Closing Time Nightmares: Gate Crawler



From  u/aTinyFly, Tales From Retail:

We have these electric gates which uses a mechanism to pull them down, you operate it with your key. The mechanism itself is on the outside of the shop, meaning you have to leave the gates a bit open while you're closing up. I am very short, around 160 cm, so I can pull them down fairly far and easily crouch my way in without problem.
The store is also extremely small, so I can hear more or less everything from the backroom.

So, I had closed up shop, counted the register and celaned up, it's 20 minutes after close. All I had to do was to go into the backroom and change so I could go home. While I was standing there minding my own business, in the middle of changing my tank top I hear a very distinct "Excuse me? Excuse me!". I was shocked- it sounded like it came from within the store! But it couldn't be, the gates were pulled down. I just stood there for a moment processing, then I heard it again. I threw on my other tank top and my jacket and slowly made my way to the door. Right there, in the middle of his tiny freaking shop stood a TALL A** MAN, at least 180 cm. I just stared at him in shock and disbelief. Remember, I am 160 and I crouch my way in, this man must have more or less crawled his way in!

Tall man: "Oh hey! Have you closed the register or can I buy somehing?". I mean what?

Me: "Uuuh.. Uh no, it's closed, it's been closed for the past 20 minutes..."

Tall man: "I see. Well, I see what I want on the shelf right there..."

He then points to it and there's a brief pause, I guess my stare got a bit on the pissed side because he suddenly said "but I'll come back" and then, as fast as he had appeared, he scurried to leave. It was not gracious at all, let me tell ya.

I just don't understand the thought-process he had. The gate was down, he was struggling to even leave under it so why he thought it was a good idea to enter when the gate so far down is beyond me. In hindsight I wish I had just told him something like "Dude, you need to leave now, why did you think this was gonna work for you?", but I would never have believed someone would actually do this in a store that's obviously closed. Sheeeesh







Retail Hell Memories: Gall Bladder Guy



From u/desertsilver52 Tales From Retail:

I work at an arts and crafts store that closes at 8:00 PM and this event in particular happened a few weeks ago just after closing one night. Now on this night I had started out by stocking some seasonal merchandise along with a co-worker of mine. As we were working, this customer kept walking up and down the aisle, rubbing his belly and looking at us suspiciously. I said to my co-workers, "that guy looks suspicious". I didn't see him after a while and forgot all about it.

Fast forward to 8 o'clock when we're closing. I was working the doors (aka, opening them for customers who were checking out when we closed) and I can't leave the doorway until the last customer has left the building. Well, it was maybe 8:15, a good ten minutes later than normal for the last customer to be leaving, and my coworker who runs the framing department told me that there was still someone in the men's restroom. This is highly unusual - there's never anybody in the restrooms when we close, typically.

So I grabbed my manager, who also happens to be a local EMT, and we walked to the restrooms together to see what was up.

M = my manager, G = gall bladder guy

M = opens men's room door "Hey man you alright?"

There's sniffling from inside one of the stalls.

G = clearly startled "oh, uh, yeah just finishing up"

A minute later he comes out and says:

G = "Hey sorry I just got my gall bladder removed and I had to change the dressing."

M = "Oh I understand, I'm an EMT."

G = "Ok well sorry to keep you, have a good night."

walks out of the store, while all my co-workers stare at him

I mean, who decides that the bathroom of a crafts store is the best place to change your gall bladder dressing? Why not do that crap at home? Afterwards some of my co-workers said he made the gall bladder story up and he was really just doing drugs. Either way, it has to be one of the strangest things that's happened to me in retail.





Please don't park in a dark parking lot....



From Former Mchell Manager:

A few months ago, the Arby's a few doors down from us was robbed. It was purely a case of "Manager stupidity", but it certainly put all of us who closed at my store on edge, as it took them a few weeks to catch the guy. Plus, about once a month we get an email about how some store somewhere in a random state was robbed. In fact, we just got an email that a Tennessee store was robbed, and one person was hospitalized because of it. Granted Tennessee isn't exactly New York, the state I am actually in, but still.

