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!
My lovely boyfriend and I almost got into a fight the other day, (Saturday, the 13th) at Splish Splash -- if you’ve never heard of it, it’s Long Island’s most famous water park -- with a group of miscreant young “adults.” Here’s how it went down.
First, people were basically being giant doucheholes all day. Both the adults and kids alike contained absolutely no respect or consideration for anyone but themselves. Splashing and kicking in the wave pool, standing in big circles on the smallest walkways inevitably taking up the whole damn thing so no one can get through, walking through the paths like they owned the damn place and refusing to move over for ANYONE, you get the idea. Three separate incidents royally pissed me off.
Incident Number One:
Giant House Girl (GHG) messing around with friends in wave pool. Guy friends chasing her, trying to dunk her, whatever. I am facing my boyfriend, which placed GHG to my left side and slightly behind me, about 15 feet away. I now could no longer see her.
Out of nowhere, this bitch BARRELS INTO ME at full fucking speed from trying to run away from her idiot friends. She’s a beach whale, and I have a 5ft frame. If I wasn’t in a pool, I would have fallen on the ground, HARD, and possibly gotten seriously hurt. And just so we all know and before I get hell in a handbasket thrown back in my face for the comments made about her, I have friends who are overweight. I don’t care what you look like, as long as you’re a decent human being. If you’re an asshole, then my frustration with your existence will come out in whatever form it chooses.
So, after the initial shock and regaining my composure, which took about .5 seconds, she continued passed me, without apologizing, and ignored that it even happened.
Do I just let it go? Of course not.
I yell, “DON’T EVEN SAY SORRY!”
She still ignored me. Bitch.
Incident Number Two:
It was the middle of the day, and it was time for some grub. After paying and finding a spot, about ten minutes later, the group at the table next to us starts screaming at the top of their lungs and jumping around like morons because a bee (seriously, why do people do that?! Even if you’re allergic, that’s not going to help you.) was flying around.
One girl is still screaming and swatting her shoe in the air, and at this point the bee had already flown away to some less annoying people. They all decided to move one table over (like that would help) and continue to eat, acting traumatized, like they had just been taunted and threatened by the number-one minion of all evil Satan-spawned Godzilla bees.
They finish eating before us, and promptly get up and walk away, LEAVING THEIR DIRTY MESSES EVERYWHERE. On both fucking tables. Trays, napkins, crumbs, sodas, and OPEN ketchup packets, squirted ON the tables, left there for the poor clean-up crew slaves to deal with instead. GRRRRR.
Incident Number Three: This one had me in a rage for the rest of the day. The lines were so long, that we barely got to go on any rides, so we headed for the one I REALLY wanted to do the whole day, called Alien Invasion, with an hour to go before the park closed.
We arrive at the end of the line, and a few more people file up behind us in little wave increments. After already waiting fifteen minutes or so, some girl and boy makes their way through from the back saying “Excuse me, excuse me,” and passes us. Okay, fine, MAYBE they are looking for someone so they can leave or something.
A few minutes later, a grown woman does the same thing and makes her way through, with her monstrous daughter not far behind. There was a group of about six kids directly in front of us, not more than eight or nine years old. Alone. With no parents or supervision.
After watching the last three people go through the line, they follow suit, and weave their way through a ton of people ahead of us. Now ten people have cut the line, making the rest of us wait longer, and the park was closing soon.
Two Amazon girls behind us, taller than my boyfriend, who is 6’2”, sneak their way in front of us, then like follow-the-fucking-leader, “excuse” themselves further up. They got at least 100 people in front of where they were originally.
“This is bullshit,” I said, not caring who heard me.
Not five minutes later, a Short Bitchy Girl (SBG) behind my boyfriend says, “Excuse me,” with four other people in tow. Here’s how the rest of it went down:
He turns to her and asks, “Where are you going?”
SBG: “To my family, right up there.” ::points::
Boyfriend: “I just had like 20 people cut us; I’m not letting anybody else go ahead of me.”
SBG: “What are you gonna do about it?”
Boyfriend: ::stands in front of her, holding out his arms so she can’t pass::
SBG then SHOVES her away passed him, further pissing me off.
Boyfriend turns to the next Asshole Guy (AG) trying to follow and said the same thing to him.
Boyfriend: “Dude, listen, this isn’t right, we just had 20 people cut us, and--”
::starts shoving through::
Me, to SBG now shoving passed me: “What the hell makes you so special that you can cut the line?”
SBG: “My brother is right there, I’m just going to my family.”
