Retail Hell Memories: Crazy Custy Attempts to Manage Video Store



From DV-DIVA, January, 2011, right before all the video stores closed:

There is a custy whom I have had the "pleasure" to serve in two different stores now.

I've worked in a total of four stores over the several years I've been employed with my company. His name is John. (Name changed to protect the ignorant.)

John is special. And by special, I mean...certifiable. At my original store, he would frequently bring my employees half a ream of computer paper printed up with information on alien abduction.

No one ever asked him for this information, I think it was more like John felt that he was providing them a service.

What he was actually providing was a good amount of scratch paper for our office.

My distaste for John and his eccentricities began when he came in to return a copy of "Hairspray" that he had rented.

We had the following conversation:

Me: *Generally tolerant of him at this point, but knowing he wasn't all there* "How'd you like the movie, John?"

John: "I found it to be disturbing, and totally without any sense of reality whatsoever."

Me: *Blinks* "I's just a fun musical, really...I guess I can understand people thinking it's disturbing though."

CRAZYCUSTYS4John: "What disturbed me most is that the obese young woman found love with the good looking young man."

He eyes me up and down as I stand there slack-jawed. I, myself, am overweight. An important detail at this point.

John: "Honestly...Do YOU ever expect to find love?"

From that moment on, my feelings toward John and his eccentricities revolve around the various parts of his anatomy that he can stick them in. I'm only as polite to him as my job dictates that I must be.

This past week though, he took the cake...

He came in, complaining that the new store I'm in is too far away. Since the original store closed down a year ago, he now has a further distance to travel in order to get his movies and hand out his alien abduction books.

John depends solely on public transportation, and the bus stop is too far away for him to walk from it to our store. This is upsetting to John. But John has come up with a plan. He comes into the store, and asks to speak with me. 

I go over, and he lets me know that he has decided that he's going to ask us to set aside a couple hours a week for an employee to go to his house, pick him up, bring him to the store, allow him to pick out his movies, and then take him back home.

I could barely stand there and keep a straight face while he laid this plan out.

Of course, I told him that this wasn't a possibility, and he attempted to argue with me, but I stood my ground.

The impromptu staffing meeting he was holding ended with him telling me that this would be the LAST time he ever came to our store, because we were unreasonable, and more interested in the interests of "Big Brother" than in the well-being of our customers.

Now that I think about it...I should have told him to ask one of his alien buddies for a ride.

Apparently, they like picking people up.



 for more Retail Hell Memories go here

and checkout more crazy custy here...

We do also have a category for Video Store Hell here  (doesn't have a lot in it, but there are few more tales from DV-Diva!)






Monstrous Customers: Bloodsucking Vampire Shopper Encounter



From Fiona, February 2010:

Dear Retail Hell,

I have just been the victim of a half an hour blood sucking vampire shopper.

I sit here deflated, unable to even gather the energy to start my morning shop cleaning. And I arrived at work today full of vim and vigor, ready to start a new week.

A middle aged, dowdy lady came in first thing and, under the pretext of wanting to purchase some footwear for herself, proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with the shoes we had on offer (I know what she didn’t like about our shoes – they had style.

It’s always the worst dressed ones that pronounce themselves ‘fussy with shoes’ and 'hard to find things they like'). She had a foot problem, these ones were too ugly, she likes mens shoes better, heel too high, can’t wear that one it’s not supportive enough, don’t like sports shoes, no that Velcro strap isn’t what I want, how about these mens Velcro ones, do they come in womens sizes? See, I’m in between sizes, I always am.

Like a fool I kept offering more and more styles to this blood-sucking bitch. Like a gambling addict, I always think 'just one more, she'll love it and buy it and we'll both be happy'. And surely she'd be grateful I'm a salesperson making an effort, right?

And even after I had given up and just stood there smiling weakly wishing she would leave (I didn’t even care about a sale, I just wanted my sanity back) she would get stoked up again.

