Retail Hell Memories: Toxic Managers - I'm Too Important To Get Out Of The Way


This story was originally posted on November 20, 2009


Asshat bossesFrom Urbanslayer

I just discovered your site and have experience this shit firsthand. I work as a server at a stir-fry restaurant that provides customers with the crap to make their own food. It can be fun but a lot of people turn it into something terribly childish and make us all think that society is starting to turn out like the characters in the movie Idiocracy. >:(

Anyway at the restaurant we have a manager that has to be the saddest example of human being. He is 43, lives alone, hasn't had a girlfriend in over 10 years (which he is proud of!!!), and is probably the biggest fuckface around.

I'll give a few example of what he enjoys doing to employees to show them the ruling power that a middle aged restaurant manager has.

1. He will stand in front of the "out" door that leads into the restaurant like its ok and then when I have to walk through I hit him and spill soup all over the place, he thinks it's hilarious and will laugh. Whenever I know he is there, I enjoy slamming the door open with my foot. One time he almost got knocked onto his ass.... he didn't laugh that time.

2. We are allowed to eat on the job. We just have to ask a manager before we do, more often than ever they are cool with it, except him. There are usually 2 managers on at once. One time, a girl asked the opposite manager if she could eat and she said yes. Once the d-bag manager saw the food though, he threw it out. His claim was that since she didn't come and ask HIM that she would have to ask his permission then and there and then pay for the food again. He claimed that since he was in the restaurant, she should have asked him. Doesn't make a fucking difference dude!!!! The other manager has as much authority as you do.

3. Trying to make stupid jokes is something he is good at, none of them are funny, the ones that he thinks are hilarious offend the mothers that work there (think dead baby, although I love a good dead baby joke sometimes, around a mother is not a good time.)

4. He always loves to shout to the world when he does something wrong. Its because he makes mistakes so little that everyone should gather around and see that he is human?? HE IS A FUCKING TWAT!!!

......and finally the whole reason I sent this in:

One day I had to change a beer keg and grabbed the empty one and took at back to the cooler to grab a new one. The Twat manager is in there doing inventory. I pass him in the cooler to go grab the full keg and start to bring it back (anyone who works in a bar or restaurant knows that kegs are not easy to carry with one hand, and we have to, cause we have a narrow cooler.) So anyway I'm walking back to the front of the cooler and he is literally standing there with a clipboard checking things off with a pencil. This is the conversation that takes place.

Douchebag story timeMe: Can you please move, this keg is heavy.

D-bag: Just move the rack, I'm busy.

Me: You're just standing there, I'm holding a 50 pound barrel with one arm.

D-bag: I'm doing manager duties, and you're a server. You can move it yourself and go around. Now be quiet I need to work!

So I move the rack and go around and then take the full keg out and switch them out. I take the other keg back and set it inside the cooler blocking the exit and this is what he says:

D-bag: You can't leave that there; it's in the way.

Me: Why don't you just go around? You're a manager and your capable of moving in a half circle motion around an object... at least I hope your capable of that.

D-bag: What did you say?

Me: Oh! So sorry, but one of my tables needs me, gotta go!

Needless to say he didn't really speak to me for the rest of the shift. I didn't give a shit.



Read more Toxic Managers stories here!


Misty Meanor's Tales From The Gas Station: Coworker Caused Chaos


Gas station 1

Misty Meanor here.

