The Five People You Meet Working Retail


[vc_row type=”in_container” bg_position=”left top” bg_repeat=”no-repeat” text_color=”dark” text_align=”right”][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Graphic by Spencer Goff[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I left sophomore year with a nagging pressure to find a job. A couple of people I knew had managed to snag themselves a summer job, and I know that if I didn’t get a job soon, I’d be shamefully behind. The peer pressure finally got to me, and soon I found myself with a job at Aéropostale.

It’s been seven months since I started working at Aero, and I’d like to think that I’ve learned a bit about what it’s like to work retail. In particular, I’ve gotten familiar with the kinds of people that you see on the job.


The Moody Judy

This customer is the kind to complain to the most meak and pitiful associate about how “ridiculous” the prices are. They have absolutely no mercy, and it isn’t certain that they aren’t just serial sadists on the prowl for victims. If you come into contact with a Moody Judy while out shopping, you’re in the clear. A Moody Judy doesn’t have any real authority. But if you’re unlucky enough to be working your five-hour shift at the same time your local Moody Judy is out-and-about, beware: the Moody Judy will whip out the-customer-is-always-right card in the most obnoxious of situations.


The Clearance Vulture

I have an abundance of respect for this customer. They have a strength that I don’t have that allows them to spend more than 30 minutes in our store plowing through clearance bins and flipping through the racks of $3.99 merchandise from three seasons ago. The Clearance Vulture does a fabulous job of purging the store of old and neglected merchandise that you’d long thought had met its grave.


The Scavenger Hunt Girls

Speaking of animals that scavenge, there’s a new species of tween girl that has carved its own home in the mall demographic: The Scavenger Hunt Girls. Their origin is unknown, but they’ve made their migration to malls around the metroplex, and now they’re here for the long run. A flock of Scavenger Hunt Girls can be seen on any Saturday at Willow Bend taking pictures of themselves in front of clearance signs and with mall employees.


The Mom on a Mission

One of my personal favorites, this mom makes the sales floor her battle field. She knows what she wants, and she is not to be persuaded to buy anything she doesn’t need. In fact, she has a teen or two of her own, and sixteen-year-old sales associates with mediocre sales tactics have nothing over her. Only approach her if you’re willing to become her personal shopping cart because she’ll be more than comfortable lugging you from shelf-to-shelf and rack-to-rack.


The Eye Candy

At some point in your career as a 5p.m. to 10p.m. clothes-folder, you’ll lift your tired face from the stack of  jeans you’re folding to find the most beautiful person you’ve ever seen walking into the store. I can’t express to you the despair that this encounter will bring you, but luckily you’ve experienced enough disappointment working in the service industry to be able to survive it. However, if you see him or her walk in with his perfect sporty girlfriend or boyfriend, brace yourself for emotional turmoil.

At the end of the day, no matter how aggravating or heart-breaking working retail can be, it gives me a reasonable paycheck that makes dealing with difficult customers worthwhile.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]