It is with the greatest of delight and pleasure that I can say my last day of retail was Saturday, September 26th, 2015. Up to that point, I had worked in fast food or retail since my senior year of high school. Seven years. I can’t say it’s been grand, but it’s had its golden moments and life lessons along the way. Here’s a list of notable things I’ve gleaned from retail:
1. “Yes Ma’am” and “No Ma’am” or “Yes Sir” and “No Sir” are the most useful and most utilized words you’ll utter.
2. Stranger danger is overrated. Talking to strangers can be pretty awesome.
3. Some strangers are pretty weird and annoying, and you’ll regret talking to them.
4. Networking: Knowing people will get you places, so always be nice and friendly.
5. Introverts CAN fake an extroverted personality, but it’s exhausting.
6. I absolutely hate polo shirts. And I never want to wear khakis ever again.
7. Good attitudes are contagious, and people will be pleasant if you are pleasant.
8. Bad attitudes do no one any good, especially yourself. A bad attitude doesn’t teach anyone else a lesson.
9. People are weird when it comes to money.
10. Always treat workers in retail with respect and don’t be annoying.
11. Holidays are so materialistic. It’s gross.
12. It’s important to keep the team strong. Learn to like and get along with your coworkers, ‘cause customers and retail are crazy. You’ll need them and they’ll need you.
13. Listen. People need someone to talk to.
14. Smile. It breaks down barriers and melts the ice.
15. Small talk is normal and expected in the South. Just go with it.
16. Some people are nasty and rude for no good reason. It’s not your fault. Still be nice.
17. The men’s restrooms are often cleaner.
18. “The customer is always right” is the biggest lie ever.
19. Being able to do basic mental math is exceedingly useful.
20. Some people exude a sense of calm tranquility. They’re beacons of light in a busy world. Be that person for someone else.