I thought it would be a while before I would have another story for you folks, but it seems that fate has taken a turn for the worst.  Not only has it affected me, but it's also affected my manager, who we'll call Michelle.
The night before I wrote this, I was on an evening shift with another co-worker who we'll call Jay.  I had seen Jay before and he seemed all right, but it wasn't until I worked a shift with him that I got to see that looks can be very deceiving.
Jay had been left a list of tasks to do, which included teaching Yours Truly how to brew iced tea for the customers.  However, the task was to actually SHOW me how to brew it, key word being 'show.'  Instead, what did he do? He just gave a vague description of the tasks required to clean the tea containers and how to refill the iced tea.  It was very vague and I couldn't keep track of it at all.  All the while, Jay was doing things like swearing even when customers were in the store, sitting around and playing on his phone, and most of all refusing to do other tasks because the computer task he was trying to do wouldn't work.  What Jay should've done was let the computer do its thing and check on it now and then while doing other tasks.  Instead, he sat in the office for the most part waiting for the support team to call him back.  Which they never did.
Fast forward to today.
I came in for my morning shift and Michelle was there.  As soon as I timed in, she asked if I was shown how to make iced tea, at which point I told her that I was not shown but rather briefly told.  It was at this point that Michelle started sarcastically praising Jay for not doing any of the tasks he was supposed to do.  After that, she started showing me how to make the iced tea and clean the containers.  Not long after that, I heard my general manager talking on the phone with a higher-up.  She was telling them that Jay had just quit on the spot! Or more specifically, via text.
Michelle had sent Jay a text telling him that he had neglected to do his tasks the previous night before, and as a result, was getting a write-up.  Jay's response to this was to text Michelle back saying that he felt the best way to resolve this was to separate himself from the gas station immediately.  Very inconsiderate as it is, but there's more.
Jay was one of the few workers who could work the overnight shifts, and losing him meant that Michelle needed to find coverage fast.  Unfortunately, the only other person qualified to do overnight shifts was in the hospital.  As a result, Michelle was doing her best calling everywhere and her District Manager trying to find coverage for the overnight shifts.
It got so bad at several points that Michelle broke down crying, which led to Yours Truly offering her support and encouragement.
Eventually, Michelle was able to find someone to work a couple of double shifts.  Unfortunately, the double shift worker is required to take a break in between the morning and overnight shifts, which means Yours Truly needs to start work earlier than usual.  So not only did this affect Michelle, but it also affected Yours Truly as well!
I'm hoping that the other worker gets out of the hospital soon and that Michelle can find someone to replace Jay.  Seriously, that guy didn't give a damn about anyone but himself.  I hope karma bites him you-know-where!
For now, may all your co-workers have consideration for others and be willing to accept their mistakes.
--Misty Meanor





Toxic Managers: The Tale of Dudebro the Manager



Hey there, folks! Stepford Snarker here with another tale of terror. Submitted for your approval, I present to you the tale of Dudebro.

There's some managers you enjoy working with. They're decent, reasonable people who actually give a damn about the people they work with. These managers are a rarity. There's managers who are a pain in the ass to deal with, but they're still tolerable enough that you force yourself suck it up. And then there's some managers who are so idiotic, so incompetent, so utterly and competely ill-suited for their job that everyone has only one question: “How the hell did he get to be a manger?”

Dudebro was definitely the third type. Now, normally I try to be nice. I give most people in my stories regular names as pseudonyms. But in this case, “Dudebro” is the most apt thing I can call this man. Picture, if you will, an overgrown frat boy cliché: the spiky blonde hair, the tribal tattoo, the tendency to casually say stuff like “Say, girl” and mean it.  Are you cringing yet?

Dudebro, despite being in his early thirties at the very least, acted like he was still in college and expected the pledges-- ahem, sorry, employees-- to pick up the slack. Whatever personal squabbles that existed between employees and departments, the one thing everyone could agree on was that Dudebro did not belong in the position of manager.

In the mornings, if he was the opening manager, he would sit in the back office and eat a leisurely breakfast, taking his sweet time if he were called to the front for anything. Once he finished his lunch, he'd wander off ostensibly to assist in getting the stock onto the floor. Again, he would take his time in returning to the registers if he was needed. Other managers, including our head manager, when faced with the same situation, would simply hand over their badge to one of us (usually me) to scan for OCTOCAROL-265overrides and voids to avoid having to be called up for anything short of more money needed or a serious emergency. But, no, that was no good to Dudebro. Instead, it meant waiting a good five minutes or more for him to slowly saunter up to the front of the store if anything rang up for the wrong price, needed to be returned, etc.  This was a standard day of working with Dudebro; at least once, I expected one of the hyper-competent or ultra-twitchy managers to snap and tell Dudebro to work elsewhere.  Sadly, that never happened.

I cannot count the number of times Dudebro attempted to do some simple work-related task and finally voluntold me to do it. And it was always done with this big phony smile and sugary-sweet tone, like I should be happy to do his work for him. And in case you think I'm exaggerating, he actually flat-out said this on one occasion: “I'm so glad you're working today, Stepford! It means I don't have to do anything.” I positively hated working with him because it effectively meant that I was stuck doing my work and a good chunk of his, as well. (Not to mention that most days, I was effectively doing the work of multiple people to begin with, as I mentioned in my post about quitting.)

This story has a happy ending, luckily. After several months of Dudebro's sheer incompetence, he ended up quitting, supposedly to work at a friend's brewpub. His replacement, who started not too long before I left, was a much better person to work with: intelligent, friendly, and infinitely more competent.

