Hi Retail Hellers! Its Long Time Retail Slave here again to share with you another story of my personal retail hell. It has been a while since I shared a story, so if you forget, I told you all about my adventures in pet store hell.
Anyway, this time I’m going to share with you my adventures in grocery store hell! I want to note that these situations took places YEARS ago and I no longer give a flying fuck about that store. Because of this job, I vowed to never work retail again.
First a little back story: at the time, I was living with my aunt. And by “living” I mean she graciously allowed me to sleep on her couch. Kind of a lousy deal but I had nowhere else to go. So anyway, I was looking for a job and applied everywhere. I narrowed it down to two choices: a grocery store and a clothing outlet. I picked the grocery store simply because it was closer (I had no car at the time) and the clothing outlet offered only weekends.
I go in for the interview at the grocery store and the store manager asked me why I picked their store. Typical interview question, so I did what I always do: lie through my teeth. I said because my father was a store manager. Which is true, I just left out the part where I hadn’t talked to him in 20 or so years.
Turns out, my father was some kind of fucking mentor to the store manager. Needless to say I got the job and even though I applied for bagger, I got to be a cashier. Things started off fine enough: everyone in the store seemed to be nice and they were always smiling. This should’ve been a red flag for me; nobody fucking loves their job that much, especially in retail. But I was naïve about the world in general, so I thought that the people were actually happy to be working there.
Needless to say, the job sucked big hairy monkey balls. To say they trained me is laughable. I had never worked a register before in my life and loathe everything about math. I told them this, so what did they do to “train” me? Stuck me on a register to watch a ridiculous video with a talking bag as my “trainer.”
I didn’t learn a fucking thing. Bad thing about this is, about three or so weeks into the job, I get called into the back room by the manager. Apparently I was off on my till for a while. (Basically, every fucking time they checked? Idiots.)
I did what they call shadowing, which is basically standing by a cashier and watching what they do. Now, the cashier is supposed to tell you things, like how to run a check and shit. Mine sort of did but left out something pretty big: count your till before you go to break. I hadn’t been doing this and that’s why my till was always off. You think the manager would understand this and not write me up right? I laugh in your face. Yeah right, he fucking wrote me up. And I signed because I was a moron.
I could talk all day long about how much this job sucked but let’s just cover the basics: they would call me ALL THE TIME on my days off. It’s not like I would miss a day or write down my schedule wrong or anything. They would lie to me about my schedule. For example, if I was working Wednesday, had Thursday off, and worked Friday, I would get a call on Thursday with some dumb fuck asking me why I wasn’t in. I would ask them what the hell they were talking about and they would tell me that I was supposed to be there an hour ago. This is something to note: they would NEVER call ahead of time so that I could possibly make it there on time.
Literally EVERYONE knew that I had to get a ride or ride my bicycle to/from work. For them to call me and expect me to come in was ridiculous. I would never answer the phone or flat out tell them to go fuck themselves and I wasn’t coming in. I made sure to check the schedule to the point of being OCD about it.
The baggers were nice as hell and I was friends with most of them. Some of the cashiers were nice while others were tolerated. However, the worst people of all were the customer service girls. I kid you not; they were like the mean girls in high school and gossiped about everyone. They were rude as fuck and most of them treated you like they were your manager. I was enemies with most of them because I take no one’s crap, especially some piece of shit sorority girl wannabe who thinks she’s better than me because she gets paid $8 while I get paid $7.50. There was one really nice customer service girl who I felt terribly bad for because she had to put up with so much shit it wasn’t funny.
I woke up one day to find out that he had passed away during the night. I was devastated to say the least and seriously started to question my life at that point. Then quitting day came.
I was working as usual, numb to the world around me and trying to figure my life out. (It was VERY HARD to work because a lot of older people came into the store. It seemed every older gentlemen reminded me of my grandfather...) I get called into the store manager’s office and I knew something was about to go down. When I went into the room, the snotty customer service…whatever the fuck she was, was there as well giving me dirty looks.