Blood‘Well perhaps I should look in a different area. How about these, can I try them? No, too big, too small, I feel like I’m falling backwards in these ones, the laces aren’t long enough. Oh you have lovely shoes, just look at them, but I can’t wear these ones. Perhaps if the heel were lower...’

As she rattled through the shortcomings of our stock, item by item, I periodically wanted to scream at her 'What DO you want then?'

If it was me in a shop and I didn't like something, I just wouldn't say anything. It was like she had uncontrollable stream of consciousness verbal diarrhea and had to verbalize Every. Little. Thing. she thought.

And not a single word of it was positive of course (apart from the fake ‘oh you have lovely shoes’ as she walked out the door, dragging her leechy energy after her.)

And finally, blessedly she left.

I am but a shell left crumpled on the faux wood flooring.

She is going to think about the last pair she tried on and if she can’t find anything she likes better she may come back and settle for them.

Oh glory day, hopefully I am dead when that time arrives.

Yours in Retail Hell,



read more Monstrous Customers stories here





Monstrous Customers: Bakery Blooksucker



 From Cake Bitch, January 2010:

Let me set the scene a bit first... I work in a bakery that is inside of a grocery store. There are two of us cake decorators, but I usually work the bulk of the hours. We take pride in making our cakes as nice as we can, and not just some shitty decorations slapped on a frozen-ass-pre-baked-pre-iced cake... so anyways....

This guy comes in and walks up to the counter, he wants to order a cake. Great. Fantastic. Sure I'd love to help you with that!! /huge grin...

This guy was probably from some country over in the middle east, because his poor excuse for English was more or less going straight over my head leaving me tilting my head to the side like a confused puppy... think Apu from Simpsons... only thicker accent.

Ok so he begins to attempt to order this cake...

Quarter sheet? (8" x 12") fine. It's after this we start running into problems... 

He proceeds to whip out a picture of some double layer 14" round cake w/ cream cheese icing, metallic purple grapes and a wine glass and bottle, and blah blah blah whatever.

For one, the ONLY double layer cakes we make are 8" double layer rounds... that's it.

We don't even do wedding cakes at my store for lack of a delivery van... sorry guy, you're out of luck there. Still want the quarter sheet then? Ok good.

So I originally thought he wanted a photocake, you know one of those cakes you get with a picture on it... since he brought in the picture and all.

Turns out he wanted the cake to look EXACTLY like the one in the picture... um... right well, a quarter sheet is a rectangle and that's a round so... it won't really look like that. What? You want buttercream icing? Oh well, that's fine but that's cream cheese icing in the picture so... it's going to be white and not off-white yellowish... (so far you can probably guess where this is going to go...)

He then proceeds to tell me that he wants the wine glass and the bottle on there too, Ummmmm ooookay well, this is only a quarter sheet, there's not really a ton of space to put that kind of thing on there.

Not ONLY that but this fucker wants the glass AND the bottle out of CAKE... on TOP of the other cake...

Carolanne 024zI don't fucking think so. We don't do sculpture cakes at my store, we may take pride in our cakes but we have a limit.

He started to get pissy w/ me after this... because I was having a hard time understanding what it was he wanted.. ENGLISH MOTHER FUCKER DO YOU SPEAK IT!?

So after I had the order form filled out to the BEST of my abilities... I repeat it back to him to make sure it's right.

Me: Okay so we have a quarter sheet marble cake, with buttercream icing, you want a wine glass and a bottle out of purple icing (omg gross... nasty ass shit.... purple icing takes like what i would guess battery acid would taste like b/c of all the food coloring... and he's going to have HUGE mounds of it on his cake... oh well not my problem...) airbrushed lightly with silver... some grapes and vines also airbrushed lightly with silver, and Writing Happy Birthday on the cake in script in purple, and your <impossible to pronounce Indian name here> on the bottle and the year you were born .... your total will be <Price>. Is that correct? (this asshole better be glad I'm not charging him extra for the time it's going to take me to make this thing...)

Him: Wait... no double?

Me: Excuse me?

