This is from a few years ago. It's funny how not one person could correct her on who the author of Misery is! Perhaps they were all scared of her!
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!
This is from a few years ago. It's funny how not one person could correct her on who the author of Misery is! Perhaps they were all scared of her!
Reddit: The holiday spirit is alive! Found at a Barnes and Noble in Middletown, RI.
Big box retailer Costco has apologized for accidentally labeling copies of the Bible “fiction” at a store near Los Angeles.
A local pastor saw the bibles while looking for a gift for his wife and tweeted a picture to his congregation, KTLA reports.
Costco issued an apology Wednesday, blaming the mistake on one of its distributors.
“Costco’s distributor mislabeled a small percentage of the Bibles, however we take responsibility and should have caught the mistake. We are correcting this with them for future distribution,” the statement said. “In addition, we are immediately relabeling all mislabeled Bibles. We greatly apologized for this error.
From Reddit: Sign inside a book store in Corvallis, Oregon.
Hello, RHUers! This is KittyKatzchen with some exciting news!
My best friend, Megan Duke, is the author of the amazing YA book Small Circles and she's about to launch its sequel called Three Sixty, so I'm doing a little shameless promoting for her first book. She's been my best friend for years and is also a retail slave, currently working in children's clothing.
Small Circles follows a group of four friends and their struggles in life from their Sophomore year in high school to their Freshman year of college. It covers a lot of current issues such as LGBT support, drug abuse, and suicide prevention. It's one of those books that just grabs hold of your emotions and won't let go. She's put her heart and soul into this book and it really shows. I honestly believe that this book can be one of the best if given the chance to become more popular. These issues are real and her dynamic characters really bring them to light.
I brought this here because, as fellow retail slaves with dreams of your own, I knew you would understand and support a fellow slave who has worked hard to make her dream real. She published it herself through Amazon and even now it has had a bit of success. As a matter of fact, today she's finishing up recording the audio book and even has a mini-web series in the works.
Even if Small Circles isn't your type of book, I would really appreciate you all spreading the word about it. It's available for purchase on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle, and also available for request at Barnes and Noble. B&N does not currently keep it on the shelves, but they have said that if they get enough requests for Small Circles, they will begin to keep it on them regularly. For those interested, she is on Facebook with her books, click on over and check them out!
Thank you all for your time,
At Hoarders I got a talking to from one of my managers because a customer complained, "I FELT like I was an interruption, and I FELT like I was annoying her when I just wanted to ask a question."
I looked my manager right in the eye and said "Well I can't control how people feel. I've been treating everyone the same, and no one has interrupted me in the middle of anything else so they certainly weren't an interruption or annoyance."
Custy, if you felt guilty for something, that's on you, not me. I can't make it any better for you. Yes I am, in fact, happy you're here. The more books you buy, the more titles I see that I may want to read for myself! :D
May all your customers be nice,
From Tom Jackman, Washington Post:
Hearing complaints that the Fairfax County Public Library was throwing away tons of books, County Supervisor Linda Q. Smyth (D-Providence) decided to peer into a Dumpster.
Twice, she found stacks and stacks of high-quality books, bought by the taxpayers, piled in the trash. The second time, she filled a box.
Smyth knew that libraries discard books all the time to make room for new ones. But many libraries have volunteer groups that take the discards and resell them to raise money. Or libraries donate discards to shelters, schools or less fortunate towns and cities.
But as Sam Clay, Fairfax’s longtime library director, launched a plan to revamp the county system, no books were given to the Friends of the Library for seven months this year, and more than 250,000 books were destroyed, Smyth said.
“If I didn’t pick up some of these books,” Smyth said, “no one would believe it.”
Smyth took her box of rescued books to the Fairfax government center, dumped them on a county official’s desk and demanded answers. The next day, Aug. 30, a directive went out to all branches suspending the discarding of books. Fairfax Board Chairman Sharon Bulova (D) said she is going to ask the library administration on Tuesday to put a hold on its new strategic plan until the board and the public have more of a chance to weigh in.
The discarded books have opened a broader discussion about the library’s long-term plan, which would eliminate the requirement for fully trained librarians, reduce branch staff and cut the amount of time children’s librarians spend helping families inside their libraries.
The plan has drawn criticism from current and former library employees as well as patrons, who say it reduces services and jobs. The critics also say that public and employee input was limited before a test version of the plan was launched.
Clay, who has been head of the Fairfax library system for 31 years, defended his plan as necessary to deal with declining budgets and to remake libraries in the digital age. The strategic plan lists the first part of its “future direction” as transitioning from “a print environment to a digital environment.”
