Being the child of an interacial couple, as well as being in an interaccial marriage, this hit pretty close to home for me. But the response of the patrons made me have some hope for humanity. Especially the last one.
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!
Being the child of an interacial couple, as well as being in an interaccial marriage, this hit pretty close to home for me. But the response of the patrons made me have some hope for humanity. Especially the last one.
So I FINALLY got my Black Thanskgiving/Friday schedule last night. They've got me on from 7pm to 1am on BT (or Brown Thursday as one of my managers jokingly called it, I resisted the urge to tell him Brown Thursday is pretty accurate for all the shit we're gonna have to take), and then 8:30pm to 12:30am on BF.
So at least I have that chunk of daytime to sleep, even though there's no chance of having a decent Thanksgiving dinner.
And then there was this gem of a customer.
At Soul's we have this thing called "Soul's Cares for Kids." It's a book (or series of books) and plush animals/characters from the books. Right now it's Peanuts. They're five dollars each.
All of the money collected from the sales goes to charity. There are NO discounts on these items, because as I said, 100% of the profits go to charity. So this woman comes through last night with 15 of the Charlie Brown plushies. Comes out to about $80. She wants to use her 20% off and $5 off coupons. I explain to her that there are no discounts on the charity items because they're for charity.
"Even if I use my Soul's card?"
Yes, even if you use your Soul's card there is no discount on charity items. Even if you use gold bullion, magic beans, shiny buttons, or two cows and five chickens.
She still bought them all, and stormed out of the store complaining about how she should have gotten a discount because she was using her Soul's card.
Well excuse the fuck out of us for wanting to help kids.
I had my first encounter with a TMI customer. You know the one I mean, the one who has to tell you all about his life.
I hear a page that someone is calling for housewares. So I pick up the phone, guy asks me about electric shavers because his old one was broken, reminds me three times in less than five minutes that Wal-Mart has the one he's looking for.
Then why the fuck are you calling Soul's, if you know Wal-Mart has what you're looking for?
He finally shuts up long enough for me, and I go and look to see what we have under the name brand he's looking for. I find them, I report back to him, then get a ten minute description of how his shaver broke, how much it would cost to fix it, and people telling him it'd be cheaper to buy a new one.
I had no idea what he was saying because most of his conversation consisted of long stretches of "Cause uh... the um... uh... um... uh... um... part that... uh... um..." I just gave up and said "Uh-huh" when he wasn't hemming and hawing and uh-ing and um-ing at me.
Then he explains that he had grown a beard and wanted to shave it off. I kinda figured that because that's what shavers are used for. When I told him it might be easier if he came in to look for himself. I then got (what felt like) another 10-15 minute explanation of he wasn't sure if he'd be able to make it in because he didn't have a ride, and he also needed to buy new shoes. And then he asked, should he bring his old razor in so he can compare it to what we have, what does it mean when you have the razor on the charger and the light is blinking, and told me, "If you don't have what I'm looking for you need to order it."
I wanted to help the guy, I really did, but he kept uh-ing and um-ing to the point that I think even he forgot what he was talking about, and going off on tangents. Asking me things I had no idea how to answer, and then kept talking not giving me a chance to answer even if I did know the answers. I was glad he couldn't see me, because by (what felt like) hour three of the phone call I was making the, "get on with it" hand motion, because I had a metric fuckton of recovery left to do. We had a call out, so one section went untouched for most of the night.
What I gathered from the nearly 30 minute long phone call was that his electric razor broke, and he could either get it fixed, or buy a new one (whichever cost less), and long stretches of conversations that had nothing to do with razors or whether we had the one he was looking for.
Either I stepped into the Twilight Zone or Thrognar was looking out for me.
Friday night, during my usual closing shift, one of the managers, Beard of Awesome asks me if I can work the next night in shoes as the person originally scheduled called out sick Friday night and probably wouldn't be able to work Saturday. Figuring I could use the money from an extra shift on my next paycheck I agreed to work last night. I was scheduled to go in at 7pm. At noon the opening manager Mimi calls me and asks me if I can come in earlier than 7. I agree to go in at six. It turns out there was NO ONE in shoes all day!
So, I go in and Mama sees me and is practically crying tears of joy to see me. I head over to shoes and immediately regret agreeing to come in. To say shoes was a mess would be a gross understatement. It looked like a hurricane, a tsunami, an earthquake, and a Michael Bay/Roland Emmerich disaster movie had all struck simultaneously. Shoes were all over the place. I set about cleaning up (which took the entire five hour shift), and encountered the sole crusty of my shift. I had moved down one aisle and was working on getting a shitload of shoes organized. The woman comes down the aisle and I'm about to get up and move out of her way because apparently the shoes she wanted were just on the other side of me. Before I can even stop what I'm doing long enough to get up, she gives that annoyed huff that crustys get when you don't do things fast enough for their tastes. She storms out of the aisle, comes down the other side and snatches her shoes from the shelf and storms off. If she shot me a dirty look I didn't notice because I went back to do what I was doing.
The rest of the night, all my customers were nice.
