Greetings Curious Scroller,
If you've never landed in this part of cyber space before, you have taken a hard, fast plunge into the fiery depths of work hell. RHU is dedicated to giving the service worker a voice. If you are an angry customer, a corporate suite, a homophobic race-hater, and you don't like skull masks or swear words, this blog isn't for you. Click away now, before your ears bleed and your eyes explode.
I'm Freddy, Crypt Keeper of Retail Hell Underground RHU -- a place for service slaves to have a voice, tell their story, support each other, or just have a chuckle about the insanity of working in the 10th Circle of Hell! I'm also the author of "Retail Hell," the funny memoir about life as a handbag sales associate at an upscale department store! The sequel, "Return To The Big Fancy," has just been released in hardcover and e-reader and is available wherever books are sold!
A real life Fru T. Bunn baker who specialises in making edible gingerbread sex objects has agreed to pay compensation for sexual harassment to two young female workers after he gave them gingerbread penises topped with whipped cream.
The biscuits - designed to look like erect manhoods - were finished off with dollops of icing sugar, which was supposed to simulate ejaculation, a court in Salzburg, Austria, was told.
Two assistants at the bakery claimed the cookies were intended to sexually intimidate them and demanded 2,000 GBP each in compensation.
The baker, 47, claims he was simply showing the assistants a new product so they would know how to promote it to the shop's customers.
"We have a very different clientele, these cakes are really popular with stag nights and hen nights and other similar events. These clients like our sexy products and they use them in their own lives as a bit of fun. It's no place for prudes," he explained.
"This item has gone on to become one of our very best sellers," he added.
Judges at the Salzburg labour court adjourned the case after being told of there out of court settlement.
The pair agreed to take the payment, but the court heard that they have since been fired from their jobs.
So, Robin Williams walks into a sex shop dressed as Mrs. Doubtfire -- have you heard this one before?
Williams conducted an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit on Wednesday, and naturally, the comedian had some amusing answers. When one Reddit user asked Williams if he could share a funny or fond story about working on the set of his 1993 movie "Mrs. Doubtfire," the commenter definitely got what he asked for.
Yes. One time in makeup as Mrs. Doubtfire, I walked into a sex shop in San Francisco and tried to buy a double-headed dildo. Just because. Why not? And the guy was about to sell it to me until he realized it was me - Robin Williams - not an older Scottish woman coming in to look for a very large dildo and a jar of lube. He just laughed and said "what are you doing here" and I left. Did I make the purchase? No. * Did I walk away with a really good story? *Yes.
Talk about screwing up the sale of a lifetime!
Williams appears to still be quite attached to his "Mrs. Doubtfire" ensemble. Earlier this year he took to Twitter to call out Kim Kardashian as an outfit-repeater.
I'm surprised douchey Donald Trump hasn't snatched up this bargan!
PROVIDENCE — A strip club where a missing Boston 15-year-old girl was found dancing in July is up for sale — along with the adjoining adult bookstore, strip club, gay bathhouse and “personal service club.”
Cheaters Gentlemens Club, at 245 Allens Ave., faces a possible closure by the city license board for hiring an underage girl and for the arrest of a dancer who allegedly solicited an undercover detective.
The big pink strip club is part of the “adult entertainment center” listed on stripclubs4sale.com with an asking price of $8 million. The ad says the business and real estate — strip clubs, bookstore, megaplex club, “personal service club,” and two vacant spaces — are valued at $11.23 million.
“This is an outstanding business opportunity that offers cash flow in excess of $2.5 million!”
The ad doesn’t give the exact location in Providence or reveal the names of the businesses, but the description only fits the Allens Avenue properties owned by H. Charles Tapalian and registered to him and his family: Cheaters, Studio 253, Mega-Plex, Adult Video & News, and The Body Shoppe, all listed at 245, 253, and 257 Allens Ave.
Tapalian refused to speak to a Providence Journal reporter Thursday regarding the sale.
The advertisement went up on July 22, a week before the police found an underage Boston girl dancing at Cheaters. The teen was accompanied by a Massachusetts sex offender, who the police say put her to work in the club and was acting as a pimp for her and another 15-year-old girl.
The Providence police say that the teen solicited an undercover detective — and a week later, on Aug. 8, one of the veteran dancers did the same, saying the fee was payable to her and “the house.”
Tapalain closed Cheaters the next day, and a sign was hung on the door that the club was “closed for renovations.” There are no recent permits for renovations at the property on file at the city Building Department.