So it makes perfect sense as to why I freak out every time a random car just shows up on our lot with a person still in it. Every now and then, due to the Rent-A-Car business that's in between Arby's and my store, we will end up with a random car in our lot from someone who parked their car in our lot, and used their rental. But that's not really a thing anymore since we started cracking down on that (A different story for a different day). But those cars never have anyone in them. 

Last night, as I was letting out my Closing-But-Not-Staying-To-Clean employees, I noticed a truck that had a person in it. I was a bit weary as I let out my staff, but nothing came of it. After my staff left, I checked the camera. The guy drove into the lot and parked juuuuuuust in view on the camera (where I could see he's there, but really just the headlights of his truck). Of course, he did this 5 minutes to close. And as it was just me and the Stay-To-Clean closer, it wasn't a case of "Hey, I'm here to pick up one of your employees" kind of thing. 

The guy sat there, in his truck, for a good 45 minutes. What he was doing, I have no idea. Grabbing a quick nap? For the love of god use the huge grocery store right down the street from us that has a well lit lot. Trying to leech off of our crappy Wi-Fi? Good luck trying to get it from where he was parked.

I even turned off the store lights to try to hint at him "The store is closed, get outta here", but he didn't take the bait.

Thankfully, my manager always encourages me that if I ever feel unsafe as I am leaving for the night, as I have the deposit to drop to the bank, to call the police for an escort. So I could have easily called the police once we were done and had them come to make sure everything was okay. But thankfully the guy left literally 2 minutes before we were set to actually leave. 

Long story short, if you need to park somewhere for a quick break for whatever reason: DON'T USE A STORE THAT JUST CLOSED! That manager is probably freaking out if you do, wondering why the hell you are sitting in a dark parking lot!!

--Former McHell Manager







Retail Hell Memories: Creepy Customer Encounter



From ottoncandyheights:

I worked in a bakery at a large grocery store in a busy part of the city. I've had to deal with every type of customer out there. This particular one still sticks out to me, though.

I was out restocking some shelves with fresh baked goods, instead of working in the back like I usually do, when a middle aged, overweight man came up to me and tried to strike up a conversation with me. I'm not one to judge people, so I listen politely, as I'm required to do as per company policy. He tells me he's looking for a certain type of rolls, so I help him find them, and assume that will be the end of that.
No. He follows me around for 10 minutes, telling me how great these rolls are for tuna sandwiches, how he'd like me to come over to his house for dinner so I can try it and see, and making inappropriate comments about buns and fish and anything else he can think of, all the while smelling like half a liquor store.
As per company policy, I can't do anything unless he gets physical, so I have to smile and nod politely while he tells me how sexy I am, etc.
I took my break immediately afterwards, obviously. It was horrifying. I made my fiance come pick me up after work in case the guy was going to follow me home. 
This isn't the first or last time I've had an old, drunk man hit on me at work, but it was one of the few that felt more threatening than most.




Tales From The Front Desk: Why Do I Attract The Crazies And Why Do My Managers Not Care?!


3 hotel jason bellhopFrom alwaysamouse, Tales From The Front Desk

I've been a lurker for a long while here and currently have been working the front desk at my property for 6 months! My motel isn't anything special (people actually call it the "hooker motel" in my city) but it has good hours and decent benefits, so here I am. Although these encounters are starting to make me doubt that none of that is worth it.

It all started around a month or so into my job here. I work three 4-12 shifts and two 12-8 shifts (in that order) every week. The person I'm about to tell you about usually shows up on my 4-12s but has shown up before on my 12-8 (which is even more terrifying when you're barely over 5 feet and alone!)

This wonderful gentleman is homeless and enjoys loitering around either motels or fast food places to charge his phone, get water and use the bathroom. I honestly don't mind helping someone out now and then, I really don't! I would let the odd person come in and use their phone for 5-10 minutes or even let them use the wifi if I was feeling particularly generous.

You know what they say about how no good deed goes unpunished?

So one night on my 4-12 in walks in this guy. He smells terrible, looks like your stereotypical jock/redneck dude and talks like his tongue is too big for his mouth. Let's call this guy Asshole. Because that's what he is.

