Thrift Store Hell: "Because That's Not Suspicious At All!"


Carolanne 040aFrom Puppies In Prada

Okay so this isn't my story, but a story No-Nonsense Steve told the rest of us.

Steve was on the door and a woman comes up. She's donating one complete set of camping equipment; tent, sleeping bag, lantern, etc. Practically brand new. Used only once. Cool. All that stuff is Steve's responsibility. He checks that stuff for quality, prices it, and puts it on the floor. The stuff she is giving him is entirely his domain.

Lady, as she hands the stuff over: "Yeah I went camping with my boyfriend and came home single."

Steve: ".... okaaaaayyy."

Steve to us later: "Yeah, that wasn't suspiciously phrased AT ALL..."

He told our store manager, and as many of us as he could pin down to share his concerns and to tell us to keep our hands the hell off of whatever was donated for a while. (Sometimes we like to shop in each other's areas for cool stuff, and we'll price the First Picks for each other.)

A few hours pass and we get a call. The lady "accidentally" donated a shovel and a pickaxe, and she would like them back.

Missy, who has already been told about the concerning phrasing: "...Okay, I'll have my employee look for them for you."

Concern levels rising.

Steve, when the manager tells him: "Okay, you know what? Tell her that I want to be the one to give them back to her, and that no one else is to touch them. It's already got my prints on them, if she wants them back she has to come here at a time when I'm present."

She did show up when Steve was gone, once. Missy relayed the message and apologized with a Retail Smile that Steve wanted to be the one to give them back.

The lady showed up later and DID get her shovel and pickaxe back. She may have been completely innocent, and phrased it poorly. She MAY have also done something... concerning... to her boyfriend.

For the love of Thrognar, people, watch what you say to retail slaves. We're all just waiting for the police to visit with Steve and ask him a few pointed questions...

Update: No one has been identified as missing in local news. Here's hoping it was just phrased poorly.

--Puppies In Prada


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





Scheduling Hell: I have a family and a life too



From Former Mchell Manager:

I am so very, very, very, VERY frustrated right now. Frustrated, sad, and lonely. I may get a bit of flack for this, but I am quite honestly done with people who have kids getting priority over me. I am childless. But that does not mean I do not have a family or a life. 

I have worked in the Fast Food industry for years. Too many years to admit. And time and time again, I see people who have kids get priority over people who do not. Now, I am not talking about "Oh, you have to work Halloween because Suzy needs to take her kids out for Halloween". I'm talking about people who have fairly older kids and go "I need to be out by X time and can't work weekends because of my child" and then jumps on Facebook every weekend and posts about how they dump their child onto a supposed non-existent babysitter and goes out camping/partying. 

I'm talking about the Assistant Manager who never works a closing shift because she has kids, though her oldest is 12 years old, but "I want to be home to see them and to eat dinner with them!" That manager rarely works a closing shift. Last month, she had no closing shifts at all. If she does work a closing shift, it's maybe twice a month.

Meanwhile, I am stuck with half of a months worth of closing shifts (Another manager, who is not the Assistant I just mentioned, takes the other half). Does me being childless automatically mean that I get the shit end of the stick? And it's not like this is something just at my current job. My old job was like this too. 

I have a husband. I have a life (Or so, I wish I did). My husband has a job where he works Mon-Fri 8-430 (the bastard), so when I close (330pm-1am on the weekdays, 5-3am on the weekends), I don't get to see him at all. This week, I saw him on Monday and I will have a few hours with him on Friday evening and then I won't see him all day Saturday because I work a mid shift. I saw him for 7 hours on Monday, I get to see him for 7 hours on Friday, and then I'll see him for 5 hours on Saturday. So I get to see my husband for a grand total of 19 hours in the course of 6 days. All because my uterus has not graced us with a child (3 years and counting of trying).

But heaven forbid if I bring this up at work. Then I'll be looked at like I am the devil because I just want some equality when it comes to scheduling closing shifts. I'm sorry if this doesn't make too much sense. I'm currently crying because I fucking miss my husband. I miss my friends, who I haven't seen in fucking months because "My uterus allowed me to have children" gets priority over the barren one. 

--Former McHell Manager









Easter Tales: ... It's July!


2 easterFrom not_that_kind_of_doc, TalesFromRetail

Reading through all of these FUN stories has brought back some wonderful memories of my time in retail. I was often annoyed by customers, but very were memorable enough to bother me for years after. This was one of those customers.

I worked at a now-defunct arts and crafts store during high school. It was a pretty good job considering how much worse my friends in fast food and pizza delivery seemed to have it. I wasn't a slacker, and after about a year they trusted me enough to let me run the customer service register where returns/exchanges could be done. This was also the only register open during slow times, so if I had a return or exchange to do, I'd call up another cashier to open up for regular customers. I was working one Saturday afternoon during our busy period, when all the parents come by after soccer games to pick up supplies for school projects, art classes, etc., and take their kids to our paint-your-own ceramics area. I'm checking out lots of ceramics pieces, t-shirts with paint and iron-on decals, basic art supplies, and so forth, when a woman comes up with a return.

I look down to see that she's placed a wreath on my counter. I instantly recognized this wreath from our Easter display, because it was fucking ugly. Basically a styrofoam base coated in plastic Easter grass and decorated with brightly colored plastic Easter eggs like you'd use for baskets or egg hunts. Since it was a product of our oh-so-creative custom floral department, it had a ridiculously high price tag, around $50 for a bunch of cheap plastic crap. She bought it at 30% off, probably during Easter weekend.

