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January 2012
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March 2012

Robotic Elephant Bus

Robotic elephant for 50

If anyone can explain this in comments, please have at it! The WIN! blog didn't say much except that it's robotic and it holds over 20 people!




Finding a Second Family In The People You Work With

Storytime6Hola RHU, Snagglefrog here to elaborate on my Facebook post and the update.

Last night (Friday), I was busy freshening up the muffin case.  A man (probably about middle aged, dark hair, salt/pepper beard and wearing some phone earpiece) walks up and asks me if we have any challah bread.  I replied that if we did, the challah could be found over on a certain rack.  However, it isn't a big seller and so we only make it once in awhile.  I then suggested to this customer that he gives us a call ahead of time and we'll have a loaf ready for the next Sabbath.

"No.  That's ok." he tells me.  The customer then went on to talk about traditions.  From there, he talked about what it must have been like to have been the first person to taste some grapes that had been sitting in a bowl for days.  Grape juice!  Wine!  Being the nice person I am, I smiled and nodded - no biggie.  The customer then went on to lament about how people don't know where their family came from.  I don't remember exactly how he worded this metaphor, but he used an example of being tied to a string.  While talking, he slowly creeps into my space.

"Do you know where your family came from?" he asked me.


"Yes.  My mother's side is from the Ukraine and my father's side is a mix of Ukraine, Ireland and Scotland."

"When did your family come to the states?"  If I remember right, he was referring to my mom's side of the family.

"I think it was around the turn of the century."

He then asked why.  "To escape political turmoil, I think."  

My family's name (referring to mom's side)?  "Goldstein." I replied.

"Ah!  You're Jewish!"  he exclaimed.  "Do you practice?"

Oh shit, I think.  "Unfortunately, I don't."  It is at this point I find myself suddenly uncomfortable - especially since I'm scared of backlash for not practicing.  The customer said something then - something about me working.  It's then around this point that the evening manager, T walks by saying he has a cake order for me.  I apologize to the customer - saying I need to go.

R5He understands and says, "You are Elizabeth the Jew Yiddena."  As I am not fluent in both Hebrew and Yiddish, I had no idea what that meant and actually thought he said "Yinnen".

As I walk towards the back doors (YAY for my department being hidden from the store!), I wish the customer a wonderful night.  He replies back with, "Not "sir", but Seth!"

Back in the bakery, T asks me if I'm alright and what the customer said to me.  I explained what happened and told T the guy called me a "Jew Yinnen".  T had noticed the guy basically had cornered me and came to my rescue.  He also said that what the customer did was actually harassment and that he had no right to ask me personal questions like that.  For the rest of my shift, I kept having this feeling the guy may have insulted me, but wasn't entirely sure.

Later on, while writing a statement about the incident, I remembered my book of Jewish Folklore and that it had a glossary of terms in it - which I mentioned to T.  That's when we discovered that the guy had called me a "yiddena" - which is Yiddish for a Jewish woman (or basically a female Jew as I had stated on the FB post).  T assured me an email will be sent to the other managers about what happened.  

RHU17Fast forward to this (Saturday) afternoon. I'm sitting in the breakroom waiting for 3 o'clock to roll around.  I'm eating and reading when I notice somebody sitting in front of me at my table.  It is Tr - the produce manager.  That he sat at my table surprised me, as the managers don't normally do this.  Tr asks how I am and wanted the full story - as the email T sent out was brief in regards to the situation.  I explained what happened and Tr replies that T's email had him worried - especially since I wait for the trolley outside when I leave work.  Tr goes on his way and awhile later I start my shift.

Walking into the bakery, A (my manager) says something about having heard of my incident.  W (his assistant) tells me not to share the story yet, as R (the grocery manager) needs to hear it too.  She pages R to the bakery and once again, I explain what happened.  That's when I discovered T had made the encounter much worse than it really was.  According to R, T made it sound as though the customer was making sexual advances towards me.  

RHU19Apparently T can be a little dramatic at times.  R also said that the customer just sounded like someone who is a "close talker".  The three managers then joke about how they will now call me "Challah" from now on.  No biggie - we always joke around with one another.  Not long after A, W and R went off to take care of other things, the store manager and assistant store manager walk in to talk to me.  They leave after a few minutes - just as A returns.  

"Isn't it nice to know the store cares about you?" he asked me.  Considering what I've gone through while working here, the store is like my family. 

Hell yeah.



Sh*t Macy's Customers Say


Good lord, is anyone from any cosmetic counters having flashbacks to horrid crustys?



--Cosmetics Hellhound

Note From Freddy: She mentions a city of where my Retail Hell went down and YES, the custys were EXACTLY as she portrayed them for the cosmetic girls I worked with!


Crazy California Custy Calling

Callcenterskull2Long time, no post! BrianTheWerewolf back again to stalk the retail halls in all my furry-ness!

I work for a vendor that works for one of the largest banks in the United States, one that has been in hot water recently for its handling of the HAMP program.

At our call center, we are not allowed to give our location due to security and an incident that happened with a customer and a rep a few years ago where the customer used the reps location to insult him and run him into the ground and the rep defended himself (rep was suspended for defending himself but anyway...back to the story)....