No one demanded I find shoes for them, I was able to joke around with several of them while helping them find shoes. They were even understanding when, at one point, I was literally being pulled in five directions at once. I was helping one woman who was buying about six pairs of shoes, I had another store on hold to see if I could find shoes for a customer, I had two more customers on the floor who needed shoes in different sizes than what we had on the floor and I had customers that needed help at the kiosk. I explained to the two people on the floor that I would be with them just as soon as I could. And when I finally did get back to them, they weren't upset that it took me a while to get back to them, and actually said "Please" and "Thank you" when I got them what they were looking for.
At another point I had a couple using the only working kiosk in the store (we have two but only one works), and in the end it took the three of us, plus another co worker (who I don't have a nickname for) help them complete the order (because the kiosk can be temperamental, either the touch screen is hypersensitive or you have to literally HIT the screen to get it to register where you're touching). But they were still grateful for the help. Once things calmed down, I thanked Thrognar for letting me get through the night without wanting to throttle too many people. There was the one family who let their two toddlers run rampant through shoes, but not much of a mess was made.
BUT THEN there was the lady who was in the store for 20 minutes after we closed. Mama got on the PA and basically told her she had one minute to get her shit and get out because we would be closing down the last register in that time. I guess the two announcements that the store was closing, the managers getting on the PA and saying "Attention Soul's associates, if there are any customers in or around your area please call me at 157.", and half the lights in the store going off weren't enough of a clue that we were closed. She did use that minute to check out and finally leave, but I wonder what was so damn important that she had to stay until 11:20 to finish her shopping?
Anyway, while the recovery I had to do in shoes was hell, the customers were not spewed from the mouth of hell. So either Rod Serling or Thrognar have taken up residence at my store and are looking out for me.
I had some lady try to use me as a scare tactic once. I was scanning the signs for ad-set (when we still had ad-set that is) and some little kid was acting up.
The mother pointed at me and said, "He's watching you, he'll throw you out if you don't behave."
I just glared at her, not at the kid. First of all, I don't give a damn about you or your kid. As long as neither one of you fucks up my store, I don't give a rats ass what you do. Second, I am not watching your kid, I'm doing my fucking job, and nowhere in my job description do the words "hellspawn watcher" appear.
The only kid I'll pay attention to is the one that shares genetics with me and my wife. Third, I will not throw your child out, in fact, I won't even talk to your child, because as I stated earlier I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR DAMN KID. I never have, I never will unless he's a friend of my kid. Just buy your shit and get the fuck out.
WE. ARE. NOT. BABYSITTERS. If you can't control your own kid, then that's your problem, not ours. Maybe, just maybe you should have thought about that before you decided not to use birth control.
So I'm in the Home section last night. There's an Indian (as in from India) family in the rug aisle. They're pulling the rugs down, laying them on the floor, and arguing (at least I think it was arguing, I couldn't understand what they were saying, but the tone of voice and the looks on their faces made it seem like they were arguing) FOR A FUCKING HOUR! I was trying to put stuff back and eventually gave up because the whole family (we're talking at least 6-7 people) were taking up the whole aisle.
The pictures are what I came back to when they finally left. That's right, they left all the fucking rugs they didn't buy on the goddamn floor! Unfolded and right where people need to walk. Never mind the rugs that were still on the shelves were also unfolded, thrown anywhere, and in some cases shoved into any spare space.
Guess how long it took me to clean up the rug section. Go ahead guess.
THREE FUCKING HOURS!
It literally took me the last three hours of my shift to get the mess cleaned up. I had to sacrifice recovery in every other section of Home to get this cleaned up, but I'll tell you what, that rug section never looked fucking better.
Of course at the time that I'm posting this, the store's been open for a little over 4 hours and I'm sure it's all fucked up again.
Also apparently last night our LP guys detered some NAT's. Not only were these wonderful specimens of douchebaggery trying to steal from us, but they were using their kids to do it. I hear over the walkie that they see the teenage daughter acting suspicious by the jeans in the juniors section, then they suspect the father (?) is going to try and pull something over by the men's denim section, and at some point the young son was trying to get away with something, even going to far as to run back to daddy who then noticed the LP team watching them, eventually the family left without buying (or stealing) anything.
I guess Thrognar was taking the night off. May all your custies clean up after themselves.
I've mentioned herehow my managers are awesome and I can joke around with them. Which brings me to Friday night.
I'm working in the home department, specifically in the bath section. I spent at least two hours refolding and organizing towels and bathmats, going so far as to organize the bathmats by size and color. Then I get to the next aisle and it looks even worse than the one I just fixed.
"I hate you with the passion of a thousand -- no ten thousand -- burning suns." I mutter under my breath looking at the shit storm I have to try and fix in the next two and a half hours. Then the closing manager, Mama calls me on the walkie "NC, how's it looking back there?"
Me: It's pretty bad.
Mama: How long do you think it'll take you to get it done? We could use some help up here in Juniors.
Me: Uh... (looks over the mess) how's a week from next Thursday sound?
(I hear some of my co workers laughing.)
Mama (also laughing): How about fifteen minutes?
Me: Okay, I'll be up there.
I ended up just going up, because I knew there was no way in (retail) hell I would be able to make a dent in the mess in fifteen minutes. I let her know where I left off so she could let today's opening manager know where to send people.