Now, the first thing that went through my brain was "NO RETURNS ON SEASONAL MERCHANDISE". One of the few hard rules for returns at the store, because we only stocked holiday items until about a week after the holiday before taking down the display and putting up the next one. Second thing that went through my brain is "NO RETURNS ON CUSTOM FLORAL", which this happened to be. The tag was hand-written, I even knew the florist who had initialed it. Third thing: it's FUCKING JULY!! Easter was months ago, back in March! We had no Easter clearance left; our seasonal display was all beach and luau themed with a few American flags here and there.

I looked at this woman incredulously, as I had not yet learned to hide my emotions from stupid customers. I told her we couldn't return holiday stuff, especially not custom floral. I pointed out that even if it was possible, we knocked all of our Easter stuff down to 90% off to get rid of it, so I couldn't even give her what she paid for it.

After arguing with me and giving some sob story about driving out of state to give it to her daughter for Easter and her not liking it (in my head I'm thinking "Of course she didn't, it's frickin' ugly"). I stood firm and said it just wasn't going to happen.

She asks to speak to a manager. This is the first time I've had someone go over my head when I refused a return; usually I make my point and people move on.

Manager talesSo I scowl and call up Speed Freak Manager, B, who is the manager on duty for the day. B is always energetic. B is always the friendliest person to customers, in a creepy, saccharine way. B more than likely is on some form of amphetamines, because he never stops moving and occasionally lets all the closers go home early so he can shut down and clean the entire store by himself.

B comes up to the register and greets the customer loudly and asks what he can do for her. They step to the side of the counter and she explains how rude I am not to return her money on a purchase she doesn't like. He looks over at the Easter wreath, and though I can see disbelief in his eyes, he smiles and says "Wellll, we usually don't return seasonal items, it's a bit late for Easter don't you think??"

She repeats her sob story, and continues to argue while I check out another customer. After, B and wreath lady come back to the counter: he says: "OK, go ahead and return it for her. Just this one time. *SMILE.*"

I blink, and remind him that it should be a return of the 90% clearance price.

He tells me to do a full return. I obey, and quietly give this lady her full purchase price back. She leaves, and I look at him while I hold the ugly wreath.

"Umm, where do I even put this for returns?"

He laughs. "Geez, can you believe the nerve of some people? I don't care, put it in that clearance area near the front. Hopefully someone steals it, because it sure as hell isn't going to sell."

That stupid wreath sat in the bin mocking me until Halloween, when we completely re-arranged the front of the store. At that point, it disappeared. I never sold it, and no one else could recall seeing it come through either. I like to think that manager B sent everyone home one night after close, snatched the wreath, and ripped it in to pieces out by the loading dock in a fit of speed-induced rage.



Toxic Managers: I almost got fired because a manager was rude to me



From an RHUer:

I've been following this blog for years, but I thought I'd never have a story that would reach the level of retail hell.

The store I work for is the usual 9 to 9 affair. However very briefly we were allotted overnight hours to get some stocking done. Since our back room was overflowing, and not ordering a truck was out of the question. Typical corporate mentality. So I agreed to pick up as many night shifts as possible, because there would be shift differential(being poor also helps). Only on the clause that I wouldn't have to open the store, or work morning shifts.

Fast forward it's my third overnight shift. Just got home from work, plum dead tired, been asleep for a little more than an hour.

Phone call from my store. Wakes up everyone in my house(we all work night shift). It's my store manager asking me if I can come in at that very second. I give them the whole spiel about working the night before, and remind them about my availability. My manager apologies for waking me up, is very polite, and understands my point of view. End of story right?

Wrong! A couple hours latter different manager from a different store calls. This time the caller ID listed it as unknown number so my roommate picked it up thinking it was their place of work this time. I don't know what this manager said to my roommate, but my roommate still insists on referring to that manager as the rudest person on earth.

I get handed the phone, and am insulted for not picking it up. Before I could get a word in edgewise I'm  rudely screamed at to come into work at that very second. Now I was in the middle of washing my work uniform so I couldn't come in even if I wanted to. I try to explain this to them, but they doesn't listen. Even to the point where they accuse me of lying.

Carolanne 034aAgain I say no, and I get hit by a whirlwind of screaming. Followed by a guilt trip that they'll have to close the store if I don't come in. I was the first person they called, and free hours go fast so i doubt that would have been the case. Not wanting to get cussed at, or berated anymore i hung up. Since my patience was very thin from being woken up before. I figured not getting involved in a screaming match was the safest bet. 

A week later I hear through the corporate grape vine that I almost lost my job, because the manager complained that I was rude to them. When their phone etiquette was akin to a screeching monkey. With the only reason i still have my job was the first manager who called me. Who put their foot down, and brought up the fact that they had called me earlier. Basically the second manager was out of line for making arrangements for other stores.

She tried to claim that she was calling a different employee from her store. With some shlock that the numbers were similar, but that doesn't make up for the fact that they used my name in conversation. Being I'm the only person who has that name whose currently employed with the company in that state.

They did find another employee to fill in the hours that day, but as punishment everyone's hours got cut. Now there even more empty spots in the schedule, and they've been calling more often for people to come in on their days off. It's gotten so bad there are literally days when we are open where nobody is scheduled to work. Plus on top of that everyone who works there is quitting. With people either getting two days a week, or getting scheduled 1 day every two weeks.

Gotta love corporate logic. Having a problem that's not really an issue. Let's make it worse, and then wonder how it got so bad.