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September 01, 2021

Attention shoppers: Retail workers' pet peeves

There's a commonly held belief that many people who find themselves in retail work there because they can't get a "real" job – like programming robots or working as a flight attendant.

Truth is, since it teaches them patience, tolerance and courtesy, many people enjoy retail – it’s all those cell-phone toting, cheque-writing, coin-counting, tag-switching customers they have trouble with.

And, boy, are there ever a lot of those it seems.

At least that's what retail workers have been complaining about on one of the many discussion boards/social media sites that let them air their pet peeves. Here's the Facebook page, for instance. 

There's no shortage of complaints, of course.

From beleaguered cashiers, for instance: "Putting things out of my reach and then just staring as I have to stretch to grab them ... Handing me one item at a time to scan so you can make sure it rings up the right price ... Shoving bills at me as I'm bagging ... Getting annoyed because I don't have change for your $100 bill ... Getting mad because I'm going home and you have to wait an extra 2 minutes in line ... Going back to get something and leaving your cart in line ... Expecting me to move heavy things for you."

One other unhappy camper at the checkout would like to chastise shoppers for “putting your coins on the counter, especially if I have my hand outstretched, waiting for the change you're so diligently counting out.”

The least popular shopper in the whole world: "People who don't have enough money with them, but bring a ton of stuff up to the register and then make you total the order after scanning every item so they can tell you when to stop. Then they take their time deciding which items they want more so you have to void them all as they add some others."

The list goes on, and on. Sounds like a tough life.

Do you see yourself on this list? What's your biggest peeve with those on the other side of the counter?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...