The Kris-Ten Commandments: Holiday Shopping Ettiquette

Meet Kristen

Kristen is a writer, volunteer and joke cracker with 8 years working in women’s fashion retailing as a store manager. She enjoys sharing her insights on fashion and postive body image with her clients and friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll get an opportunity to ask and receive a bit of snarky life coaching advice from this witty trend setter.

She is kind of awesome and I am so excited to have her guest  blogging for The Mother Flippin’ Blog. Enjoy the first of many Kris-Ten Commandments.

~ Tashmica, The Mother Flippin’ Blogger

The Kris-Ten Commandments: Holiday Shopping Ettiquete 

Whether you are the type of person who only ventures out into the world of the mall once a year on the dreaded “Black Friday” or if you are a regular mall rat; please take a moment to review your shopping etiquette here and adjust accordingly.

You may be thinking that these are the baseless rantings of a lifer retail employee who hates her job and is just mad at the world.

Not true!

I enjoy my job. My favorite part is getting to meet new and interesting people every day. I enjoy getting to know people like you and helping you pick out the perfect outfit for your graduation, bridal shower or first interview.

Clothing is very personal and is a starring character in your life. When you think about it, your wardrobe is your closest friend. It is always with you and always representing you.

Will you following these commandments make my life easier and my job more enjoyable?


Please trust me that it will make your shopping experience more enjoyable too. Believe it.

1. I am a human being, please treat me as such.

When you walk into a store and the associate greets you with a warm smile saying, “Welcome! How are you today?” Your sneer and snap of “Just looking!” or “No thank you!” or pretending you don’t hear me is unacceptable. How about  a smile? A little “I’m well, how are you?” Trust me, it won’t kill you. I make a living being nice…

2. I’m a manager, not a fortune teller.

With all of the sophisticated technology of forecasting, predictions, and traffic patterns and trends, there are still some times when everyone and their mother decides to go shopping inexplicably at the same time. When you see two associates running around looking like they need a sweatband and a Gatorade, your snapping fingers, exasperated sighs, drumming fingernails (seriously!?!), and snarky comments of “Looks like you need more people” are not appreciated.

We are doing our best. Calm down and be patient. It will make both of our lives easier.

3. This is not a daycare.

I’m sure your kid is adorable but chasing after Chucky who’s smearing his jam hands on every window, dismembering mannequins, tangling $100 worth of necklaces and pulling down signs in the window is time that can be better spent. Keep ’em by your side, bring a book or toy, I may be practically perfect in every way…..but I don’t do Mary freakin’ Poppins!

4. We are in the service industry, not the servant industry.

Yes, I get paid to help you find what you need, but that doesn’t mean that you own me. Say please and be polite. Jokes on you, I get paid to spend your money.

5. Haters gonna hate….leave cranky husbands at home!

If your husband is supportive and sweet…bring him in! If he’s going to pace in and out of the door scowling and stress you out which in turn stresses me out. Give him a twenty and tell him you’ll meet him at the bar of the restaurant.

6. Don’t act like a teenager. A.K.A. – I am not your mom!

I’m happy to put back the clothes you try on. I actually prefer it, because then I know they will be hung up correctly and put away in size order. So I guess I kinda am your mom, but could you please turn the clothes right side out? Maybe not wad them up on the floor and do the riverdance on them? Thanks.

7. We have a name for you…’s “Table Terrorist”

When you are getting a sweater out of the middle of the pile that is folded neatly on the shelf in your closet, can you do it without leaving the rest of the pile a crumpled mess? I thought so.

8. You don’t have to go home….but you can’t stay here!

“Oh, don’t worry….we have plenty to do.” “Take all the time you need.” “We’re in no hurry.”

All code for “GET OUT!”

Working crazy hours and most holidays comes with the territory, and we signed up for that. How do you feel when someone holds you up at the end of your day? Running into the store just as the door closes doesn’t mean that you’re a hero and you “made it just in time”. It makes you a douche bag.

Know what time the store closes and plan accordingly. Thanks.

9. Give the gift of easy exchange.

Hey, they may not like what you got them, it may be the wrong size, it happens. Here’s a couple tips to make returns and exchanges easy squeezy.

Don’t remove the tag, we need the tag. Don’t tear through the bar code, same as removing the tag. Ask for a gift receipt, make sure they get credit for what you spent. And above all else, please respect that different stores have different return policies. You will most likely not be getting showered with cash when you come in with a sweater from Great Grandma Scully that she bought for you during the Christmas in July sale five months ago. Rules are rules. We don’t make them, we just follow them.

10. Say “THANK YOU!”

You’re welcome,


3 thoughts on “The Kris-Ten Commandments: Holiday Shopping Ettiquette

  1. 3.2 – Don’t get mad when I give your kid candy and cookies to keep him busy while I complete the sale – it keeps his hands off my freshly-cleaned glass! :D

  2. I worked at a video store (DVDs, etc.). One of the things we sold was manga (Japanese comic books). it was extremely frustrating when Mom dropped off teenager and went about her other shopping while the kid staked out a spot on the floor, causing other customers to have to walk around her while she read two or three books. Not only is this rather rude (“this is not a baby-sitting service”), but it’s also a type of shoplifitng. If you want to read the book cover to cover, BUY IT!! I wanted to say something, but my manager told me not to…..

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