Him: I want double...

Me: I'm sorry but we don't make double layer quarter sheets, only 8" rounds. You said you wanted a quarter sheet , if you would like to change it that's fine but I can't fit all those decorations on a tiny 8" round.

Him: Oh... well... ok then.

Thank fucking god.

Okay so, I start working on this guy's cake... not EVEN 5 minutes later I get a phone call.. I immediately recognize the voice on the other end... FUCK. now what?!?!? ///Sigh.. he wanted to make sure I had the order correct... whatever dude, let me do my damn job kthx.

Carolanne 010aaI spent an HOUR and a FUCKING HALF doing this asshole's cake... that's like 5-6 times longer than it usually takes me for an intricate order... I made SURE it was as perfect as I could POSSIBLY get it. So that asshole wouldn't complain.

A few hours later.. he comes into the store again.

Me: Oh did you want to pick up your cake early? (it was for tomorrow pick up...)

Him: No, I want to see it to see how it's coming...

Me: Oh, okay well, (resisting huge urge to just stab this guy in the face w/ my huge ass cake knife...)

This is where I learned from my co-worker that he's been a problem before and has been known to come in and "look at his cake" and then leave it if he doesn't like what he sees.

Me: Are you going to -take- your cake?

Him: Well... I wasn't going to right now but....

Me: Well... SIR... if you want to see your cake you need to take it. This is not food network. I am not Duffy. This is not a "specialty" cake shop. If you would like your cake now that's perfectly fine, however, I don't have time to be running back and forth to get your approval.

Him: Ok.... well, I take now.

I run to the cooler and grab his cake. I show it to him and he has the FUCKING nerve to complain about it right off the bat.... the urge to stab is getting higher...

Him: The side, it is too white. Can you put more silver on?

Me: Sure.... /Grit my teeth while I get airbrush and put a light coating of silver on the side.... how's that?

Him: Still too white a bit more...

//applies a bit more... eyes going red....

Carolanne 008Him: //scrutinizing look... but now... now it's too dirty looking. Can you take some off?

This is where I just blew my top.. I was so pissed, but while STILL being somewhat polite as I POSSIBLY could manage and not look like a COMPLETE bitch... as I would get written up...

Me: Look. you TOLD me to put more silver on there because YOU thought it was too white. I can't just "take it off" it's airbrush!! That would require stripping the ENTIRE cake and starting all over. If you don't want your cake, pick something out of the case and I'll write on it for you, but I am not adding anything to it, and I am NOT remaking your cake simply because I did exactly what YOU told me to do.

Needless to say he took the cake and paid full price. I haven't seen him back since. A

nd I hope, for his own safety, that he doesn't show his face again or I will downright refuse to make another cake for that picky-ass douchebag...¬.¬

Not to mention that knife I spoke about earlier....

--Cake Bitch




The Discount Rat That Broke The Retail Slave's Back


Jason Rock OnFrom Puppies In Prada

I had an experience the other night that was one part annoying as hell, one part glorious, and I believe it was a dream come true for many retail slaves. So, live vicariously through me, my lovelies! Also don't drink while reading this. I have heard it hurts when you snort your beverage.

The Animal Shelter Thrift Store is not a massive company, or one with a lot of overhead beady eyes turned upon the employees. The general consensus is to be nice to customers and not be an ass at random. That being said, we have a hell of a lot more freedom to be a smartass as situations warrant. No-Nonsense Steve has perfected the polite "Fuck You" tone of voice that is the envy of retail wage slaves everywhere. I still take notes when sharing stories with him.

Onward to the story:

We have a regular who comes in once every couple of weeks to look at our wares, make lots of loud noises about the things she wants, and then react, loudly, in horror at the prices. She has been caught switching tags in the past. Why she has not been banned yet is unknown. As such, she is not exactly beloved within our walls.