The city license board is expected to hold a hearing on Cheaters on Sept. 16. Providence police Capt. Anthony Sauro said the police want the club shut down. He says the club violated state law and city ordinance by hiring an underage girl and violated the city ordinance against chronic nuisance properties.
Cheaters came under investigation in 2009, after a 16-year-old runaway from Boston told Providence police that she’d been working at the strip club. That led to a city ordinance and state law banning anyone under 18 from working in the adult entertainment business. Licensed establishments that violate the ordinance face fines of up to $500 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses.
City Council President Michael A. Solomon, who sponsored that ordinance, plans to introduce legislation next week to require the sex businesses to get criminal-background checks on prospective employees to verify their ages.
Huff Po: In the same week that low-wage truck drivers, warehouse employees and fast-food workers are taking to picket lines to demand better wages, a small group of strippers in Colorado is going to court for the same cause.
Four exotic dancers are suing Fantasy Gentlemen’s Club in Grand Junction, Colo., claiming the club’s owner violated federal and state minimum-wage laws. The class-action lawsuit claims Fantasy made its dancers work only for tips, then took such a large cut of those tips that dancers sometimes made less than $7.25 per hour, the federally mandated minimum wage. Colorado state law dictates a minimum wage of $7.78 for some industries.
The case could have implications for the way strip clubs across the country operate. It also comes at a time when low-wage workers across the country are pushing for higher wages and President Obama is calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage.
“The case is fundamentally one of exploitation, of exploiting workers that are vulnerable because of the stigma that’s attached to what they do,” Mari Newman, the Denver attorney representing the dancers, told The Huffington Post. “It’s an example of treating workers as chattel.”
“They’re just looking for a handout, that’s what they’re looking for,” Eardly told HuffPost.
Filed in Colorado federal court, the suit alleges Fantasy broke federal and state law by classifying employees as independent contractors, denying them a minimum wage, overtime payments and other labor protections. Such an arrangement is common in the adult entertainment industry, Newman acknowledged, but in her mind, it's a clear violation of the law.
And Newman is not the first to make the argument. In April, a group of New York dancers settled with New York City’s Penthouse Executive Club for $8 million over a similar claim of unpaid wages. In July 2012, strippers in Atlanta received a $1.55 million settlement. And Kansas has ruled that, for the purposes of calculating state unemployment insurance benefits, strippers count as employees.
Newman says Fantasy’s case is particularly egregious. The club charged the dancers so many fees for the privilege of working there that, she said, dancers sometimes “ended up paying the club at the end at the night.”
According to the complaint, the club charged a fee per shift, then took a 25 percent cut of each private dance. At the end of the night, strippers had to hand over 14 cents out of every crumpled dollar they collected to pay bouncers and DJs. Strippers also collected “fines” for situations beyond their control, such as cases when a customer touched them inappropriately.
Eardly, the club owner, denies the club’s rules were onerous, saying that “the rules we gave them came from the liquor board, and are there so the club doesn’t get fined thousand of dollars.” He further claimed that dancers at the club average between $300 and $800 per nine-hour shift “depending on the day, depending on the dancer.”
Eardly does not dispute that he classified his dancers as independent contractors, but reiterated that such an arrangement is standard for the industry.
“These girls never mentioned that they were employees,” he said.
Not that they were encouraged to raise a fuss. One of the exhibits appended to the lawsuit, a photograph ostensibly from inside the dancers’ dressing room, shows a sign clearly instructing the women to keep their mouths shut.
“Any dancer complaining to customers about their personal lives will be fined,” the sign reads in all-caps. “They came here to have a good time not to hear about your bullsh*t!”
This is a story about my very first day at a porn store. I was 18, rebellious, and broke! It paid more than fast food, and was a pretty easy job. I just didn't think about what the CUSTYS would be like!
My first day (I should say night) of training started in Mid-April. It was unseasonably warm, and I arrived early to wait for my manager. I was sitting on the one of two chairs, BSing with the employee that was there before my shift. We had toys, magazines, and "preview booths" which were used for something that I don't even like remembering.
O, the co-worker, had this paper bag on the counter. I didn't think anything of it at first...until it started MOVING. O picked it up, opened it, and pulled out a snake. A live snake. In the store.
