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Be kind series: Retail staff

January 5, 2016

I’ve decided to do a short series on how you can be good/kind to other people. These are simple everyday considerations which can really make a difference to someone. I often speak about leading by example so here are something I’d like others to consider.

Retail staff/shop assistants

Since we’ve just come out of the mad shopping rush of the festive season I can only imagine how many cashiers and floor workers got shouted at and belittled over things which really are not within their control. It’s terrible that shoppers have that feeling of superiority which allows them to act so badly towards another person.

Now, before I carry on I think it’s important to say that in store service is something I take very seriously. I want retail staff to be helpful and friendly. Customer service should be valued wherever you shop. I used to be a waitress and now work in a customer orientated position so I know it’s not always easy but it’s important. I get frustrated when cashiers don’t greet me or just shove the card machine in my face without even telling me how much I owe. I am the customer I should be treated with courtesy

That being said a shopper has no right to feel superior over a store worker. Yes, they are there to assist you but that doesn’t mean that they are inferior to you. Store workers should never be treated as idiots or plebs just because you are now in the “I am the customer” position of power.

The least you can do is to be polite. Ask nicely for what you’re looking for. Greet the cashier in return. Don’t patronise them or assume they’re going to pack your bread rolls under your wine or leave the price on when they wrap your gift. You also have to take responsibility for your own stuff and there are nice ways to communicate any concerns you may have.

So, use the next 11 months to practice being courteous during the festive season madness. I assure you that your levels of service will improve (because treating someone with respect yields a more positive response from them) and you won’t leave every store with a cloud over your head.





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