Retail Workers Really Hate You For Messing Up That Tee-Shirt Pile

Ever wonder why you get the stink-eye from that girl at The Gap? Or why that dude at American Eagle groans when he sees you approaching a table of clothes? There’s a good chance it has something to do with your lack of table manners.

Over at, they present a list of 5 Reasons You’re a Sucky Shopper, and right at the top is this:

An immaculately folded pile of graphic tees should remain immaculately folded. Do you know how long it takes to fold those shirts? A long fucking time. Do you know why? Because there are certain standards we have to adhere to while folding (with a really fun folding board might I add) so the pile can be immaculate enough to lure you to it. You mess it up, you make it worse not only for the people working there who have to stay until 1:30 in the morning cleaning up your mess (yea, happened last night … feel bad about it), but also for your fellow shopping peers. No one wants to try something on or even look at an item that comes from a pig sty. You ruined another shopper’s opportunity to admire a really great and comfortable striped shirt. You’re a mean person, that’s what you are. So here’s what you do. When going through the immaculately folded piles of clothing to find your size, you gracefully search for the tags that are sewn to it by the collar. When you find what you’re looking for, carefully remove the shirts on top of it, keeping them folded, take your selection and then return the folded shirts to its pile. You’ll annoy me less.

5 Reasons You’re a Sucky Shopper []


Edit Your Comment

  1. ElizabethD says:

    Oh shut up. That’s your JOB — folding clothes neatly for displays. Most non-retail folks don’t have a clue as to how you do it so neatly. (Witness my teenaged children’s “folded” laundry.)

    I agree that people should not create a huge mess and purposely UNFOLD every item, but don’t give us grief for browsing the displays for things we might actually buy. Which pays your salary.

    • Sneeje says:

      I hate these “either-or” perspective discussions. Why does the following not make sense to everyone:

      a) I, as a shopper, acknowledge that keeping a store looking nice is hard work and will therefore treat merchandise and displays with respect.
      b) I, as a merchant, acknowledge that customers should be able to shop in a way convenient to them and will accept that merch will get disturbed.

      This, folks, is called common courtesy.

      • stock2mal says:

        Agreed. People walk into stores and think that because employees are paid to keep the store clean and the merchandise looking nice, they can do whatever they want. I see people knocking shit off racks, off shelves, look at it and then walk away because they assume someone is getting paid to clean up after them. When I go grocery shopping and have to take something from a nicely arranged display or facing, I almost always reface it. Someone who isn’t getting paid a living wage needs all the help they can get.

        • GearheadGeek says:

          I disagree about refacing the remaining items on a shelf when you buy one, though. As the people responsible for that section work through and see what’s being purchased, they know more quickly what needs to be restocked. This is especially true of shelves that are toward the bottom, where the employee has to bend down or get on their knees to check. It seems entirely different than people knocking things off without picking them up.

          • goodfellow_puck says:

            Front-facing is not a stock check thing, it’s a “make the store pretty for customers” thing. Pulling something forward after you select it is not going to throw off the stockers. Stock is regulated by computers in most stores, and is automatically sent in, at which time stockers just get pallets and carts of crap that they put out en masse. Sometimes workers go through and use scanners to double-check stock against loss, but they do that for everything in the aisle–not just the stuff that looks messed with.

            So yeah, I front-face stuff I buy if it’s in a store where I see that being done. Especially if it’s close to closing. Nothing worse than picking up something in an aisle with three poor floor workers tediously front-facing. Just rude, otherwise.

        • LordTwinkie says:

          the way i see it if customers didn’t mess up the shirts that guy would be out of a job! we’re actually helping him!

        • regis-s says:

          I once saw a father tell his little girl to leave their garbage laying where it was because “someone gets paid to pick it up.”

          I figured isn’t that great! A five year has more class and better manners than an adult.

        • macruadhi says:

          Whose fault is it that they are not being paid a “living wage”? Either they are green and have never held a job and have never acquired usefull skills or they’ve made a complete mess of their lives and have never acquired any useful skills.

          • Peggee is deeply offended by impetulant, pernicious little snots disrespecting her and violating her personal space at Best Buy. says:

            Or, you know, they live somewhere where even a master’s degree and years of experience can’t always get them an interview for an entry-level position. Somewhere where the economy is really struggling.

            Now, where might that place be…?

        • Shadowfax says:

          That’s a little farther than I’m willing to go. If I make a mess I’ll clean it up. And I’ll put something I decide not to buy back where it goes. But I’m not going to re-face the shelves. That IS the clerk’s job. And considering how militant most companies are about cutting as many employees as they can, I’m certainly not going to do someone else’s job for them, lest the company decide that since the job is getting done without them, they are no longer needed.

      • misterkisses says:

        Wow, you are awesome. I wish more people had this mentality.

        • Sneeje says:

          Thanks! Yeah, it’s weird–this often happens on discussion sites. Why can’t we all just get along ?!? ;)

      • goodfellow_puck says:


      • jedifarfy says:

        You are a winner and I appreciate you as a retail worker. :)

    • FatLynn says:

      I wear a size M or L in most stores, and it’s usually somewhere in the middle of the stack. I try to lift half the stack, grab one, and put the stack back, but to do so, I probably need to have two free hands, which I don’t have if I have already selected other items.

      • Cry Havoc says:

        …so set the items you’ve already selected down. No one is going to take them. I wear the same size as you, and I haven’t lost a single item using this method.

    • shadowboxer524 says:

      I agree. I used to work at Blockbuster. Often times, people would pick up movies they were thinking about renting, decide they didn’t want them, and just leave them wherever. Was it annoying to have to reshelve them? Yeah. But it was my job, and people are naturally going to browse and put movies where they don’t belong.

      Now, what I did hate was when people would somehow manage to knock all the movies off of a shelf (or shelves). Kids were also likely to take things from lower rows and put them on the floor (or just mess up the entire Family/Children’s section, which happened nearly daily). Again, all this was really annoying and meant I had to do more work, but it was my job. All of these things are to be expected.

      What REALLY sucks is when you have to do something outside of your normal job duties, like cleaning up vomit or unclogging a shit-filled toilet. Yes, “cleaning” is a part of the job, but those two are out of the realm of “normal” and really suck. When the OP has to do either of those, maybe he won’t care so much about folding shirts with a folding board!

      • apd09 says:

        I used to work at Blockbuster as well, and what was worse to me than hide and seek with movies was having to do the 1/4 inch thing. Not sure if you did it when you worked there but 15 years ago you had to line up the rental box so it was 1/4 of an inch to the inside of the actual movie jewel behind it. That was awful, at the end of the night you had to go through the entire store slightly adjusting boxes to make it all uniform. That was usually when we found misplaces movies because someone had eyes on every box in the store.

    • jsl4980 says:

      Seriously, the next post is going to be someone from McDonalds telling me to cook my burger myself because they’re too lazy to perform the job they applied for, they continually show up for, and get paid to perform. If folding clothes correctly is too difficult for you then go find a different job.

    • Harmodios says:

      Absolutely, what else do they want to do all day? Text their boy/girl friends?

    • guroth says:

      Agreed. There is a difference between someone making a horrible mess, and the pile getting messed up because 20 people have shifted through it throughout the day. Obviously there is no excuse for one person tossing shirts around, but even if I walked in there and threw all the shirts on the floor it is your job to properly restock the display.

      Don’t like it? Tough, every job has aspects that the employees don’t care for. Quit feeling so entitled that your min wage retail job should be cushy.

      • LouRawlsParadeofStars says:

        Exactly. When I stay at a hotel, I like to urinate on every available surface. Then I take a dump in the minibar. If the maid complains, I say “Tough shit. You don’t make very much money. Why should your job be easy. Why don’t you quit if you’re so lazy?”

        • consumerfan says:

          Wrong analogy. If you use the bed at a hotel, the maid shouldn’t complain that you didn’t make the bed before you left.

          The pile of T-shirts is there for customers to look through and buy. If a pile is too much trouble to refold, don’t use a pile! Rack them. But no, the company has decided that customers are attracted to piles so if you work for the company, suck it up!

      • burnedout says:

        It would be easier to sift through the pile without messing it up if the employees followed their companies’ policies and used the size stickers and made sure the piles had a full size run available. Stickers and sizing while re-folding is a hassle and the stickers don’t always line up right (I HATED re-stickering a pile of shirts). As a customer who worked retail for nearly 10 years I really, really, really try not to mess up the pile, but if I can’t find the size (and not all companies sew the size label into the neck – some try to hide it in the seam), I’ll unfold more than I need to in order to find the shirt I need. I try to re-fold, but y’all don’t leave the folding boards laying around so it doesn’t look as good…

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Right on! The asshole probably was hired to fold shirts because he couldn’t keep the orders staright at Burger King.

    • usernameandp says:

      Agreed. They get paid hourly. Deal with it.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      So, what’s your job? I want to come to where you work and make it harder for you. Just because I can. And hey, because you’re getting paid to deal with whatever I do you’ll just suck it up and smile, right?

      • danmac says:

        No, customer service workers shouldn’t have to deal with abusive customers. Likewise, however, customers shouldn’t have to deal with antagonistic customer service staff who think that the clientele is nothing but a bunch of lazy, stupid slobs. Furthermore, if you view all your customers with contempt (as the writer seems to do), don’t be surprised if they live up to your expectations. It’s called a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • Megalomania says:

        Good luck g

      • wildhalcyon says:

        Thanks, I’ve already got plenty of people who pay my salary who help make my job harder.

      • ElizabethD says:

        Oh please. I’m an editor. The only way you could inconvenience me in my work place is by hacking into my office computer and trashing files.

        But I’ve worked retail (AND food service, but that’s another topic altogether), so I know the drill.

        Our daughter worked two years part-time for Forever 21 at the local mall; you wanna see a humungous mess of tossed clothing on shelves? Not to mention the dressing rooms with piles of tried-and-discarded clothes. No, she didn’t love tidying up after those people, and many of them showed an utter lack of class. But she never came home at night and whimpered, “I shouldn’t have to be doing this! I hate those customers! Wahh wahh.” Because it was her job. Her $8-an-hour job while she was in high school. She did it conscientiously and without going all snarktastic on the customers whose purchases allowed her to have that job in the first place.

    • sleze69 says:

      Yup. This is a big long article of “waaa!”

    • Thumbmaster says:

      Absolutely! If they hate doing their job so much, go flip a burger. At least they’re working in an air conditioned, non-smelly/greasy store. If they don’t expect customers to “mess up” the pile, keep it under a glass display case. How much do you bet the OP does EXACTLY that when he/she shops elsewhere?

    • lordargent says:

      Speaking as a shopper (and not a retail worker), I hate when other people mess up clothing piles and racks to the point that it looks like a bomb went off.

      I have to think to myself, what sort of uncultured oaf rifled through these clothes before me. Personally, I look through clothing all ninja like, leaving little trace that I was there.

    • incident_man says:

      And I suppose you’re ok with a bunch of clueless, selfish morons coming into your place of work and creating more work for you when you want to return home to your family after your thankless, minimum-wage job? If you answered, “yes,” to all of that, then I’d say you have plenty of room to criticize the op…….otherwise, be a responsible adult and not create a mess for others to clean up after!

      • danmac says:

        This is a false dilemma; I can be a responsible adult and think the OP is being unreasonably antagonistic toward shoppers at large.

      • macruadhi says:

        I sure am, as long as there are Clueless, selfish, and otherwise useless people employed by a retail merchandiser. There was a time when a salesman/woman greeted you at the door or beginning of the department and didn’t leave you until either you’d made a purchase or you had dismissed them. Now it’s like pulling hen’s teeth to get one of these cretins to look your way.

      • ElizabethD says:

        Clearly you did not read my comment carefully. You know, the part where I wrote, “I agree that people should not create a huge mess and purposely unfold every item…” But whatever; go ahead and vent.

