37 thoughts on “July 18, 2016

  1. How many of you get this question while you’re out shopping? It doesn’t matter if you’re dressed completely different from the actual employees, it will happen.

    Maybe walking with purpose and not aimlessly wandering around might have something to do with it? Clueless people seem to gravitate toward people who look like they know what they’re doing…

    • That is actually a great explanation and it helps me ‘cope’ with it.
      I ALWAYS get asked for help, no matter what store I am in or how dressed down (jeans, tshirt with weird pictures/print) I am!

    • Yes. Happens to me all the time. “Um, no, a longhaired guy in a Utilikilt doesn’t work for whatever store, wrecking yard, etc, that you happen to be in.”

      • They let you wear a UtiliKilt into a wrecking yard?!

        That said, I did see a pretty, (way to) young(, even then), blond girl on one of my favorite yards with her boyfriend wearing flip flops and no where near as much as John’s Kilt on her legs. Dad was kinda pissed that they let her in dressed like that (we’re in Suburban Chicago, rust happens……to everything!), then when he took my Kid Sister back to look for pits and pieces for the Jeep she owned at the time, and was dressed for the occasion (overall and full shoes, at least) and the guys let her in for free! Kinda made me think back and then wonder if they let not only let that other girl in for free, but with the lack of clothing in general, maybe let her Boyfriend in too?!

        • Tetanus is no joke. Always wear sturdy shoes at wrecking yards and scrapyards, wear gloves, and bring goggles and dust masks if you’re going to create airborne dust. No such thing as too much PPE. (I don’t even like wearing regular sneakers in yards…)

    • I have, and I’ve barely worked in retail (enough to know I’m not made for it). I always go in to my usual stores with a sense of purpose and tend to know my way around, so I agree that the less directionally gifted are more prone to ask someone like me.

    • I’ve always figured it’s an eye-contact thing. I’m so conditioned to look at customers in an open and inviting way in case they want some help that I catch myself doing it even when I’m not working.

    • Sometimes, I don’t even get asked. People just walk up and start asking me about merchandise and/or where things are at in the store

    • Happens to me all the time. I try to remember *not* to wear a red shirt if I’m going to Target, etc, just in case.
      Though, if I know the general direction of what they need I will say “I don’t work here, but it is that-a-way, a couple aisles over”

    • xD Sometimes i get the urge to just “read” my name tag and look out around the store and be like “Uh, yeah. I guess so?”

      or say one of following:




      “No, i just like wearing the name tag and polo for fun.”

      “Damn it, my cover is blown!”

      “Until I hit the jackpot.”

      “Not anymore.”

      “Does the bear shit in the woods?”

      “Until somebody makes me a better offer.”

      “Is the sky blue?”

      “Until I can get Taylor Swift to go out with and then write a song about me and then sue for attack on character.” (Too much?)

      I have way too much time on my hands 😐

  2. Not necessarily a dumb question. I’ve often found “shelf stockers” who worked for the company whose brand of products were being placed.

    • Actually a smart question. In places like WalMart, it’s quite common to find vendors stocking shelves, and unless you’re asking them about their product, they won’t be able to help you.

      • That’s how it was when I worked for American Greetings. I’d be putting merchandise out in my own section and customers would ask me where things were in the store and I couldn’t tell them. I didn’t wear any kind of uniform or name tag but they saw me working and I guess don’t understand about vendors who are only responsible for their own merchandise. After a while I did walk around and get an idea of where things were in the store so I could at least point them to the right aisle, but someone who worked there could tell them exactly where it was.

      • A better question in that case is “Can you help me?” No one cares about my employment status, they just want to get help finding something.

  3. A few years ago, I was working at my Retail job when a customer asked me, “Do you work here?”

    Unlike the VENDORS who work at my store, I was wearing the full company uniform WITH the company’s name on it AND my nametag, and the customer was standing only 5 feet away so it’s not like the guy was too blind to be unaware of what I was wearing.
    Anyway, I just stared at the guy and said one simple word to him:
    “I can never find any help around here!” he whined and stomped away.
    Let him figure it out the hard way, right? And I guess he never found out I really was a store employee because I never heard a word about that from my bosses or anyone else.