Came across this article earlier today. What do you guys think? Personally, I wouldn't mind paying a few bucks extra for my food, knowing that the customer wasn't hoping and praying that I leave a decent tip because everone else has been leaving shitty ones.
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It was the coat check tips that did it, back when I was working for a restaurant company and became friendly with a woman who staffed one of our hostess stations. It felt strange and demeaning to go from chatting about our weekend plans one minute to pressing a couple of sweaty bills into her hand in exchange for my coat the next. But to abstain would be even worse - it would mean neglecting my contribution to a pool of money that I knew comprised her income. I get the feeling she wasn't too keen on the power dynamics, either.
The friendships I've formed with restaurant employees over the years have made me think seriously about why hospitality workers are singled out among America's professionals to endure a pass-the-hat system of compensation. Why should a server's pay depend upon the generosity - not to mention dubious arithmetic skills - of people like me?
So I was thrilled to hear that New York City's Sushi Yasuda recently decided to eliminate tipping altogether. Including gratuity for parties of six or more has already become relatively commonplace; in a few restaurants, like Thomas Keller's Per Se and The French Laundry, it's automatically added onto all checks. But Yasuda has gone one step further, dispensing with service as a separate line item - and implicitly, an "extra" - and folding it into their prices as a cost of doing business, along with the rent, and electricity, and ingredients.
If I had my way, we'd take this idea to its logical conclusion and get rid of the practice of tipping altogether. Just outlaw it. Here's why:
1. People don't even understand what a tip is.
If you are of the belief that a tip is an optional kindness you're doing for your server, you might be surprised to hear that you are not in France. Here in America, the practice is voluntary only in the legal sense of the word. You are not technically stealing if you don't tip the customary 15 to 20 percent, but that's probably the best that can be said of you. The tip you pay is a sort of wage: federal law allows tips to be used to make up the difference between a server's salary and minimum wage, meaning they can make as little as $2 to $3 per hour from their restaurant employer. Tips are absolutely depended upon to make up the shortfall.
When you leave a bad tip, you are docking a person's wages. This may either be because you're confused about what's expected or because you're an asshole, and you really believe that your sea bass arriving lukewarm is justly punishable by making it a little harder for the guy who brought it to you to pay his rent.
2. Doctors don't live on tips. Nor do flight attendants.
Tip confusion is understandable, because it's not the way we choose to compensate most of our other people-facing professions. Imagine if when you went to the doctor, you decided how much he got paid based on how happy you were with the diagnosis; or if actors and musicians were paid discretionary sums by the audience, post-performance. Even within the context of the restaurant, some roles receive salaries and others rely on tips. Why do I tip the bartender who made my Manhattan, but not the line cook who grilled the excellent steak I'm eating with it? It's completely arbitrary. Servers, whose job demands are not fundamentally different than that of hard-working office assistants, or hotel concierges, or spin instructors, or flight attendants, should be paid the competitive wage for what they do and how well they do it, and that cost should be factored into menu prices.
3. The percentage basis makes no sense.
Did a server work less because I ordered a $40 bottle of wine than if I had ordered a $400 one? Should I feel a little bit bad when I'm a party of three on a table for four, as the waiter is getting stiffed on 25 percent of his or her optimal tip? Is it less hard to work at a roadside diner than Le Bernardin, where the check averages are approximately ten times higher? (Although that one isn't entirely fair; a place like Le Bernardin is dividing the tip among a much larger staff).
4. Better service doesn't actually beget better tips.
Diners love the power to bestow or withhold financial reward at their whim; servers, in turn, seem to be motivated by the idea that really excellent service could be rewarded by a monster gratuity. The trouble is, that's not actually how things pan out in practice. Michael Lynn, a professor at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, has spent his career researching tipping behaviors, and found that perceived service quality only accounts for two percent of the variation between tips. Two percent! It's probably not even enough to be picked up on by the server, much less cause a significant change in behavior.
Plus: The Best Late Night Food in America
5. It perpetuates racism and sexism.
Lynn's research also shows that tip amounts are affected by racial and gender discrimination. Female servers get larger tips than male servers; sexy women earn more than frumpy ones; white servers, more money than their black counterparts - regardless of what the perceived quality of service is. The system works the other way, too. Black diners tip less on average than do white diners, and research shows that servers provide black diners with inferior service as a result. The tipping system catches us all in a regressive cesspool of our own worst prejudices.
6. Smart people have been trying to end the tipping practice for a century.
Backlashes against the tipping practice are not new. There was an anti-tipping movement at the beginning of the 20th century amongst Americans who saw it as an aristocratic holdover contrary to the country's democratic ideals. Between 1909 and 1915 six states passed anti-tipping laws, all of which were repealed by the mid-1920's as unenforceable or potentially unconstitutional. Samuel Gompers, who founded the AFL, was one political figure notably outspoken against tipping as promoting detrimental class distinctions.