    • Miraluka says:

      Having worked retail for a number of years (before becoming a corporate puppet and cubicle monkey), I can relate.

      However, I disagree with the sentiment that my “job description” was to clean up after other people’s mess. My job was to assist customers in their shopping experience. Sure, part of that is setting up the store the night before and early in the morning so that the place looks neatly organized and is therefore easier for customers to locate what they’re looking for.

      Part of the “training” for this job…besides how to properly fold and stack items, was how to identify the customers who are approaching the stacks and are looking for their size. It’s pretty easy to see, pretty easy to approach them, and assist them with finding their size. You have two open hands and know how to cleanly find their item. Another commenter said it before, sometimes customers will have stuff in one hand/arm and will just find a size and try to rip it out from between the stacks.

      Example from experience: Working in clothing retail, saw a pair of customers approach a table that had stacks of polo shirts. They were taking the top shirt off the stack and opening it up to see what it looked like. This is common, this is expected, this is fine. However, they then began to look for their sizes by picking up EVERY shirt and opening it up and holding it up to their body. Every stack. Every shirt. Then throwing the shirt to the opposite end of the table if it wasn’t what they were looking for. THIS is the kind of customer that retail workers hate. Not the normal customer who looks at one shirt, then puts it back down on/near where it originated from.

      I don’t know, but this is a common gripe from retail workers. It’s something they’ve always got to deal with, because some people seem to have this air of superiority about them thinking that because they’re the customers…they can do whatever the heck they want in the store and “someone is being paid to clean it up.” I think it’s dumb that there are people who are shopping in a store that automatically think they are better than those who are working there.

    • jedifarfy says:

      Oh please please please go work retail. PLEASE go there, work minimum wage and spend HOURS folding towels, bedding, shirts, pants, ETC. for 10 hours and watch these people NEVER BUY ANYTHING. Working with clothing means dealing with people playing dress up. They throw, literally THROW clothes, looking for one thing, rather than gently picking things up and setting them down.

      THEN, when they’re done throwing the clothing around, get chewed out by your manager for not having your department looking good. Then get chewed out by a customer who wants a shirt that was thrown around but doesn’t want one that’s been trampled and touched and messed with.

      You have NO IDEA what it’s like. It’s miserable. I won’t even get into the socks and underwear repackaging.

      • Enduro says:

        I’ll just quote Louie CK. “We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots.”

        I’ve had shit jobs and my retail job was not among them.

        • pot_roast says:

          Exactly. I’ve done roofing, farming, delivered newspapers, worked in a roof truss plant operating very large saws, driven forklifts, and several other dirty sweaty jobs to make money during the summers & holiday seasons.

          Quit whining, spoiled retail brats. Really. Call back when you’ve been out in the August sun mopping roofing tar around.

          • kouotsu says:

            I have worked both retail jobs and sweaty labor jobs, and I have to say I’d prefer the latter. I don’t mind sweating for 8 hours a day compared to standing there and being forced to serve the dumbest humans I’ll ever encounter. Physical exhaustion goes away a lot faster than the alternative.

            I’m in a game industry job now and I’d love to say I’ve escaped that, but I still have at least a few more months of roommates that are the equivalent of 8-year-old children leaving a trail of spills and dishes. Why am I not getting paid for this?!

      • nopirates says:

        when i was a teenager i spent a summer shoveling wet scraps of shredded cardboard in the hot sun for a recycler. i made almost no money. then i finished college and got a great job and now make six figures.

        go fold your shirts, crybaby, and move up the food chain.

      • 339point4 says:

        Oh please. I worked at Express for a good long time when I was in school and I loved it. Yes, even the folding part. Folding shirts with the fun little wheely-table and the folding board put me out on the floor in a visible area so that I could easily interact with customers and help them find what they need. Folding is not such a bad chore. You know what sucks? Being stuck in the back steaming all of the new product so that it can be hung on the floor racks wrinkle-free. Go work steam duty for a while and then come cry to me about folding.

    • Moosenogger says:

      A retail friend of mine actually told me that a mother said those classic words – “That’s THEIR job” – to her tyrant children after they purposely destroyed the bottom shelf of a shirt display. The kids literally ran by with their arms out, swiped the clothing from the shelf, and then ran away. Their father wanted them to pick everything up, but dear old mom told them they didn’t have to because it was the employee’s job to clean up after them.

    • Fallom says:

      I worked retail and never had a problem cleaning up people’s messes. It was my job to do that, and it’s not like if I wasn’t fixing up shelves I could just goof off and browse the internet.

      • Fallom says:

        Then again, I’d also “accidentally” knock cardboard stands full of display boxes over so I could spend half an hour cleaning it up so I wouldn’t have to walk around harassing customers who didn’t want my help.

    • mister_deez says:

      Agreed. This sounds like a disgruntled retail worker whining to me. I would never purposely mess up piles and create more work, but would any retail worker disagree that the customer has the right to unfold the shirt, look at what it looks like unfolded, find the correct size, and try it on? This is like a waiter whining about having to refill a cup of water.

    • Lollerface says:

      No kidding. If you’re not folding clothes WTF are you doing?

  2. Mcshonky says:

    so pile them alternating s m l xl instead of all small then all medium etc……


    • ElizabethD says:

      THIS. Seriously.

      • goodfellow_puck says:

        WTF, that makes no sense! As soon as someone pulls one or more sizes out of a stack, now you’ll have S-XL-L-L-S-M-XXL–etc! It would be even more ridiculous to maintain. You guys amaze me.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      My favorite is when stores divide different sizes into cubby holes.

    • babyruthless says:

      I worked at Victoria’s Secret, and many things (bras, some panties) are divided into individual drawers based on size. This does nothing to discourage very messy shopping.

    • bsh0544 says:

      That sounds impossible to maintain. Fantastic for the first person to touch the pile, but as people grab shirts they’re going to need to dig deeper and deeper to find the more popular sizes. And the employees are going to have to shuffle the shirts on a regular basis, making sure the sizes are in the right order all the way down.

    • edosan says:

      How is that easier than a pile of smalls, a pile of mediums, and a pile of larges?

  3. Mobius says:

    Maybe requiring customers to manhandle stacks of clothes to find their size when you expect them to not manhandle the clothes is ridiculous. Find a better storage and display solution for your products!

    • Kitamura says:

      Maybe these specific stores are different, but a lot of places I’ve shopped at have racks of clothes behind said tables that have all the same merchandise as the table except that they’re on hangers and stuff for easy access. The tables are for display (or I suppose if the racks have run out of whatever size you’re looking for). There’s no need to ruffle through the display table most of the time.

      • mobiuschic42 says:

        The Gap frequently has more “low end” (ie, not dressy) items exclusively in piles on a table. Also, most of their jeans and pants are in only in stacks, too.

        • tekmill says:

          When I worked in a retail clothing store I would go to my competitors and mess up all there clothes. The more work I gave them , the better my store would be! :P

      • tooluser says:

        Nordstrom most definitely has piles of randomly-sized clothing on tables, specifically for the purpose of having their sales “associates” help you paw through the piles of randomness and appear to be “helping” you find what you want.

        But I really like their dress socks, which are all sorted by size, and often by color as well, and the sales “associates” never seem to want to “help” me find good socks.

        So that’s the only thing I buy there.

  4. Zowie says:

    Or, you should be thanking sucky shoppers. The more people mess up piles of shirts, the longer retail workers have to stay and clean up. Someone should organize a campaign of messing up piles of shirts… more work, more hours… why, retail stores might even have to hire more people. It’s an economic stimulus plan!

    • stock2mal says:

      No, that isn’t how things work in the real world. Management will bust their balls in order to get everything done in the same amount of time, and then chew them out if they don’t.

      • Right On says:

        Exactly correct. I quit TJ Maxx years ago in a very similar situation.

      • Zowie says:

        Fair enough. And if there’s nothing to do the boss will send you home. It’s always a boss’s job to bust your balls and get you to work harder. And at a certain point, we’ve all just got to protect our balls!

  5. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    Oh good, another whiny diatribe from someone in the people service industry! Guess what, it is hard to get a look at size/fit/detailing when the shirt is folded up like an origami bird!

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      This. I am an unfolder-I want to see how long the t-shirt is, the length of the jeans (because the inseam length varies from brand to brand). Honesty don’t understand why these clothes don’t just go on hangers. I have never been to a Gap or an Old Navy where the t-shirt table doesn’t look like a pile of dirty laundry, so it’s not like the employees are even doing their job of keeping it neat.

      • DigTheFunk says:

        How DARE you try on clothes you are hoping to purchase? I bet you even leave them in the “Please leave clothes you don’t want here” area huh? What an inconsiderate customer, trying to purchase things.

        All sarcasm aside, I DO try to be a considerate shopper, at the least…If I take pants or shirts out of a pile of folded ones, I attempt to keep the other ones straight. I WILL be unfolding it, checking it out, probably trying it on(pants at least, shirts not so much; problem is, different companies don’t size their clothes the same)….but I’ll re-fold it as neatly as possible and replace it properly. However, if I don’t? Well, do your job. I deliver food, if someone orders a delivery that is a long way away, but within our delivery area(i.e. within my job description), guess what? I’ve gotta take it, same way you’re supposed to do YOUR job. I could whine and moan about how some don’t tip, some lie to get free food, some aren’t considerate of MY time…but hey, it’s my job, it pays, I work there of my own accord…so I do it. Get the EFF over it, I’m sick of all these whiny, entitled, minimum wage pricks(I say this, not making very good money right now, myself)

    • Rain says:

      When I worked in a clothing store, I didn’t care when people unfolded a shirt to look at it. I cared when they unfolded every single shirt on the table as if this size medium shirt will look different from that size medium shirt of identical style and colour.

  6. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    You’re right. I’ll never move your folded items again.

    Because I’ll never shop there again either. And you’ll lose your job.

    What? I CAN unfold the shirt to look at them now? Thanks.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      No bloody kidding.

      I never heard this kind of grousing in Asia. Hell, in Japan, the retail workers practically fall over themselves trying to help you. When I used to apologize for being a troublesome customer (c’mon, I was an American bull in a Japanese pottery shop), they’d look at me like I was the strangest being on Earth. Why should I apologize? I’m the customer!

      Give me a break.

      • brinks says:

        I have to pay my poor retail staff slave wages and make them do the work of three people since corporate keeps cutting our payroll. Are they doing the same thing to workers in Japan?

        • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

          Wages in Japan remain pretty reasonable, but doing the work of three people? They’re Japanese! Robot hours are the norm!

  7. ellmar says:

    Now I really want to find the nearest Gap and screw with the stacks of immaculately folded crap. Thinking of turning the shirts inside out and “refolding” them into multicolored balls of chaos.

    • Julia789 says:

      While I don’t condone the strategy, I do love your term “multicolored balls of chaos.” :-)

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      I suddenly got the urge to walk into a Gap, shove all the contents off the display table, and walk out.

      • colorisnteverything says:

        So do I every time I see one. I used to work there. I was treated like a serf. The customers were terrible, but only because every 5 seconds we had to ask them how they were doing. I was asigned to a 12X12 square and could not straighten clothing. I had to just ask how they were doing.

    • FilthyHarry says:

      Yeah this does kinda make you want to pop in when walking by just to mess up some piles, then leave.

  8. The Upright Man says:

    The author of the original article needs to chill out.

    • Griking says:

      Actually I have no idea who the author is but I like her.

      She’s asking for courtesy and respect and people here are crying because of it, amazing.

  9. Kanjimari says:

    Excuse me if I like to know what a shirt looks like before I buy it.

    And did you seriously bitch about the FOLDING BOARD? The piece of plastic that cuts the effort down to 1/25th of what it would be without said board?

    • mattarse says:

      No shit, I’ve seen t shirts refolded in seconds using those things.

