A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

15 Pet Peeves Every Victoria’s Secret Employee Has

You won't believe what we've found in the dressing room.


The holidays are the most stressful time of the year for us

Every Christmas we display beautifully wrapped gift boxes that are ready for you to put a bow on and call it day. But it’s frustrating to see customers tear open these boxes to inspect the items inside. Please leave them alone! There are always a few mannequins right next to the gift box display wearing the clothes inside. “Trust me! The mannequins aren’t just standing there playing the mannequin challenge,” says a brand merchandising supervisor who has worked at Victoria’s Secret PINK for three years. “It’s not only annoying for us but also for the customer behind you interested in purchasing it; they can’t buy it now because it looks like a hot mess.” (Here are some things your mall salesperson won’t tell you.)


Sloppy customers are the bane of our existence

Before we open every day, it takes us a grueling three hours to tediously restock the racks, neatly fold clothes, and color coordinate bras and panties. Unfortunately, many customers walk in and haphazardly destroy our handiwork without thinking about the time it took for us to fold that drawer of underwear. “There are standards we must upkeep when it comes to the panties on top of the display tables,” says a former merchandising associate who worked at Victoria’s Secret for more than a year. “The tops are almost always all mediums. If you’re looking for another size, look in the drawers below; it’s easier for both of us.”


Quit ghosting on us

“Nothing annoyed me more than going to get an item for a customer out of the stock room, just to come back to the floor and find they vanished,” says a former merchandising associate at Victoria’s Secret. Please don’t make me chase you around the store like a game of cat and mouse; it wastes my time and yours. Instead, stay put and I’ll be back as fast as I can. (Make sure you don’t fall for these 32 tricks retail stores use to get you to spend more money.)


Mind your manners

Courtesy counts! Sometimes we unintentionally block the drawers when we’re trying to fix a bra dangling off a hanger or straighten a disheveled pile of panties. Please be polite if you need to reach in past us for a size. “I’m not easily annoyed but I think just about anybody would be if a customer opened a drawer directly in front of you and hit your leg without saying, ‘Excuse me,’” says a three-year merchandising associate at Victoria’s Secret.


Don’t be greedy

Victoria’s Secret often advertises promotions that include a free gift with a purchase of $75 or more. It’s an awesome way to nab more stuff for less (like a free beach towel, a tote bag, or a new bottle of perfume) and it’s our way of showing that we appreciate our customers, but we don’t appreciate those who try to finagle a free gift when they don’t meet the requirements. If you don’t think you can spend the minimum all on yourself, pick up a few future gifts for others and we’ll gladly give you our gift, no haggling necessary. (These are clear signs you need to buy a new bra.)


Don’t trash the fitting room

We’ve seen the good, the bad, and the nasty in the fitting rooms. Not only do some customers hand us their dirty panty liners (which you’re required to wear to try on panties) when they leave the dressing room, we’ve even found used tampons lying in the corner. “The dirty underwear I have found in the fitting is uncalled for. I have had to burn my hands with soap, water, and hand sanitizer,” says a three-year merchandising associate.


Trust us! We are the bra experts

We live and breathe bras. Every employee is required to complete a four-day training session to learn about cup sizes, bra technology, and how to measure for bra sizes. “One of my biggest pet peeves is when people refuse to ignore the size we measure them at out on the floor,” says a former merchandising associate. “I do my best to give you the best fit.” If you’re measured on the floor, we always recommend customers visit a bra specialist in the fitting room to give you a more accurate measurement. Our specialists are happy to find your perfect fit and style you with bras that are best for your breast size and shape.


Decide which purchases you want before you hit the registers

Nothing irks us more than a customer who tells us they don’t want some of their items after we have scanned, removed censors, and folded their purchases nicely in the bag. “At the registers, we want to be as quick as possible so the customer behind you isn’t waiting for so long,” says a brand merchandising supervisor at PINK. “If you are indecisive about your purchase, don’t wait until the last minute to decide. That’s what waiting in line is for.”


We aren’t your therapist so please stop oversharing

At a lingerie shop, it’s normal to talk about intimate details like your breasts, but that doesn’t mean we also want to hear about the rest of your personal life. Hearing about how your buddy thought it was a wise idea to bring you lingerie shopping for his girlfriend to help you get over the death of your cat is, well, super awkward! (Here are some signs your shopping habits might be a tad out of control.)


If we say something is out of stock, it’s out of stock

Our stores are first-come, first-serve so sometimes our merchandise sells out quicker than we can replenish it. Please don’t ask multiple sales associates to check for an out-of-stock item, “just to be sure.” “If we ran out, we will gladly contact another store and see if they have it at that location,” says a brand merchandising supervisor at PINK.


Keep the private photos to yourself

Most men who come in shopping for their girlfriend, wife, or daughter don’t know their bra size and sometimes we ask for a picture to roughly guesstimate their size. Most customers show us photos of their loved ones in a shirt and jeans, but some take it a step further and show us a sultry camera phone snap of their girlfriend wearing nothing but a corset and thong. We’re not your buddy you need to show off to; those pictures are for your eyes only, not ours. (Also: Never share these photos on social media.)


Stop asking me if I make money off your sales

Nothing insults us more than customers who ask if we get paid to help them. How would you like it if we strolled into your office and asked you if you got paid for doing your job? Merchandising associates don’t get commission for sales, but we genuinely care about our customers and are happy to assist you to the best of our ability. (Did you know this surprising bra color won’t show up under white shirts? Hint: it’s not nude or white!)


Stay in your personal bubble

“Some customers do not understand what personal space is,” says a three-year merchandising associate. “They get all in your face to ask a question like they’re ready to kiss you or something.” We may get up close and personal to fit you for a bra measurement (with your permission, of course), but other than that it’s unnecessary to stand an inch from our face to ask for help.


Don’t give cashiers attitude if they ask for your ID

“I hate when I ask a customer for their ID at the cash register and they start to flip out,” says a former merchandising associate for Victoria’s Secret. It’s store protocol to ask for a customer’s ID when they use a credit card to verify their identity. We are saving you from potential credit card fraud, so please stop acting huffy. (These are the most trusted brands in America–and you probably already shop from them.)


Don’t be afraid to ask for help

“I don’t like when I ask a customer what size they need, they say ‘no thank you’ and mess up your neat pile anyway,” says a visual specialist who has worked at Victoria’s Secret PINK for a year. If you need help finding a size or color, let us assist you. We can find your item quicker than you can. (We have good news: shopping can actually make you healthier. Yes, really.)

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Ashley Lewis
Ashley is an Assistant Editor at Reader’s Digest. She received her Master’s Degree from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in 2015. Before joining Reader’s Digest, she was a Jason Sheftell Fellow at the New York Daily News and interned at Seventeen and FOX News. When Ashley is not diligently fact-checking the magazine or writing for rd.com, she enjoys cooking (butternut squash pizza is her signature dish), binge-watching teen rom-coms on Netflix that she’s way too old for, and hiking (and falling down) mountains.