31 Signs You're Working In Hell AKA Retail

31 Signs You're Working In Hell AKA Retail

Working in retail is a slow burning hell that slowly crushes your dreams but maybe that was just me. Retail can be pretty awful though. Sometimes you want to wear a t-shirt that says "Retail Workers Are Human Beings Too" when someone starts screaming at you or blaming you for their bad day. Don't even get us started on the employment laws that are broken regularly by retail chains:

1. When the customer asks "Can I have a bag for that?" even though they're holding 20 gazillion bags

2. The customer is always right... even when they're screaming at you

3. When you're asked to cover someone's shift on your day off and you promise yourself to never answer your phone again

4.  You definitely cried in the toilets at some stage of your retail career

5.  Every day in retail is a Monday


6. Being asked to come into work when you're sick is probably the only thing you can count on

7. Being fired for calling into work sick is a daily possibility

8. The HR department is basically no existent

9. Listening to the same music being played in the store over and over again until you know every beat, lyric and harmony and internally hating yourself for singing along

10. Being asked to work every day over Christmas 'cause people need to 'shop' on Boxing day even though customers could just 'shop' on the other 364 days.


11. Being on a zero hour contract and not being guaranteed actual hours is a constant reality

12. That feeling of pure rage when you're closing the store but a customer continues to shop

13. The disgruntled customer who quizzingly stares at you 'cause the queue isn't moving fast enough

14. The queue skipper causing WW3 with the disgruntled customer

15. That customer who complains about the price more than once even though you've no involvement in how much they pay


16. Working on the weekends is inevitable

17. The after hour staff meetings to discuss how to boost sales for a multi-billion dollar company when you're all overworked, tired and underpaid is a weekly/ daily possibility

18. Trying to work hungover and dealing with the public is a true skill and should be recognised as such

19. Having to ask every customer the exact same question, "Do you need a bag?", "Just tap!", "Would you like a receipt?", until your brain eventually ends up running on autopilot

20. Being handed a list of products to "fetch" for the customer and feeling like a lap dog.


21. Customers assuming you work on commission 'cause you're being so friendly but really you're signaling for them to help you escape this hell.

22. Not getting a break 'cause "your shift isn't long enough for a break"

23. That customer who asks you to check the back room when you tell them you don't have something in stock.

24. Your fellow workers who are on the same money as you but act like they're running the company

25. Cleaning the toilets even though it's not in your job description


26. Two words that can destroy any hope you have left: stock take

27. Being asked to carry heavy loads even though you haven't been trained and other people refuse to do

28. Nepotism is rampant

29. When you complain to management about a problem and they tell you to "just try to stay positive!"...

30. The terrifying side of humanity you experience when you put a "Sale" sign in the shop window

31. With all the worst comes on the good thing, the friends that get you through the living hell that is retail

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Garret Farrell

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