    • minjche says:

      Good point. People don’t buy folded shirts or wear them folded, so it’s hard to argue against wanting to see what you’re about to spend money on looks like.

    • somepoet says:

      I used to work at my college bookstore (tons of college t-shirts) and you’re right. With the board it doesn’t take all that long.

  10. milkcake says:

    I do have the decency to keep things neat when I see that it’s neat but if it’s a mess pile, then I don’t feel bad adding more mess to it. But, like other people said, it’s your job. One of your required tasks. Don’t complain about it.

  11. danmac says:

    I have trouble sympathizing for whoever wrote that. No, I don’t intend to fuck up all your immaculately folded shirts. That said:

    1. I don’t work in clothing retail. I don’t know how to fold a shirt to your specifications, so if I need to pick it up and unfold it to see how it looks, how it will fit, etc., I leave it to you to do your job and fold it the way it should be folded.

    2. If those immaculately folded shirts/pants/whatever were actually arranged by size, I wouldn’t have to dig through piles of them to find the one at the bottom that fits me.

    3. Call me heartless, but isn’t this part of your job?

    One last thing, just to be clear: I’m not chucking shirts everywhere when I shop, and I think that people who act like pigs in clothing departments are assholes, but come on.

    • LadyTL says:

      They do start out being arranged by size but after about the first 3 customers it becomes impossible to maintain that because of them just dumping the shirts somewhere.

  12. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    All of those complaints are totally legitimate and anyone who has worked retail has often made similar complaints. I always hated when people would just dig their claws into the clothes and mess up all of the piles. It’s one thing if you lift up the shirts and then when you place them back down, they’re just a little misaligned from the rest of the pile, or one sleeve has slipped out. It’s an entirely different thing when people rip through the piles and leave behind a wave of destruction.

    I only worked six months of retail, but it’s been so ingrained in me that shoppers are rude and impolite to retail workers that when I’m at a store, I’ll fix the piles if I see them really messed up. I’m not familiar with the exact way Gap folds its shirts, but I figure that maybe if the shirts are just folded normally instead of in a crumpled pile, the workers might at least appreciate that illusion of neatness until they can go fix it and fold them exactly the way Gap wants them to be folded.

    • Im Just Saying says:

      I never worked retail, but I always cringe when I see someone tearing up a display because I know someone’s already cleaned it up more than once today. I don’t care much for the OP’s attitude about it, but I think the sentiment is valid.

      • Platypi {Redacted} says:

        Sentiment is valid (these stories are typically based in reality). Delivery is belligerent and douchy, and won’t likely win any new help from the public in keeping a display neat.

    • babyruthless says:

      It’s been 5 years since I worked retail and I still tuck tags and turn clothes hangers around (so they look like a question mark) when I’m browsing in stores.

    • SimonGodOfHairdos says:

      It has been 13 years since I last worked in a clothing store, and I still refold shirts and put clothes back on hangers when I see that they have slipped off. It’s a sickness…of etiquette!

  13. minjche says:

    Granted, I always try to put stuff back the way I found it in exactly this situation, but here’s my take:

    Create a more efficient way of displaying merchandise that doesn’t require the customer to unsettle a neat stack in order to see an article of clothing or to find their size.

    And of course, bottom line, that’s your job. If someone is coming in and maliciously messing up the organization of merchandise, then you can complain. But the natural disorder that happens in any store is a part of the shopping process.

    Overall, be happy you even have a job. Have you seen how many people are unemployed right now?

  14. jesirose says:

    I hate the person who wrote this article. Guess we’re even.

    • apd09 says:

      Just another group on my People to Kill list…

      and now Retail Employees.

      Serenity now, insanity later as I am putting on my lipstick. Maybe even making a Buffalo Bill skin suit.

      I love Passive Aggressive people, instead of this person when witnessing people messing up piles politely asking them if they need help to avoid tearing through the pile, they write an email to website. But I guess if they asked people politely to stop tearing through pile someone else would write an email saying the employee X and retail store Y was rude and demanded I not handle merchandise.

      • Harmodios says:

        You are so right, we should write an article on how to annoy all said groups.

        From past articles I learned that:

        – Waitresses hate it when you order tea
        – Tell cocktail waitresses you’ll pay cash, but than use credit card
        – unfold clothes for retail people
        – always bring loud and whiny children.

        Consumerist brethren, lets go out into the world and do this!

  15. babyruthless says:

    I’ve worked retail. I won’t touch the stacks of shirts unless I think that I’ll buy it. I won’t unfold it to look at it. You really can scan them pretty easily (if they’re already neat) to find your size to try them on. And yet…you would not believe how many people would pick up a handful of underwear (I worked Victoria’s Secret) and flip them over individually to find their size. The Pink “panty bar” at VS is the worst place in the entire world. Keeping it straight is a job that can only be called Sisyphean. It’s horrible. Never mind that there are drawers underneath that have the panties arranged by size and style. And there’s a sign saying “please shop from the drawers below.” Nope. It’s way more fun to rifle through every single panty, mix styles and sizes, and occasionally throw them on the floor. I get to stay until 1:30 AM, but I should be happy, right, because I’m earning that sweet, sweet wage of $6.50. Right?

    • GoSpursGo says:


    • minjche says:

      It’s not right for people to mess up the merchandise unreasonably, but still that’s your job (or in this case, “was” your job). I don’t see too much more to it than that.

      I used to work in a CVS and Eckerd, and I’d have to “front-and-face” the products on the shelves everyday. It wasn’t as fun as skydiving, but it was what I was being paid to do so I did it.

      • babyruthless says:

        We did the thing that people are asking upthread that they do: we had panties on the top of the bar for display, and then drawers below arranged by size (all the XS in one drawer, S in another, and so on) and style (so the bikinis were together and the boyshorts were together, and underneath the display pile of bikinis and boyshorts). We had someone whose entire job was straightening the freaking Pink panty bar and gently encouraging customers to shop from the drawers to find the style of their choice, and yet we’d have a gaggle of teenagers come in and pick up each panty from the top and investigate it, before dropping it and picking up another panty from the top (same style, same size, different color), investigating it, and dropping it. Rinse and repeat until 2 hours of meticulous straightening shot, because you ask if you can help them find anything and they say, “oh, no thanks, I’m just looking.”

        • minjche says:

          You’re absolutely right that what these horror shoppers are doing is discourteous and inconsiderate, but at some point, someone at Victoria’s Secret made the decision to mitigate that situation by creating a job (or jobs) with a job description that includes organization of the merchandise.

          That is part or whole of the reason that job exists. Victoria’s Secret is saying “We are giving you money with the agreement that you will perform this task”. Hence all the comments saying “That’s your job” because, well, that’s the job.

          I’m sorry to hear you had such a bad experience in retail.

          • babyruthless says:

            Retail was 50/50 good honest work and total hell. My worst story was probably from Gymboree when I was 16. It was Christmas Eve, and we hadn’t had a shopper in the store since 5:00. We had gotten the store 100% cleaned and ready to go. The manager had to close the final register at 6:00, and we were on schedule to be out of there by 6:10. At 5:55 (Store closes at 6) someone came in, touched *everything*: boys clothes, girls clothes, all sizes. She unfolded onesies (and if the OP thinks that board-folding a t-shirt is a pain, she should try board-folding a onesie for a preemie), untucking tags, etc. She then declared that our prices were too high and she was going to Wal-Mart for her Christmas shopping. My manager pulled the gate behind her and yelled “Wal-Mart is closed, too!” which was pretty great.

            And retail was often better than my other crappy high school/college job: running a rollercoaster at Six Flags. At least the mall is airconditioned. Although, I was expected to wear heels.

    • bsh0544 says:

      Presumably you should be happy to work more hours and make more money, yes. If you don’t want to partake of the do work/get paid system, quit.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        These comments are idiotic. Just because I partake of the working system means I deserve or should accept the heaps of rudeness that come my way without being able to complain about it? We’re not talking about people who don’t fold things properly just because they’re unfamiliar with the store’s standard – we’re talking about people who are jerks and have no respect for other people. When you take a pile of folded shirts and render them into crumply balls of fabric, you’re disrespecting other shoppers who also need to find their size, and the employees who are responsible for keeping the store neat. They might only make $7 an hour, and part of their job is to keep the store neat, but it doesn’t mean you should go through and fling stuff everywhere, leave piles of clothing in the fitting room on the floor, or leave items wherever you want.

        How would you like it if I came to your workplace and make things harder for you? If part of your job is to help keep the office fridge clean and I flung an open container of yogurt inside, how would you feel? It’s your job to keep it clean, isn’t it? Suck it up or quit.

        • minjche says:

          You’re throwing in a lot of emotion that unfortunately only has bearing on fellow emotions.

          Stores make a decision to hire someone to clean up after all customers, jerks or otherwise. I of course disagree with the behavior of the jerks, but that doesn’t change the job description.

          I see three types of people commenting in this article:
          1) Former retail employees who can’t be bothered to relinquish their bitter feelings
          2) Customers who can’t be bothered to be concerned about how messy they leave a store
          3) Customers who aren’t jerks and would like groups 1 and 2 to chill the **** out

          • SunnyLea says:

            “Stores make a decision to hire someone to clean up after all customers, jerks or otherwise”

            Make a decision? As if just leaving crap all over the place was some sort of viable option?

            • minjche says:

              I didn’t suggest the alternative was a messy store. You’re presenting only one other option when in fact there’s several options.

              Quick history lesson: Grocery stores used to not allow customers access to the products. You’d give the shop keeper a list of what you wanted and they’d collect it for you. Similar to how some products like cigarettes or video games are kept “behind the register”, except the whole store is behind the register.

              Having CSR’s who clean up the store is one business method. The older method I described above is another business method. There’s more methods other than that, I’m sure, so it’s really not a choice of messy store vs. not messy store like you’re suggesting.

            • davidc says:

              Why not just leave crap all over the place?

              Hold on, how did the crap get all over the place? cause of the dumb-as-a-rock way things are displayed. What? the stores could spend more money on better displays? or they could just pay the retail clerks to *clean up* after customers?

              If you don’t like being in the service industry, then get the hell out cause all of us desiring “to be serviced” don’t need/want/like/care that your in the wrong profession.

              Yea, I went there … retail clerks are in the SERVICE industry, be thankful you have something to SERVICE or get the heck out of the profession.

        • goodfellow_puck says:

          Thank you. Agreed.

    • GrayMatter says:

      YOU USED “Sisyphean” IN A SENTENCE! And it made sense!

    • Arcaeris says:

      Having also worked at Victoria’s Secret, I’m with you. Staying until 2 AM to perfectly fold tables of panties every day got so old, so fast. Then throw in that you were scheduled for 7 AM the next day, and that you had to sell 1000 credit cards an hour to get better shifts (but couldn’t possibly because you were working late at night and early morning) and it made for a shitty job.

      The training manual when I worked there was like 185 pages long. 185 pages of exacting standards on how to do everything in the store, where it goes, how many minutes it was supposed to take, etc. You would have to be the goddamn Flash to meet most of those times.

      • babyruthless says:

        Once during a SAS, I got yelled at because my average transaction time fell above 2 minutes. The catch? I had spent over an hour ringing up a woman who bought thousands of dollars worth of beauty products. It took over an hour. She was bringing up boxes of beauty products, I’d ring them up, she’d bring more up. It was a constant thing. For a long time. I was as efficient as humanly possible. When I pointed this out to my manager (y’know, I spent an hour ringing up one HUGE transaction worth thousands of dollars), they were like, yeah, we know…but if you could try and get your average down, that’d be great…

  16. Azzizzi says:

    That whole article is by someone who is a non-assertive and passive-agressive. Number 4 was about staying an hour late because a woman sat and read in the store. Why not go up to the person and say, “Excuse me, we’re closing. Are you ready to make your purchases now?”

