36 thoughts on “May 14, 2017

  1. Then there are the times when you still know where the thing they’re looking for is and you die a little bit more inside.

  2. The retail stink stays with you for a while. I was out of retail once for 4 years and I was still asked if I worked there, even when I was wearing jeans and a band t-shirt.

    • It doesn’t matter. Customers will still ask you if you work there if you’re wearing the obvious uniform. It happened to me this week.

  3. I’ve been asked the “do you work here” when I was pushing a shopping cart full of groceries and wearing my winter coat.

    • I’ve been asked where things were in a bookstore while wearing a disreputable jacket and backpack and flipping through graphic novels. Some people…

      • I’ve been asked “do you work here” and “where is X item” when I’ve been dressed in a tie-dye T-shirt, ratty jeans, sandals, carrying my purse and pushing a cart with my kid in the seat! You would think those would be blatantly obvious clues, but some people are totally oblivious to anything outside of themselves.

  4. There’s no escaping the retail funk. It liiiiingerrrrsss. They can smell your crushed soul at a thousand yards. I’ve been told I “walk like an employee” even when I’m wearing nothing like the uniform and have my purse on my shoulder and earbuds in, listening to music…. then they yell at me for playing on the phone while working.

    So far nobody’s tried to rip them out of MY ears, but I’ve talked with people who actually have had people do that.

  5. I was going to say that unless the Corporate offices of retail stores have greatly relaxed the dress codes so that an employee can wear shorts, these people are idiots to think Marla works there dressed like she is. But the stories above are rather flabbergasting. Did these people really preface their requests with “Do you work here?” or did they just ask if you knew where something was? Once in a store I was asked where something was and I said “I don’t work here,” and they said “I know but since I can’t seem to find a store employee I thought I’d just ask other customers.”

  6. Sometimes you can bring this on yourself. I once made the mistake of going into a Best Buy whilst wearing a blue polo and khakis. Guess how that turned out?

    Other times much like Marla here, it’s just totally random. Not long ago I was in a gas station when someone asked me about a current promotion at a store I used to work at. It was all I could do to not shake my head or go off on them. REALLY?

    • Some people are really good at remembering people. I think the person at the gas station remembered you from the store. They probably didn’t realize you no longer worked there.

  7. This happens to me all the time. I do not work in retail and never have and it does not matter what I am wearing I still get asked.

    • I suspect most people have had this experience – but its those who work retail that think it must be related to their occupation.

  8. I’m gathering from this strip that it is never acceptable to ask someone if they work at the store in question. If they do, you’re an idiot, if they don’t you’re a moron, and if you assume they do but they don’t you are pond scum.

    I did like the strip where a customer asked, got a snarky response from the employee, then responded that they could have been a vendor for all she knew. Sometimes it isn’t obvious.

    • it is not polite to ask someone who is clearly out of uniform that question. Even if they do work there it is their day off so they should be treated like a customer.

      Vendors are a different story as they are dealing with stocking store shelves and typically have a badge of some type to ID them.

      • Agree that if the individual is wearing bike shorts and a shrink-wrapped T-shirt it is a safe bet she is probably not on duty (depending on where you are shopping I suppose). This is why the strip is funny.

        But really, Marla doesn’t wear a uniform at her job. She wears a small name tag which would be easy to miss if you aren’t actively looking for it. Which would be even more confusing at Grumbel’s where the worker bees all wear uniforms.

        Just sayin’ that this is not always obvious to outsiders. It isn’t rude to (politely) ask if someone works at a store. Customers do more extreme things which are frankly much funnier. I think this is the fourth or fifth time we have seen some variation on this joke.

      • And everyone makes mistakes. Politeness should always be returned with politeness – unless you’re really trying to make the world a miserable place.

    • The problem being that customers I’ve encountered seldom inquire kindly; more along the line of “ExCUSE me! I’ve been waiting for you to get over here & HELP me!”
      And yeah, that’s happened way too often.

      • They’re the type to double down and insist you work there, just to save face. “No, obviously you work here now either help me or go get your manager so they can FIRE you!”

  9. I just glare when this happens. I’m not even wearing the uniform and my soul is so tattered I struggle to be polite to people when I’m not on the clock.

  10. Many, many years ago I worked for A.C. Nielsen Marketing Research collecting data/doing inventories. We, as representatives, were required to wear shirt and tie. On many occasions not only did customers think I worked for the store they thought I was a member of management and let me have it with their complaints.

    • Act like you care, listen, tell them you’ll look into it. Then forget it ever happened.

      That’s what management would do anyhow.

  11. I answer no. Then when they make a follow-up statement, I make a point to look over at uniformed employees and tell the hapless one, what the store store uniform is, and they would be better off asking them. However, if they start the conversation by being a-holes, I do respond in kind.

  12. Heck, I get asked if I’m an employee at various stores, and I have *never* worked retail! I don’t get it at all. Closest job I had was in the claims call center of a major insurance company, which entailed customer service, but that’s not really close at all.

  13. I figured out what the “funk” is but can’t fix it in myself.
    Eye contact. I scan a store looking for things and don’t avoid accidental temporary eye contact. Non customer facing positions avoid other humans faces like time plague.

  14. Super Bowl Sunday 2016 I requested off because I was going to a Super Bowl Party. I go to my store to pick up a few things for the party. Most of the employees were wearing football shirts because management said they could. As I was scanning my items at the self-checkout my coworker “Tammy” who was manning the self-checkout and tells me an elderly woman complained to the store manager because she couldn’t find any employees to help her. At the time normal dress code was a company issued Mustard Yellow Polo shirt for the worker bees and Purple Button Down Shirts for Department Managers and Front End Supervisors.

  15. I think it has to do with not looking lost. If you work in a similar store you probably have a rough idea of the layout, thus you look like you know where you’re going. So they think you work there.

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