Anyone who has ever worked in retail will tell you the job can be tough, brutal even. In addition to the stress of customer service, there are often weird rules for retail workers to follow. These directives run the gamut from somewhat understandable to downright baffling.
As if retail workers don't have enough to deal with, they must also be aware of everything and everyone around them at all times. They have to know who's in the store and who's checking out. Plus, if a store employee can't quickly locate certain items, customers tend to go berserk. It's not surprising that stress impacts retail workers harder than workers in any other industry.
On Reddit, users share stories about the bizarre guidelines they're required to follow. Some of their stories are borderline unbelievable.
From Redditor /u/SyNiiCaL:
I work in a large pet store. When going through Step 2 training, [in] our reptile booklet it states, "Do not lick the reptiles."
From Redditor /u/thesublieutenant:
I'm not allowed to contact mall security or the police without district manager approval.
I could have been just robbed at gun point in my store. My first call is supposed to be my DM to tell them I got robbed and "Can I pretty please call the police?"
…The store is a high-end retailer, so apparently it's because they don't want the negativity that is the police or mall security showing up being associated with the brand.
From Redditor /u/banterfluff:
I was told just this week that it's against company policy for employees to put their hands in their apron pockets however briefly. I laughed.
From Redditor /u/lemunplej:
Not allowed to have our phones even be visible on the sales floor, meaning if my phone is even poking a little bit out of my pocket, I'm gonna hear about it.
I don't care though and I don't want to leave it in a locker for my entire shift in case something important comes up (or I need to ID a song on the speakers).