Confessions of a Sales Associate

Disclaimer: I’ve only worked in department stores. So I’m not sure how different it may be for some. These are just small thoughts on some common things that have happened to me. Maybe you’ve done this or if you’ve worked in a store it’s happened to you…

If you haven’t worked in a store before of course you’ll probably hate my post.  I know the common response is: “Don’t complain at least you have a job” or “Meh, you get paid to do that stop bitching about it.”

1)     I don’t understand why some people feel like complaining about the store to a sales associate.

Customer: “Why do you buy cheap hangers in this store?”

I replied to this person “I’m sorry” and smiled, but I’m sure that isn’t what she wanted to hear.

My actual response would have been: “I’ve been asking myself the same question lady. You can’t hang anything in these, this store is so cheap man.”

That would have probably gotten me fired.

I’m at the end of the food chain, seriously. If you really feel like something is wrong in the store there are managers and lead sales people in some stores.

2)     Don’t assume the sales person knows about: each product in the entire store (if it’s a department store) or fashion (some may know, some are just as lost as you are).

Customer: “I saw this pretty white dress last time I was here.”

Me: “Do you remember a brand name or where in the floor it was?”

(There are dresses in the dress department and dresses in the casual wear department- there’s also petite/ womens sizes which are different departments too)

Customer *suddenly angry*: “No, I just know it was pretty and it had no sleeves. How is it that you don’t know?”

I kid you not. I have had this type of conversation. Think for a moment, how many white sleeveless dresses there can be in a department store.

Also, I mentioned fashion…

“Do you think this matches with this?”

My thought process goes: “Did I watch Project Runway last night? Did I see this on a mannequin somewhere? Oh my god, I don’t even know how I matched the outfit I’m wearing!”

After what seems like an eternity: I smile and say “Yes, of course.”

Customer thinks I’m stupid and slow, but buys the item. Win!

3)     I can be a bit of a prude sometimes and sometimes there’s no easy way to tell someone they really shouldn’t try pulling that zipper up anymore: Lingerie department and dress department.


70- 80 year old customer: “Can you help me out of this bra?”

(Has the door 90 degrees open and after I unhook the bra she passes it to me, forgetting of course that there is no bra underneath that bra, I get flashed. Great)

I’ve also had the lady that thinks its ok to walk around half naked if she’s not done with the fitting room. No, not a 70-80 year old.


Customer: “Can you zip this up for me?”

(I’m not the skinniest person out there, but I know what size I am and I don’t fit in that size she’s trying to fit in)

Me: “I’m sorry, I can’t pull it up”


Me- Thinking fast for once: “Let me check for another size”

The awkward moment when THAT dress is the biggest size and you have no way of telling the lady that the women’s department may be a better fit. I feel so bad.

I think I’ll leave it there for now, I didn’t realize I’d make it so long. I hate long posts, then again most of my posts are kinda long.  I probably could continue writing about this until its a book, so I am stopping now.