But despite all this, the country as a whole has been loath to abandon the tipping convention. If knowing all of the above, you still balk at the idea of a service charge being rolled into the cost of your meal, maybe you should ask yourself why this is. Are you unwilling to participate in what a restaurant judges to be the fair, market-rate compensation for its employees? Do you think that you are a pawn in a nefarious plot by management to grossly over-reward servers, those men and women who are on their feet for eight hours, ferrying your drinks and foods to and fro? Do you believe that you are in a better position than the restaurant manager to motivate and evaluate his or her staff and make the complicated decisions about compensation and employment?
If yes, can I march into your office and adjust your pay depending on how well you do in our meeting? Or - more accurately - depending on your skin color, your breast size, or your age? Well, of course not, is the answer to that one. Because that would be barbaric.
Mighty Thrognar here, NC Tony asked me to relay this to you. See, I was smiting a crusty the other day and he was in the blast radius. Don't worry, he'll be okay, the hair will grow back, but I think he's deaf in one ear now.
Plus, who really needs thumbs anyway? He did manage to type this up the day before I accidentally smote him.
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You know the drill by now. These are five new items no retail establishment should be without.
"Never Shopping Here Again Scanners": How many times have you had a crusty declare they're "never shopping here again", due to any perceived slight, only to show up again a few days later? Don't you wish you could hold them to their "threat" of never coming back? Well with the Never Shopping Here Again Scanners you can. When the crusty declares their intention to never return, scanners mounted in the ceiling scan the crusty getting vital information, the most important being their face. Other factors such as height, weight, even the way they walk will be scanned and recorded. Other scanners mounted at every door will scan each customer that comes in. When the crusty who promised to never come back comes back (and they will), the scanners go off with a loud alarm and the customer in question is singled out followed by a recording of them saying they would never again shop at your establishment. They are then escorted from the premises. This will happen every time they try to return.
50 Good Reasons Sheet: I'm sure you can count on all your fingers and toes how many times a day you get a Discount Rat asking for a discount they don't deserve. Whether it be because they "spend a lot of money" in your store, or for some slight imperfection in whatever they're buying, or for some other stupid reason that has no basis in reality. Well now, if they want that discount, they have to fill out a sheet of 50 Good Reason why they deserve a discount. These must be good reasons, not entitled crap like "I deserve it" or the aforementioned "I spend a lot of money here". The sheet must be filled out, returned and approved (by a manager with a spine, see the first Retail Slaves Wish List) by the close of business that day. Otherwise the discount will be denied and the crusty can either pay the full price, or go somewhere else.
Bill Holders: How many times have you had a NAT claim they gave you a $50 bill when they only gave you a $20? How many times have you had a spineless manager give in and force you to give the NAT change for a 50 only to find your drawer short at the end of shift? This puts a stop to all that. The bill holder is mounted on the far side of your register and holds any large bills while you make change. The bill stays in plain sight while you hand the change back to the NAT so they can't claim they gave you a larger bill than what they gave you. Then after the scam fails you can put the bill in the register.
Very Obvious Cameras: Every establishment has hidden cameras, but why hide them? Put them everywhere and make them obvious. Go back to the more obvious cameras that you can't help but see. NATs will have to be either real sneaky or real ballsy to try and steal from your store now. These can be combined with the Bill Holders.
Low Voltage Stun Guns: "Now wait NC Tony" you're probably saying, "Why low voltage stun guns? I want to stun someone with enough voltage that I can smell their singed hair! Have you gone soft on us?" No, I haven't. See, these low voltage stun guns, built into the register will stun the customer for all the stupid crap they do that annoys us. Talking on the phone? ZAP! Arguing over the sale price when you've already explained that the discount will be applied at the end of the transaction? ZAP! Paying with $100 bill first thing in the morning? ZAP! Hitting on you? ZAP! Getting verbally abusive? ZAP! Not enough to hurt them, but enough to be annoying, and they will get zapped for every offense. However, if the custy somehow doesn't get the hint after the fifth time, the voltage goes up.
Gorgon After Hours Security: Hate those customers that come in one minute to close and promise to "just be a minute", and then don't leave for a half an hour? Of course you do! Or the customers that are still in the store ignoring the fact that you're closing? Well the Gorgon After Hours Security System will take care of that. Named after the Gorgon Medusa from Greek mythology, the system will make the very loud following announcement. "Attention shoppers: [Insert your store name here] is now closed. Please take your purchases to the nearest register or you will be zapped by the Gorgon After Hours Security System and turned to stone. You will remain here all night as a statue and only be returned to normal when we reopen in the morning." This will be even more effective on holidays when the customer is under the threat of being stuck as stone for two or three days.
Once again, any other ideas can be left below in the comments.
Note from Thrognar: To all trolls, the above is a joke. Please do not take it seriously.
Or I will smite you.
-The Mighty Thrognar
So many new additions to the RHU Dictionary from my fellow RHUers. Here are some of the new definitions.
Assbasket: Someone who's such an ass that they are equivalent to an entire basket full of asses. (Spritzy)
Idiot trail: The trail of sample cups, tissues, broken cookies, go-backs, empty packages, etc. left behind by thieves, hellspawn, lazies; in general, idiots. (Riferous)
1. The type of custy who insists on paying you with as many coins as they can. Especially those who insist on paying large amounts with coins.
