Retail workers have taken to an anonymous internet forum to share secrets about their jobs they think will shock consumers.

One user started the Reddit question-and-answer session under the headline: "To all those reddittors who work in the retail industry, what's a secret us consumers would be surprised to know?," and more than 2500 workers shared their experiences.

From warnings about hygiene and revelations about what shopkeepers really get up to when they go "into the back", the responses came in thick and fast.

One man who works on a farm shared a word of warning for shoppers, explaining: "I work on a farm. When they say you should wash your produce thoroughly at home, they're not joking."


Sticking with the theme of hygiene, other retail workers shared their somewhat disgusting tales of a day in the office.

"Someone has to clean up s*** off the floor in the restrooms. Not every once in a while either, every day. Every day someone goes into the bathroom and somehow gets s*** on the floor. It will never make sense to me," wrote one.

Someone working in a food shop claimed that they're far less hygienic than they may seem. The anonymous person wrote: "At grocery stores, they use the carts that you put your groceries in to take out trash throughout the store (even bathrooms) and don't sanitize it after."

For anyone frustrated when asked whether or not you have a store card, one user shared the reason why. They wrote: "We HAVE to ask if you have our 'X' card. Managers are often discreetly observing transactions and writing up little feedback cards. We'll lose our jobs if we keep skipping that question and we dislike asking as much as you dislike being asked."

Meanwhile, other workers emphasised how important it is to be nice and respectful towards a retail worker - and it can even get you better service.

One worker wrote: "Surprisingly that if you are nice to us, your experience will go a lot smoother. I'm still shocked that customers who abuse us for something beyond our control expect to have their issue resolved so quickly."

Another worker admitted that every shopper is being profiled by the store's security, explaining: "Worked 10 years in retail. Our loss prevention team profiles you. Teenagers, especially in groups, are watched the entire time they're in the store.

"You are economically profiled, if you look like trailer trash or a gangster or just s*** broke, there's a camera on you the whole time."

Many of the posts were centered around what workers really get up to when they go "out back" - and why it's sometimes pointless asking them to do so.

Being nice to retail workers could get you even better service. Photo / Getty Images
Being nice to retail workers could get you even better service. Photo / Getty Images

Sharing something they want the consumer to know, one home depot worker wrote: "We aren't hiding merchandise from the consumer. I work at home depot and people seem to think that by saying 'I'll just go to Lowe's then!' means it'll magically appear in the store.


"And on top of that, your declaration of taking your business elsewhere doesn't affect us the way you want it to. I'm not gonna throw myself at your feet and beg that you stay and apologise with tears in my eyes because we don't have anymore 100W daylight light bulbs. If you can find it at Lowe's then get it there."

Another added: "If we say that an item is not 'in the back' without going to check, we were probably back there before you asked, despite the many customers that think we're lazy."

But one honest worker admitted: "Working in retail also, I usually tell the customer I'll check in the back so I can check my phone real quick."