5 Signs You've Worked in Retail for Way Too Long


Hello, how can I help you today? Oh, it’s just you. Well, after years in the retail business if your face is frozen with a perma-smile on it and you always end telephone conversations with “Thank you and have a nice day” then you might have worked a little too long in retail and customer service. However, it goes a bit deeper than that, let’s take a look at the signs that you have been working in retail a little too long.

1. You have a uniform

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More often than not, corporate marketers tend to slather the corporate identity all over everything they can and that includes you. If you have been so indoctrinated into the corporate cult, you might wake up one day open your closet and it’s completely populated with blue button up shirts and tan pants (tech geeks will know). The best indication that your wardrobe has been completely replaced with customer service looking garb is if fellow-shoppers come up and ask you where the PS4 games are, which you know even though you don’t work at that specific store.

2. You never argue

One thing that gets slowly ingrained into anyone that has been working in customer service too long is “the customer is always right”.  Eventually after that completely unfair axiom has been beaten into you, you find yourself trying to diffuse any argument by agreeing with the other. An absolute sign would be if the argument reached an impasse and you respond with “You know I completely agree, but let me get my manager”.

3. Ceaseless dusting


Usually, every single retail space requires a certain amount of dusting and cleaning in order to put products on display. Usually this is done during quiet times when there aren’t that many customers. But if you find yourself itching for a duster whenever you have a moment of downtime, then you might have been working in retail a bit too long.

4. Dialect

Certain phrases are often repeated in the retail biz “Yes, I understand your frustration”, “I’m sorry but it’s store policy”, “the restroom is through the T.V. isle to the right, all the way in the back”. If you find yourself using those tried and true retorts outside the workplace then you might have spent a few more years than you should pawning shoddy electronics for huge profit margins. Especially the bathroom one; why do you have a T.V. isle in your living room?

5. Scent

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If you worked in one of the many obnoxiously douche-y clothing establishments which walls are covered in huge semi-nude black and white photos and blares EDM then you might be slightly off-put any time you walk into a space and it doesn’t reek like a frat house on Friday night (before all the self-urinating and vomiting happens). Yes, if you find yourself missing the scents and sounds of what is basically a male-strip club with clothesthen I hate to break it to you buddy but you have been working in retail too long.

See also: 5 Struggles at Work Only Nerds Will Understand

Do you know of any other signs that you might have worked in retail too long? Let us know in the comment section below.