I'm already not to keen on talking to this guy because he honestly smells SO. BAD. He's barely been in my lobby for 30 seconds and the smell is already everywhere. It's obvious that he hasn't showered in weeks. Right away I'm hoping that this guy, if he's here to rent a room, won't have enough money on him or won't have a credit card for the deposit so I can just turn him away and get on with my night. No such luck.

So Asshole starts going on about how he just needs a place to charge his phone for "10-15 minutes" and how he's so cold and everyone else has turned him away. This should've been my red flag number one, but what can I say, I'm an idiot. I tell him okay, sure, but no longer than 10 minutes. If you aren't a guest you can't loiter around the lobby and I'm already doing him a favor by not turning him away instantly.

Creepy custyInstead of going to charge his phone he hangs around the desk and talks to me. Yay! I can already tell just by talking to him for less than a minute that there's something unhinged about him. Just the way he talks and looks at me. He starts commenting on my appearance, about how tiny I am (I'm 5'3" and 90lbs. I am EXTREMELY tiny), and then asks if I'm anorexic! I reply that no, I'm not, I'm just very tiny.

Asshole then goes on to say that he loves tiny girls! Particularly Asian women! Why, you ask? Well, because Asian women are just so darn obedient and pretty and cultured unlike the women from my country! The women from my country are horrible, they're rude, they're disobedient, they don't listen to men and most of all they (GASP) THINK THEY CAN WEAR WHATEVER THEY WANT!

He rants and rants and rants, and I'm standing there getting more and more freaked out because with every word he says, it just becomes painfully apparent that this guy is two steps away from some kind of psychotic break. He's on a tangent about how he wants to shoot everyone in my country and how he can't wait to move to Asia and find a perfect Asian wife that will cook, clean and watch the kids for him.

Did I mention he's also proposed to me like 5 times by now even though I've declined each and every time and told him, quite firmly, that I have a boyfriend? Yeah, it's great!

During all of this, I have a woman come up to the desk due to her key cards not working and so I remake them for her. This woman just so happens to be black, and the only reason I mention this is because as soon as she leaves and is (hopefully) out of ear shot, this asshole comes back up to the desk, leans in so I can get an even better whiff of just how fucking terrible he really smells, and hits me with this:

"I need to know if you agree with me on this, because some people get all pissed at me when I say it. But do you think it should be legal to rape black women again?"

You guys... what in the ever living FUCK?!

I didn't even know what to say. I didn't even know what to do! I just laughed nervously and backed up away from the desk and didn't say anything at all. I'm still mad at myself over that. My backbone is very much a work in progress and this guy is just an entire clusterfuck that I have no idea how to deal with.

Badge 666I didn't know who to call, I didn't know if this even warranted a call to the police. And on top of that, I had no idea how I was supposed to call the police anyway without him overhearing and possibly losing his mind!

It was terrible. He's terrible. I hate him so much and every time I see him I get such a sense of panic I doubt I can even hide it. I think he likes seeing me scared, honestly. I don't doubt it.

This guy has been back several times over the months I've worked here, specifically on my shifts because I'm "his best friend"! Yay me!

I've told my managers about it and my coworkers and they've been absolutely no help at all, so that's great. The best they can do for me is hang up a sign that says "NO LOITERING" and tell me to lock the door earlier at night. Gee, thanks guys! Definitely feel so much safer!

I'm only typing this out now because, after 4 months of not seeing him, he's back. He came in today and my heart dropped. Thank God he didn't stay for very long and my backbone has grown a bit since then. I told him he isn't allowed to stay in my lobby if he isn't a guest in my motel, and despite acknowledging this I don't think he really cared because he said he'd be back in tomorrow to come and see me!

What the hell am I supposed to do about that?! I'd rather die than see him again honestly and I know my manager isn't going to do anything for me. Do I call the cops if he shows up? I feel like I'd be wasting their time and just causing a big deal over nothing. I don't even know. I'm at a loss. He just terrifies me!

I'm sorry about the wall of text, but I just needed to get this out so that somebody else can understand how fucking unhinged this guy is and possibly give me some advice on how to deal with him. I'm seriously considering getting another job over this. My motel just attracts too many insane people.



Editor's note: Abso-fucking-lutely call the cops! I would have called the cops for less than what he has done!

