to hear this was annoying when you’re repeating it at least 10 times on every shift.
  6. “Let me know when I’ve reached ££” – many customers have a limited budget and fair enough they ask us to let them know when they reached their limit. But when they decide to mess everything up and get asks to void 50% of their shopping, this is frustrating as this is recorded again your colleague records as well as holding up the customers behind!
  7.  “We couldnt see you from the high packed display shelf” – Truth is sometimes we want to hide from you and there may be the odd occasion, very rarely though that we decide to lower our chairs to catch a break #ItsAHardLife #SorryNotSorry
  8. Last customer on sunday hours! you’ve had the whole day to do your shopping, dont come in at 4pm when we all want to go home on time! That too with a full trolleys worth and millions of coupons that wont work!
  9. The “Sorry this voucher doesnt worth of the product you’ve brought” – SIMPLY READ THE GOD DAMN SMALL PRINT!
  10. “Flour’s leaking, can you get me another bag” – So you want me to hold up the entire queue to go swap your bag of flour because its leaking? Newsflash – FLOUR ALWAYS LEAKS. Deal with it
  11. That one regular customer who is knows just about everyone on the checkout floor
  12. ‘Oh that’s odd, there is money in there’ reply when you telling a customer that their card has been declined by the bank.
  13. “Sorry Basket only till” -No it’s not okay for you to bring your entire monthly shop through my basket-only till, the sign is there for a reason, people!
  14. The long explanations of where at home the customer has left their loyalty card
  15. “I want to take all my point off” – telling a customer that there is a limited amount of points that you can take off for their shopping is one thing I hated to explain.
  16. The phrase: ‘I want to speak to your manager.’
  17. If you let your child use the self service tills, we will quietly hate you 
  18. We can spot a ‘savvy’ shopper a mile off – mainly because all their shopping is has reduced stickers on…which wont scan so your sat there typing each barcode in manually!
  19. Christmas is just the worst time
  20. “Im hungry” or the “ooh i want this when i finish my shift” – Lets face it, we’re all hungry when you are just there scanning peoples shopping or you come across something a customer has but then can never find it when you finish you shift
  21. “Leave heavy things in the trolley. We have scan guns that can reach” – not going to pull my back out dragging a box of 24/30 bottles along the belt!
  22. When people put their basket on the belt and don’t empty it while waiting in line — we hate that!
  23. “The self checkout is for your convenience”. Therefore yelling “I hate these things!” while choosing to use them of your own free will just makes you sound like a moron!
  24. “Oh wait, I had a £5 note, can i give you that instead of the £10 note” the moment you open the till – NO just no
  25. The “Not got ID” reply sorry cant sell you the item then


Im sure there are possibly others I have not mentioned so would love to hear some of your thoughts if you have ever worked in retail 🙂




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