Clay has proposed hiring librarians who may not have master’s degrees to run branches, hiring people without bachelor’s degrees to staff the libraries, and having children’s librarians spend 80 percent of their time devising and running outreach programs instead of working in the libraries. He said jobs would be eliminated by retirements and attrition, not by layoffs.
“We’ve got decrease after decrease,” Clay said. In the past five years, the libraries’ budget has been cut by 23 percent and library visits have declined about 10 percent. Circulation is down about 6 percent over that time.
“We’ve got to turn that around. . . . We’ve got to get the library in the community, to bring people to the table,” Clay said. “I want to be the table.”
Library patrons and employees are complaining loudly. At a recent Fairfax library board meeting, Jennifer McCullough, president of the library employees association, said the plan “does not require that every library have available staff who specialize in youth services. How does that serve the community?”
The Reston Citizens Association last month issued a resolution saying it “strongly opposes the . . . plan and calls for it to be cancelled.”
Clay said that he had involved branch managers and staff in devising the plan. Three community forums to discuss the library’s future were poorly attended, he said. “We will be conducting additional opportunities for staff and public engagement in the near future,” Clay added.
An efficiency and cost-saving measure instituted by Clay last fall was the “floating collection,” in which no book or other item is assigned permanently to a branch. It stays where it is returned, vastly reducing the cost and wear of shipping books back to their original branch.
When the program was launched last October, volunteer Friends of the Library groups were no longer allowed to review discards. Instead, all discards were sent to the Chantilly technical operations center. Minutes from a January branch managers’ meeting state that 100,000 books were removed from shelves in the first three months of the plan.
Elizabeth Rhodes, the system’s collection services coordinator, said Fairfax adds about 20,000 items a month and therefore must remove 20,000 to make room. Some items, such as reference books, are now available online and are replaced digitally, enabling the library to create room for other things, Clay said. In the Reston Regional Library, the reference area has been replaced with a “Teen Zone” marked by neon signs and stocked with a wall of Japanese graphic novels.
As books began disappearing from the shelves, Tresa Schlecht of the Friends of Tysons-Pimmit branch and others pleaded with library administrators to allow the Friends to rescue books, their e-mails show. Then Schlecht did her own literary Dumpster dives this spring, taking photographs of hundreds of books, including “Harry Potter” books and other seemingly desirable volumes, stuffing the dumpster in Chantilly.
“This is just as wasteful as I thought it would be,” Schlecht said. “My hobby is finding new homes for books,” including after-school programs in the District, religious schools and shelters, she said.
Clay and Rhodes said that books were provided to Friends groups again starting in May, and a county fact sheet said 3,000 discards have been provided. But at a rate of 20,000 per month, another 77,000 items would have been trashed in that same period. Schlecht and others were stunned that so many books were still headed to the landfill.
So Smyth did her own investigation. Among the items she found consigned to the trash were a pristine 2010 Fodor’s guide to Mexico, some large, good-quality art and gardening books, and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”
“Maybe this is a good thing,” the supervisor said as she surveyed her rescued cache, “because we finally have people’s attention to talk about the future of libraries.”
Oyster, an app launched yesterday by a trio of self-proclaimed bookworms, is already being called the "Netflix for books." That's a lofty moniker, but the app may just live up to the hype - it offers access to over 100,000 books for $9.95 a month!
Right now, the only Big 5 publisher it's partnered with is HarperCollins, but they've still got some really big books: "Life of Pi," "Water for Elephants," and "The God Delusion" all came up when we were browsing.
According to its website, they are constantly adding new titles, so who knows? Other bigger publishers may be signing on as well.
The app also incorporates discoverability features, similar to Goodreads. Users can see what their friends are reading and recommending, and also display their own libraries.
Where did this seemingly random (albeit precious) name come from? Shakespeare, of course! It's a reference to a line in "The Merry Wives of Windsor:" "the world's mine oyster." According to the app's site, founders Eric Strombers, Andrew Brown and Willem Van Lancker picked this reference because, "All the pleasures of reading are yours for the taking, no matter where you go."
Right now, Oyster is invitation-only, and it's only available as an iPhone app (although they'll be adding on a iPad app later this fall). The app is free to download. You can request an invite here.
This concept might sound familiar to Amazon Prime users. Amazon Prime (which costs $79 dollars a year, as opposed to $120) offers the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which has over 350,000 titles. However, with the Lending Library, Prime members are only allowed to check out one book per month. Oyster users can check out unlimited titles each month.
