Saturday, 14 November 2015

The Etiquette Of Christmas Shopping As Told By A Sales Assistant

I have a friend who doesn't write a blog, but she has asked me to share this on my blog for the amusement of Christmas shoppers and sales assistants all over the world. Enjoy reading

All though most Christmas shoppers are lovely, patient and polite it always seems to be the ones that are rude and abusive that you remember, these Christmas shoppers can spoil a sales assistants day. Of course although they 'only work in a shop' (yes that has been said to me before), they will act with professionalism and carry on the rest of the day with dignity and decorum but those few words will linger in their mind. A whole day of helping customers and going out of their way. Sales assistants don't deserve to be spoken to like they are at Christmas, although it happens all year long it seems so much worse at this time of the year. The sales assistant that you just 'dissed' or shouted at because you didn't get your own way is a real person with feelings and they always give the service that they would expect to receive in a shop, so please remember this year that a sales assistant is for all year long and not just for Christmas, so if you want to stay on their good side then be nice this Christmas period.
  • No matter how many different ways you ask if a product is in stock, It still won't be in stock! 'Can you just check again?' 'Are you sure that its not in stock?' 'Are there any behind the till?' 'What about if you just pop out the back and have a look' What do you think the sales assistant is going to do? magic the product out of no where? Nip out the back and make you the dress that your insisting she finds you? If its not is stock - then its not in stock! making a sale assistant check, double check and triple check is just taking her off the shop floor and she can't help other people.
  • Do not complain to the sales assistant about the same Christmas music playing over and over again on a loop, you may only have been in the shop for an hour, but the sales assistant has been there all day - do you want to guess how many times they have heard that same song? They would much rather play their Ipod music through the tannoy, but they are not allowed.
  • Shouting at a sales assistant because the present you wanted has sold out and its the week before Christmas, its really not their fault that you decided to do your shopping at last minute, you have after all had a year to prepare for Christmas. Buy gifts when you see them!
  • Do not be sarcastic to the sales assistant about having to pay 5p for a bag, it isn't them who imposed the 5p tax on bags. They are the people on the frontline selling you the products and more than anything they would love for a member of the government to come and try and sell a 5p bag without getting abuse from the customers. And really you have had over a month to get used to this idea! if you give a sales assistant a hard time over the 5p bag, she is likely to laugh at you when you drop the 20 items you insisted on carrying because you refuse a bag. A bag is 5p - deal with it!
  • Queuing- Yes I hate it too! BUT its Christmas and everyone has the same idea as you, they want to get their shopping. So its inevitable that you will have to queue to pay for your shopping. Again, its not the fault of the sales assistant, they could be a Christmas temp, new to the job and not as experienced as other members of staff. Avoid going shopping between 11am and 1pm, thats when all the workers nip out on their lunch to get their Christmas shopping, so you will get queues and impatient people. If you stand in the line and tut or huff and puff, the sales assistant will more than likely go SLOWER to wind you up more. Being negative to a sales assistant, isn't going to benefit you and tutting will not make the queue go quicker. A sales assistant also has to give customer service, so that involves welcoming a customer and giving them their undivided attention, you cannot rush customer service! quality is so much better than quantity. Many shops extend their opening hours to help ease the problems.
  • When your complaining about shopping at Christmas please remember that the staff in the shop are pulling extra shifts to make sure your shopping experience is a good one, they are cutting down on time with their own families over the Christmas period to make sure the shop is running smoothly for YOUR benefit. Quite often working extra hours is not optional, and they miss out on kids school plays and Christmas parties so that they can take abuse from unhappy shoppers because their favourite cookies are not in stock! Some leave their families on Boxing Day, so that the store can open because we all know you need that dress that has just gone down in the sale despite getting four new dresses for Christmas. THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL FOR MANY PEOPLE! So spare a thought for the sales assistant who is giving up a lot for you.
  • Please don't complain if there is nobody around to help you on the shop floor, saying you have waited forever and moaning isn't going to make a sales assistant appear any quicker. They are more than likely at the other end of the shop helping another customer.
  • When your being rude to a sales assistant, she may be smiling on the outside and trying to help you in a patient and calm way but deep inside she wants to punch you in the head!
  • The customer is not always right! these days we have CCTV to back us up when customers scream abuse over the Christmas period because we sold out of Christmas pudding weeks ago. The customer is not always right because more often than not, other customers will stick up for a sales assistant that they see someone being rude to. The customer is not always right, its just easier to say they are to avoid the complaint to head office and the customary £5 voucher being sent to the complainant. In reality the sales assistant wants to punch you in the head -AGAIN.
  • This last one is a bit of a tip for when your buying your shopping, the sales assistant knows whether you love your loved ones or not, she can read you like a book, she knows if your having an affair because of the gifts you buy for the partner and then you buy something else bigger, better and sexier  for 'a friend', Buying 'something cheap' or going in a shop and buying the first thing you see means no thought has been put into the gift. The sales assistant can feel the pain of the recipient opening the gift on Christmas day and having to smile at the ugly jumper they have just received. 