---Stepford Snarker




Nasty Ass Thieves: The Whole Store, Almost


03 Nasty Ass Thieves

From mybloodiscoffeetalesfromthejob

Before my time as a pharmacy tech, I worked in the stock department of a grocery store. Retail...retail is awful. Work in retail for at least 6 months, then get out and never look back. It'll give you a brand-new appreciation of life and all the people who do the behind-the-scenes work.


Meat: Get, in, get the job done, get out. Staffed exclusively with burly, no-nonsense, bearded men able to talk for hours on the finer points of lobster sushi or the best way to cook a T-bone steak.

Deli: A crew of misfits. Crosseyed Bob, Fireman Sandwich Chuck, "I can't see over the counter" Dorothy, and others. Steady workers, tendency towards anxiety attacks when the rushes hit.

Stock: The underdogs - perhaps with good reason, as most turned out to be lying thieves. Home department of yours truly, who contrived to make my absence apparent whenever it seemed that theft might be on the horizon.

Dairy: Eternally busy, never got any work done. The milk was always well-stocked, though.

Produce: True scumbags. Staffed entirely by employees kicked out of or otherwise deemed unfit for other departments.

For some reason, theft appears to be particularly rampant in the grocery-store business. My personal belief is that the reasons for this boil down into three main factors:

  • Lack of investment. Unless you aim for a management or ownership track, it's difficult to make a career in the grocery-store industry. Hence, the people hired are typically those without careers, whether inexperienced college students or people between more substantial jobs. This also results in a high turnover, meaning that the people working in the store don't have much of an investment in the company.

  • Low pay. Stocking shelves, for the most part, is a task that requires little skill or training to perform adequately. Management is not about to pay top dollar for "unskilled labor", and has little incentive to raise pay much above minimum wage, especially in areas where there's no shortage of people looking for jobs.

  • Easy pickings. If you can dispose of the evidence immediately (by eating it), the barrier to theft is all but removed. It's the work of a moment to grab a handful of something and pop it in your mouth. I've personally seen people do this literally behind a manager's back or while they were in the same room but looking the other way.

Coworker hellThese three factors combined tend to provide people with a lot more incentive to grab something small without paying for it than there might be in other industries. Obviously, my points above are not one-size-fits-all, but rather based on my personal experience. The grocery store I worked at hosted more than its fair share of theft, and I saw a lot of it in the stock room.


Nobody ever stole in this department. Each and every employee was a salaried professional who took their job seriously. The most that ever happened was when a customer ordered grilled shrimp 10 minutes before closing, then left the store and never came back. Rather than waste the food by throwing it out, the meat guy gave it to Stock to divvy up and consume.


The few perks of working at the store were housed in Deli. Deli employees would create sandwiches upon request, which other employees could then purchase at reduced cost. This led to all sorts of interesting experimental favorites, including but not limited to:

  • The Fireman: Habanero cheese, jalapeño, black-pepper turkey, Buffalo chicken, chipotle sauce

  • The BJ: London broil, pepper jack, honey ham, Provolone, ketchup, and mustard

  • The Melt: Pulled pork, sharp Cheddar, mayo; toasted in oven until cheese melted

Deli HellThe second perk was only available occasionally, and then only near closing time. A cookie jar was kept off to the side so that exasperated parents could give their little brats an unnecessary reward to temporarily quell their screaming. Every morning it was refilled with fresh product, and an hour or so before closing they would start giving out the remainder to employees. The evil sons of goats in Produce would wait until exactly one hour before closing, then go clean out the jar.

Deli employees would post a guard to their walk-in refrigerator and eat a drumstick or two inside or give themselves samples of the meats and cheeses - sometimes they would sample 2 or 3 meats and cheeses at once along with a small sample of bread...


The back room that housed the Stock department had no cameras. None whatsoever. This astonishing lack of foresight must have cost the company hundreds of dollars per week, because by and large the Stock employees were lazy, thieving sneaks. In my first few months at the store, no less than 5 people were fired from Stock alone for stealing products, notably:

  • Condom Guy, who walked out into the aisles in full view of the store cameras, grabbed a pack of condoms, put them in his pocket, then walked back into the Stock room.

  • Skittles Guy, who denied stealing anything but was betrayed by the rattling noise he made when he walked away - caused by the 3 open packs of unpaid-for Skittles in his pockets.

  • Lunch Guy, who took his discounted sandwich from the deli, grabbed a bag of chips from the front registers, set them on a shelf in the middle of Aisle 5, and started eating his lunch. The store manager confronted him, then called his bluff by dragging him to the front and asked every single cashier who'd been on duty for the past 4 hours if they'd rung him up. Upon receiving a truthful "no" from each cashier, Lunch Guy was sacked on the spot, but rehired a year later on the good word of his sister, a cashier.

