Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Season's Greetings from Retail Land

Throughout my working life, both in retail and academia, I've endured any number of indignities: long hours, truncated lunch breaks, dirty looks, and the like. About two months into my most recent retail experience, however, I was on the wrong end of the worst insult I've ever received on the job.

Let me preface the insult itself by saying that I work in the beauty industry, and of course my employer has a makeup dress code, so I put a full face on every time I'm scheduled. Also, if you've ever met me, you already know the next part: I suffer from what the kids call Resting Bitch Face, and it's genetic; both of my parents look perma-stern. I've accepted this part of myself and moved on with my life. Some people, however, apparently have not.

This terrible customer, for example.

After insulting my brand, holding up my line, threatening me with a mention of my manager, and then berating me for not doing something I was explicitly trained not to do, one disgruntled customer decided that I was smirking at her, and the conversation took a turn for the even worse.

Cate: That's just the way my face looks.
Customer: Well, it's a terrible face for selling beauty.

Yes, the woman actually said this to me. But I have to be honest with you here. The insult itself is not what I found outrageous in this situation. Rather, it was her sense of entitlement. 

I'm not even going to expand on this, except for adding a single comment: DO NOT BE THAT CUSTOMER. Retail workers deserve better than that, and you were almost certainly not raised to be such a piece of trash, especially during the upcoming holiday season.

Please and thank you, from all of us to you.


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