But that's not the weirdest thing of that night. A few minutes after the snake incident, a guy comes in. He looks nervous (and creepy... but that describes most of the customers,) but he asks for change and heads back into the booths. A minute or so later, he comes back out and the following exchange happened between him and O:
Creepy Custy: Do you have cameras on your back lot?
O: Yes, sir. We make sure nothing weird is going on back there.
Creepy Custy: Okay. Good.
Creepy Custy walks back into his previous booth, shuts the door, but then comes back out.
Creepy Custy: Are you SURE you have cameras on your back lot?
O: Yes sir. We do.
Creepy Custy walks back into the booth and shuts the door.
O looks at me, and says, "Should I call the police?"
I'm literally on my first night, so I shrug. He picks up the phone and calls the police. A few minutes later, they arrive and search the guy. They find a male sex toy, some lube, and a CRACK PIPE and some crack. When they searched his car, they found a whole bunch of illegal weapons; like unregistered guns and AK-47's. O and I gave our reports to police, and all my manager had to say about the incident is that we shouldn't have called the cops and should've just let him go.
I have plenty more stories from the PornStore, and my Retail Hell jobs (Including at a store that rhymes with Smears.) This won't be the last you hear from me!
From The Local Switerland News: Due to be opened officially in a ceremony on August 26th, the nine so-called "sex boxes" are located in a former industrial zone in the west of the metropolis, the city said.
The site will be open daily from 7pm to 5am, and only to drivers, who must be alone in their vehicle if they want to pass the gate.
Echoing a fast-food drive-in, they will have to follow a marked route along which up to 40 prostitutes will be stationed.
Once they have negotiated a rate, they will drive to one of the nine car-wash style boxes to have sex.
The boxes will be equipped with alarms, allowing the prostitutes to make rapid contact with police if they are in danger.
But with local residents fed up of prostitutes and clients plying the streets, notably along the riverside Sihlquai, the authorities decided to try to shift the sex trade from the city centre.
In addition, officials have said that they want to ensure the safety of prostitutes, stem trafficking by crime networks and reduce the role of the underground sex trade.
The sex-box plan was approved by Zurich's voters in March 2012 -- referendums from the local to the national level are the bedrock of Switzerland's system of direct democracy.
Work on the new site cost 2.1 million francs ($2.2 million), below the voter-approved budget, while running costs are expected to be around 700,000 francs a year.
Zurich has spared no effort to encourage the prostitutes and their clients to leave the city centre and use the new site, making it as pleasant as possible, with grassy areas and decorative lights.
It will be marked clearly with signposts sporting a red umbrella, a well-known symbol for the sex trade notably in eastern Europe.
To avoid putting off clients, city authorities said they had no plans to install video surveillance or deploy police at the site permanently.
Social workers and security guards will be on hand, however.
The sex-box plan is just one of a series of measures in Zurich to deal with prostitution, which is legal in Switzerland.
Since January, prostitutes have been required to obtain a permit to ply their trade.
To receive one, they must have a Swiss work permit and health insurance.
In addition, they must pay a tax of five Swiss francs per night of work.
Clients, meanwhile, can only seek sex in three designated areas of Zurich — the new sex-box site, a zone near a highway, and, for those on foot, in part of the old town district.
Reddit: Today in Dublin someone caused city-wide train delays by parking on the tracks in order to visit a sex shop.
I heard this story from a coworker, about her husband. It happened before they even met, but I thought it was kind of funny, despite how it went down.
Mr. PJ and a couple of his friends got drunk one day, and decided to go to the well-known sex shop in town and look around. Now, at this place if you go in with a purse or any kind of bag, you leave them at the counter and get them when you leave. As they decided to head out, his female friend asked for her purse back.
And the dude said ‘no’.
Now, Mr. PJ didn’t stop to listen if there was a valid reason behind the ‘no’. As he later explains, for all he knew, there was a legitimate reason behind the ‘no’ and the dude was about to continue explaining something that made a lot of sense, but all Mr. PJ heard was ‘no’ and he didn’t like the fact they weren’t giving his female friend her purse back as she asked for it.
He grabbed the nearest item he could find, which happened to be a very large dildo, and smacked the man across the face with it, threw it down, grabbed the purse, and bolted.
He’s now banned from the store for life for it.
So I wonder, would that count as SEXUAL assault and battery, or just REGULAR assault and battery?
