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Retail Slave Remembers Insensitive Gossipy JC Penney Managers

Storytime8 Some time ago, I messaged you about a horror story or two in cleaning up at my old retail job at Nickel's, as I will call it here. I got a couple of doozies about two of my managers - both of whom are the best reason in the world I would rather be unemployed than work there. Currently, I am a student in grad school, living off of federal work study and my dad's assistance with some bills. I work for a good professor at my college and he and I both have a love of music, so you could probably get away with calling me Music Junkie. On to the horrors, though!

My younger sister, now at Ohio State working for a local pharmacy (she can probably tell her own stories here), was the first in our family to work for Nickel's. Part time job, after school, normal BS for her hours. I had no desire to work there until my mom (who passed away from cancer last July) pressured me to - honestly, it was either that or working fast food again. She herself had helped on and off for a little extra money, starting with Memorial Day Weekend, or was it Texas Tax Free? I worked for Christmas break - somewhat easy money. I worked again during the summer, and immediately I didn't like the experience.

The managers I recall at that time are as follows:


Uptight Dude Working Women's

The Superbitch in Children's

Somewhat Lazy but Awesome in Men's

Neat Freak in Houseware

I forget the rest, but eventually we got an employee promoted to manager - real name Bonnie. Perhaps my favorite of the bunch because she was actually nice to the associates, rather than throwing about a fake smile.

Now, the first horror story.

This occurred when my mother, my sisters, and myself were all working the same night shift. It was a bad Saturday, and closing that day was by far the worst shift, surpassed only by holiday sales.

I don't immediately remember the words, but Superbitch was one of the closing managers - I think Neat Freak was the other - and some words got thrown at my youngest sister. Apparently what this manager said to my little sister was enough for my mother (always the mama bear for her children) to get up in Superbitch's face about it and confront her. Not only did she demand an apology from this sad excuse of a manager, my mom lodged an official report against her. While on its own this wasn't much, guess who lost her management status two years later? Thank you, karma.


The second story, and in my opinion the WORST of these stories, sets me off even further. I was temporarily working on break and at the beginning of summer. My mom's health was turning for the worse, even with chemo. She voluntarily retired a month before her death, but months prior, she was easing in a successor. However, some of the co-workers were griping, thinking my mother was "lazy" for being tired so often. Surprise that radiation and chemotherapy will completely destroy your energy levels. What's better is that these complaints were made over the school district's email account, meaning that mom (should I call her supermom?) was able to hear about these. Not only that, but the biggest bitch of the bunch was the wife of Uptight. He was sharing these views at work, apparently, and I got word of this from a family friend. Excuse me? That destroyed ANY incentive I had for working there.

Then it happened. July 5, I was on my way to work, waiting on my mom's surgery to start when I get the phone call. In what was perhaps the most human thing they have done while I worked there, I called Uptight and told him that I was not going to show for any of my shift. Several hours later, I learned that mom's cancer was terminal. I called the store manager, "Jim," as soon as I could and told him that I was severely cutting my scheduled and needed a week. "Jim" was very understanding.

At mom's funeral, I told my managers, including Uptight, that I was planning on quitting. Surprisingly understanding, I still worked until near the beginning of school, but I can't get past how gossipy these people are. I no longer want a part of this team at Nickel's. I have too many horror stories about their hiring and scheduling practices to bear having them create more. Pleasant experiences were had with some co-workers, but the bad outweighed the good. The 7.55/hour wasn't worth it.

--Music Junkie



I'm sorry for the loss of your (super)mom. Judging by the way I've seen Nickle's go downhill, Karma has been biting them in the ass all the way. You were good to get out while you could. I hope you do well in your chosen field.

Music Junkie

God help me if I have to work there again this summer. I'd rather work summer semesters.


Wow, calling someone lazy for being tired from chemo? That's a new low. Plus, I can't imagine anyone that gossipy wouldn't have known that she had cancer, so it's not like they could claim ignorance, either.

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