She comes in 30 minutes before we close (yeah you already know how this is going to go) and clomps around. She uses this weird lurching, swinging walk, where instead of walking like a normal person, she swings each leg in a wide, sideways arc before setting it down in front of the other foot. Her whole body is involved in this exaggerated method of locomotion that looks like she's either drunk while walking on a rolling ship in a storm... or drunk while swinging from vines Tarzan style. She's huffing and puffing and blowing out her breath and making agitated, unhappy noises. Every heaving breath she takes looks like it's going to throw out her back. To sum up, if you are easily irritated by the sound of someone chewing or making noises on a constant basis, this woman will make you go postal in five seconds, guaranteed.

I am not that sensitive, and even I'm developing an eye twitch. Calm. Calm. I am cool. I am fine. She'll be out of here soon enough. Be chill. Cool like the mountain breeze. Cool like the condensation on a Frosty from the red headed girl's fast food restaurant.

Her: "Oh I like that thing. And that one. And that one. Please take those out of the case so I can look at it. That's awesome, I really want that. Wait, it's $75 dollars?!"

The sound of cracking teeth echoes through my head as I clench them. And so it fucking begins.

It's a glass statuette of a horse in green glass, hand painted with a flower motif from some company that apparently custom makes them and sells them for well over a hundred dollars each because... I don't know, unicorn tears were mixed with the paint or some shit. I just handle shoes and purses so I don't know anything about the company that makes solid glass horses. But yes, I do know enough about the way we handle prices to know that getting it for $75 is a fucking steal.

Her: "You know I just came from the doctor's, and we got a test done and I might have cancer."

Discountrat1Me: "Yikes. That's a bummer."

And while cancer is serious business, the timing of her mentioning this is suspicious. She wants a thing. Thing is expensive. Now she might have cancer. Hmmm........ 

Her: "They're going to do some more tests to confirm it, but I need to do something nice for myself to keep from flipping out about it and my family's not being supportive right now so I'm shopping for myself only and they don't deserve anything tonight."

Me: "...Okay."

Time check.

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; we will be closing in approximately 20 minutes!"

Her: "I know! I know! ...Are you sure there's no wiggle room on that horse? Because I really like it but I don't know, it's not awesome enough to pay THAT much for it..."

...Then you don't want it badly enough, princess...

Me: "We look these things up online, then discount the retail price some 75%-80%, ma'am. We're not likely to go lower on it."

Her: "Yeah that's not true. There's no WAY that's 80% off."

Oh yay, she's calling me a liar to my face. Because that's how you endear yourself.</sarcasm>

Me: "That's the way we price everything, ma'am. Regardless of what we're selling, our pricing policy is uniform across all the boards."

Her: "There's still no way that's 80% off."

Okay, fine. Fuck it. Not gonna argue with you anymore.

Carolanne fuck you2Me: "Sorry, but whether or not you believe me, that's the price we're selling it for. We don't further lower prices on things until it's been sitting around for over 30 days."

Her: "Are you SURE you can't discount it to like, $20? Even though I might have cancer?"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *gasp* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! Hang on, hang on. I'll get back to telling the story in a second. I'm a little busy wiping tears from hysterical laughter off my face....

Me: "Unfortunately, that doesn't change the answer, ma'am."

Her: "MY GOD you are so heartless!"

And in that moment, my fucks had sprouted wings, became flying fucks, and fucked right off to Never Never Land. No more flying fucks to give! Sold out! Bye bye!

Me: "That's right ma'am! I totally am! I'm a raging bitch. I'm going to sacrifice a goat after work tonight."

My supervisor and coworker make muffled choking noises around the corner, but are totally straight faced when I glance their way.

There is no one else in the store. The usual customers had drifted to the registers at the half hour announcement. No last minute stragglers... except Mrs. Cancer, over here.

Her: "I totally believe it! You won't even discount for somebody who may be dying of cancer!"

Lady, even if I believed you, my ass would be kicked from here to Timbuktu for arbitrarily (and massively) discounting prices on somebody else's territory. Not to mention the guilt trip of my life on the guilt ship Guilty Conscience III for literally taking money away from the animals in the animal shelter that, surprise surprise, our Animal Shelter Thrift Shop exists to help. You ain't worth that, cancer or no cancer.

