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Abuse of Retail workers

  • 21-03-2023 12:04pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,322 ✭✭✭

    I read this article on RTE about the ever increasing abuse towards retails workers. As someone that spent 9 years working in a busy supermarket and mobile phone retail, it sent a shiver down my spine. Dealing with the general public was by far the most difficult and draining job I have ever done because of the levels of abuse / rudeness / stupidity one would encounter on a daily basis.

    There used to be a Cries of Retail thread on the ranting and raving forum but not sure where its gone too, anyway it would be interesting to hear peoples horror stories if they are willing to share.


  • Registered Users Posts: 769 ✭✭✭Jafin

    I've worked mostly in retail since I was 17 (I'm 33 currently) and honestly I really love it. Of course I have had bad experiences and whatnot but I am currently the manager of a specialist shop where I work on my own 99% of the time and we're not super busy, so that helps. The worst experience I probably ever had was when someone came in with a product that they had clearly damaged far beyond the normal "wear and tear" and he just would not accept that I couldn't give him a refund or an exchange. He was yelling, threatened me, tried to ring his solicitor (who didn't pick up the phone) and eventually just kept demanding to speak to someone higher than me. My own boss was due to come in that day, luckily, so I told him what time she would be here and to come back then. After she arrived I took my lunch break and I have no idea what in the world she said to the customer while I was gone but the next time he came in he apologised to me and he has been nice as pie any time he has come in since then.

    Also people, when we tell you to hold on to your receipt we mean it. We're not saying it for **** and giggles. There is a process that has to be followed for returns and exchanges. A mantra I have adopted for my own life as a customer when dealing with people in retail/customer service is to always be a good customer first and foremost. You're far more likely to get help from someone if you're kind and decent. I will go out of my way to use any leverage I have if a customer is being genuinely nice about everything. If you're rude then I'm not bending any rules or going out of my way to help you beyond the minimum that's required of me by law/company policy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,937 ✭✭✭✭rob316

    Only abuse retail workers get is from little hitler management in large retail operations, I've worked in it for years and own a retail store.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,363 ✭✭✭cml387

    The Cries Of Retail thread was brilliant.

    The experiences seemed to fall into a number of categories:

    Failure by customer to accept shop is not open yet.

    Failure by customer to accept shop is closing.

    Failure by customer to accept that this is not the shop they bought the goods they are complaining about


    Breast and sock money.

    Failure by customer to behave with any decorum in changing room.

    Success by customer in having children but failure by customer to raise them properly or keep them under control.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,339 ✭✭✭✭Arghus

    Worked in retail for nearly twenty years and you do deal with a fair few headers, but, tbh, I always found 95% of people I dealt with to be sound.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,170 ✭✭✭✭B.A._Baracus

    Like others, I too have worked many retail jobs and I have come to a conclusion... you see most people are alright when they are getting their way. Items they want are in stock, enough tills open, you return their items etc. But the second any of that doesn't happen the feral arsehole comes out in people.

    Not all of course but so so many.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,945 ✭✭✭kravmaga

    Its not just Retail, that goes for all sectors where one has to interact with the general public.

    You will never please everyone, you win some you lose some.

    There will always be a percentage of the general public who behave like tossers.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,300 ✭✭✭dublinman1990

    I only seen one incident before the pandemic at a pharmacy out in Dún Laoghaire in where a customer was having an argument with the pharmacist in how to pay for their medicine.

    Other than that; I have seen no alleged abuse of retail workers taking place in my part of South Dublin.

    However it does give me a worry that, due to the cost of living crisis, there could be more people out there who could turn angry if things do not go their way.

    I do not like people having a confrontation with others while within a retail environment. I think the type of people who were brought up into that mentality do not have the proper inhibition to respect other people's private property and upbringing.

    We just have to keep ourselves guarded as best we can if it gets out of control.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,800 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    The onus is on the business to back their employees….

    one former employer had this policy…

    1. A client, prospective or current, ‘threatens’ a staff member, in person, on the phone or in writing…. They are barred from the property, prohibited from contacting the company and doing business there. Matter would be sent to security to be recorded and they would contact the Gardai if deemed appropriate..
    2. A client is verbally abusive towards a staff member or fellow client in situ, they receive one verbal warning… if attitude and behaviour persists withdraw service…

  • Registered Users Posts: 33,856 ✭✭✭✭Hotblack Desiato

    Professional whingers. RGDATA are the IFA of retail, but that's what their members pay them for.

    I always get a chuckle when they're mentioned in the news though, because you can't say "RGDATA" without saying "orgy".

    That said, the amount of complete dickheads in society has got totally out of hand in recent years and a cull is needed.

    Life ain't always empty.