Skullies smileSome additional figures who still live on in legend and myth as they were never caught:

  • Phantom Guy, who occasionally compiled a pallet of assorted foodstuffs in the Stock room throughout the day, clocked out at the end of his shift, then drove his pickup to the back dock and loaded it up before driving away.

  • Night Crew, who were locked in at night and had free run of the store for an entire 8-hour shift. They used that time to, apparently, break down pallets, leave muddy footprints on top of the customer service counter, and leave the wrappers of their stolen snack food on the shelves.


Each member of Dairy had at least one small container of chocolate milk, orange juice, or other stolen beverage chilling in their walk-in at all times. Their cartons of milk and ice cream provided convenient places to rest their weary bones from the toils of the day as they sipped on an ice-cold drink of their choice. One guy in particular liked to make chocolate milk using his own personal recipe: one swig of milk held in mouth, with chocolate syrup added to taste before swallowing.

A favorite pastime of the Dairy department was to open cans of biscuits and toss the lumps of raw dough at the ceiling hard enough to make them stick. Over time, they would congeal, then petrify. A few times a year, the manager would send up a crew on a high ladder to take a chisel - yes, an actual chisel - and a HAMMER to break the fossilized biscuits off the ceiling.

All members of Dairy were virtually untouchable as their manager was fiercely loyal to them and would fight tooth and nail against anyone daring to profane the name of Dairy.


A more corrupt den of layabouts, morons, and generally awful people was not to be found for miles around. The fiendish Produce employees conspired together to do one thing, and one thing only: avoid work. Produce was restocked exactly twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. There was no work to be done in the back room, for all of Produce's sellable goods were shipped in boxes whose final resting place was directly on top of the Produce displays. Once the shifty ProduGuys completed this onerous and difficult task, they were free to sit down in the back and get back to what really mattered - catching up on their sleep.

I cannot count the number of times I walked into the Produce room for one reason or another and woke a sleeping ProduGuy. A few of the more industrious ones brought books to read, and one enterprising fellow actually brought a pillow.

Out on the Produce dock was the soda truck, filled with all sorts of deliciously sweet beverages. When the ProduGuys were thirsty, they would walk into the truck - out of view of the sole camera on that dock - crack open a soda can or bottle, take a swig, then walk back out and abandon the container to be discovered later. The brave ones would grab a 6-pack and take it over to Dairy to cool off in the walk-in before consumption.

I did my best to stay away from all of this madness and to make it clear that I was not a participant in any of it. I was content to buy items before consuming them and to refrain from consuming items I had not bought. As a result, 5 months after I started I was the second-most senior member of the Stock department.



Toxic Coworker Hell: Sprint Doesn't Fire Anyone, For Any Reason


3 skullies togetherFrom fidelitypdx, AskReddit

So many of these comments don't have shit on the people I've worked with.

Sprint, the retail store in Tigard, Oregon:

I forget the guy's name, but he was a horribly racist dishonest bastard that would steal from customers, this was 8 years ago. He worked there for years, and was never fired, only shifted to another store across town. Here's some of his exploits:

Refused to help Spanish speaking customers, but if he had to:

  • If it was a bill pay, he would give them a receipt from the previous customer and pocket the money

  • He would add on additional lines of service, then give the phones away as burner phones.

To just about everyone else:

  • He would add on additional features on to their accounts without notifying them (text messaging, internet, ect) to get commission.

  • Lie through his teeth about everything, totally misrepresent the price people were going to pay on their bill.

  • Refuse to fix any of his problems and tell customers they have to go to customer service, "I'm only a salesmen, I can't do that."

  • When he left the store, the next manager instituted a policy whereas if we saw he touched an account we would just fix anything on the account, credit everything, no questions asked.

Regan Fuck youOn and on... Then, I transferred and started working with a shit-for-brains named Nick at a Sprint service center:

  • Regularly created difficult situations by directly insulting customers, he did this arbitrarily for kicks.

  • Refused to do things that he could do

  • Lied about services we preformed for the customer

  • Would refuse to help customers if they didn't speak English well.

  • Flirted with every girl that came in over the age of 14-25.

Then I transferred back to retail and started working with a Persian guy, I think he hated me because I was a veteran, but I don't know. This kid was a moron, a liar, and also regularly refused to help customers. I had to inspect some of his work, and when I found faults he would just continue to do whatever he was doing.

We actually got into shouting matches at work, and the manager refused to do anything. I had enough of him when he flicked a lit cigarette at me, I threatened to beat his ass and he ran inside.