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; we will be closing in approximately 10 minutes!"

Her: "I know! I'm almost done!"

She takes a wide-swinging-leg-huffing-puffing tour of the store, occasionally bringing some random thing for me to hold.

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; we will be closing in approximately 5 minutes!"

Her: (From the boondocks) "I know!"

Me: (Announcing to the store in general) "Good evening ladies and gentlemen; IT IS NOW 7 PM AND WE ARE NOW CLOSED! THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO BRING YOUR PURCHASES TO THE REGISTERS!"

Freddy frustration 2Her: "I know!"

She fucks around for five MORE minutes before coming up to the registers. She waffled around, asked if we would discount a $50 hand blown, hand painted vase, bitched a little, looked at all the bullshit she had been supposedly planning on buying, then rejected 90% of her shit for the vase.

Ten fucking minutes after we closed, she finally swing-walked outside, huffing and puffing and complaining loudly about how heartless we are. Naturally, she left the pile of crap for us to clean up.

As I watched my Supervisor lock the door behind her obnoxious ass, I could see through the windows that her wildly awkward walk straightened up. Her posture corrected. Her walk became normal. Those deep, throw-out-your-back heaving breaths disappear as if they never existed. And she sauntered through the cold to her car, quite calmly and easily.

She was doing it all JUST to be as obnoxious as possible! Cue scene of Hades screaming in rage and exploding a mountaintop.

Supervisor: "You know, if I thought I might have cancer, I wouldn't spend $50 in a thrift shop. I'm pretty sure I'd hang onto that money to... you know... pay for the treatment."

Coworker: "Yeah, go figure."

Oh, and the $75 glass horse? The very next day, someone saw it, and pounced upon it like it was made out of pure platinum, and paid the money without batting an eye.

--Puppies In Prada


Holiday Hell: The Quality Of Customer Plummets After A Certain PM


Xmas2009 032From: Macy's Pissed-Off Employee

I am a Macy's associate. Macy's holiday hours suck!

The only people (not customers) after hours are tire-kickers and those who only try on many, many clothes and leave them in the fitting room.

They are sloppy looking and sloppy dressing, and looking to chisel illegally for the lowest price. The quality of the customer is at the lowest level ever.

I am looking to quit Macy's at the earliest opportunity. We have the shittiest customers of any retail store except Wal-Mart.

--Macy's Pissed-Off Employee



In Response Of Tipping To Go: Make Someone's Night


Carolanne whootFrom: Colleen Marie

As long as they aren't rude or something, I will tip on take out orders. Not as much as if I was actually sitting in the restaurant being waited on for an hour, but still something.

They still had to bag it all up and bring it to me. And frankly, I worked in tipped jobs for many, many years and that unexpected tip can turn a really REALLY crappy night into a good one. I figure its worth the $5 or $10 or whatever to possibly turn someones night completely around.

I know there were several times when I was having a REALLY bad night (and I worked in strip clubs for awhile so bad nights could be REALLY bad).... No money; we worked ONLY on tips alone PLUS had to pay a house fee, DJ fee, etc... to work every night so if we made nothing we could actually leave in the negative. Rude customers trying to grab on us for free or telling us we weren't worth spending money on because we were too fat or too thin or not blonde enough (whatever excuse they could think of to cover the fact that they just didn't HAVE any money).

Carolanne omg faceAnd then there's one really awesome customer who would stop on his way out and say, "Looks like a really crappy night for you girls. Here...maybe this will help," and give each of us a $5 or something. Had a guy hand me $100 once because, "You are too pretty to look sad, even on a night like this."

I believe in karma. I believe in passing it forward. I remember each and every customer that turned a horrible night around for me with their kindness. Therefore, I try to do the same whenever I can. Whether its technically "right" to tip for certain things... I know how much a couple of bucks, and just the gesture itself, can mean to someone.

--Colleen Marie