    Number 3 makes no sense. “If you forget where you found it, just bring it to someone who works there. They’ll hate you for the first five seconds but in the long run, trust me. You’ll be appreciated.” Why would you hate me for it for a few seconds, then suddenly appreciate me?

    • caradrake says:

      It switches between “Gee, thanks a lot for bringing this to me, now I have to go and do some actual work.” and “(Expletive) customers need to stop putting (expletive) clothing in the wrong spot!” if you just stash it somewhere.

      • Azzizzi says:

        It’s a contradiction to me. If you put it wherever you want, you’re an annonymous bad guy. If you bring it to the person that works there, the person is mad at you for bringing it, then suddenly realizes, “At least he didn’t just throw it on a shelf somewhere.”

        I would also advise the person refolding the clothes to look at the wadded up shirts before refolding them. I’ll unfold one and look at it. If it has buttons missing, a rip, crappy stitching, or it’s dirty, I won’t even try refolding it and will just leave it to the side of the pile and look for one that isn’t defective.

      • mystery79 says:

        Being “assertive” to a customer at a retail place and your manager walks by = bye bye employment.

    • iKento says:

      When I worked for Target, I literally stood next to a customer who was browsing greeting cards for 20 minutes past store close on Father’s Day and kept asking her if she needed any help, because we were closed.

      She complained to my manager because I was rushing her.

      • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

        I sure hope your manager told her something along the lines of “Yes, we are rushing you: we’re past closing hours.”

      • Rain says:

        After I finished ringing through a grocery order for a woman she complained that the bags were too heavy. The bags were of an average weight and she had said nothing while I was packing them. I repacked the order as quickly as possible to her specifications, loaded them into their cart, and said my standard thank you, have a good day.

        She then proceeded to complain to my supervisor about how long it took and how slow I was.

    • cSam says:

      “Why not go up to the person and say, ‘Excuse me, we’re closing. Are you ready to make your purchases now?'”
      This comment made me laugh and cry at the same. I work nights, and do you think we don’t do this? We start off nice: “Excuse me, but just to let you know, we’re closing in a few minutes.” Then it’s “Ma’am, I’m sorry, but we have to close the store.” And you gradually get less polite, more firm, and yet, there you are, half an hour later, and the idiot is still taking their time, perusing, contemplating, picking up and putting stuff back (and end up spending no more than $10 after keeping all of the employees well past closing time). And then they complain to anyone who will listen about how rude we were. GAAAAH!
      The fact that you think simply reminding/asking someone solves the problem makes you either naive or stupid. Yes, there are plenty of people who are respectful of closing time, and will kindly finish their shopping promptly when you remind them. But those few – those happy few – with complete disregard for retail workers (who must be paid below living wage solely for the purpose of serving their whims) make you really appreciate how disrespectful, self-involved, and entitled human beings are capable of being.

      • Azzizzi says:

        I’m naive or stupid because I think the person who wrote the complaints should go up and ask the person to leave instead of sitting and waiting for the person to leave?

        Maybe that’s what you do in your job and if the person refuses to leave, that’s another problem, but the person in the article said, “of course we don’t want to rush your shopping experience because we’re nice like that and essentially we want your business.” It sounds to me like this person didn’t bother to approach the person. I would have to ask this person what his/her limit would be before approaching the person?

        As for the people who refuse to leave, that’s a completely different problem.

        If the store policy is that you’re not allowed to ask the person to leave, I feel bad for you. There’s no limit on that? There has to be some kind of limit. Otherwise, some jerk would just stay there all night to prove he could.

      • El_Fez says:

        Dude, just tell ’em to get the fuck out. Problem solved!

    • colorisnteverything says:

      Yeah, I wish that we could have done this, but in multiple retail establishments I worked in during college/high school, you are going to have people that are going to stay. And in these places, we were NOT under ANY circumstances allowed to ask them to leave. One time, a lady stayed around for TWO HOURS on our busiest day of the year after close. We had turned off the music and lights and she was still there. She bought nothing.

  17. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    In other words, “this job would be great if it weren’t for all the fucking customers.”

    • Jack Handy Manny says:

      Ha ha….goddamn people paying for stuff….ruins my nite.

    • brinks says:


      I’m a retail manager and the things that leave me grumbling at the end of the day always have to do with some self-entitled, inconsiderate customer. I know I’d be out of a job without them, but they are both the best and the worst part of the job.

  18. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    I normally shop the way they request us to, although it’s probably as much from a touch of OCD as it is from consideration for others…but reading that last line made me want to knock over piles of neatly folded shirts. “You’ll annoy me less”??? So, if I do everything according to their specifications, I’m still annoying them? When I served my time in retail, I was sometimes annoyed by idiotic customers who caused major inconveniences, but I liked many of them. The author is an ass…or just a wanna-be hipster. Oh wait, I’m repeating myself….

  19. Jack Handy Manny says:

    Maybe you shouldn’t stack them 35 shirts high with various sizes throughout the pile in no particular order.
    Me “excuse me, do you have one of these shirts in XL?”
    Dofus retail employee, “Have you looked through the entire stack. If we have it it would be out there.”
    Me “Uh, yeah……” (dismantels entire display, tries to put back shirts unsucessfully) “Thanks, found one!”
    Dofus retail employee, “I should write a blog about this place…..stupid customers.”

    • LadyTL says:

      The shirts do start out in order, however after a few customers go through them they usually aren’t anymore. Also, no retail worker is going to know the exact inventory of any one type of item in their store. So getting rude about the fact they don’t know makes you the rude customer the blogger is complaining about.

      • jesirose says:

        They’re not supposed to know off the top of their head. They’re supposed to look for you if they don’t want you touching the “immaculate stack”.

  20. Battlehork says:

    Oh NO! Tired of customers ruining your exquisite merchandise piles? Then you need The Shelf (TM)!

  21. asok says:

    You are right. I am going to start refolding every shirt I touch. You should be out of a job by next week.

  22. HoJu says:

    I was going to write a big long thing about how it’s your job and you should shut the hell up but I’ll just add those ditto marks to everyone elses comment instead.

  23. johnny_ryall says:

    5 reasons you shouldn’t have a job:
    1. you’re lazy
    2. you’re lazy
    3. you’re lazy
    4. you’re letting people loiter an hour past closing time without politely asking them to be on their way
    5. you screwed up by putting a garment in a bag with the security tag still on it

  24. Im Just Saying says:

    I have to say, I expect more than “It’s your job” from Consumeristi. Everyone has parts of their job they hate, everyone interacts with people they wish they didnt, and everyone vents from time to time about seemingly trivial things that in the moment are the biggest frustration ever. If we expect to be treated like kings as consumers, we should at least have some empathy for the people that have to serve us.

    The OP probably isn’t the best spokesperson for the retail-slaves, but I’ll bet his point is shared amoung the masses.

    • aloria says:

      I highly doubt any “this is why hates you” rant is going to get someone to change their behavior. People who do things like mess up piles of folded clothing usually either think they’re an exception to common courtesy, or are oblivious.

  25. tungstencoil says:

    Note that I think these make good articles, but my standardized response:

    So what? I, as a customer, do not exist to make you “happy”. If my actions are truly that bad, your organization can choose to “fire” me by not serving me. In this case, they could ban me from the store for unfolding crap.

    What? They won’t? Why? Oh, right… because I might buy something!

    This run of articles on why someone (at the coffee shop, or a restaurant, or now a clothing store) might hate me is *hysterical*. True, if you do these things just to be a jerk, then… you’re a jerk. However, most of the lists encompass things that people just do as a matter of course.

    Disclaimer: I’ve worked as a waiter, bartender, retail, AND customer service. Yes, I hated a lot of the things listed. Yes, I understood it was part of the job, even as I hated it. Suck it up.

  26. JayDeEm says:

    Once in a while I will go through the t-shirts at Costco, and honestly do my best not to make a mess of the piles. However, if you say you carry sizes S-2XL, please have more than 2 of the 2XL’s in the pile of 200 shirts, that way I will not have to look through all three stacks trying to find the one shirt in my size.

    • caradrake says:

      THIS! I was helping a friend try to find some capris at Costco. The sign said they were available in S to XL and in an array of colors. We looked through the ENTIRE stack and could not find a size large in a grey/black combo. Tons of every other size and color combos. And all of the sizes were scattered through the entire table.

      Went to another costco, and about 75% of what they had were black/grey capris in size large…

  27. missitnoonan says:

    Hold on, isn’t this The Consumerist, motto shoppers bite back? Why are we hearing stories about peeved service providers who our dollars support? And if you’d stop piling shirts on top of each other where I can’t see the sizes I wouldn’t have to disrupt your precious pile.

    • SimonGodOfHairdos says:

      I don’t know if they still do this, but when I worked at Old Navy we used to have size stickers near the fold on the t-shirts, so all you had to do was flip through the corners of a t-shirt pile, then lift it to pull out your size. It was very convenient.

  28. wrbwrx says:

    You created the problem by not helping the shopper find the size they need.

    Here is the elegant solution. Buy plastic coated shirts that are prefolded and stacked just like a Chinese restaurant has those awesome plastic foods that let you look at what you get before buying.
    you will never have to fold again.

    We could just use the internet and bypass retail stores altogether.

  29. MacRtst says:

    sorry if it’s too difficult for some of you to be neat and orderly…Really, is it that hard to put it back the way you found it? I was doing that even before I worked in retail.

    I’d hate to see what your frigging houses look like.

    Our job is to service you as a customer not pick up after your lazy ass.

    If you need help with a size ask for help. We will be more than happy to get it for you.

    Merry chrismas

    • aloria says:

      I’m glad to know retail workers operate on a hive mind which ensures consistent reactions to requests for help.

      Most times that I’ve bothered to ask if they had my size, I got a surly or lazy “oh, if we have it it’s in that pile somewhere.” response. You might want to check to make sure your CSR borg collective hasn’t lost control of some of its members.

    • qualityleashdog says:

      You mean your manager told you it wasn’t your job to fold shirts, keep the piles straight and maintain them? I think not.

  30. catskyfire says:

    I like these articles, and I’m not going to post ‘it’s your job’ like so many do.

    We all have things we hate about our various jobs…and we regularly talk/blog/whatever to vent our frustrations.

    On this topic, there’s even a comic strip (, and syndicated) that deals with the frustrations.

    I like these articles because they share a side we don’t usually think about. We go to a store and while we’re vaguely aware that there are live people involved, we don’t tend to think about them when we scrabble through a pile of t-shirts looking for a particular size. Even if we think we’re the careful ones, we’ve all seen those who aren’t…or who don’t care if their offspring play ‘make a clothing mound’, etc.

    If we, as consumers, think even a half-second before doing something that is likely to make someone else’s day worse, maybe it’d help.

    Now, if you’ll pardon me, I need to go work on a blog about ‘things I hate about answering the phone’. (Just kidding, although people who curse at me at full volume might well be on it’)

  31. Doubts42 says:

    This whole article reads like it was written by a spoiled teenage princess.

    #1. as others have said, then sort the clothes correctly. Won’t help you with me though. i have a long torso and have to unfold that t shirt to make sure it won’t be a belly shirt on me.
    #2 Waaah! i have to spend 5 seconds grabbing some clothes off of hanger and the floor in my CLOTHING RETAIL job.
    #3. The stupidity of this point is summed up here “They’ll hate you for the first five seconds but in the long run, trust me. You’ll be appreciated.”. All I care about are the five seconds where I am actually in the store. Afterward why would I care what you appreciate?
    #4. Sorry bout your luck. Shoppers stay late, that pays your wages. now the reading lady is extreme. A manager should have approached the lady.
    #5 Sounds like it’s your fault for being too lazy and clueless to remove the security tag in the first place.