2. The type who asks you if you can open your drawer to give them quarters (or some other type of coin denomination.) Even if you can't officially open the drawer for non-sale transactions, they still beg you. (Sales Agent Guy)
Retail Whore: You love retail! You feel right at home and believe that you have found your dream career. (Dear God, we were naive in those days). Your coworkers are awesome. (Until you've actually worked with them.) Your boss is cool. (Who the hell turned loose the evil clone?) And the customers are friendly. (Right up until that ONE walked through the door and shattered everything like an expensive glass bauble.) To clarify, this is the ideal you were thinking when you stepped through the door on your very first day of your very first job... ever...until it all turned to shit. This state rarely lasts very long. Also known as the State of Denial.
Retail Slut: You hate retail. HATE it. It's the 10th level and everything from the lower colon of Hell ends up here. But you also feel trapped and dream of another career. Retail Sluts are either here because there just isn't anything better out there that doesn't require a massive amount of debit or else you are stuck in this shit hole until you can find a better job when you graduate.
Retail Droid: This state is the final stage in your suffering. You have been immersed in your retail environment for so long that you get shit done on autopilot because the colors in your head are more engaging than your daily grind. This state can be temporary or it can be long term. The main characteristic is that you do things in a robotic monotone of drudgery because you know this shit so well you are no longer required to think about it in order to do it. This is also the state that your miserable shit-kicker job strives to beat, maul, abuse or otherwise thrust you into. It also generally requires a level of brainwashing that normally violates the Geneva Convention so hard that its farts will never make noise again.
Retail Zombie: The final stage in your existence. While the Droid stage is the end of your suffering, there is one final step down. Retail Zombies feel no pain, know no pain, and are no longer aware of the world around them. They shuffle through their existence, uttering low moans through their slack jaws. Vacant eyes may move around in the skull, but the Zombie cannot focus on anything happening. Once the shift ends, the Zombie collapses in place as a pile of jumbled body parts, unmoving until another day dawns and the hateful siren song of yet another workday drives the poor creature to reassemble itself and continue its meager existence for the few pennies it is being paid. (Ilia)
Hungry Hungry Hippos: We use this to describe the behavior custys exhibit when they see two or more other custys looking through a clearance rack/bin/table that they want to look through. As if that merchandise JUST got marked down just for them. No! It's been sitting there on markdown for the last two weeks and now that you see other people interested, suddenly it's a hot item! (Honey RHU RHU Child)
Mrs. Exchangestein: A woman in a perpetual state of indecision about anything she shops for, usually enters the store with a medium sized shopping bag at 10:01 a.m.
Mrs. Returnberg: This one ends every transaction with "well I can always return it..."
Boca Return: A haven for returnbergs and exchangesteins.
Fragrance terrorist: These people stand in doorways and at the bottoms of escalators waiting for unassuming prey treating victims like roaches. (Tim)
Keep 'em comin RHU!
Welcome to the RHU Dictionary. The following words and terms are those which have been used over the years here in RHU. Also included will be new words and terms you can use in your submissions to describe the customers, co-workers and managers who make our lives hell. This is by no means a comprehensive list (nor is it in alphabetical order), and more words and terms will be added as necessary. If you have any ideas feel free to submit them, and they'll be added.
Retail Slave: Us. Those of us who work retail as a means to an end. Because we have bills to pay, and mouths to feed. If you like your job that's great, but really, dealing with stupid, mean spirited custys, idiot co-workers and useless managers can make you feel like a slave, doing maximum work for minimum benefit.
Crustomer(crusty): A portmanteau of cranky (or crabby) and customer (custy). These "people" have nothing better to do than annoy us at every turn with stupid questions, and an inability to understand even simple instructions, making what should only take a few minutes feel like hours.
Custo-monster: Worse than a crusty, custo-monsters are miserable people who feel that if they're not happy, nobody else should be either! They'll do everything they can to spread their gloom around to other customers, and especially the retail slaves who are forced to deal with them. Custo-monsters firmly believe the "customer is always right" even when they're wrong... which for them is 99.9% of the time. They expect the impossible out of the slaves, and demand a manager when the employee fails to read their (non-existent) mind or pull a miracle out of their ass.
Discount Rats: These customers think they deserve a discount just for existing, or because they spend "a lot of money" in your store. They will use even the smallest imperfection from a loose thread on a shirt to fingerprints on glassware to try and get an undeserved discount. They'll even try to get discounts on items that are already marked down, even clearance items! Even worse, some of them will try and get you to use your employee discount for their purchase. Discount rats cannot read ads, and will only see the percent or dollar amount off, and not the part of the ad that says "on selected items".
Co-worthless: Also known as co-workers, co-worthless are the ones who come in late, leave early, take numerous breaks, do nothing (yet complain about how tired they are), complain when you ask them to do something, do a half assed job when they actually do get around to doing anything, no call/no show, and despite all that, never get written up, talked to or (deservedly) fired. Probably due to kissing managements ass.
Hellspawn (AKA: Crotch-droppings, crotch monsters, crotch-spawn): Whether you like kids or hate them, everyone hates hellspawn. These ill-behaved children are an accident waiting to happen. They will yell, scream, run around, handle (and sometimes damage) merchandise, and their parents do NOTHING to stop it, mostly because they're not even paying attention.