  4. Seventy-five miles from home, at a store in which I’d never before set foot, dressed in a shirt with cartoon characters on it, shorts, and flip-flops, I was approached by a woman who asked this very question.

    Lady, not only don’t I work here, but I’m on vacation this week, meaning that right now, I don’t work anywhere!

    What I actually said was, “No, I don’t.” She went off and eventually found a store employee (properly dressed, I hope). I went on my way, marveling at the fact that I look so knowledgeable and helpful that even on vacation, I’m still in “store” mode!

  5. Used to happen to me all the time

    I must admit I’m wondering when another story line will come along. It’s been a while.

  6. Two weeks ago I was at a store talking to a friend of mine who worked there. As he was going into the back room a guy tried to ask me something. 3 times he did not understand when I told him I did not work there. (Yeah I worked there years ago, but I was not dressed like an employee).

    I wish I was as lucky as one of my current bosses. He’s 22 and he’s known for his long hair. Most people don’t recognize him when he comes into the store on his day off in street clothes if he’s wearing a hat. It covers up his long hair. – It was a Thursday about 3 weeks after I started working the company. I was walking back outside and I saw a guy sitting on a bench wearing basketball shorts, a Plainville High School Hoodie, and a New York Yankees hat. I thought nothing of it. About 5 mins later I’m walking from the store to the parking lot and I hear my boss’s voice call my name. “Hey Marc.” I turn around and there was the guy I saw inside. I walked over to him and I was like “Gavin? Holy crap dude! I didn’t recognize you! Your hat covers all your hair and you look even younger. I’m sorry.” (At that time I didn’t know he was 21. I thought he was 25 or 26 and with his hair covered up I thought he looked about 18).

  7. The other side of the coin: Back in my pre-retail days when suit and tie were de rigeur, I got stopped regularly by other customers who thought I was a department store floorwalker. (If you don’t know what a floorwalker is, ask your grandmother; she’ll know.) 🙂

      • Floorwalker… best example I can come up with is Captain Peacock from “Are You Being Served?” Someone whose job it is to connect customers needing help to department associates who can help them.

  8. I’ve had customers complain to managers about me before and then refuse to believe the manager when he or she tells them I don’t work there.

  9. Customers have a sixth sense you work retail. I’ve been off work with no uniform and have been asked “Do you work here?”

    Also I was wearing my uniform that clearly states the name of the company from my store and I have been asked when I was at another retailer that doesn’t require a uniform!

    • I’ve been grocery shopping and had people ask me where things were…and I work in a clothes store. One guy once followed me around the store asking where the ice cream was. I finally said “Look in the freezer, or ask somebody who works here.” I finally had to get a manager to have the guy let me finish shopping…and show him where the ice cream was.

      • You should’ve told the guy,”Look,ya moron,IT’S ICE CREAM! IT’S COLD!! IT EVEN HAS “ICE” IN IT’S NAME!!! WHERE THE #$%& DO YOU THINK IT IS,@$$#0!&????” Or….something like that.

  10. Or the even better one: “Do you know where the bathroom is?” Or “do you have a bathroom here?” (We’re a LARGE retail chain)
    I’ve got some good ones prepared for my last day of work.
    “I don’t. 5 years working here and I just go next door to target when I need to go.”

  11. This one doesn’t count. Marla isn’t wearing a shirt that resembles the rest of the staff. And the customer is approaching her from behind and wouldn’t be able to see her name tag. She could be a vendor. We had those come in and restock their sections.
    If it were one of the regular staff, this strip would work.

    • Talk about nitpicking. You surely get the point, that customers ask out of of habit and ignore the reality in front of them. It’s obvious Marla is working in the store. The sentiment being made is fine.

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