  32. pastthemission says:

    Make the sizes easier to find then, put them on the side instead of sticking the tag inside the shirt.

  33. smashedpotats says:

    “if work were suppose to be fun, you wouldn’t get paid for it”

    ever wonder why i do most of my shopping online? sucky store employees

  34. quail says:

    Although written with too much venom –she must have just left her shift at The Gap before writing — she makes one point that isn’t mentioned much in Consumerist.

    Want better service? Then try to put things back the way you found them. No, it doesn’t have to be perfect but it gives the retail salesperson more time to assist customers. Granted, that’s a perfect world scenario but when floor help is busy cleaning a mess they’re not going to have much sympathy in helping you find your pants size or locating some stupid shirt you saw in an advertisement.

    Wonder why retail workers can be grumpy? 1/4 of the shoppers at least behave like preschoolers and don’t apply what the average kid learned in Kindergarten.

    (Side note: I picked up some retail hours recently and can’t believe how badly behaved many of the shoppers are. They don’t act that way at work or at home, then why do they feel they can when they’re shopping?)

  35. ookie-o-e-o says:

    take out student loans and go to graduate school for your masters degree, then, retard. Retail sucks for a reason.

  36. CookiePuss says:

    That’s why I always prefer an employee to follow me around like a puppy and abide my every request of retrieving me new clothes. I like to have them show me various ties against different imported fabrics for a nice custom look with matching silk socks. Perhaps they can show me some new wardrobes over a nice glass of wine for an hour or so explaining every detail from the material used to the country of origin to the history of the designer. After I pick out a few suits its time to get measured for a custom fit. Fweeeeee!

    Ohhhhh. You’re selling graphic teeshirts? Yeah, I can completely understand the annoyance of having to keep them folded when customers want to see what they look like. How ever do you manage?

  37. Qantaqa says:

    Yea, no you won’t. I’m sorry, but asking for help in retail is about the *last* thing that will actually help when I have a question. Granted, this isn’t true in every store, but do you know how many times I’ve had the “eyeroll” or the “I’m talking to my co-worker about that other co-worker and I will ignore you until I’m finished” treatment?

    I keep the piles as neat as possible, but they’re going to get slightly messed up. I will put things back where I found them, but they might not be exactly the way they were before. You have a store, I have money, we both have problems dealing with each other, but we both just muddle through so you get your paycheck and I get my chinos.

    • Qantaqa says:

      Oops, this was in response to MacRtst who said:

      “If you need help with a size ask for help. We will be more than happy to get it for you.”

  38. DD_838 says:

    Yeah ok, I am not going to walk on egg shells around the Gap because you don’t want to do your job.

  39. lettucefactory says:

    These complaints really are valid, but what a tone…the writer even gives us a step-by-step procedure for finding the right size shirt, only to say that if we follow the outlined procedure, we’ll annoy her “less.” So we’re going to be annoying just by existing, I guess? Well, I feel welcome in your store now!

    It also works both ways. I can’t be the only one who has walked out of a fitting room with an armload of rejected clothes (because they can’t manufacture anything in consistient sizes anymore) only to see the rack overflowing. Then what? If I leave the clothes in the dressing room, I’m being annoying. Even if I put them back where I got them I’m probably being annoying because I’m not putting it on the hanger or on the shelf just-so.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      You pretty much have to try everything on these days. Even when I go and pick an XL off the rack and think it will fit me, sometimes it is massive, and sometimes it is way too small. You just never know, even if you think the item will fit it might not. Trying on the item before I buy it is better than returning it, because then the person working the service desk will complain because I am returning something that didn’t fit and I am causing a problem cause I am doing that.

      No I don’t try on clothes for fun and I don’t scatter clothes everywhere in the store with no respect at all, but lets be reasonable here, people have to pick up, look at and try on clothes to see if they fit.

  40. Spooky says:

    I worked in retail for a few years while in college. Though this is annoying, its your job to keep everything folded. yes it sucks, but so does the job. No need to mess up a whole pile, but the top on is always doomed.

  41. Amnesiac85 says:

    Hey, you know what would make life easier? NOT putting clothes in a neatly folded pile of various sizes. How else are people supposed to find their size other than digging through?

    Let’s not forget the variation of sizes. In one store, I found a t-shirt Medium that fit me perfect, and a Medium t-shirt that was too tight. So naturally, I’ll put the Medium that was too tight back on the shelf.

    How about finding a better way to display clothes? Here’s an idea: have one shirt out on a shelf that displays what it is, then behind it, have the rest of them on hangers. No folding mess!

  42. axiomatic says:

    Hey minimum wage folders of the world. I suggest piles of smalls, piles of mediums, etc instead of stacking them all (s, m, l, xl) together. That way I wont fick up your pile of (work) trying to get to those L sized shirts.

    I reccomend that you blame your general managers and not your customers who only want to hand you their hard earned $$$ that I am pretty sure is where your salary comes from..

  43. quirkyrachel says:

    I used to work for Kohl’s (worst job ever), and yes, it’s annoying as hell to have to refold the clothes. But you know what? Stuff like is, you know, why I had a job in the first place. If the clothes magically refolded themselves, then they wouldn’t need to hire people would they?

  44. Harmodios says:

    You are so right, we should write an article on how to annoy all said groups.

    From past articles I learned that:

    – Waitresses hate it when you order tea
    – Tell cocktail waitresses you’ll pay cash, but than use credit card
    – unfold clothes for retail people
    – always bring loud and whiny children.

    Consumerist brethren, lets go out into the world and do this!

  45. ohiomensch says:

    My kids worked in retail like this. Stores do this on purpose. They fold the clothes and tuck the price tag inside so that you have to pick it up to see how much it is. I guess the reasoning is that if you pick it up, you are more likely to buy it. Don’t blame the customer, blame the management who follows that business model.

  46. Outrun1986 says:

    Perhaps if clothing sizes were standardized we wouldn’t have to unfold clothing. Most of the time a shopper has to unfold a shirt to see what it looks like, judge the size and see what kind of material its made of. A small in womens clothing can be as big as a medium or it can be very very tiny, so how are we to know if it will fit if we can’t even pick up the merchandise to look at it!

    If you were hired to fold clothes, that is your job, what you were hired for, and that is what you should expect to do. I can think of a lot worse jobs. I would rather stand in front of a shirt rack and fold clothing all day and answer customers questions rather than be forced to cash out customers while having to sell a certain percentage of extended warranties to customers that aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

  47. mystery79 says:

    I worked at the Gap and yes it was annoying – because people did it for size reasons, and usually there would be shirts of the same type on a rack hanging you could check. And people would throw them around – example full price shirts on a sale table, then another customer would pick it up and scream @ the register person because it was “on the sale table”.

    And maybe you could argue it’s that person’s job to fold it, but it’s also irritating from a consumer perspective when the XXL is on top of the XS and the sizes are out of order.

  48. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Your job is to fold and display merchandise. Mine is to ruffle through it to find the ONE thing that may possibly fit. Excuse me if, when I’m finished, I do not fold them to your specifications – I haven’t had that *exhaustive* t-shirt folding training that you have.

    ~seriously though. I make every effort to leave everything as I found it. But griping about your job duties when you have the right to quit at any time, is asinine.

  49. Augie says:

    Oh nooooes! You have to re-fold a shirt and take precious time away from standing around with your co-workers snarking about the useless customers! Damn work is soooo hard!

  50. XxSuntoucherxX says:

    Working in a clothing retailer for 4 months years ago I learned to just deal with peoples idiosyncrasies. It occurred to me that people are people and they’ll never change. I know when I shop out of respect I’ll put back whatever I took down fold, (to some degree) whatever I unfolded and return whatever I tried on in the dressing room. Whenever I shop and see frustrated customers not being able to find what size they’re looking for then pout that there’s nobody available to help them, I continue searching for what I’m looking for only to find it somewhere else in another pile. I can’t help but to feel sorry for people that would rather grandstand than be compassionate. Retail workers work just as hard as anyone else, and while their job may be marginalized by their company or the customers that shop there, it doesn’t make them any less worthy of respect.

    True, there are exceptions. There are people that would clearly rather be somewhere else while texting on their phone or hanging out in a department socializing, but these are the ones that don’t even respect their jobs. Don’t punish the coworker that has to work over the ones that could care less. At the end of the night someone is working hard to recover the store, and others are taking a break. In the time it takes someone to be a dick, try being a human first. You might actually feel better.

  51. ames says:

    That quote is so douchey, I don’t even want to read the rest.

  52. Suburban Idiot says:

    I do try to be careful with the folded shirts in the few times I shop in an actual store, but sometimes you have to unfold the shirt and hold it up to see if this particular version of the size is the same as other shirts of that particular size (I have Old Navy t-shirts that say they’re the same size but are actually different sizes).

    Of course, more often, I’m not unfolding anything because I’m shopping online. And when we all do that, no store employee will have to worry about shirt folding every again.

  53. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    “5.) In a hurry? We don’t care. So many times, people get impatient when the alarm goes off because a sensor is still attached to their jeans. “UGHHH I’m in a rush. I can’t believe this.” I don’t care, dude. You’re rude. We’re just trying to run a business here and you’re going to have to come back anyway to get the sensor removed. And we don’t trust you. So if you put up a fuss, we’ll probably start to think you’re trying to steal something. So relax. We’ll take care of the situation as efficiently as possible because you annoy us and we want you out of the store ASAP too.”

    Maybe the clerk should remember to take the tag off in the first place.

    Otherwise, I see this person’s point, if I don’t think they are all the end of the world situations. I’ve worked retail, it sucks, I’ve hated customers, but if messing up t-shirt piles is the worst thing you deal with in a day, count yourself as lucky.

    • SilentShout says:

      As if the sensor thing is not a much bigger issue for the customer. If you leave a sensor on my item, I had better either have my receipt or be ready to receive the side eye as an “obvious shoplifter”. Oh please, if you think I stole the item call the cops, otherwise do your job and shut up.

  54. benko29 says:

    This is the same reason, I think, that in libraries there are signs that say “Do not reshelve books”, and they have collection shelves placed strategically amid the stacks. They’d rather return the books themselves than have them misplaced and impossible to find in the future.
    Of course, in a public or university library there are thousands upon thousands of items arranged meticulously. In a typical Urban Outfitters there’s maybe a couple hundred t-shirts…
    So boo-fuckin’-hoo retail worker. You’re so hard done by.

  55. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Why are clothes folded so I can’t see the size tag without dismantling the pile?

    Why is the size/color I want always at the bottom of the pile?

  56. B* says:

    Dude, how long does it really take to fold a shirt? Seriously. I used to work the clothing section at Target. They had boards for idiots, but any employee out of training with half a brain can fold a shirt neatly in about three seconds. Pants in maybe four. I’m all for consumer manners but this “100 reasons why X employee hates you” crap is getting annoying. Do your job and move on with your life.

  57. jake.valentine says:

    This is a ridiculous rant by yet another person who either wants to be paid without a need to complete any actual work or wants to cherry-pick just what tasks to do during their working (used very loosely) hours. Just another reason to shop for everything you can on-line. I’d hate to inconvenience these people by providing sales which can lead to a job. Everybody wants a check, but very few people are willing to actually work.

  58. The Cynical Librarian says:

    Next up on the Consumerist: Why your barista secretly hates you
    …You know how when you order your coffee and I ask if you want it upsized? You look at me like you didn’t just say what size you ordered, that annoys me. Also; when you say you want a large black coffee, don’t get mad at me for asking if you’d like cream or sugar, I’m just doing my job.

  59. heybebeh says:

    Wouldn’t it just be easier to have all clothes on hangers? You could even have multi-level racks with two, or even three, rods on which to hang clothes, depending on the type of item. I *always* think things look better on hangers, and this would almost completely eliminate the need to fold stuff. I don’t think it would take up too much space at all.