I saw the call for Christmas stories, and I had to share mine from the Porn Store! I worked there two Christmases, and my first was definitely the most memorable! I thought it would be dead on Christmas Eve. I was sure, 100% positive that I had dodged the retail bullet: the last minute gift shoppers. Boy, was I dead wrong...
Not only was the store busier than normal, so were the booths. I had regulars coming in left and right, along with people that were just buying last minute gifts for their significant other. I had one big sale after the next. The Store Manager had bought giant stockings, and the counter was filled with little "stocking stuffers." I had run out of stockings halfway through my shift! The sales that night were so good that I got the highest sales for the month because of that night alone, meaning I won the cash prize for the month of December.
My night was going swimmingly... until Bitchface walked in. Bitchface started bitching immediately because we didn't have carts, not even hand carts. It was a damned pornstore, and a smallish one at that. We were used to people just coming in, grabbing a few items, and leaving. So, she brought everything she wanted to the counter, one piece at a time, complaining each time she did it. All she was buying were gag gifts, which were all on the same section of the wall.
She started counting the loose dick straws, when she turns to me and screams, "There's only 45 here! I need 50!"
I turn, smile, and say, "I'm sorry, ma'am. If we only have 45, we only have 45 until next Thursday."
Muttering to herself, she picks up the box of cheap straws, and all the boxes of more expensive straws (they had a more realistic look to them, and were sold in packs instead of individually.) She puts them on the counter, goes back for a few more items, and then demands that I ring her up.
As I'm starting to ring her up, she turns to me, and says smugly, "You are going to ring those boxes of straws up as the cheap straws because you didn't have all the straws I needed."
Now, had it been one box, I would've done it (and not gotten in trouble for it.) Had I done all the boxes, I would've gotten fired for theft. I smile and tell her that I can, indeed, ring ONE box of the more expensive straws up, but not the five she had picked up.
She went BALLISTIC. Over a few packs of 3 dollar box of dick straws. She finally settles down, agrees to one box, when she spots the hand blown glass dildos in the case on the counter (ha, handblown dildos.) She immediately demands that I unlock it so that she can come behind the counter (um, no) and handle them all to see which one she likes best. I tell her I can't let her behind the counter, but I can hand her each one she wants to look at.
I hand her the first one she wants to look at, and she promptly drops it. It didn't break, fortunately, but she smiled and apologized for her butterfingers. I politely tried to assume it was an accident, even though something told me it wasn't. That's when she took the second one, and threw it against the floor, watching it shatter. I mean she threw it at the floor. She smiles at me, tells me to finish ringing her up, after I witnessed her throw a $300 dildo onto the floor. I cancelled the transaction.
One of my regulars, C, came in during the beginning of the tantrum. C works at a prominent Fortune 500 company, and is a big wig. He's also a boother. Staring at the woman, he says a name. Bitchface spins around, and she turns white as a ghost. As he explained to me later: he's her boss, the straws were for the Christmas party she was hosting that night that he was to attend. He pretended that he was there, solely to buy a "gift for the hostess" since he knew the party was X-rated. I, of course, played along, not revealing his secret.
"I watched you scream at that cashier," C said, with a stunned look on his face, "And I watched you intentionally smash that glass piece!"
"Sir," She said, her voice barely above a whisper, "I can explain..."
"No, you can't," C said, matter-of-factly. "Even if the cashier was treating you poorly, which I saw that she wasn't, you had no reason to smash that glass piece. You are lucky that it's Christmas and I won't fire you on the spot if you do what I tell you to do."
"What can I do?" She was crying now, and I could see her shoulders were shaking.
"You are going to apologize to the cashier, pay for your items, including the glass piece you broke. If you do not, this young lady will call the police and report it. You will walk out of here, and you will never return to this store again. Don't think you are completely off the hook, either. We will be having a discussion about how you act in public reflecting upon the company. Understood?" She nodded, tears pouring down her face. She apologized to me, paid for all of the straws and the glass piece. I was even still nice and gave her the discount I had offered earlier. It was Christmas Eve, after all.
When she walked out of the store, so did he. He told me later that he informed her that he was so mad that he didn't want to attend her party that night. In fact, he just wanted to chill out and look at the cute guys coming into the store (and there were indeed cute guys coming in.)
After they both left, the local delivery boy from the Chinese restaurant walks in with a big bag of food. All my favorites, actually. When I explained to him I didn't order, and I didn't have the money to pay him, he told me the order had already been paid for, including his tip!