A few days before quitting day, some old bitch had come through my line and started trouble. She gave me cash to pay and so I went through her transaction as fast as possible. When I was DONE, old bitch decided that she wanted to give me change. I told her sorry but I had already closed the drawer and her transaction was over. Old bitch was having none of that and practically demanded I give her change.
Now, I’m not great at math. I’ll admit that I’m terrible at it. I carried a calculator in my pocket for situations like this but I was NOT HAVING THIS BITCH’S ATTITUDE! She was extremely rude and out of line. I just snapped. I couldn’t take another old ass entitled customer breathing down my neck about some stupid piece of shit matter. My fucking grandfather had just passed away and I was done dealing with people like her.
I told her over and over that I couldn’t help her but if she wanted change, to go to customer service. We’re talking MERE CENTS here, people. It was like fucking FIFTEEN CENTS! I didn’t get what the big deal was now, and probably never will understand. When I tried to hand the old bitch her money back, she refused to take it. So I set it (ok I probably SLAMMED IT) on the counter, locked my register, and walked away before I punched the old bitch.
Well, apparently, the old bitch had called corporate who called my store manager and got her chewed out. (Not my fault that she probably got yelled at 1,000 other things because she was a shit manager) I’ll admit that I was probably a little rude to the old bitch, but what happened next was something I did not deserve. I was ready to sign the fucking sheet of paper and go the fuck home but oh no. Store manager wasn’t having that. (I have to note here that the store manager in this situation was different from the one I mentioned at the start of the story. THAT store manager was fucking amazing. THIS store manager was a piece of rotten fish that had washed up on shore and sat on the beach for too long.)
Bitch Manager wanted me to sign a piece of paper that was basically a warning and that would probably reduce my pay. (I got paid 7.50 at the end of my job there, which is a pile of shit.) I refused to sign it because of what happened. Not only did they start to lecture me about how to treat customers, but they wanted me to watch the surveillance tape. My blood was boiling at this point. I had, on several attempts, tried to tell the Bitch Manager MY side of the story but she didn’t care.
Her piece of shit lackey was smiling like an insane clown because she hated me from day one and LOVED this. They didn’t care about what I had to say. I was just some lowly cashier who they could take their anger out on. The Bitch Manager went into a tirade about how people come to the store from the hospital, how there’s five different stores that the store had to compete with, and how my “customer service” was reflecting the store’s numbers.
Right…I’m the one who opened up five other stores. I’m responsible for the store losing customers. It’s my fault. Certainly not the fact that Bitch Manager was fucking terrible at her job and everyone hated her. That this particular store was a dumping ground for employees the company couldn’t get rid of but who were otherwise pieces of shit. That’s my entire fault. Then she had the audacity to suggest that I speak to my abusive EX-boyfriend for some "tips."
My eye was twitching at this point. I was DONE, THROUGH, FINISHED with this job. I had been chewed out one times too many by this Bitch Manager and her lackey. I took my write up and ripped it to shreds in front of them both and told them what they could do with their shitty job. I was in TEARS because of how they kept tearing into me about everything. They knew absolutely NOTHING about my life and didn’t give a shit about me. I gave my two weeks, blocked my ex from nearly everything because he was stalking me, and moved back in with my mom. I haven't looked back since.
That was the worst job that I have ever had. I wanted to share this story with this website because I know there are people out there like me. I see them in stores all the time. Let me tell you something: your life is what you make of it. Don’t let ANYONE tell you how to live your life. My grandfather was an amazing man and I try to live my life like he did. I am now back in college, in an amazing relationship, and pursuing my dream of becoming an author. I’ve even written my very first novel and entered it into Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Award. The day I quit that terrible job is the day I started living. Let me tell you, if you have a dream, LET NOTHING STOP YOU! If your job sucks, it won’t get better. If you’re unhappy, a rainbow won’t magically appear and whisk you off to Never Never Land. YOU are responsible for your life and YOUR actions make your life better or worse in the long run. Live your dreams and never look back.
--Long Time Retail Slave