  60. ben gardners boat says:

    Reminds me of that snl skit with Sean Hayes and Jimmy Fallon as the snobby store folders. Perfect.

  61. soxfantoo says:

    Stores like yours seem to hire two kinds of people…cashiers and folders.

    Instead of shooting dirty looks…..did it ever occur to you to walk over …..and assist the customer? No, you probably just watch and then fix the pile after the customer has walked away,

    Your store probably gets rave reviews from your Regional Manager who loves your neat store. Too bad management doesn’t care more about selling to the customer and less about those neatly folded piles.

  62. plasticorange says:

    Get a different job shirt folding monkey.

    I used to work retail for a few years in HS/college. Folding shirts sucks, so I got a couple Masters degrees and get paid a lot more now (bonus: no shirt folding)

  63. jayde_drag0n says:

    know what i really hate.. and i am not an employee.. but as customer.. People who cannot bear to put their fucking carts away! It makes me rage hard

    • ellmar says:

      Dear Jayde_drag0n,

      We have take up a collection and would like you to have these –
      . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Please add one to the two dots you already use in your comments. (An ellipsis always contains three dots.)

      Thank you.

  64. yagisencho says:

    Having customers sort through piles of clothes may seem inefficient, but they want you to hold the merchandise. Once it’s in your hands, you’re more likely to buy it. So this problem won’t be going away for retail shoppers anytime soon.

  65. tanyamel says:

    Ugh – I can’t believe how vicious some of these comments are. Let me put it in a way that will hopefully sway some of the “It’s you job, shut up and take it” folks: Every minute a retail person spends on cleaning/folding/fixing a mess is a minute that they are NOT HELPING CUSTOMERS.

    I worked at the Disney Store, and that meticulous mountain of stuffed animals in the back was my horror show for months. Every day I spent about half of my shift maintaining it. HALF of my shift had zero to do with customer service.

    Be considerate of things that don’t belong to you, that others are responsible for. That’s all. Try to be neat when using a display. No big deal.

  66. magnetic says:

    At least stack things in an order where I can predict where I’ll find my size, instead of digging through it all.

  67. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    1) a. If you want the shirts to stay neat then stack them in such a way that I can easily reach the size and price tags without unfolding everything. You think I want to dismantle the stack just to find what I need?

    b. Make sure the shirt sizes stay in order. Actually, that one is for consumers too.

    2) Put a sign in the dressing room asking people not to leave clothing in there. I put things back if I don’t want them but I know that some people think that employees prefer it if we leave it for you to put up rather than us putting things back incorrectly (kind of like how libraries tell you not to re-shelve books).

    3) I actually agree with this one even though I think it’s dumb to get mad at the customer for handing the employee the clothing they don’t know where to put back when you just asked customer to hand the employee the clothing when coming out of the dressing room.

    4) I agree. However, this is also your manager’s fault. Any employee should be able to tell customers that they are closing the store and that they need to leave (or at least get to the register with what they’ve got). I can’t believe you couldn’t tell someone who was sitting there reading to get out; they probably didn’t even realize what time it was.

    5) In a hurry? We don’t care.

    This is the exact WRONG thing to say after going on about how annoyed you are that other people are wasting your time, especially when the the problem the customer is complaining about is your fault.

  68. milty456 says:

    Job security…you don’t like your job..let someone else do it who needs work….someone call the waaaaaambulance

  69. EcPercy says:

    Oh well…. I don’t know how to fold them back like they were, but I won’t buy something without being able to inspect it first and trying on a few different ones… If you don’t like your job… QUIT

  70. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    Personally I hate tables with stacks of shirts and whatnot – I’d much rather see the clothing on a rack so its easy to look through them, and it DOESN’T leave a mess.

  71. BlkSwanPres says:

    I think the biggest problem with articles like this is that they don’t point out customer types, they say everyone, I do not act in the offensive manner in which they describe, yet I am lumped in with the people who do. That’s what gets people angry. And I am sure that the OP would say “well we appreciate customers like you.” But they don’t, because if they did they wouldn’t have written this article the way they did. The OP seems bitter and jaded, I am really sorry that life didn’t work out for you the way you wanted, but it’s no reason to blame me. I am sure that people like the OP make other people’s lives just as hard when they aren’t at work

  72. verdegrrl says:

    How about placing a sample item on display so I can see the length of the sleeve or body, along with details front and back? Up close enough to see details, not hanging from near the ceiling in an often dark store. Granted it won’t cover specifics, but it reduces the random pawing.

    I’ve noticed that the removable stickers that show size when the item is folded, makes sifting far less common (although it still happens). If Target can do it, then others surely can.

    Beyond that, refolding the clothing is form of job security. :)

  73. Spanky says:

    As someone who worked in the retail clothing industry, I back this guy. Stop chastising him for complaining about his job. His job is to also help you find things because he wants you out of the store as much as you want to be out of it.

    SO: When he asks you “Can I help you find anything?” DO NOT reply “Just looking.” Tell him “Yes, I would like this t-shirt in a medium. Do you have it?” He knows how to search piles without messing them up. Chances are, he’ll probably go and get you one from the back that hasn’t been tried on and manhandled.

    You get out with your item, he makes a sale. Everyone is happy.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      But then you get people who complain about you making them do your shopping for them and that’s a legitimate complaint too.

      I shouldn’t be making someone run and fetch everything I want when the stock is right out there for me to get at.

  74. Taydin says:

    I worked in retail for 7 years and I can understand this worker’s frustration. I was not a lazy employee. I just rather be able to quickly assist customers with finding what they need, set them up with a fitting room, and ringing up their merchandise, than cleaning up the 100+ shirts a 13 year old decided to sweep into a pile on the floor. I understood that re-folding those shirts until the crack of dawn was part of my job, but it wasn’t the primary part. Retail employees are there to sell you something and provide adequate customer service while doing it. For those who complain that the store shouldn’t even have folded up shirts, retail employees agree. We would love for everything just to be put on hangers. Unfortunately, it is usually the corporate marketing people, who probably have never worked in a retail store, who get to choose how clothing is displayed.

  75. Nikolii says:

    I worked a stint as “retail support” in a major department store in an extremely busy mall for a while. My job was essentially to unload stock and keep the dress shirt area neat and pretty. Our pad had about 8-12 10 foot tables (depending on promotions and seasonal issues) with folded dress shirt stacks, in addition to 6 large rows of cubes in the middle of the floor.

    I didn’t mind if people shopped them. That really doesn’t bother us. They ultimately pay our checks. Most customers will at least try to put things back if they can’t find the size, or notice that the size is inside the collar and printed on a sticker at the back of the collar and bottom front of the shirt on most brands we carried. The ones we hated were the customers that would just toss shirts everywhere on the table, knock over every stack, and/or mix up the colors. That’s the line for me. That’s where it, to use an example someone used earlier, it goes from the hotel maid making the bed to the hotel maid being forced to clean up urine and feces off the wall. The worst one I ever dealt with was this one asshole managed to ransack 6 different tables looking for a size we didn’t carry (14.5, 36 sleeve, long. Honestly I don’t even know if that exists). Normally, if we see a customer looking confused digging on the table, we ask if they need help. Almost every time they say “Oh I’m looking for {SIZE}.” We know where they are, we can look it up to see if we even have it, so we’re glad to help. This guy turned away help 5 times while he trashed half the pad until he finally asked if we carried that size. Recovery on a normal shopping day for us might take 20 minutes. After this guy was done with our tables, it took an hour (our manager was really big on sizing the stacks and having the color in a specific order, which makes this even more time consuming since he mixed up 6 tables worth of shirts). Yeah, it was my job, but that’s the type of customer from hell they’re bitching about.

    • SimonGodOfHairdos says:

      I once had a guy place his toddler down in the middle of my table of 500 perfectly folded t-shirts. He was waiting for his wife and the kid was getting antsy, so his solution was to let her trash my hours of hard work. I almost killed him.

  76. Kitteridge says:

    You know, this is the third (I’ve seen) in what appears to be a continuing series on “Why Even If You Didn’t Know It, You’re Pissing Off The Hired Help.” This includes cooks and waiters and now retail sales people.

    I am now echoing some of the other commenters here — quit it, Consumerist and you irritated service economy people. I do not want to know that I’m somehow irritating you by asking for an extra fork because that means you have to walk 5 more feet to the utensil rack, and if everybody did that you’d be walking an extra mile a night.

    You are hired to do a job. A good portion of doing that job is dealing with customers, and making them happy. I agree that there are a lot of jerks out there who will do the equivalent of asking for 10 forks, but up to and including that particular over the line moment — suck it up. I am not going to be asked to care if I don’t leave the shirts back exactly as you folded them earlier.

    What the heck else are you going to do with your time to look busy if the store is empty? And I do promise, the more stink-eye you let out, the emptier your store will become.

    Good grief.

  77. wellfleet says:

    This person needs to STFU and here’s why:

    1. Neatly folded clothes on tables are meant to attract people and get them to *touch* the merchandise. Customers are more likely to purchase something they have touched. In fact, I worked in one store where we had to put the item in the customer’s hands. So asking people not to touch the merchandise decreases their likelihood of a purchase.

    2. Call it job security. If they could throw a bunch of sweaters in a bin and have a machine/robot sort them and fold them, there would be less demand for store staff. In fact, I’m going to invent this right freakin’ now.

    3. If you feature a long-sleeve t-shirt, for example, and you have the shirt folded in such a way that I can’t see how long the sleeves are, how they’re finished, and if there’s a different design on the hem, then that’s shitty merchandising. If I take a neatly folded t-shirt and pay for it without looking at it and find an embroidered flower on the sleeve, I will kick a puppy. Do you want that on your conscience?

    4. I totally get dealing with messy pigs who don’t respect your workspace and tear your displays up. I worked retail. However, part of shopping for clothes is interacting with the merchandise and I try to do it as neatly as possible. That said, I’m not going to go and borrow your folding board and fold back a shirt I just looked at. I will try and put it back as neatly as I can.

    Grow up. Consumerist needs to hashtag this #firstworldproblems

  78. Rose says:

    Here’s a tip, fold them so we can see the size right on top, instead of folding it in or not including the size on a sticker.

    Barring that, hang shit up or deal with it.

    When I worked in retail, I was always pathetically grateful for the extra hours I would get while working in the clothing department. It made the gross dressing rooms worth it.

  79. ccuttriss says:

    While reading these comments I was, initially, aghast at the general “shut up and do your job” attitude. Then I realized that this is the Consumerist: a blog about the customer and how great or unjustly abused he or she is.

    I was in retail for four years, and the majority of my job was cleaning up after customers. For the vast majority of my time there I enjoyed the work. Customers, in general, were very pleasant as long as you treat them with the respect you expect from them. However, every single day there was a customer who came in and apparently had a bad day and decided to take it out on the shirts. We had an admittedly poor sorting method, but the customer would move 3/4 of the items and do absolutely nothing to try to put the items back the way he/she found them.

    It was infuriating. Since my time in retail, whenever I go shopping for clothes, I either make a damn good effort to return the clothes to the state I found them in originally, or return them to an associate. Leaving items strewn about the place and using the excuse “it’s ok because they might buy something” is unacceptable.

    Businesses do not own the customer, nor does the customer own the business; act like human beings. The basic point here should be “treat others how you want to be treated”. An old axiom for sure, but the common decency of a lot of people can be appalling.

