A female store clerk at a street stand in Japan

Things not to say to a store clerk

1.) Don’t tell us you want to return that specialty coffee maker that you used twice and were disappointed by because you couldn’t pour a cup while your coffee brewed. One, we have a million placards–AND it says it on the receipt–that you can’t return used merchandise. Especially if your reason for returning it is “just because.”

Next time watch a YouTube video before buying an unfamiliar product.

Fancy coffee maker
Photo courtesy of Jakob Montrasio on Flickr.com


2.) Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t tell us you don’t want something made in China. There are only two reasons you could possibly be saying that and both of them are annoying. One is that you think “made in China” means made in a sweatshop–a perfectly legitimate reason not to buy a product, but still totally hypocritical. The second is that you think the product might have some chemicals in it because China’s manufacturing is unregulated.

Women working in a Chinese garment factory through a window
Photo courtesy of Matt on Flickr.com

Here are this store clerk’s responses:

(A.)  If you care so much about inhumane treatment, try looking in your own country, starting with the people working at your local pharmacies, car washes, fast food drive-throughs, restaurants, and retail stores. While not chained inside a factory for $1/week, they’re probably not making a living wage either.

(B.) Our government agencies meant to protect the People of the U.S. of A. aren’t doing too stellar of a job, especially when you look at the former Big Agra, Big Food, and Big Pharma execs appointed to the FDA, EPA, etc. Then there’s the fact that ANYWHERE you produce things that involve noxious chemicals, those chemicals will have to be disposed of and some of them might end up in your backyard. And guess what else? Those evil Chinese companies? They’re here, and they own plenty of U.S. companies, so good luck avoiding the stuff manufactured in China.


3.) Don’t act like we’re not here and talk to your friend/colleague/family member in front of us as though we’re invisible.

Women in Medieval garb fanning themselves and gossiping
Photo courtesy of Miguel Pires da Rosa on Flickr.com


4.) Don’t yell at us about store policies. We’re just the employees.

An angry woman jabbing her finger at you


5.) Don’t make us search around the store for a spare cell phone charger, so you can charge your phone, then, when you come back in to pick it up, do #3.

Man sitting on floor with a cell phone charging
Photo courtesy of George Redgrave on Flickr.com


6.) When we mention the one vacation we plan to take that year, don’t go on and on about some similar store we need to visit in our destination city. The last thing we want to be reminded of on our one week of vacation per year is the crappy job waiting for us back home.

A female store clerk at a street stand in Japan
Photo courtesy of m-louis .® on Flickr.com


7.) Don’t say, “But you’d never want to go to Japan!” after mentioning your recent trip abroad as though store clerks are too simple-minded–or visibly broke–to travel.

A man holding both hands in the air as if exasperated
Photo courtesy of Tyrone Magnus on YouTube.com

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