‘The Customer Is NOT Always Right!’: Here’s What Retail Workers Would Do if They Were in Charge

Walmart Cashier

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Walmart Cashier
Chris Hondros / Getty

Worker Wishlist

Office work comes with its drawbacks: paper cuts, eyestrain, aches and pains. But dealing with entitled customers and abusive bosses in retail is a special kind of hell. 

Life in the trenches is so bad that retail workers on Reddit started their own subreddit, where they can vent about workplace horror stories. In a recent thread, customer service employees fantasized about what rules they’d implement if they were in charge. Even if you don't work in retail, we think you'll find yourself agreeing with these rule changes.

Blurred image of cashier with long line of people at check-out counter of supermarket. Customers paying with credit card or cash to store clerks, full cart of groceries. Cashier register concept

Seating for Cashiers

Companies and politicians love to shaft American workers. Federally mandated vacation time and paid leave? Nope. Unlike in Europe, cashiers don’t even have the right to sit in this country. But retail workers on Reddit want to change that, with many sharing that standing for hours a day can lead to serious pain. And while the fat cats on Wall Street might claim that standing is more efficient, one study actually found that seated French cashiers scanned more than their American counterparts.

Cashier checking out groceries in a supermarket
FG Trade/istockphoto
Closing the store
NoSystem images/istockphoto

Locking the Door at Closing

There’s a special place in hell for last-minute customers who plod along aisles like they have all the time in the world. To solve that problem, a Redditor suggests locking the doors 15 minutes before closing, and if you’re still shopping when it’s time to close the store, you’ve got to leave. Someone also offered a more extreme approach: “Prices double at closing time and hounds will be released too.”

Senior woman in the supermarket checks her grocery receipt looking worried about rising costs - elderly lady pushing shopping cart, consumerism concept, rising prices, inflation

Dynamic Pricing

You could also employ dynamic pricing for jerks and call it an a**hole tax. If you’re nice, you get a discount, a Redditor suggests. But as soon as you start shoving your phone in a cashier’s face and screaming, you'll pay a premium for your bad attitude.

Cut Out Alcohol

Bans for Weirdos

And while we’re at it, we might as well ban weirdos and creeps, too. “If someone acts weird, they’re banned!” one worker writes. Flirt with an employee? Instant ban. Take off your shirt to show off a tattoo? You’re out.

Cashier in supermarket wearing mask and gloves fully protected against corona virus. Working during covid-19 pandemic.

Cashiers Can Remove Items

When a cashier makes a mistake and scans something twice, they’ve got to call a supervisor to remove the item. It slows the whole line down for no reason, as far as we can tell. (If a cashier wanted to help a customer steal something, couldn’t they just neglect to scan it?) That’s why multiple Redditors say the “manager override” process should go.

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Angry caucasian bearded director in shirt and tie arguing with his sloppy female employee. Printing shop interior.

‘The Customer Is NOT Always Right!’

The old adage that "the customer is always right" has got to be somewhat responsible for all the belligerent and entitled customers workers have to deal with. No matter what they say, do, or want, it’s something they can always fall back on. So several Redditors propose getting rid of the phrase entirely, with one commenter suggesting that retailers hang a sign by the door that reads: “More than likely, the customer is wrong." “The customer is NOT always right!” another adds.

Related: Walmart Employees Share Their Biggest 'Pet Peeves'

American African Holding Paycheck
Stephanie Keith / Getty
Instacart Woman Loading Her Van with Bags of a Customer

Banning Instacart

Like most gig work, Instacart completely separates the consumers from workers. All you have to do is press a button, open your door, and you’ve got groceries for the week. 

But behind the scenes, retail workers say that Instacart gums up the works: Gig workers will come through checkout with carts worth of groceries and expect the cashiers to separate the products into several orders. It’s a headache.

Related: Side Hustle Nation: 33% of Workers With Side Gigs Need the Extra Money To Survive