  80. phonic says:

    Alright, I am a retail worker. I am am Assistant Store Manager-Visual Merchandising. It is my job to make the store pretty and keep it that way by putting in place all the various recovery methods the OP talks about and to make my staff recover the store at night…sometimes they do stay until 1am. Here is the reality. This is what they are hired to do. I tell my associates if someone messes up a stack after they have recovered it for the night that means they did a job well done. Someone was interested in that item enough to look at it. As I can sympathize with the OP, this is their job and this is just a rant like anyone else has about their job. If I had to give people advice about shopping it would be this: be nice. These associates are not paid a ton and do not deserve to be treated like crap by you because you are having a bad day, your sitter didn’t show and now you had to bring your kids shopping, we do not have your size in stock and/or we do not speak your language in our store because you are from somewhere in the world. We have had customers at my store who were so nice we didn’t mind they messed up the entire store at close and we are going to be there for another hour to recover it.

  81. junip says:

    So the employees are complaining about the very thing that allows them to work enough hours to pay their bills? Would they prefer we replace them with folding robots that roam around the store?

  82. packcamera says:

    Well captain crankypants, if you turned the shirts so the neck was closest to the customer or made sure the size/price tags were visible, then we wouldn’t have to dig through the stacks of XXLs to find the one Medium buried at the bottom. If you organized better instead of following the staus-quo, then you wouldn’t ave anything to complain about.

  83. meg99 says:

    I’ve worked in clothing stores before, and spent an hour+refolding several different kinds of jeans at Urban Outfitters (each with their own special fold!) only to see a group of tweens pull it apart in 3 minutes—but that’s your job when you work at a place like that. The tweens walk away , the salesperson comes back and spends another hour cleaning up the jean wall. Just the nature of the job.

  84. DowneMixedBoi says:

    It does not take a long time to fold a pile of shirts.

    I am a retail manager, stared at the very bottom.

    Use a T-shirt folding board.

    • brinks says:

      One pile, no. A hundred piles, yes.

      Are you familiar with the store Delia’s? I used to get stuck there for at least 2 hours after closing time on the weekends (often longer) folding the massive wall of t-shirts.

  85. brinks says:

    Take this hint from a retail manager: folded items have visible size stickers. Usually, you can see the size by just lifting up the front right-hand corner of each shirt in a pile.

    Retail sucks. You know it, we know it. Please help us hate our lives a little less.

  86. Me - now with more humidity says:

    I survived a Christmas at GAP simply by finding some weird Zen thing in folding. Your mileage may vary.

  87. jerrycomo says:

    A-HA! They DO use the Flip Fold, I do too!

  88. JeremieNX says:

    Common decency and manners are dead in modern American society. The “hired help” is getting more and more cranky because on top of the crap they have to deal with from management (non-living wages, 12 hours a week, never having any holidays/family time, etc) they get to put up with every mouth-breathing imbecile who is so far stuck in “Me Land”.

  89. crazydavythe1st says:

    I identify with all the responses, and the OP in some respect, but..

    Why can’t you guys just fold things like normal people? It doesn’t look as cool I suppose, but it also doesn’t take rocket science to figure out.

  90. DEVO says:

    Wow not much sympathy. This is a good crowd.

  91. Miraluka says:

    Having worked retail for a number of years (before becoming a corporate puppet and cubicle monkey), I can relate.

    However, I disagree with the sentiment that my “job description” was to clean up after other people’s mess. My job was to assist customers in their shopping experience. Sure, part of that is setting up the store the night before and early in the morning so that the place looks neatly organized and is therefore easier for customers to locate what they’re looking for.

    Part of the “training” for this job…besides how to properly fold and stack items, was how to identify the customers who are approaching the stacks and are looking for their size. It’s pretty easy to see, pretty easy to approach them, and assist them with finding their size. You have two open hands and know how to cleanly find their item. Another commenter said it before, sometimes customers will have stuff in one hand/arm and will just find a size and try to rip it out from between the stacks.

    Example from experience: Working in clothing retail, saw a pair of customers approach a table that had stacks of polo shirts. They were taking the top shirt off the stack and opening it up to see what it looked like. This is common, this is expected, this is fine. However, they then began to look for their sizes by picking up EVERY shirt and opening it up and holding it up to their body. Every stack. Every shirt. Then throwing the shirt to the opposite end of the table if it wasn’t what they were looking for. THIS is the kind of customer that retail workers hate. Not the normal customer who looks at one shirt, then puts it back down on/near where it originated from.

    I don’t know, but this is a common gripe from retail workers. It’s something they’ve always got to deal with, because some people seem to have this air of superiority about them thinking that because they’re the customers…they can do whatever the heck they want in the store and “someone is being paid to clean it up.” I think it’s dumb that there are people who are shopping in a store that automatically think they are better than those who are working there.

  92. El_Fez says:

    It might be because I’m really loaded right now, but dude needs to shut the fuck up. That’s his damn job, and me browsing shirts is not causing problems. That’s how I figure out what I want to buy – you know, try things out and see if they fit.

    Or would you rather deal with my fucking return when the shit dont fit?

  93. tiz says:

    i worked retail for 6 years. the fact and the matter is, you can spend 8 hours making a display of folded t-shirts, jeans, whatever, look pristine. then, you can have 30 people come into the store and look for their appropriate size. even if EVERY. SINGLE. ONE of these people were extremely careful in selecting their size and placing the pile back down nicely, the display STILL would not look as good as it did in the beginning. it’s called wear and tear.

    get over it.

  94. sopmodm14 says:

    yea, true, its their job, but them folding clothes hurts customer service overall

    as consumers we should be more considerate in some regards

    otherwise, we deserve service fees tacked on if we mess things up

  95. macruadhi says:

    I don’t care how much you dislike doing your job. Part of your job, whether you like it or not is cleaning up my mess. That doesn’t mean I or anyone should ransack the store, but some refolding, rehanging, etc, is to be expected. And yes, I’ve worked retail and I took the job with the full expectation I’d have to do all the stuff you don’t want to do. It seems to me that you expect to have to do nothing at work except ring people up at the counter.

    Maybe this whiney little girl should quit her job and let someone who will appreciate it have it.

  96. SilentShout says:

    As usual, everyone is missing the point. If you hate your job so much and feel like you’re doing the work of 3 people maybe you’re being exploited by your employer. Y’all could bitch about innocent customers, or get a brain and a backbone and form a union. Don’t tell me it can’t be done – every employee has a right to organize, and if you get fired for it it’s obviously not such a big loss.

  97. kab90 says:

    Here is something you are not realizing, there are fewer and fewer employees on the sales floor. You may have 3 on a entires dept store sales floor. It’s not just messing up the piles of shirts. It’s leaving your cups and food wrappers every where, pissing on the fitting room floor, shitting in a shoe and walking away acting like nothing happened. Have shit run out of your childs diaper and continue to walk out of the store like you didn’t see it. Not watching your children as they distroy display items and you do nothing about it. Taking makeup form the cosmetic counters and drawing on the maniquins. People showing up before the store opens demanding you exchange an item because they have a photo shoot in 30 minutes and you didn’t try the jacket before that to see if it fits. Then you yell and scream at us because we are not willing to break the rules and give you discounts your not suppose to get and possibly lose our job over you. The things I have discribed above are all things that have happened in the last 6 months in the retail store where I work.
    We don’t have a problem with you looking at the merchidise but don’t be an jerk about it.
    Before you say quit complaining get a real job, I did have a real business I owned a business with my husband. Then he got ill and couldn’t work. I had to find a job just to keep us going. There are not alot of jobs out there I have all the business experiance but things are tough where I live and retail is what I could get. I need to feed my family just like you.

  98. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    My favorite part of the job while working as a bagger at a grocery store was putting items back on the shelf that had been moved out of place. It was easier and quieter than dealing with customers directly, I wasn’t subject to weather conditions like when I gathered shopping carts and it meant getting comfortable with the store layout, which in turn made me an asset to the company because every time they changed the layout I knew where to find stuff before everyone else.

    What really sucks about retail/customer service is helping customers who think they’re entitled to /everything/ and that it’s your job to give it to them because you’re too young to work anything other than a minimum wage gig. There are limits, man.

  99. salesguy says:

    You get paid to fold the clothes….So if you don’t want to fold said clothes then GET ANOTHER JOB. If you don’t want another job then SHUT UP AND DO YOU JOB!

  100. E-Jungle says:

    I don’t feel sympathy for these people, they are supposed to do what they get payed for…

  101. Tokarev_Makarov says:

    Once I get past the snark and angry tone of a lot of these rants, I do see something valuable. There really is a lot of inconsiderate behavior on the part of restaurant patrons, retail shoppers, etc that makes life less pleasant for both employees and fellow consumers.
    Is it really such a bad thing to read something from the “other side” and end up reflecting a bit on what you might be doing that isn’t fair to other people?
    In this case, being a “good shopper” doesn’t mean magically finding your proper size, thereby leaving the whole pile undisturbed. It means not pulling the whole thing apart to find one item, and then not even attempting to fix up what you’ve done.
    Snark and anger aside, I don’t see what’s so bad about someone saying, “hey, you’re making my job unnecessarily harder, and perhaps you didn’t realize it until I spoke up about it.”

  102. ohayou_kun says:

    Eh T-shirts are somewhat easily handled. It’s more of the fitting room and register where you get the worst. People will buy sets, try to swap sizes (e.g. Small top, Large bottom) and then have the guts to get mad at me when I tell them they can’t do that. You can normally tell when a person does this, they bring 9 different pj sets with them into the fitting room, and half of them come to the register on the hangers. I’m not dumb, and I won’t sell them to you like that. If you’re two different sizes top and bottom? Get separates, because no one appreciates buying a mismatched set.

    I generally don’t mind customers looking through the piles, you can browse all you want. However, you start picking up stuff and engaging in a panty war with your friend is not acceptable. Especially when you say in another language WHICH I CAN UNDERSTAND, that you’re making the mess/fight to confuse the sales associate so you can steal a bunch underwear and a bra is NOT OKAY.

  103. lumberg says:

    My struggles with the stupidity and lack of courtesy from customers led me to create a blog dedicated to these people that have tormented my life for over a decade.

    It’s called Retail Ramblings. I don’t want people to think I’m just a spammer so I won’t post the link here. If you want to read more stories about the absolutely crazy things customers do, just go to google and search Retail Ramblings. It’s the first page that comes up.

    And in response to most of the people here who’ve said things like, “Shut up, it’s your job,” I’m going to post one of my entries from that blog.

    First and foremost, let me say that we, the employees of the customer service field, are human beings just like the rest of you. We have families, friends, lives, and bills. We have good times and bad, great accomplishments and horrible tragedies. Just like you, we do have emotions, and just like you, sometimes our emotions can get the best of us.

    I’ve heard it said by many people that if you work in the service industry, you should be prepared to always put on a happy face and give each customer the most pleasant and wonderful shopping experience they’ve ever received. Typically, those same people say that if you aren’t prepared to perform that way, then the service industry isn’t for you. This, oh arrogant customer, is a crock.

    There are very few people who work at Walmart because their dream was to spend their career stocking shelves at Walmart. It’s quite unlikely that the guy who makes your burger at Burger King does it because it was the greatest aspiration he had for his life. Sure, there are people out there like that, but the number is likely to be something like one out of every thousand.

    The majority of service workers are doing the job for two reasons: They needed a job, and (insert company name here) hired them. Plain and simple.

    The common notion out there seems to be that if we don’t like working customer service jobs, we should get out of that field. Right, because it’s just THAT simple. Not everyone has a degree to get a job in their preferred field. Not everyone has the money to GET a degree in their preferred field. And while a degree isn’t necessary to get a job, the majority of the most easily accessible jobs out there involve customer service in one form or another.

    For that matter, many don’t even HAVE a preferred field because they haven’t yet discovered something that they really enjoy doing. It took me four years after high school to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. In the meantime, when you’re a teenager with no work experience under your belt, who is going to hire you? The answer, of course, is the customer service industry. Sure, there are others here and there that might want to take a chance on an inexperienced teenager, but the majority of job opportunities come from the service field.

