Working in any kind of service industry is kind of the worst. You have to deal with rude guests, ridiculous problems, and the pay is never anything to brag about. Retail may be the worst of all, though, with the number of people (and stupid questions) retail workers deal with on a daily basis. There’s one workplace comedy that encapsulates all the best and worst parts of working in a store: Superstore.
The TV show displays all the ups and downs you have working in retail so perfectly. And sometimes it actually makes it all look way too fun. Sure, none of us want to be stocking shelves or cashiering for the rest of our lives, but if it’s with this gang? We wouldn’t mind it so much.
17. When Glenn is a complete pushover because he’s trying to be too nice of a boss
Glenn (Mark McKinney) is a dream retail boss. He barely ever exerts any kind of authority and always wants to make sure his employees are happy. He’s basically the biggest pushover the planet. He’s also so laughably naive that he thinks everyone in the store is a perfect angel. That is exactly what we want in a boss.
16. When Cheyenne was proposed to while working and no one batted an eye
Bringing personal sh*t into the workplace is always frowned upon. But not at big box retailer Cloud Nine! Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) is elaborately (and kind of embarrassingly) proposed to during store hours right at the check lanes and instead of getting in trouble, her bosses cheer. That’s the kind of positivity we need in our work lives.
15. The totally implausible reality of customers not asking them questions every five minutes
One of the funniest things about the show is the random little asides showing guests puttering around, trying to find whatever the hell they’re looking for. And they NEVER ask for help. It’s amazing. Anyone who has ever worked in retail can tell you that helping customers with their sometimes-obvious questions is basically the worst part. Sure, sure we’re there to sell them things which keeps the lights on and keeps us in a job but still — talking to people, in general, is never fun. So if a store like Cloud Nine actually existed, where customers just ignored every working employee, I’d be on the payroll ASAP.
14. When the store gets to forgo the dress code for Halloween
Halloween in retail is no fun to work, but at least it seems like most stores let you sort of dress up. Obviously, you still have to be recognizable to customers who have questions. On Superstore, that isn’t even a concern. The entire staff dresses to the nines for Halloween — most in clothing that they definitely couldn’t work productively in. And it’s fine! No one cares! Yes, someone please pay me to stand around in my Halloween costume all day.
13. There is definitely no HR in the building
Okay, maybe this isn’t exactly a desirable thing, but it does make for some hilarious situations in the store. Assistant Manager Dina (Lauren Ash) is prone to saying things that literally have no place coming out of a professional’s mouth. But it’s hilarious and makes her a more relatable boss. While we won’t be giving up our HR department any time soon, it’s hilarious to see these people treat retail like a night out at the bar.
12. These co-workers have become like family
When Jonah (Ben Feldman) first applied at Cloud Nine, he was a college dropout and utterly lost in life. Now, he has friends and a whole work-family that care for him and want to see him succeed. It’s the warm and fuzzy work relationships that make you wish you were this tight-knit with your co-workers. Too bad in real life you’re just trying to dodge lunch with the weird lady in the cubicle next to you.
11. When they got stuck in the store during a tornado and it was like an action movie
Getting trapped at work all night during a devastating storm may not sound fun, but the Cloud Nine gang somehow made it exciting. Miraculously, no one was killed or seriously injured, which can only happen in TV-land. Everyone had daring escapes and romantic exploits during the tornado, and it almost makes you a little jelly that nothing that exciting ever happens at your own job.
10. Everyone gets real about their personal lives with each other because they actually care!
It’s hard to find people outside of work, let alone in it, that care about what you’re going through. But the Cloud Nine workers are all about helping out their retail family. Sure, they rag on each other, but they also rally together when one of their own is in crisis. In retail, you go through some serious stuff, so it’s no wonder they’re so close. You encounter enough crazy customers with your coworkers and you’re kind of bonded forever.
9. When they use the overhead speaker completely inappropriately and have no reprocussions
Imagine being able to say whatever the hell you want over the intercom in a store? It’s basically what the employees at Cloud Nine do every day. They make jokes at the expense of their customers and even call out co-workers on personal stuff all over the loudspeaker to the store. In most places, this would probably lead to you getting fired. But not in the greatest retail job ever! Think of all the fun things you could say without fear of being fired!
8. When they basically do whatever they want to the appearance of the store
Whether it be putting glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling of the store or covering it with Christmas lights, the employees pretty much do whatever they want to the store. And no one bats an eye! The results are pretty amazing, though, because who wouldn’t want to be in a glittering winter wonderland retail store at night!? This would never fly in real life which is probably why fictional retail work is the best job.
7. All the silly work rivalries
Let’s be honest — if everything is all happy and peaceful at work, it gets kind of boring. Having that work rivalry, and someone to talk endless sh*t about keeps it interesting! The Cloud Nine employees have this on lock. In retail, there’s always that one employee who doesn’t pull their weight that you just love to hate. But unlike IRL, on Superstore, no matter how badly two people hate each other, they’re still there for one another when they need it most. We could so use that at work.
6. When they totally killed it on Black Friday
Black Friday is the scourge of any retail employee, but the gang on Superstore almost makes it look fun. The chaos, excitement, and utter unpredictability makes the retail holiday not seem so bad. Even the year everyone got food poisoning from the free food in the breakroom makes their job look better than yours! The way they rallied together and got the job done makes us wish we were rallying with them. (And then sleeping for approximately a week.)
5. All the work romances
All the supervisors and managers dating subordinates! It would never fly in real life, but on this staff, everyone is just free to bang each other without consequence. All the little work romances on the show are pretty fun and silly and don’t really affect the workplace. And in reality, that’s half the fun of working in retail when you’re young: working with other young people and forging connections over all the craziness around you.
4. When Cheyenne has a baby in the store and the whole team comes together to help
Going into labor while working is definitely not ideal. Or sanitary. But the way the team comes together to help Cheyenne out when that becomes her reality? So admirable. You could only wish your workplace was that united. In some jobs, you barely know the people around you, but in retail, you’re forced to interact with everyone to get stuff done. Or to deliver a co-worker’s baby! It’s inspiring and totally makes us wish we could apply to Cloud Nine.
3. All the downtime they have!
The Cloud Nine employees spend a solid 90% of their day on hijinks and maybe 10% working. Let’s be honest here — that’s the dream. Standing around all day gossiping and dealing with the problem-of-the-week would be something we’d proudly spend 40 hours a week doing. Sure, we could never pull this off in real life, but can’t we just pretend retail is actually like this?!
2. When the employees went on strike and weren’t all immediately fired
The biggest lesson you learn from retail is that you are completely replaceable. Walking out or striking basically guarantees that you’ll be fired and replaced before you can even list your demands. But not at Cloud Nine! In this mythical world, striking leads to higher pay and benefits and retaining your job. They’ve somehow fixed the biggest flaw in retail work by showing workers being listened to and respected. We’d totally work in a retail store like that.
1. When they actually got to sass customers
I think we would all work retail if we were allowed to tell customers what we really thought. In real life, that’s a definite no-no, we want them to buy things not run out screaming. But on Superstore, it’s just par for the course to dish sass right back at annoying customers. And that’s amazing. Give me a job where I can tell people how stupid they’re being all day long without any consequences and I’ll know true happiness.