First: I acknowledge that I am not someone to take professional legal advice from. HOWEVER, this is all advice that I strongly encourage you to take anyway:

1) Call the non emergency police number for your town (U.S.) They are more than happy to send a patrol or peace officer to check in on you.

Freddy bookTell the answering service what you said here:

  • Physical Description

  • How many encounters

  • Lewd sexual remarks about your person

  • Trespassing! (he is not a guest)

  • threatening language toward other guests

2) His behavior is completely unacceptable and he probably won’t stop until you threaten him with that call. I know it can be hard to make that kind of decision in this field but you DESERVE to feel comfortable at your workplace.

3) Expanding on point 2: Your employers have a legal obligation to keep you in a SAFE working environment, which includes protection from people who make you feel unsafe. THIS MAN FITS THE BILL OF UNSAFE!

4) Remember the Three D's of Retail: Document, Document, Document! Write down what you have told us, write down what (if anything) management has done to ensure your safety.

If you have to, make it known that you are fully aware that they are required to give you a safe environment, and ask them directly what they will be doing to make that happen.

Bring a notebook and pen with you when you ask them, look them straight in the bloody eyes and continue to stare straight at them unless you are actively writing down IN FRONT OF THEM what their plans are. The documentation process is a powerful tool that often makes managers jump before they can even ask "how high".

5) Make sure you have the contact information for the hotel's HR. If there is any, and I mean ANY, NO MATTER HOW FAR FETCHED, retaliation directed at you, document THAT too!

Your well being overrides any and all paycheck you are getting from this job, and if your HR has even two brain cells to rub together, they will know immediately that it is much safer to provide you with safety than to risk you getting hurt on their watch OR the legal blowback that could potentially happen if they fail you at any point.

Use phrases like "I feel unsafe" and "I am being harassed by this person," and "he has used threatening language referring to hotel guests." (that rape comment about black women is indeed threatening language!)

Please please please do these things! DO NOT let him continue to have access to you in this manner!



Barista Hell: When Doing Your Job Goes All Kinds Of Wrong


4 baristaFrom abruipo, TalesFromYourBarista

When I was in high school I used to work for Starbucks. I was probably 15 or 16 at the time, and I live in a crowded southwest city. The high school I went to was public with over 3,000 kids. I dealt with a lot of crazy. This happened within the first three months of me working there. Every single corporate barista knows the drill of making friendly, appropriate small talk with customers, especially if you are working a drive-thru and customers are waiting for their drinks and you have nothing else to do.

Well one night, a couple in a car pull up and order typical date night/family adventure drinks. Sugary fraps and a lemonade or some shit. They come up to the window and I see they have a little girl in the backseat. She couldn't be more than two years old and she was definitely the daughter of the woman on the passenger side.

They come up to the window and I go through the motions of asking them about their day and if they all have any plans--making eye contact with both of them and smiling and nodding etc.

All of a sudden the woman in the seat starts screaming at me with loudest, sassiest, thickest Mexican accent I had ever heard, "EXCUSE ME?! Why don't you get back to your work you little slut? Stop flirting with my man and back the fuck off. Get back to your work. Just turn around and do your job. Go. Go away. Don’t look at him! Turn around and GO!!"

The driver, a young man, has the widest apologetic eyes I have ever seen. The little girl in the backseat? Still there, silent. The customer still proceeded to spew her insecure nonsense on me for I don't know how long.

I was flustered, since I was fucking 16 years old getting yelled at by an adult woman for no reason, and replied, "I literally have no idea what you're talking about. Talking to you guys is my job. this is what I do. but OK."

I gave them their drinks and that was that. I told my coworkers what happened and went about my night.

But then, one hour later, a car pulls into the drive through and it's that same young man from before but in a DIFFERENT car WITHOUT his woman or his child. He starts apologizing to me etc. and I laughed and said it's okay...

Aaaand then his voice changed. He got all ASMR (aka that shivery feeling down your spine) on me and started asking me for my number.

Me: "Uhhh I don't have a phone."

Then he said, "We should be friends. Maybe you could show me some cool places around the city. Do you know of any cool places?"

Me: "Uhhh I have enough friends." And then I turned around and left.

I hated them both but I also ended the night kind of feeling a bit sorry for her.