When I asked who paid it, he looked at the receipt and said, "Mr. C." C was there so much, and so often, that he remembered what I ordered when I got Chinese for dinner/lunch. When he came in again, about an hour after the incident, he apologized for her behavior, and told me Merry Christmas before disappearing into the back.
May your Customers be full of Cheer instead of Piss and Vinegar,
I happened to work at an adult novelty shop chain (think: adult toys, lingerie, movies) and for those of you that have never worked at a shop like that... it sucks worse than regular retail. Not only do you get entitled custys, but we also had to deal with some of the most disgusting things while being paid bare minimum wage. A few examples:
1. We usually had a sales competition going on in between the employees at any given point. BESIDES the fact that no one ever won anything, I usually pulled to the top sales week because, well, you find strange talents in strange places. Mine was selling plastic dicks.
There was a regular that would come in about every two weeks and buy about $600 worth of toys for him and his woman. I guess being nice to him (gotta get those sales!) made him think I was interested... because he started showing up, parking, and waiting until he made sure that I was working to come in. He started calling the store when I was working and then hanging up. Calling. Hanging up. Calling. Hanging up. My manager had warned him to stop or he would get banned. He finally got banned when he whipped out his cell phone for me to play 'identify this toy I saw online.' And it was him and his woman in a compromising position. Nothing quite like seeing a 300+ lbs good 'ole boy and his similarly large wife stark naked.
There is not enough eyebleach in the world.
2. We rented movies out and I'm sure I don't have to tell you the condition some of them came back in. Generally, we warned the customers that next time they would have to pay for the entirety of the movie if it came in with lube/etc. on it again. I have had people literally scream into my face that I must have put that there and that it was 'something in their pocket' when, uh, no, it was on the INSIDE of the case. Quit being disgusting and return your movie cleaned.
ATTENTION PREVIOUS CUSTYS: We did NOT put those months of late fees on your accounts. You literally did not return 'Big Booty Bitches 4' for all those months. It also makes you look like a jackass when you say you've returned the movie and scream at the underpaid porn shop worker that they must've lost it, then come back a week later and slam the movie down on the counter.
3. I can't tell you how many times people actually tried to return toys. You read that right. I have all kinds of excuses ranging from 'I don't like the color anymore.' when they've had it for 3 weeks to 'the beads aren't long enough to...'
Besides the fact that it's against federal law to return things that have been used... uhm, EWW. What the actual fuck? I can understand trying to return a lingerie top that doesn't fit you, but toys?? Also, it doesn't fool anyone when a customer buys a stack of movies and then takes it home, and then comes back in three hours to return them. I know that they copied the dvds. I'm not stupid.
4. There was a scam going around the last Christmas season that I worked which, I will admit, did get me. Customers come in, usually in a pair, pay for something small (or ask for change) and then, since our counter is unbelievably high, take the money in their hands where you can't see it, 'count it,' and say they were given the wrong change.
The first time it worked on me. I was young and naive, what can I say? I gave them $10 because they said I only gave them a $10 when their change was a $20. Lo and behold, I was ten dollars short on my drawer that night. I got written up for it and trained on how to handle it next time.
Christmas Eve we were still open and they pulled into the snowy parking lot in their beat up pick up truck. This time they didn't even bother to turn off the truck! At first I didn't recognize them since the old man was the one that ripped me off to begin with, but this time he came with a man and a woman- both wearing similarly stained white t-shirts. I kept a close eye on all of them because we got a lot of thefts around the Christmas season. They all kind of just milled around for a bit, did not really look at anything just made a loop in the store- at which point the old man left to get into the truck and the other two approached my counter. They asked for change for (large amount) and I give it to them. They do the same thing the older gent did previously and take the money where I can't see it, and this time claim that I did not give them something like $40.
As per my manager's training, I tell the gentleman that I am sorry- that means that I will have to count my drawer and, if I am over my mark, I will give them their correct change.
The two look at each other and the man asks "Well how long will that take?"
I reply with, "5 minutes."
At this point they know they have been caught and he gets into my face screaming that they don't have that kind of time. He snatches his 'incorrect change' out of my hand, and launches a container of lube at my head screaming "MERRY F*CKIN CHRISTMAS" and they take off, peeling out of the parking lot.
I did count my drawer after they left; the drawer was even.
Thank you for reading! You guys keep your heads up, it does get better! I think that all my karma from being a retail slave must have paid off, because now I work for an awesome company.