I had a woman, wonderful lady to talk to, who showed that even the nicest customers can be utterly hopeless when it comes to geography. 

She asked my location and I told her what we are supposed to.

Me: (politely): "Mam, I'm on the east coast."

Customer: "Oh sounds foreign. Where is that?" RHSEPT 099

(I am resisting the urge to head-desk when I look at her’s in California).

Me:  "Mam, you’re in California, right?"

Customer: "Right!"

Me: "Well, that's the west coast of the United States. The east coast is on the opposite side of the country." 

Customer: (totally innocent and not being mean at all): "Oh wow! You guys speak excellent English! I know that outsourcing doesn't always get good speakers but you're one of them! The east coast...I wonder which part of India that is in..." 

Rather than explode laughing on the phone, I simply end the call as humanely as possible and close it down just enough in time to burst out laughing as all heads turn in my direction and they will never know why. :) While most of the time, I hate the place where I work (as does everyone else), there truly are times that are absolutely priceless and make it worthwhile. 





Bookstore Slave's Italian Ah-choo! Tale

BookstoreslaveBookstore Slave with two tales, one of smugness, one of misery.

I am a picky eater. Certain foods and textures literally make me sick to my stomach. This also translates to smells; I'm sensitive in all sorts of weird ways. Now, apply this to retail, and you get an inkling.

Sometimes it's an advantage, particularly over my coworkers. There was a gentleman who entered the store that some of my fellow employees were recoiling from. And I call him a gentleman because he had the heart to be apologetic and to aim his mouth away from the people he approached. He explained that he had paid a visit to the newest addition to our stip mall: an Italian food restaraunt. Yep. Garlic. And not like the mild "I just ate garlic bread, sorry" kind of garlic smell. This poor fellow smelled like he plucked a clove straight from the bulb and chowed down on it, fresh and straight.

Luckily for our store, I'm an Italian mix (great great grandma was 98 before she passed away and was an immigrant from Sicily) and we make use of garlic in our family recipes. So while the poor guy smelled strong, he did not smell bad to me. The fresh garlic smell was potent, but my only complaint was that it made me hungry. I wanted me some spaghetti after helping him, let me tell you! I was able to help him find his books and ring him up while the other cowards hid themselves away. I felt particularly smug about that. No one else wanted to help him.

Now for the other end of the spectrum. As some people here at RHU have complained, some people fucking marinate in their spray on. And unlike the garlic in my last story, I cannot handle some brands. I can only describe it as being allergic, though I don't have allergic reactions in the way you'd expect. No hives. No itching. No anaphalactic shock or epi pens.


I sneeze.

And I don't mean "Achoo! Ugh, sorry!" I mean I start sneezing and I cannot stop until I flee.

This  woman comes in through the front door and just a waft of it tickles my nose. She had to have liberally sprayed herself from head to toes. My eyes water and I get that horrible itching sensation deep in my sinuses that says all torpedos are loaded and they are waiting for the command to fire.

I flee to the manager and have a desperate whispered conversation that I'm allergic to this woman's purfume and please dear god someone else has to ring her up. I will shelve DVD's, I will alpabetize CD's, I will individually polish each and every book in the musty, dusty back room if you just send anyone else but me to the registers for five goddamn minutes.

"I'm sorry Bookstore Slave, but you're just going to have to muddle through this. We can't spare anyone and you cannot insult a customer by refusing them service because of the way they smell. Now get over there before she starts complaining."

asdfghjkl; I didn't say she smelled bad I said I was fucking allergic, you asshole!

I shlog back to registers and she's waiting patiently by the registers. And I get a face full of the 6 foot cloud she has wafting around her. WHAMMO! My nose, which had been tentatively calming down during the time I had been having my desperate conversation with the manager, screamed RED ALERT and fired. And kept firing.

*ah-choo!* I- *ah-choo* th- *ah-choo* think *ah-choo!* I *ah-choo!* Son of a *ah-choo!*


The lady looks startled by my reaction. "Goodness honey are you all right?"

*ah-choo!* N-No... *ah-choo!*

I manage to dive under the registers and seize three tissues, in between three more sneezes, and cover my nose. The tissue helps filter and my sneezing slows down, but my eyes are now watering like hell and probably redder than a stoner's.

"Good gracious! I've never seen an attack like that. Run to the restroom and wash your face off with cold water. It will get the allergens off your skin. I'll ask someone else to ring me up."

"T'ang kew!" I flee to obey the customer's surprisingly knowedgeable suggestion and she waves over the manager, who has been standing at Info watching the whole spectacle.

Total: 14 sneezes in less than 2 minutes, a pounding heart, eyes that watered for five minutes, and red stoner eyes for the rest of the evening.

I was a mess and basically splashed water all over my face and scrubbed it with those cheap paper towels they have in the bathroom for drying hands off. On one hand, Jesus Tapdancing Christ Lady! Tone down on that shit! On the other, thank you for being understanding enough to give me a reason to send me running in the opposite direction.

The manager never apologized, and I ultimately repeated that incident three times over the course of my job at Hoarders. I still have yet to find a way to prevent such incidents. It's not like blocking the actuall smell of the stuff will stop me fron sneezing, as my reaction is to the particles of perfume themselves.

May all your customers be nice,

--Bookstore Slave