The manager still refused. That manager, Elizabeth, probably still works there, and she was the single stupidest manager I've ever encountered. She got the "transfer don't fire" treatment from Sprint Corporate after some big screw up, and was placed as the store manager; everything went to shit because she had no backbone.



Toxic Coworker Hell: Justice Served To "Kelly"


2 skullies evilFrom RHUer

So, let's talk about Kelly...

Kelly is every high school misfit's worst nightmare. She's the one who got by on makeup, hair styles, and dating some jock. The problem is, she's not 16. She's not 18.  She's 32. She is the social queen of the office and she irked me the instant I entered the office for the first time.

I was dressed in business casual for my first day. I come in, meet the guy who's going to train me and he walks me around, introducing me to a few faces that I'm going to be working directly with. As we meet and greet, I hear a sound that sets my teeth on edge. Girlish tittering.

I turn around and see Kelly for the first time, standing in the break room with another office girl. They make no secret about their elevator eyes looking me from hair to heels, then lean together and whisper behind their hands. Then they titter again.

Trainer: "Oh... Yeah... Come with me for a sec."

He pulls me into a corner and looks me dead in the eyes. "Have you ever seen the movie Hot Fuzz?"

This is such a non sequitur that I kind of gape at him for a second then admit that I haven't.

Trainer: "Right. Well, it's a movie plot point to have a notebook and pen on hand at all times, and write down EVERYTHING that is said."

He tugs a small notebook out of his pocket and presses it into my hands. "The one in blue is known as Kelly. I don't care if she says nothing but, "Good Morning," to you every day for the next twenty five years. Odds are, she won't, but even if that's all she does, note it, date it and time it. Right in front of her face if you have to. She fears nothing... Nothing but the pen and paper. Any questions?"

Me: " 'What have I gotten myself into?' comes to mind..."

My trainer gives me a pained smile, "Just remember what I said. Kelly needs to be put in her place, and often. She will approach you at some point, and try something poisonous. She's like a stupid little stray that keeps coming back, sniffing for scraps, no matter how many times you chase her away."

Me: "Why hasn't she been fired yet?"

Trainer: "Nepotism."

Thrognar's holy mother, RHUers... Here's just a few things I have written down that Kelly has said.

-"[Coworker] threw out the coffee so we're not talking to her today." (It was 2pm, the coffee was old and said coworker was seen percolating a brand new pot for everybody not even ten seconds later. Even if she wasn't, that's annoying not traumatic, so how childish can you get?)

-"Oh mah gawd, do you seriously wear THAT color to work? Honey, if you can't dress better than that, ask your mom to teach you fashion." (STFU and GTFO, bitch.)

-"I need my dry cleaning picked up and I can't possibly tear myself away. You're on break, so couldn't you just pop on down and get it for me?" (Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha--no.)

-"My car is having troubles. I just need $0.XX for a cab home." (Sucks to be you, princess. *walks away*)

She would also publicly and daily single out her favorites: they are the ones she addressed directly, the others she spoke to only through their line managers. Often, it was nothing but rumor, whose source was Kelly herself.

My absolute favorite rumor was one that I featured in... The copy room door got locked (electronic lock with keypad) and the code wasn't working; some glitch or whatever that the doohickey hiccuped over. Through some random events beyond anybody's control (some sort of road closure and construction), it took two hours to get somebody in and the whole office was virtually at a standstill. Two days later, a story began to float that I somehow glitched the lock by pounding on the keypad or abusing it in a tantrum or something. Funny, you think I'd remember that.

I made a point of laughing loudly and saying "What MORON told you that?!" every time I overhead it.

Then one of Kelly's clique, who was spreading the rumor, would splutter and not name any names and mutter incoherently about overhearing it "somewhere."

Our only blessing was that Kelly only had her clique. The whole rest of the office thwarted her troublemaking at every turn, notepads in hand.

I will say this... it's REALLY weird to be comforted by half a dozen heads popping up over cubicles whenever Kelly said something. Like, meerkats standing up all at once to stare at a hyena, you had several witnesses scratching away on their notepads from the first word she said.

Kelly was eventually ousted when she mistook some bigwig for a newbie and imperiously began ordering them about. Another coworker, also mistaking them for a newbie, swooped in on a rescue mission and gave the bigwig the same warning that had been given to me. It came out that everyone in the office was writing down incidents involving Kelly and some very Boss Level Bushy Eyebrows were raised.

Kelly wasn't the only one removed from the company either, as it was found that complaints that were turned in were being silenced or dismissed and prevented from going places where they should.