Sperm/egg donors: Parents of hellspawn. Usually don't care what their kids are doing, or aren't even paying attention... until you tell the kid to stop before he gets hurt. Then the donors turn into attentive parents "RAWR, don't tell my kid what to do!".
Heavenspawn: The opposite of hellspawn. These well behaved children have parents that have taught them the words "Please" and "Thank you", don't make a fuss and can sometimes be the bright spot in an otherwise shitty day.
Creepers: Both male and female, creepers will hit on you in well... the creepiest way possible. They will not be dissuaded by the fact that you are dating, engaged or even married. Sometimes telling them that you are gay (regardless of whether you are or not) will not get them to leave you alone. There are two types of creepers. Custy creepers, and co-worthless creepers. Custy creepers aren't as bad, since they'll eventually leave, but co-worthless creepers will pursue (and piss you off) all day until you start thinking of ways to kill them and where you can hide the body.
Man-ogres: The managers that keep your co-worthless employed. Man-ogres play favorites, and will ignore the uselessness of the co-worthless, and come down on the hard working employees driving them to quit, leaving the store in the hands of incompetent employees. Sometimes the hard working employees will follow the 3D's and use the gathered facts to get rid of the co-worthless and man-ogres.
The 3D's of RHU: Document, document, document. See here for full details.
The Mighty Thrognar: The God of retail slaves. To summon The Mighty Thrognar you will need a clearing in the woods, several rolls of duct tape, 2 pounds of jello (powdered, cherry flavor), bailing wire, an anvil, super glue, a branding iron, 3 cans of spray paint (any color), a dozen 2X4's, a 20 gallon fish tank, 6 live piranha, and a cactus.
Piggies: The reason your store looks like a tornado blew through it. Piggies will open boxes to see what's inside and then take an unopened box, will drop unwanted items anywhere (even worse when said items are food), will leave empty cups/cans/bottles on shelves, will make a mess in the bathroom (the more disgusting ones will literally smear their shit all over the place), and will leave you wondering what their house looks like.
Bloodsuckers/leeches: These customers will monopolize (and ultimately waste) your time by turning you into their personal shopper. They'll wear your nerves to the point where you will be willing to do anything and everything to get rid of them. They're the reason the term "justifiable homicide" exists. Even worse when you work on commission.
Corpo-rape: The idiots that have never been in the store, but tell you how to run it. Any sentence that begins with the words "Corporate says..." means you'd better grab your ankles, because you're about to get fucked, with no lube, and not even getting dinner first.
Religious Freaks: The people that think that because you don't follow their religious beleifs that you are are a sinner and are going straight to hell. They will try to convert you, regardless of what religion (if any) you follow. The 1% of any religious group that makes the group as a whole look bad.
NAT: Nasty Ass Thieves. These lowlifes will steal whatever they can, however they can. From
trying to be sneaky by hiding items, to trying to get expensive items for lower prices, to believing that the rules don't apply to them.
Some of the NATs favorite sayings are:
- They do it for me at [competitor],
- They always do it for me here,
- [Employee or manager who no longer works at the store] did it for me last time
- The sign said everything was on sale
Since you're expected to report (but not allowed to stop) NATs, most employees have just given up and will let people walk out with stolen merchandise since it's been proven doing something to stop theft has resulted in the employee getting fired.
The Retail Slaves Bible:
It's about all those things we want to say, but can't. If you've read Freeman's book, you know that he had rants that only occurred in his head towards crustys/co workers/bosses. We all do, it's part of working retail. But what if you had a chance to say whatever you wanted? What would you say? I got a few responses, so for those of you that didn't get a chance to put your two cents in, please use the comments section to let me know what you would say. My answers will be first followed by the RHUers who were able to respond.
This is going to be long, so settle in.
If you're easilly offended, skip this post.
"I guess that means it's free, right?" (When something doesn't ring up, or have a price tag/UPC on it)
Yes, because that's how we make money, by giving shit away you moron.
Deadpan look: "No, why would you say that?" Blank stare. Continue staring until they nervously break eye contact. (Anonymous)
Nope, it means there is a $15 idiot fee attached, your total is *outrageous price* Have a great day and get the fuck out. (Buddy the Elf...What's Your Favorite Colour?)
"Gee, you're so funny, it's as if I haven't heard that fifty times already today! And put on some damn deodorant, for Pete's sake!" (Annon)
"I just printed that this morning." (When you're checking a large bill to see if it's counterfeit)
I bet the police will be really interested to hear that. (Pick up phone) Let me call them right now.
Then you don't mind if I keep it since it's obviously fake? (Anonymous)
Oh then you won't mind me calling the police to have you arrested for making counterfeit money. (Arch Guy)
So would you like to call the Secret Service for admission of counterfeiting or shall I? (Buddy The Elf)
"Are you stupid/incompitent?" (When you make a mistake because the customer changed their order 17 times, or lies and tells you they ordered a number 3 after you double checked that they wanted a number 5)
Funny, I was about to ask you the same thing. I confirmed your order twice and now you're apparently too stupid to remember what you just ordered.