I worked for several years at a now-defunct bookstore, the name of which sounds roughly like "hoarders". I could write a book about the emotional trauma this place inflicted on me, but there's one story that sticks out above the rest. Mostly because the memory comes back to haunt me each & every Easter.
This bookstore was an anchor store in a shopping mall. We had a main entrance that led directly outside, so folks could come inside our store without having to actually enter the mall. At the back of the store there were doors that led into the mall. This is important for later.
So, it's Easter Sunday, several years ago, and our bookstore happens to be the only store in the entire mall with plans to be open. There are giant signs on every mall entrance declaring this fact. Those of us with the unfortunate luck of having been scheduled on that day (myself included), watched as countless people tried to enter directly into the mall, and only read the GIANT SIGNS after being unable to open the locked doors. Hell-bent on shopping, they would notice our lights on and scurry over to our windows to glare at us with pinched faces, as we prepared to open.
By the time 10 am (our opening time) rolled around, we had a large crowd waiting outside. We should have known something was amiss. In modern-day America, there is rarely a crowd waiting for a bookstore to open. I took my place in the music department, which is the section in the back of the store right where the mall doors were. We opened the front doors. The large crowd filtered in, and most headed right into the music department, right to the mall entrance doors, where they were greeted by another giant sign, explaining, again, that the rest of the mall was closed.
Because surely this was just some sort of witch-craft. Surely all of those GIANT SIGNS which they had previously encountered outside, explaining that the mall was closed were lies. They thought they were clever...that they had somehow discovered the "secret entrance" we were keeping all to ourselves. I watched, becoming ever more jaded as group after group walked up to the doors, only to act surprised that the doors were locked. I think that was the moment I lost hope that our species would ever have the capacity for critical thinking.
Then it happened. I was cleaning the music listening stations, and observed an elderly gentleman approach the doors. He stopped & stared at the "closed" sign in a bit of a slack-jawed manner. Then he approached me & asked why the doors were locked. I explained, in a polite way, the reasons. Noticing I was cleaning, he attempted to hand me his glasses and said "Why don't you clean these."
I made a skilled attempt at feigned laughter.
"Here is an Easter egg for your Easter," he said. I took the egg and thanked him, almost feeling hopeful that all was not lost.
That is, until he turned to walk away, and I heard him mutter under his breath, "I hope you choke."
Now, let's be clear. In retail, I've had basically every insult possible thrown at me, mostly by self-entitled people who lack the common understanding that I'm merely a pawn in the maze of corporate dictates. But this old man, well, he threw me a curve ball. I stood, holding the cursed Easter egg, while the old man got headed upstairs on the escalator & turned around to watch me as he ascended. After the shock faded, I walked to the nearest trash can and threw it away, as he watched.
These were the days when I was still a bit tender, so it took me a few minutes to get angry. Then I called my manager. She too got angry. We searched the store for him, but he was nowhere to be found. At this point I felt like I was in David Lynch movie...all that creepiness.
That is the story of my Easter trauma. May all of your chocolate-bearing customers also come bearing love.
--Ol' Callous Heart
Today, I salute a pair of awesome parents and a heavenspawn.
The day was a day of the normal drudgery. Then a young custy appears with his parents in tow and carefully puts his books on the counter. Now this little heavenspawn was only just at the age of adding and subtracting numbers and singing the alphabet song.
However, when I asked him if that would be all, he floored me with a "Yep! That's it. Thank you!"
I ring him up with a smile and give him his total. I expect to end up with a hand full of ones and a fiver or two. Wrong again!
He pulls out a checkbook!
With my mind going, "Bwa? Ehh?" in the background he politely asks me the date. Then how to spell the store name. Under his parents' watchful eyes and gentle prompting, he correctly writes me a check with carefully written letters and numbers.
Then he tears it out and starts to give it to me. dad prompts, "Don't forget to write it in the ledger. We'll subtract it after we sit down in the cafe."
I'm riveted, and wait for him to scribble the information down before accepting the check.
I ask him if he would like a bag.
And would he like to hold his receipt or put it in the bag?
And off goes this miniature phoenix of the heavenspawn world to the cafe, where dad and mom sit on either side of him to help him balance out the checkbook.
I'm struck dumb a realization. He'll be a pro at handling his own finances before he ever reaches his teen years. By the time he gets a job, there won't be a penny earned or spent that he doesn't know about.
I now have a fervent wish that these parents and this kid be cloned. I wish my own parents had thought of this. I will endeavor to do this with my own spawn, when I eventually have them.
May all your customers be nice,