Me: “So? What the hell’s your point? We all have to wait in line, too.”
SBG ignores me and continues on, and friends follow. Me, clearly pissed off, yelling so they can all hear me: “I guess we’ve forgotten our MANNERS learned in KINDERGARTEN. Maybe you should go back!”
They all ignored me, of course. Fuckin‘ pricks. Because of all of them, it was fifteen minutes to closing before we even got to the bottom of the very tall stairway to even get up to the ride, and we knew we weren’t going to make it, so we left.
The rule of the park is that if anyone gets caught cutting, they get kicked out for the rest of the day. But of course no one was there watching. Then, as we were walking back through the parking lot, there was litter EVERYWHERE. That’s one of my BIGGEST “pet peeves.” I cannot fucking stand filthy, lazy pigs who can’t take three fucking seconds out of their lives to walk to the nearest garbage can and USE IT. And they were stationed EVERY FIFTEEN FEET in the parking lot. SERIOUSLY?!?! UGH!
We’ve decided we need to move away and live in isolation from the general public. In conclusion, I HATE PEOPLE!
Thank you and good night/day/afternoon/morning.
I know it’s been a while since my last post, and I apologize for that. It’s been crazy since I started the leave replacement teaching job! I just wanted to update you all on what’s been going on since then.
But first, I apologize once again for the horrid length of this post, but as always, it’s worth it! ;-)
Teaching is fantastic. It’s the best job in the world, even though most of us don’t get paid what we truly deserve. Though there are most definitely trying and difficult times in the classroom to deal with and manage, one student can make all the difference, and one “thank you” makes it all worth it. It continues to remind me that I was meant for this career.
I recently finished reading a book given to me as a graduation gift from my friend, another fresh graduate into the teaching field; Chicken Soup for the Teacher’s Soul. If any of you are teachers or have read this book anyway, you know how inspiring and touching these stories truly are (there is even one story involving a Deaf student and her use of sign language!). I swear I had tears in my eyes through half the book, if not more.
To fellow teachers, students who have had an amazing teacher in their lives who helped or inspired, or even anyone who believes common misconceptions about a teacher’s life, please, pick up this book and read it cover to cover. I didn’t want to put it down. Each and every story reinforces my belief that I was molded to fit and belong in this profession perfectly. As cliché as it may sound, I hope that I may be able to inspire even one student in the same way.
Now, on to sharing the happenings in my life. Classes for the students officially finished last week (Tuesday, June 15 was their last day), and every day since then has been Regents testing (until this Thursday, the 23rd). For those of you who don’t have Regents in your state/country, they are state exams that students must pass in core subjects to receive full credit for the course. Now that classes are done and my “main” work is over, I finally have time to update you all!
The job was phenomenal. The first day I walked in, which was a Friday, and took over was basically and assessment day, to see how much of the curriculum they were actually taught and how much catching up I would need to do. When they knew that their original teacher was no longer returning, they literally cheered for joy. I asked them tons of questions about what they were taught, how much they knew, their testing procedures, and how much signing they actually did in class.
I also told them that I was here for them, and even though it was already almost the end of the school year, that it was a fresh start and we would put the past behind us and move forward from here. The kids were all really receptive to it, and were excited to begin learning about Deaf culture and American Sign Language, the natural language of the Deaf community once again.
It was a tough job, because they were so very far behind since the beginning of the year, but given the unique situation we were in, we all adjusted fairly quickly and easily, and everyone on the staff were very helpful and supportive. I even got to see a few of my old teachers as new colleagues! Especially the other ASL teacher (who taught at the other high school, where I graduated from), who had been my first ASL teacher at this school, my personal inspiration and reason for becoming so involved with ASL, the Deaf community, and teaching, and as more than her student teacher. It was wonderful.
Monday morning was a review session, to get them warmed up and refresh their memories of ASL (and honestly, to fix the mistakes the previous teacher had made in her teaching of the language, which proved to be continuous until the last day). Since there was so little time left, I continued with the unit of which they were already in the middle, taught them the correct material, and started the “review” for their finals (which was really a re-teaching of material from the beginning of the year). We had to work hard, and we had to work fast, but it was a great experience, and I had a blast doing it and working with them.