No, how about you? (Anonymous)
No, actually I believe you are the incompetent fool, not I. If you would have remembered what the fuck you wanted the first time we wouldn't be having this problem. (Buddy The Elf)
Why? Do you need someone to communicate on your level? (Carma)
I should ask if YOU are smart enough to shop here? (Majuba)
I'm not, but you must be if you come in to the same restaurant 5 nights a week to feed your hideous crotch droppings, making ridiculous changes to a simple burger, and then complain because it took us more than 30 seconds to make your fresh cooked food. (Arch Guy)
Whenever a manager tells you to make a return, even though the situation doesn't meet ONE requirement of your return policy (being returned in re-sellable condition, being returned within the time frame for returns, no receipt/proof of purchase).
I got a better idea. Why don't you punch in to this register and do the return so when corporate wonders why we didn't meet our sales goal they can blame you and not me. I'm not going to risk my job just because you're too spineless to say no to this idiot.
You can process this return and sign your own name, I refuse to break policy because you're an idiot. (Buddy The Elf)
When a manager backs an obviously hostile/stupid/scamming customer over you, the loyal employee who is following store policy.
I've been working here X years, have been one of your most loyal and honest employees and you believe this douche hammer over me? No wonder everyone hates you. Don't look at me that way, it's true. Everyone here hates you.
Thanks boss, I'm glad you believe this conniving thief over me and the store policies. Shall we get out the handbook and show you what you're doing wrong? Maybe you should just promote me and quit. (Buddy The Elf)
"Don't tell my kid what to do!" (When warning off a hellspawn from doing something that could either hurt them or damage merchandise)
Somebody needs to, since you're doing such a stellar job of parenting. I've seen animals that treat their offspring better than you do. How about this, next time I'll just ignore your kid like you do and let him bash his stupid head open.
Then do your damn job and scold your devilspawn. (DXKramer)
Okay, I won't tell your crotchfruit what to do, but if he/she/it gets hurt don't say a fucking word. I don't want to hear it, and make the bastard stop crying too, no one wants to hear it.
Okay, I won't tell your crotchfruit what to do but if he/she/it breaks x item YOU will pay for it and YOU will clean it up, no buts about it. (Buddy The Elf)
"Do you know who I am?" (Any entitled customer who thinks that the world revolves around them and you should treat them as such)
No, and I don't fucking care either.
Unless you're a member of my family...no. (DXKramer)
Who, Dick Fuckington? (Anonymous)
You mean you don't know who you are? I sure as hell don't give a damn who you are, wait, yes...I do know who you are, you're asshole number 832. Would you like a cookie? (Buddy The Elf)
Have you forgotten again? Maybe you have it written down somewhere? (Carma)
Any creepy pickup line from a creepy customer.
Lady, I wouldn't fuck you with a stolen dick.
I'm gay/a lesbian. (DXKramer)
Say that again and I'll rip your dick off. (Buddy The Elf)
A customer invading your personal space/inappropriate touching.
Back. The Fuck. Up.
Touch me again and you'll lose your hand.
If you don't back up I am going to back you up, get the fuck out of my face. (Buddy The Elf)
"I'm going to get you fired!"
That's the 37th time I've heard that. I've been here six years, and not one customer complaint has gotten me fired, or even written up. Good luck.
Good luck. I own the place. (DXKramer)
Yeah, you and all the other whiney shits who think I give a damn about what you do, when you're the idiot in the wrong, not me. (CSRawr)
Any customer who uses your name, just because you're forced to wear a name tag (excludes regulars who you know well enough to be on a first name basis with).
Start calling them by some random name, like Joe or Rolando (or any ridiculous name you can think of).
Quit being creepy. (Buddy The Elf)
"They keeping you busy?"
Well, it was either this or 25 to life for killing the last person that asked me a stupid question.
NO! I'm just mopping for the fuck of it. (DXKramer)
I am at work, ya know, the place where you stay busy in return for monies? Have you ever done that before? (Buddy The Elf)
No, I just thought I'd come in and straighten stuff out for fun. (Timekeeper's Twit)
"Working hard or hardly working?"
I've killed people for less than that.
Working hard not to smash your face in at the moment and it is hardly working. (Buddy The Elf)
"Are you open?" (When you're at the till and clearly are)/ "You looked bored, so I figure I'd give you something to do."
No, I'm just standing here holding this patch of floor down./I'm not bored, I was just thinking of ten different ways to kill you. I was up to seven.
Nope, I just stand here like you and ask stupid questions.
The bored look is a cover-up for the "I want to kill idiots like you" look.
"Do you have anymore in the back?" (After you've checked and not found any) "Are you sure?"
I just checked and didn't find any. They're not going to magically appear just because you asked again.
"Come look for yourself." "No, I don't..." "No. Come. Now." (Anonymous)
Are you sure you're not an idiot? You might and to check again. (Buddy The Elf)
"Can you work for me?" (Being asked by a co-worker who never wants to work for you when you need time off)
I would, but I've got a really important appointment that day with I don't give a shit about you.