  1. LOL Excellent. The irate customer can be as stroppy as they like when waiting, but guaranteed they would want the superior service and attention you were giving that previous customer a moment ago when it is their turn. I don't think people realise that their moment of frustration they take out on the sales assistant can really put a downer on that poor sellers whole day. The moaner feels better and goes about the rest of their shopping but I promise you, that sale assistant will feel like crap for hours after, even if it genuinely wasn't their fault.

    Great post, I hope it causes a few people to take a moment and have a care with how they go about their shopping a little more, sales assistants are people too! Xxxx

    1. Well said Michelle, The sales assistants are under enough pressure at xmas with targets to meet etc xx

  2. That was a great read! I must admit I have seen some customers from hell when I have been out shopping and I have felt sorry for some of the sales assistants! I enjoy Christmas shopping and because I strat ear and have usually finished by the beginning of December, I miss out on most of the hustke and bustle and busy times.

  3. Enjoyed reading. I always avoid the busy times and go first thing if need to do any christmas shopping. Every one has to wait their turn patiently no matter who they are :-)

  4. It's stressful enough for customers being in a busy shop at Christmas and they're only in it for 20 minutes or so, I can't even imagine having to deal with it all day like shop assistants do!

  5. This is a great read and very true, it's a shame people don't think about the effects their words and actions have on sales assistants. Would be much better for everyone if people were polite.

  6. I don't go shopping, I cannot stand it, online all the way for me, and I still hate that!

  7. I think often people who are inexcusably rude to sales assistants are cowardly bullies because the sales assistant cant have a go back - they are enjoying showing off what they see as their superiority as a paying customer when really they are just showing themselves up . Christmas brings the worst out in this type of people as they have spent a day of queuing and crowded streets and see themselves as above that kind of thing
    (Kim Styles)

  8. Love it! I can think of nothing worse than working in retail at Christmas, I do feel for them. Especially the music - having the same things on repeat from (in some shops) just after Halloween until January must drive them crazy!

  9. It all comes down to a lack of basic manners. Great staff and fellow shoppers and the area with respect. It's decent and not difficult

  10. I love everything about christmas, just not the hustle and bustle of the crowds in shops so I tend to do most of my present shopping online now, although you do not get the christmas spirit online :( Great read!

  11. lol, This is all so true, as a customer assistant I had some horrible customers .... But although that christmas spirit is there!!!

  12. Great post - It seems that simple manners are being forgotten, not just at Christmas, but all year. Your friend should think themselves lucky they work face to face. People are a lot braver and more abusive when on the phone at home - They seem to forget they are dealing with a human being!!

  13. That was really funny - I think shoppers and shop assisants both need to have a good sense of humour this time of year


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