After a year in the location I was hired in (and the move), I spent a year in another store, quite some distance away.
My first WTF moment was arriving there for my first day, and finding junk mail from companies that wanted to sell us stuff, addressed to me by name. Really? Turned out, a year or two earlier, that store had been managed by another person with the exact same name. It was creepy.
Then there was the manager in between me and the other me. He was, apparently, a psychopath with impulse control issues that made a pit bull on crack look warm and fuzzy. I was told that when he found something put away in the wrong place, he would pick it up and throw it. Usually, across the store; sometimes, at the nearest employee. While screaming obscenities. I decided they really weren't exaggerating when I realized I'd been there nearly two weeks before I actually met all my employees face to face. They *hid* from me. I really couldn't blame them.
The store is in an odd community; half the people there are filthy rich, the other half are an artists' colony. Being retail, we hire people who have little in the way of job skills. In short, kids of the rich people, who are only applying because they were told they had to or they wouldn't get their allowance. And were usually pissed off when we actually hired them. And artists, and their kids. In both cases, basically, worthless lumps of flesh, by and large.
I had one assistant who was a meth head, who was fired after we figured out he hadn't slept in four or five days and was having a psychotic episode. And a housewares manager who had to be told that walking around the store with an inflated balloon under her shirt because she wanted to be pregnant was unprofessional. And follow that up by telling her she couldn't do it anyway. They were the best of the lot; that's why they were given keys and alarm codes. (Note: I wasn't actually consulted on the decision to promote either of them, but that's a whole different WTF.)
This was our slowest store, business-wise, and had a pretty meager payroll budget. In fact, so meager that I couldn't actually fill the schedule with three people in the store at all times without overtime. So I (salaried exempt) ended up working open to close Sundays (the shortest hours) because we had to have a sales associate, a cashier and a manager in the store at all times. Fortunately, it was so slow it wasn't a big deal (other than driving home 30 miles or more at the end of a long day). So when one of the assistant spots opened up (I forget which one), I pitched a fit to get an experienced assistant, and I got one, transferred from the nearest store. His name was Jim.
Now, Jim was a hell of a good assistant manager. Would have been a piss poor manager, because he would get so focused on what he was doing he'd tune out the rest of the world, but as long as I made sure he knew what was expected, he was a great assistant. So, in discussing the coming transfer with Jim, I mentioned that I had come to the decision that there were two people who needed to not work there any more, a cashier (who liked to climb ladders wearing very short skirts and no underwear) and a sales associate (who showed up three hours late one day because "I had a flat and had to walk to work" - he lived about three blocks from the store. This was not the first time.)
There was also the 18 year old (thankfully) cashier who *insisted* on showing me her new tattoos, even when they were covered by her panties, but she actually quit after having an allergic reaction to grass - across her ass - having sex on the front lawn of her house (she told me this), and couldn't wear pants for a couple of weeks. Some of the artists were performance artists.
So it turns out Jim was trained by his current manager as a hatchet man, and firing people did not bother him in the least. So we planned a grand entrance for him. And in a bit of luck, on Jim's first day in the store, the guy who needed to be fired walked in about six feet behind him. So I pointed him out, and Jim took care of business. On his first day in the store, he literally walked in the door, put on his vest, turned around and offered the kid his hand, and said, "Hi, I'm Jim, the new assistant manager, and I need to talk to you in the office." And fired him. The girl apparently heard what had happened, and never even bothered to show up for her final paycheck.
I never felt the least bit of hesitation in leaving Jim in charge of the store when I was gone. Everybody respected his authority.