The retail industry has proven that people can be jerks, which is why many "Karen" incidents have been reported in these establishments. People have told horror stories about some of their customers in the retail industry.
Thankfully, not all of these encounters are annoying or shocking, which has helped restore our faith in humanity.
In a viral Twitter thread, people shared experiences that showed that some encounters in retail stores were quite beautiful.
The thread was started by Jenny from Washington, DC. Since then, people have been sharing positive experiences about retail workers who did more for their customers who were not acting like jerks.
1. The "Good Boy" Discount
2. A Stranger Could Afford It, Thankfully
Arguably, a healthy relationship between employees and customers is crucial. A new study by Zipline has revealed that the coronavirus pandemic has put a lot of stress on retail workers in the United States.
According to the study, 48% of the workers admitted to possibly leaving their jobs in the last year. Additionally, 64% claimed to have witnessed a greater level of aggression from their customers over the same period.
The study involved 512 retail associates and was done in November and December in 2021. The research also indicated that the number of retail workers looking to leave the industry had increased.
In total, 41% of those surveyed had considered quitting their jobs.
3. Sounds Like You're A Teacher To Me
4. Free Baby Formula
5. 8 Dollars It Is
Over half of the respondents said they were thinking about leaving the retail industry altogether. Nevertheless, a vast section of them would resign with the hope of landing better jobs.
4.5% of the workers left their retail jobs in December 2021 as opposed to 3.1% of workers in December 2020. This was according to information by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in their monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS).
6. Keeping A Homeless Person Safe
7. Charging Only A 6th Of The Price
8. Two Different Cashiers
The reality of these findings was evident as retailers advertised over a million job openings towards the end of 2021. The increased demand for labor had resulted in higher wages.
Top companies like Walmart and Amazon have complained that labor costs had gone higher and reduced their margins.
That means the retail industry is great right now for anyone looking for an opportunity. Nevertheless, the study by Zipline shows certain risks come with having a job in retail.
9. A Small Sacrifice For A Stranger In Need
10. Pay Whatever You Have
11. Salvaging A Bad Date
12. Fun Cashier
The latest findings by Zipline also showed that 40% of full-time retail associates experienced worse mental health last year, and 48% of them had an encounter with a verbally abusive customer.
Luckily, 48% of the associates felt the management supported them fully when they faced a verbally abusive customer.
Out of the 32% of the full-time retail workers who admitted to having an additional job, 43% had a job unrelated to retail. 11% had another job within the industry.
Due to this, these employees lacked adequate time to take advantage of education or career-development opportunities offered by their main retail jobs.
13. Free Food
14. Whatever Discount Is Available
15. They Deserved More
16. Feeding The Homeless
The study showed that mental health worsens as burnout rates go higher. Zipline also noted that if the issue were allowed to go undressed, things would not improve.
Another worrying finding was that more than 50% of all retail associates said their mental health was either of no concern to their manager or the manager had a detrimental effect on their mental health.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that many of those involved in the study had considered quitting their jobs because they generally felt abandoned.
17. Filling An Important Prescription
18. A Bigger Order And A Hug
19. Small Gesture, Big Impact
20. One-Item-Only Coupon On All Items
Zipline made some recommendations on what managers should do based on the findings they had made after their study.
First of all, they recommended that the managers take a greater initiative when coming up with mental health infrastructure. Based on the study, about 60% of the associates surveyed said that the employer never had a mental health program or the employee did not know if such a program was in place.
Secondly, Zipline recommended that managers offer to pay for mental health days.
The recommendation was based on the finding that over half of retail associates thought that getting paid mental health days along with counseling and therapy would be a great idea. Others suggested getting paid gym memberships.
21. Relatable Stranger
22. First Class Treatment For Classy Customers
23. Couldn't Let Them Go Home Empty-Handed
24. A Very Grateful Client
Zipline also said that increasing the employees' pay would help reduce the pressure to take a second job. Increased income would also make the employees more committed to the companies as they would get time to rest and take care of themselves, translating into better mental health.
Managers were also requested to show that they were supportive of employees. The survey had indicated that 64% of retail employees had reported an increase in confrontational and verbally abusive customers over the pandemic period. Less than half of the respondents had the feeling that their managers were supportive of them during these encounters.
25. The Customer Must Have Been Incredibly Nice
26. Big Discount
27. A "Few" Free Donuts
28. $400 For A Complement
Zipline offered the fifth suggestion to managers. They asked them to acknowledge contributions made by the employees since less than half of them indicated that they felt that managers took note of their hard work.
Zipline explained that managers who acknowledge the employees' contributions would give them greater workplace morale and higher job satisfaction.
There is no easy way to fix retail associates' issues. Nevertheless, these strategies would ensure that the employees enjoy their jobs instead of depending on positive interactions with customers.