In an impressive display of pure domination, surf store shop assistants have been crowned the most intimidating retail practitioners in Australia for the 19th year in the last 21 years. It seems their laid back brand of cool and hipness makes nerd customers feel uneasy in their presence, with some customers reporting the need to “psyche themselves up” just to enter a surf store let alone ask where the change rooms are. 

Some customers even reported a language barrier, as the shop assistants use words and phrases that are indecipherable for the average nerd. Left unchecked, this language barrier can result in some shoppers leaving the store with items that they don’t personally like and that they may never wear, despite insistence from the shop assistants that they look “saaa valid man”.

According to self-diagnosed nerd, Steve Roberts, the fear caused by just a quick visit to a surf store can be debilitating. “By no stretch of the imagination am I a cool man. So entering the natural habitat of this easy going and somewhat aloof retail species is a stressful encounter, especially if a male and female staff member are talking to each other and their confident yet level flirting makes me feel inadequate and alone. Plus, I’m pretty sure they prey on me to sell items that are no longer ‘in’ but they have excess stock. I’ve tried to embrace shopping online to avoid these uncomfortable interactions, but I’m always nervous that the sizings will be out.”