On the last two days of classes, with finals finished, I gave out blank paper and markers to the students and asked them to write their names on the top of the sheets. I then instructed them to pass their papers around, so each person can write them a message of something nice about them, or something they liked about each person, etc., so each student would have those messages and memories for however long they chose to keep them. I also signed as many papers as I could, and before they left, gave a short speech thanking them for their hard work and patience, for working with me and cooperating though it was the end of the year, apologizing for their bad experience with ASL and explaining that I now hoped they had a better vision and perception of the language and the culture, that ASL can truly be a ton of fun, and that Deaf people are some of the best people in the world with whom to make friends. They all responded really well, and actually clapped afterward and agreed that they now loved ASL! What a great feeling. I had also written my name on paper and passed it around to students, for anyone who wanted to sign it (one paper for each class I taught -- one class of Level 1 students, and one class of Level 2 students). I told them if they chose to write anything, they could also choose to write their name or be anonymous, whichever they preferred.
After collecting their responses the last day, the amount of messages were overwhelming. I received four full pages worth of “thank you!”s, “thank you for saving us/our class!”, “you’re a great teacher!”, “I wish we had you from the start!”, “I actually learned real sign language,” “you’re a great person,” and one girl wrote “I was actually able to sign to the Deaf man who moved in across the street from me. Thank you!” I couldn’t believe it.
Here are pics of the messages (in random order of different levels):
I had no idea if what I was doing made any difference to them at all, and yet, every single response proved that I impacted them tremendously more than I ever thought I did or could. It was an unbelievably touching experience, and though it was only a short time I taught them, I will never forget them or my time with them, my first real class of students, as long as I live.
Again, they reinforced my belief that I am made for this profession, despite any difficulties I may face now or in the future. It is the most rewarding experience, and I absolutely love this job!
As for the interview I went on shortly after I started, I never received a call back, which is a little disappointing, but it’s okay. It was a long shot anyway, and the school is about a 45 minute or more drive away from my home every day.
However, I do have another interview this week for a part-time position as an ASL teacher at another school closer to me. And even if that doesn’t work out, I was invited back to be a substitute teacher next year at the same school in which I just finished teaching. As long as it sticks, I may be able to see some of my students who will now be seniors, and maybe even sub their classes.
Though I’d rather be teaching my own classroom, it’s a trade-off to be able to stay in the district and schools that I love, and see my first real students again before they move on to college. To celebrate our graduations, our anniversary (yay!), and our new jobs, my boyfriend and I went on a weekend vacation to Myrtle Beach and were finally able to relax, unwind, and have a great time after all the hard work we had put into graduating and our jobs. We went jet skiing, went on a dolphin watch tour where we saw about twenty dolphins out that day (I LOVE dolphins, so for me it was the best day!), walked through Ripley’s aquarium, saw a laser light show to the beat of Led Zeppelin, and took a helicopter tour on our last day. We got some great pictures out of it as well, and overall had an amazing time. We didn’t want to go home!
So again, I apologize for the length of my posts (this seems to happen a lot, huh?). But I would also like to restate that I am living proof that dreams truly do come true.
I worked my ass off, and I was rewarded for it in the best way that I could imagine possible; from simple “thank you”s from my students. In only one month’s time, they felt I had “saved” them, and helped them learn to love not only the language and culture, but also love learning again.
My message is the same: Never give up. You never know for whom you are making a difference, and even though retail is and always will be a true Hell on Earth, accomplishing your goals and making your dreams come true is the Heaven that, in the end, makes it all worth it.
Thanks for reading, RHUers! Maybe my next post will be a witnessing customer account (and hopefully shorter!). Keep your head up.
Firstly I must apologize for the extremely lengthy post... but it's worth it, I promise!
Today, my dear friends, is a grand ol' glorious day! Why is that, you ask?
Well, don't you worry, my pretties, I'm gonna tell ya!
First, today (Friday, May 6), I started my brand new, wonderful teaching job. YES, that's right, I got a REAL job in the REAL world! With REAL PAY! And while I'm done with my classes (Yay!), I haven't even officially graduated, nor am I certified yet. But, YAY! The reason I am starting so late into the school year is because the other teacher, who I am replacing, well, let's be blunt, was fired. For a ton of different crazy things she did over the course of the year that just proves she is batshit insane and should never be around children, regardless of age... ever. Not only is she a complete nutjob, she's also a nitwitted fool who has somehow acquired no teaching abilities whatsoever. I walked in today as the new teacher, and the students literally cheered for joy. That's not good – well, for her anyway... it's great for me!
Here's how it happened on my end...