    And that’s what most customers don’t seem to understand. We are just working our way through college. We’re working a second job to pay bills. We’re trying to buy cars, pay off student loans, pay auto insurance, etc. We’re not trying to sell you a pack of paperclips at Staples because we have some kind of absurd passion for office supply products, we’re doing it because it was the job we were offered, and it pays the bills – or some of them, anyway. You can’t expect us to be all happy-go-lucky about leading you to the toilet paper aisle or super-sizing your french fries. It’s not exactly a very fulfilling lifestyle, but for most of us, it’s a temporary necessity. If you told an unhappy retail employee to get another job if they didn’t like customer service, they’d likely respond with, “I’d love to. Who’s hiring?”

    Then there is the human factor that no one ever seems to take into account. As I said, we are people with lives just as much as you are, and we experience emotions too. I remember a day when I worked at CompUSA where I almost got in trouble because some over-sensitive customer got all worked up over something that wasn’t even about her. We had three long lines at all the registers and we were trying to get people out as fast as we could. One of our salesmen brought up a cart full of stuff – a computer, monitor, printer, etc – for me to ring up. Then he decides he forgot something and runs off, telling us to wait a minute. I started to get pretty annoyed because we had a lot of people waiting and the salesman had stopped my line dead. Well, this customer saw me shaking my head in disgust, and when the salesman returned, she demanded that he summon the manager because I was “huffing and puffing” over having to ring up their sale.

    I didn’t have a problem with her before that, but you can be sure that AFTER she jumped to that absurd conclusion, I was pretty ticked off at her.

    If an employee is taking a personal call at the cash register, most customers get annoyed. What if it is an emergency? What if they’re getting an update on a sick relative? What if the babysitter just called to tell them the electricity had been shut off? Customers have no idea what’s going on in these people’s lives, yet they whine and complain if they aren’t helped in less than thirty seconds. And should something happen that offends them, nothing less than the unemployment line for the offending employee will satisfy. That’s right, if someone loses their cool and tells you to “Shut the hell up,” you respond by demanding that person’s job. Should the employee have said that to you? No, of course not. Should he lose the ability to pay his bills and feed his family for it? Absolutely not. We are human beings. We have emotions, and we make mistakes. Get your heads out of your rear-ends and move on with life.

    And while we’re on the subject of pay, let’s talk about the money issue. Many customer service employees work two jobs. Sometimes three. Why? Because we get paid next to nothing while the world is expected of us. Take my cashier job at CompUSA, for example (the old CompUSA, not the current one owned by TigerDirect). For $7 an hour, we were expected to sell Product Replacement Plans, Training Classes, Tech Services, Unmatched (Another phone/training service), CompUSA Credit Cards, Add-on products, and AOL. The phrase “Ask Every Customer” was pounded into our heads multiple times daily. Our numbers were closely monitored, and we were ripped in half when we didn’t reach our goals. And don’t be so foolish as to think that we were given commissions or spiffs for those things. For a short time, commissions were a part of the CompUSA pay structure, but they were so small it was laughable (we’re talking $10 for meeting your goals for a week), and they didn’t apply to cashiers anyway. So, given all of that, how enthusiastic and happy can you really expect an employee to be?

    Staples was the same way. Their company is trying to position their “Easy Tech” department to be a contender with Best Buy’s Geek Squad. Yet the only “technicians” they hired while I worked there were recent high school graduates who were not certified. Why no certification? So they could pay them $8.00 per hour, of course. Honestly – what kind of quality tech work can you expect from that kind of employee?

    Then we have to face the ramifications of all that. We ask every customer to buy every service we offer because our bosses demand that we do it. So, of course, every customer gets angry that we’re badgering them to spend more money. You see us as money hungry employees trying to squeeze every last penny. In reality, we’re just trying to keep our jobs. And when our inexperienced “technician” screws up your computer because the company wouldn’t put out the money for a real tech, the customer service reps have to take the heat from the customer for it. And we’re getting paid like crap, too.

    Customers don’t seem to grasp any of this. The phrase “The customer is always right” seems to have brainwashed people into thinking that they should get their way no matter how absurd their demands are. And as I’m sure you’ve seen from the stories I’ve posted here, they can get QUITE absurd. I read a story on about a woman who got angry because a Costco employee tried to stop her from cutting ahead of the line of people waiting to have their receipts checked. Now, I’ll be the first to say that the employee had no right to act the way that they did, but at the same time, this lady really thought she was justified in cutting ahead of everyone else who had been waiting because she only had one item and was, as she put it, “in a hurry.” How does that make you more important that everyone else? Then there was the story of the customer who tried to use a taser on a Wendy’s employee who got their order wrong. How about the woman who called TheTechGuy! radio show to get help stealing her neighbor’s Wi-Fi connection? People just don’t understand how ridiculous their behavior can be or the hassle we go through in dealing with them, yet they expect us as service people to always be happy and enthusiastic.

    You want good service? Here’s the one and only tip you’ll need.

    You know how you expect us to treat you when you walk into our store or call our company?

    Treat us the same way.

    I promise you’ll have more good experiences than bad that way. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of lazy and uncaring employees out there who don’t give a damn whether you’re polite or not. But for the most part, you’ll get a far more pleasant experience with an understanding and friendly attitude than you ever will with anger and threats. Just keep in mind that sometimes, no matter what you do, you won’t be getting your way.

    Because the truth is that the customer is not always right.

  104. trencherman says:

    I used to work at “Structure” 15 years ago, and I loved folding. Seriously, it changed the way my closet would look the rest of my life. My favorite thing about it was that I could avoid customers that way.

  105. fokensheatman says:

    its been said before but i shall say it again
    F*** YOU.
    You fold shirts and other BS for minimum wage. You don’t like your job? Then find something else to do.

    • lumberg says:

      Of course, because folding T-shirts is clearly the only thing this person does. And, since non-customer oriented jobs are clearly a dime a dozen, finding another job quickly enough to keep up with the bills should be a piece of cake.

      Seriously, no one is asking you to do their jobs for them. They’re just asking that you not add unnecessary stress on top of an already stressful job. A job that pays FAR too little. Read my post above. Regardless of whether you like what you read, the stuff I wrote is true.

  106. dee1313 says:

    I don’t see why it’s so hard to clean up after yourself. I’ve had employees come and thank me because after I looked at an item, I folded it back up, as well as the couple other shirts that were messed up in that pile. Why? I avoid disaster zones. You can find great deals in those folded clothes piles, but if its a mess it easily overwhelms me (I hate shopping + difficult to find styles/sizes that fit = shopping crappy experience in first place). You’re being a douche to me, as a fellow customer, and the employees. Just clean up after yourself.

    If you still think you shouldn’t have to because it’s the employee’s job, imagine if I called your place of business over and over looking for a competitor’s number, or asking about what all your buisness can do, over and over and over. It’s your f***ing job to assist me. Sure, I can find it on the internet, but it’s your job.

  107. emptyV says:

    If no one ever messed up the shirts, then you would not have a job…think of it as “job security” for the unskilled labor force…now get back to work!

  108. RayanneGraff says:

    I have NEVER understood why stores insist on displaying clothing in piles. I’ve worked retail, and clothing stacks are a thorn not only in the employees’ sides, but the customers’ sides as well. It is annoying to have to dig through a pile of shirts or jeans to find your size & then try to pull it out without toppling the whole stack, and its doubly annoying for the employees to have to tidy up the stack after it gets destroyed.

    That said- people who tear up the piles and don’t at least ATTEMPT to put it back the way it was, or- even worse- the ASSHOLES that nonchalantly walk away saying “it’s their job to fix it!” really need to, well… die. Seriously, you’re a fucking snobby, elitist asshole with no manners, civility, or consideration for other people.

    One thing that I highly disagree with on that list though is her rant about people needing to not come in 20 minutes before closing. I can understand hating people that stay PAST closing, but come on- if your hours say 10am – 9pm, I should be able to shop till 8:59pm.

  109. SimonGodOfHairdos says:

    I worked at Old Navy while I was in college, and used to spend hours folding tables of t-shirts. It took an incredibly long time to get them all the exact same size (no flippy plastic things back then) and equally distributed on the table. After all the work I did, it was disheartening to see customers tear up the tables to find their size, but it was part of the job. What I couldn’t stand, however, was when people destroyed the shirts just out of pure assholery. Like the guy who was waiting for his wife who plopped his toddler down in the middle of my perfect table of 500 folded t-shirts, and let her rip it to shreds. A two year old was literally rolling around my table, throwing t-shirts as she went. At that moment I truly felt capable of homicide. But a table that gets messed up during the normal shopping process comes with the job and should be re-folded without complaint.

  110. weave says:

    Add up all the time required to needlessly refold T-shirts. Now if everyone was nice and kept them folded so staff don’t have to refold them, then the employer would need that much less hours of employees working. An employer is not going to pay to have someone sitting around not doing anything.

    So yes, we as shoppers should be careful handling the shirts, so the employer has less overhead to sell the item to us and passes some of that savings back to us in lower prices, not because a precious snowflake is bitching about having to work.

  111. thrashanddestroy says:

    Hand one; Its your job. You work at a clothing store, this is exactly what you’re expected to do.

    Hand two; I’ve seen some complete assholes pilfer entire tables of clothes trying to find something they want, only to walk away empty-handed and act like it was completely acceptable behavior.

    I’ve worked retail a lot longer than I’d like to, so I have a certain amount of respect for employees when I go shopping. Like the whiny guy suggested in the article, I just flip through the tags to find my size and remove that one…if I don’t want it, I neatly fold it and put it back. You’d be surprised how many people just snatch a shirt from the center of a pile, look at it, and toss it back ontop in rolled-up lump. I know they know how to fold, especially when I see a mother doing it. Like she’s excused from it because she’s already folder her quota of clothes after laundry day or some shit.

  112. dickmac says:

    I live in western NY, and we have a major problem with Canadian shoppers who leave clothing displays looking like s**t. They also buy clothing and shoes, and change into the new duds before leaving the store – you go to a stall in a mall or store restroom, and shove the old clothes out of the way before you can relieve yourself.

  113. KMFDM781 says:

    What’s with the entitlement bullshit I keep seeing on here from retail and service workers?

    • lumberg says:

      What’s with the “I have a right to be a lazy, sloppy, inconsiderate ass” attitude I keep seeing from shoppers?

      READ some of these posts. We’re not saying you have to fold everything up just perfect before you leave the display. We’re simply asking that you not DESTROY the entire thing simply because you know you don’t have to clean it up.

  114. jp7570-1 says:

    I’m with the majority here. Your job as a store is to sell me items. If you want to make the pile pretty and uniform, go right ahead, but don’t give me the stink-eye if the color/size/style that I want is at the bottom of your pile.

    Here’s an idea – stop piling merchandise on tables altogether and just hang them instead. There now, was that so hard?

  115. Wolfbird says:

    Cram it, OP. If we weren’t such slobs, you would not have a job paying you to clean up after us.

    Also, stop making piles with clothing of different sizes if you don’t want us to paw through them. The one that fits is always in the middle.

    Also y s ths n cnsmrst?

  116. Jemaine says:

    My clothes at home aren’t even folded neatly and really the only thing I fold is shorts and towels. So what makes one think I will fold the clothes in a store that neat? When I am looking at folded items in a store, I do try my best to fold them back and lay them nicely on top. Besides, most stores have that plastic folding apparatus that used to be advertised on QVC/HSN: the “Flip Fold”. I think I saw them in Kohl’s or somewhere once, so it can’t be that hard.

  117. joshargh says:

    If every consumer were to fold that shit back up, just as neat as you did in the first place, what would you be doing with your time? fact is, your getting paid shit, we both know this, there will always be another reason for you to hate your job and or your customers. I personally dont go out of my way to fuck your bowl of oatmeal, hearing how “annoyed” you are that I am even there browsing makes me want to.

    I dont shop to make you happy you have a job. get over yourself.