retail workers

6 Types of Retail Workers You’ll Encounter This Season


NaBloPoMo November 2015

*this post contains affiliate links for which I could be compensated

‘Tis the season, and that means shopping.

Love it or hate it, you’re going to have to do some shopping over the next several weeks, and your shopping experience will feel somewhat different from the rest of the year.

Stores are more crowded, hours are extended, and the retail staff you’re used to seeing won’t look as familiar.

Retailers hire additional associates to accommodate the Christmas influx. There is no one “mold” of the types of people who will be working in your favorite stores this holiday, but there are a few general personalities you can probably expect.

Here are 6 Types of Retail Workers You’ll Encounter This Season:

  1. Tommy Teenager – Tommy has a lot of teen angst. You’ll recognize him by the bored look in his eyes – if you can get him to pry them up from his phone long enough. He doesn’t want to be at work, but quite frankly, Tommy doesn’t really want to be anywhere.Thanks to this job, Tommy will go on to hate Christmas for the rest of his life.
  2. Dark Daphne – Daphne is always brooding over a dark, existential, inner turmoil. She doesn’t work the Returns and Service Department, but sometimes she has to work a register. She has a general disdain for all humans, but her novel isn’t finished, so she’s stuck working with the public, and has to wear a company shirt that doesn’t match the rest of her black wardrobe. And fingernails. And lipstick. And soul.
  3. Rose Who Knows – Rose has probably worked there for 70 years. There’s a good chance she’s worth $20 Million, but she won’t retire because for some crazy reason she loves it there. You’ll never find Rose stressed out about anything. Rose Who Knows is very wise, so a long line of angry customers isn’t going to rattle her. She may not move too fast, but she’s an absolute delight. She’s also the only one who has patience enough to put up with Tommy Teenager and Dark Daphne.
  4. Efficient Earl – This guy was promoted to management his second hour on the job. He works long days, and has enough anxiety to keep him awake until April. He always knows what’s going on. Is your coupon valid? Earl’s your man. Can you use that coupon with another offer? Heck no! Earl is also the guy with the smack down about company policy. You’ll spot him a mile away because he walks faster than anyone else in the building. If you don’t want to be harassed about getting the store credit card, steer clear of Earl.
  5. Escaped SAHM – This woman doesn’t actually need a job. She needed to get out of her own home. Despite the fact that she hasn’t slept through the night in 4 years, never eats a meal while it’s warm, and doesn’t know the last time she’s gone to the bathroom alone, she’s thrilled to be around other adults for a few hours a day. Think her temporary status and lack of extensive training will fluster her when you get all “Kanye” on her about them selling out of what was in the ad? She lives with toddlers, she can handle anything. She.Will.Cut.You.
  6. Flustered Flo – Flo felt like getting a seasonal job was a nice idea because she was “looking for something to do” and was “excited about the employee discount”. Poor Flo gets easily confused, and was lucky she showed up to work on time. She was just disheartened to find out that she was supposed to be at another store where they wear blue shirts. Go easy on Flo.

I’ve always agreed with the philosophy that you can tell a lot about a person by how they treat the waiter. I think that extends to anyone in the service industry.

I know Christmas shopping can be a drag when it appears to be more stressful than it should have to be, but don’t take it out on the retail staff. They’re doing their best, and quite frankly, don’t make enough to put up with what they do.

Be merry and bright, people.

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