Retail Life Episode 4

Boundaries. People don’t seem to have those. I don’t know what is so confusing about “don’t touch me.” I am a human being; I am not here for your amusement.

Example one: I’m ringing you up and you notice I have several piercings in my ear. Cool. Comment on it. I don’t care if your comment is negative or positive. What you should not do is reach over the counter and try to grab my ear. Not ok. Don’t touch me.

Example two: yes, I have tattoos on my arms. Say they’re nice. Ask why I got them. Ask me who did them or if they hurt. Do not grab my arm and move my shirt to look at my tattoos (especially if I’m currently carrying something or working on something). Do not wiggle your eyebrows at me suggestively and ask if I have any under my clothes. Don’t ask to see them either! I did not get tattoos for you, I got them for me. If you can’t see it, there’s a reason. Don’t touch me.

Example three: I’m a cute, young girl. Thank you for noticing. I’m also working a customer service job, so I have to be nice to you. I am not flirting with you. I’m not trying to get you to ask me out. I do not want your number. I do not want you to say “damn girl!” when I walk around the store. I do not want you to touch me.

Just to add on to that last point, if you are obviously twice my age maybe you shouldn’t be making those kinds of comments. Maybe you should keep your hands to yourself and go talk to someone in your age group. Girls working in customer service are faced with a tough situation almost daily. We’re stuck behind that counter and listen to you spout your nonsense about how “hot” we are and we can either grin and take it or be an asshole and maybe get a customer complaint on us. Quit making our jobs harder and just leave us alone.

Example four: if I’m standing on an aisle and you approach me with a question, I am more than happy to answer. However, you don’t need to get right up in my bubble to ask me things. If you get too close, I will step back; that does not mean come closer. That does not mean put your hand on my arm and try to make a joke when I tell you the item you’re looking for is right in front of your face. Don’t touch me.

Also on that, if you smell bad, you should probably stand ten feet away because I am incapable of hiding my reaction to your body odor. I can’t help it. I will gag. If you smell like sweat, a fart, cat pee, beer, cigarettes etc, just get away from me.

Aanndd example five: my personal life is my personal life. Please don’t strike up a conversation with me about kids and marriage and then want me to explain why I have neither. It is none of your business why I don’t have kids. Don’t tell me I’m “missing out” or that you’re sad for me. Do I seem sad to you? I didn’t ask for your opinion, and I didn’t offer the information to you willingly. When someone tells me “happy mother’s day” I feel compelled to tell them, I’m not a mom, but thanks anyway. And they get this crazy expression on their face like that’s the strangest thing they’d ever heard. Like oh my, this one didn’t have a baby in high school, something must be wrong with her. And she didn’t marry her boyfriend of two months yet? Wow, I can’t believe it.

In conclusion. Don’t touch people without their consent. Retail workers are people, not robots or playthings. Girls in retail are being nice because it is their job. Don’t invade people’s personal space and don’t ask questions that are beyond the four walls you’re shopping in.

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