Tuesday, May 3 (the day after my birthday, yay!), I received a call from the foreign language department chairperson at the school where I did my first semester of student teaching. She informed me that they needed a new teacher to replace the second ASL teacher, immediately. Long story short... I sent her my resume, she forwarded it to the principals of the two high schools and the district office, and about an hour later I had an interview for the next morning (Wednesday) at the district office with the Assistant Superintendent of Personnel and the principal of the high school at which I would be teaching. The interview went well, I was hired immediately, I filled out a ton of paperwork, got fingerprinted, ran around collecting the last documents I needed, and was told since I'm not certified (yet!), the Board of Education needed to give the final approval that night at the Board meeting, and I would be given a call the next morning to confirm. The next morning (Thursday) came, the principal called me, and told me I started the next morning (today), and BOOM, I was in! Happy Birthday to me!
Now, in this district, there are two high schools. Teachers of the same subject therefore try to generally be on the same page and pace when it comes to the curriculum, even when at different schools, as the students of the same levels have to take the same final exam. This “teacher,” who I shall affectionately name Crazy Lady, has not kept up with the curriculum and the other ASL teacher at the other school necessary for students to take the final at the end of the year. The students are now three entire units behind where they should be. Additionally, they seem to know bits and pieces of each unit, rather than everything they should actually know by now. And the signs that they do know, half of them are wrong because Crazy Lady doesn't know what she's talking about. So really, I have to play catch-up, review everything, AND teach them the rest of the curriculum for the end of the year final, or the final has to be changed for these classes.
Don't get me wrong, now, I'm completely grateful for this opportunity to have my own classroom and classes, and I'm very excited to work with these kids. It will just be challenging due to the unique situation we are now in.
This post could go on forever about the psychotic nature of Crazy Lady, her teaching methods, and her “unorthodox” (and that's putting it nicely) behaviors. However, this story is not about her. It's about me, and all of you. Stay with me...
Secondly, the next reason why today is as wonderful as it is... starting this teaching job means I finally have the ability to get the HELL out of retail. That's right, you read that correctly. I put in my two weeks notice TODAY. And goddamn, it's a GREAT feeling. This does mean, however, that as of now I have NO income over the summer, but at this moment in time I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING BABOON'S RED MONKEY ASS. Because after six long, exhausting, infuriatingly painful years in retail HELL, this slave is finally free. Although I still now have two weeks left to finish, it no longer matters, because I know there is finally an end to this misery. There IS a very bright light at the end of the dark and gloomy tunnel, and it's finally so close it makes all my Spidey senses tingle.
Now, how is this about the rest of you? Well, my dears, because this story relates to you all who are working endlessly and diligently to finish school and get out in the real world where you are so destined, motivated, and determined to be. I worked my ass off, especially these past two years in graduate school, wrote countless papers, researched tons of articles, conducted my own study while student teaching, and wrote a seemingly endless Master's Thesis, all in the name of graduation and certification as a teacher, while continuing to work in the hell that is retail, and keeping my romantic and familial relationships in tact. I sacrificed countless nights of socializing, drinking, movies, parties, Deaf events, cousins' communions and school concerts, family birthday parties, sporting events (pick a sport – I missed them all), concerts, reading (I'm one of the few who enjoy it), summers (I took summer classes in BOTH sessions), date nights with my wonderful, amazingly supportive and loving boyfriend, and simply taking a day or night to myself to just relax. You name it, I sacrificed and missed it, due to either work, homework, papers, student teaching, lesson planning, or my thesis. And now, finally, after six incessant years, the end has come. I persevered, and I made it through, and you can too.
I've felt the stress, I've felt the anger, the anxiety, sadness, nervousness, and pain. I've felt the urge to procrastinate, to deal with things later, the stress of time management, money management, the apathy, the hunger, the fear, and the absolute exhaustion. I've felt it all. And I made it through.
Don't feel discouraged. Don't feel hopeless. The end of the stress is near. I know it's hard, believe me, I know how difficult it really is, but it's there, and it's worth it. I also have an interview on Thursday for a teaching position in the fall at another high school. That doesn't mean I'll get it, but the opportunity is there. If I can make it through, and find jobs, especially in this economy where teachers are being cut left and right, you can too.
Hang in there, RHUers, and keep your head up.
Best of luck to you all. You got this!
HELLFIRE AND BRIMSTONE! RAGE AND FURY!!
Hello all. K-Fit here (formerly Kerry – thanks to Sam for my new name!), and oh Dear Lord am I full of ANGER today.
I shall start by saying that I know I probably shouldn't be this angry over this occurrence, but at this point in my retail HELL career, I can't help it, nor do I care.
Last night (Friday), I dealt with the rudest, most inconsiderate devilspawn I've ever fucking encountered. They may have even beaten out the bitchy six-year-old first grader I took care of at a summer day camp (a story for another day).