No, because you never return the favor and generally you're a fucking idiot. (Buddy The Elf)
Can, yes. Will? Absofuckinglutely not. Part of having a job is actually working your shifts. (Brittany Nelson)
Being bossed around by a co-worker who doesn't have the authority to tell you what to do.
Last time I checked, you weren't in charge, so shut the fuck up.
When you finally have the authority to say that shit to me I'll listen, but until then just go do your own damn job and leave me to do mine. (Buddy The Elf)
Having a manager show favoritism to an obviously useless co-worker, while making you work harder.
Gee, I wish I could be a useless fucktard like you two, I bet (whoever's next up in the food chain) would love to hear about this. (Then make a note of the date and time.)
No, I refuse to do extra for this incompetent fool, and you are lucky I work at all under your shitty management skills. (Buddy The Elf)
"Why aren't you helping me?"/"You're not being very helpful!" (When a crusty asks you for help, but is not specific as to what type of help they need, or are so vague that their request for help could be one of 10 things)
Because I'm just a lowly retail worker. I'm not qualified to give you the serious mental help you so obviously need./I'm not being helpful? Neither are you! I need to know more about what you want other than you saw it here last week and it was blue, we've got six thousand items in the store that are blue!
I am trying to help you, you ignorant twat. If you would be a bit more specific we wouldn't have a problem, but until then you're just asking for that random item on that one shelf over there and I could give a damn less what the fuck it might be. I am not psychic nor am I paid to try. (Buddy The Elf)
"Do you have [item that your store has never carried]?" (Examples: Being asked if you carry clothes... in a grocery store. Being asked if you carry video games... in an arts and crafts store.)
Did you seriously just fucking ask me that? We're a clothing store, not a fucking grocery.
Do you even know what store you're in? Please fucking pay attention before asking ridiculous questions like that. (Buddy The Elf)
"It's cheaper at [competitor]!"
So you came here why? (DXKramer)
Then get your happy ass in the car and go to their store instead of trying to guilt me into giving you something you quite frankly do not deserve. (Buddy The Elf)
Bitch (I mean that term for both men and women that ask that question) I don't control the prices. I have no say in how much things cost. The people we buy it from charge us a certain price and then we have to put a little on top of that price to make a profit. And anyhow if we are sooooo expensive why are you here? Just make everyone's life easier and go to that other store. (bitterbookaddickt)
Yes, sir, but our employee spa needs a new sauna so we raised our prices./Maybe you should try the Salvation Army store. (Carma)
Then go shop at [competitor], and leave me the fuck alone. (CSRawr)
"Why can't you do [something that for whatever reason is literally impossible]?"
Because this isn't a cartoon and I can't just magically pull something out of my ass.
Because I don't have a red and yellow "S" on my chest, dumbass. (Arch Guy)
Why can't you just go fuck off and die? *shitty response from them* Exactly, now quit being a dumbass. (Buddy The Elf)
Because I am not (insert deity name here), and you are an idiot. (CSRawr)
"Can I have a discount?"
Sure, you can have a discount. But you must give me, in writing, 50 good reasons why I should give you one by the time we close tonight.
Can I have your (insert nice thing the customer has or might have, like a vehicle/house)? *no* There is your answer. (Buddy The Elf)
ngs slaves, Mighty Thrognar here. I noticed a lot of you had to work on Thanskgiving, so, being the God of retail slaves everywhere, I decided to have some fun. I found the corporate executives responsible for you working on Thanskgiving, and dressing like Santa (easy to do, he's my third cousin twice removed on my mother's side), I stopped by their houses during Thanksgiving dinner... and well here's what happened.
Oh yeah, last night was fun. Ad set is supposed to start at 8:15, my supervisor is supposed to be there at 7:45 to get everything set up and whatnot. I get to work, take a few minutes in the break room before I clock in and head to the office. No sign of my supervisor, I think nothing of it, maybe she's getting some last minute scanning done, or getting the RF guns. 8:15 hits, still no sign of her. The whole team has arrived, so I go onto the floor to look for her. I find the closing manager (who I've nicknamed A Plus because she somehow manages to keep cool under pressure... like last night when she's calling everyone over the walkie to help cover customer service and NO ONE is listening to her), and ask her "Did you know [supervisor]'s not here?"
"Oh, NC Tony, don't tell me that."
"No sign of her."
"Do you have her phone number?"
"Not on me, I forgot to grab my phone before I left the house."
So, A Plus finds my supe's phone number, and it turns out my supervisor FORGOT there was an ad set last night. This has NEVER happened before. Luckily she only lives a half hour away, so for the next half hour the senior ad set member has to take over. That would be me. So while A Plus prints out the ad set planner, I grab an RF and randomly scan a few signs to find out what we're supposed to put up, let everyone know and assign them sections.
My supervisor comes in, finds me, and tells me we were supposed to set our RF's for the 30th, not the 29th (on ad set the RF guns have to be set for the next day). So now we have to re scan everything we've already scanned. Fortunately, most of us were less than halfway done, so it wasn't like we had to rescan everything. It just took us an hour longer to get everything scanned, and when I left at 2am, there were still people putting up signs (and the only reason I got to leave at 2 was because I had to be up in four hours to get my son ready for school in the morning).
Last night was.... not a nightmare, just a little annoying.