These three little demon hellspawn seemed to be all sisters, or at least some kind of relatives. The oldest was not more than twelve years of age, the middle one eight or nine, and the youngest about six. Two “adults,”(and I use that term extraordinarily loosely), presumably at least one mother, were accompanying them. As the older females shopped, the maniacal children were running around the department yelling, being obnoxiously loud, and knocking things off shelves and off racks, leaving them on the floor, apathetic to the fact that I now had to clean up after their piggy little aggravating antics like the little jerks they were.
During their shenanigans, the oldest apparently picked up some shirts to try on, as she bombarded the fitting room with her and her sisters' presence. Every goddamn time they closed the door, they fucking SLAMMED it shut. Which is not only disturbing to my ear drums, but if they break it, no one else can use that room until it gets fixed, leaving a longer line for other customers and more headaches for us.
As she's trying things on, she's yelling through the door at her mom or whoever who is sitting RIGHT OUTSIDE THE FUCKING ROOM. It's very close quarters, you can hear each other fucking whisper in there.
When she was finally finished, she waltzed out of the room like the diva she thought she was, and continued to run around with the younger ones.
As I saw that she brought NOTHING out with her, I went in to check the room, KNOWING that everything was left in there.
Sure enough, like I have some kind of retail hell psychic curse, there are the shirts, every single one of them, thrown all over the chair, tangled together, and not one of them hung up.
Apparently, I must have “angrily” began cleaning up after them (what a surprise), because after I had brought the shirts out and hung them on the rack right outside the damn doors and began folding a pants table nearby, where I wasn't in visibility range of the fitting rooms, the mom said something about cleaning up after themselves for me (whether it was positive or negative, I have no idea).
I don't know what the girl said in response to this, but I heard her mom say “As she was cleaning up, she was hanging them up really hard.”
The girl said something I couldn't hear, probably extremely rude, to which her mom must have told her she was being too loud, because she immediately followed it with, “Good, I hope I'm loud enough so she can hear me.”
All her mom said was, “You have an attitude,” but did NOTHING to correct her. They left the fitting rooms, and were in the department for another five minutes or so. Every time they saw me, knowing that I was already pissed, the middle one looked at me and just grinned with this devilish fucking evil satisfaction on her face.
When they finally left, as they were already in the AISLE walking away, of course not to my face, the middle one said loudly enough knowing I would hear hear, “I'm so mad I have to clean up when it's my job!”
WHAT THE FUCK?! Now I'm absolutely fucking infuriated. I wanted to fucking slap that acid-toungued little monster and her bitchy mouth and evil fucking grin right off her spawn of Satan demon face.
First of all (not that I have to tell you), yes, technically my job is to clean the department, but there is a rack to hang your shit outside the rooms for a fucking reason, and IN THE DIRECTION YOU ARE ALREADY WALKING when you leave. It takes an extra TWO FUCKING SECONDS! The rack literally states, “Back on the rack! We'll take it from here.” Just because “it's my job” doesn't mean you have to be a fucking dirty little barbaric piggy asshole and leave your shit everywhere. And at twelve years old, I'm pretty damn sure you should be able to READ THE DAMN SIGNS on the back of EVERY door that kindly request you to bring everything out (I have a pic of this sign in an earlier post). They didn't care in the least bit that they left me a mess. If their moms or whoever they were weren't there, I would have gotten fired yesterday for bitching out a bunch of kids. I didn't feel like getting into a fight with parents. Those are the people I want to follow home, tear apart their houses and just leave it there and walk away because “it's their job” to clean it because they live there.
The worst part of the whole thing is that the “adults” did absolutely NOTHING to stop or correct them from acting the way they did or voice their spitfire bitchy attitudes. And that, my friends, is why everyone is a fucking asshole.
My solution to this night – thank God it was my friend's birthday and she invited everyone out – was to meet some friends at a bar and dance out my frustrations.
You know what, fuck it, I don't care. I wish I would have bitched them all out. Fucking little assholes. I hope they swallow glass.
Until next time, RHU,
Lazy Piggy Shopper couldn't be bothered to throw the water bottle away...in a trash can RIGHT OUTSIDE THE FUCKING DOOR! Ugh.
I have a favor to ask all of you. Since I am one of the few without an RHU nickname and have been around these good ol' parts since the beginning, I am requesting suggestions for nicknames from the rest of the RHU slaves! =) I am quite bored with my plain old regular name, and would like a new one. I am terrible at this kind of thing, so I thought I'd ask all of you for you thoughts! Think you can help a gal out?