Newbie Narratives: Completely Abandoned To The Crusty Wolves


This story was originally posted on  March 21, 2011


AshyAshy-Boy here yet again,

SO~ I had my first actual day working for Balls a couple days ago. Which meant I was supposed to be training.

BOY OH BOY~ If you're all looking for a job where they take you gently into the position and train you decently, do not work for Balls. The manager told me as soon as I came in that I'd be working with another slave, and that I'd shadow her for an hour to watch how things were going before they put me on my own register and had someone shadow me for the last five hours of the shift. Cool, I could deal with that.

Not even fifteen minutes after I started to watch this other co-worker work, the head cashier came up and dragged me to another register, had me count out my money, and flicked my light on.

Then walked off.

I shit you not. I was literally alone up there, with only the basic clues as to how this computer register worked, and suddenly custys FLOODED in. It was like a nightmare. I was overwhelmed, got mixed up on several simple transactions several times, and had to keep calling to the guy who was supposed to be watching me to help.

I felt like an idiot because each time he came over to 'help', he'd act like it was the biggest pain in the world, even though that was what he was supposed to be doing. Then I got a lecture each time I didn't manage to sign up a customer with a Scorecard, which is this little grocery-store like card thing that earns points for every dollar you spend at Balls. It's useless for people who don't go there often enough, like me. But heaven forbid I didn't sign up every Jack, Mary, and Cock for the shitty thing.

At one point I was ringing people alone. Literally no one else was on a register, and the guy who was supposed to be helping me was nowhere to be found. No heads up, no nothing. Grocery Hell

On top of that, we had fifty million fucking returns that day, which were hard enough to master without having the custy pissed off because I was too slow or something else. I began to get the hang of it only after screwing everything up at least a dozen times, thankfully, so things started to go thanks to my supposed 'help'.

I mean, seriously, I don't mean to be bitchy, but I'm brand-fucking new. The point of me having help is because I have NEVER DEALT WITH THE SYSTEM THERE BEFORE. If you're going to provide me some guidance, fucking don't half-ass it. I nearly went into the bathroom and cried, I was so fucking over-whelmed.

And, of course, we got a rush as I was supposed to close up, which I also didn't have an inkling how to do there at Balls, which they all must have forgotten. I didn't get my light off and get myself into the back with my things until an HOUR after I was supposed to have left. More hours? Cool. But leave it for when I know what the fuck I'm doing. I was so happy to get out, you had no fucking clue.

To top it off, my sister sent me a funny text message that day: 'I love you Ashy-Boy'. Just out of the blue. My entire family got something similar, so you can imagine what we thought. She's fine, thankfully, but it wasn't any help, and it's not as though I feel comfortable around my co-workers there to say anything about it.

Co-workers in general reminded me of a high-school. It's seriously turning into the worst retail-experience ever, and it's only just begun. I'm so getting out of here as soon as Short Stop opens back up, Honky-Tonk bitch be damned. I'd put up with a MILLION Honky-Tonks before I submit for years to Balls.

Thank heaven Hairy-Dickson's is a much better place...the co-workers there are all so nice and funny. They like to talk to me, too, which is always great. A couple of the girls working Motor Clothes last night talked to me about Balls and how it went and told me that if I had the chance, I needed to leave.

Am I just being too over-sensitive, RHU? I just feel like if this is how I'm treated while being a new face, it won't get any better.

Troubled and ass-deep in sweaty sports wear,



Read more Newbie Narrative stories here!




Newbie Narratives: The Language Barrier


This story was originally posted on November 26, 2009


Carolanne argh 1From Chicken Flinger

So I recently got a job at a well known fast food chicken place.

I can leave it up to you to decide which one.

I was working the lobby cash register the other night and we were experiencing a rush. You can see where this is going, right?

So, of course, at the beginning of the line is a man who seems to speak no language whatsoever (no, he was not deaf, he just didn't seem to have a comprehending of any language we tried speaking to him).

He kept pointing at the menu, saying he wanted "that".

Me: Which one?

Him: That. *points*

Me: Where?

Him: One on the bottom. *points again for emphasis*

Me: The 4-piece individual meal?

Him: Yessss!

Jason ArghMe: Original, extra crispy...?

Him: No no no, I just want chicken.

Me: *hits original just to save time* What else can I get for you tonight?

Him: I want that one too. *points above my head*

Me: You want the football box? Which one? We have 5 different kinds.

Him: No no no, I just want that one.

Me: Yes, but which one are you pointing to?

Him: At the top!!

Me: Okay, do you want that in original, extra crispy or grilled?

Him: No no no, I just want chicken! Like in picture!!

Me: *looking up I notice the picture is grilled, so I put that in my computer. as I review his order...* So I have a 4-piece original with mashed potatoes and coleslaw and a football box with mashed potatoes and coleslaw?

Him: I never order a 4-piece! I just want that! THAT! *points violently*

Me: The PICTURE? You want what's in the PICTURE? *he nods* The family meal or the individual meal?

Him: ONE AT BOTTOM. I want exactly like picture!

Freddy frustration 1Me: Okay, so that's a TWO PIECE ORIGINAL with mashed potatoes and coleslaw-

Him: But I want the SALAD in the PICTURE!

Me: That's coleslaw sir.

Him: Fine, give that.

Me: TWO PIECE ORIGINAL with mashed potatoes and COLESLAW and a football box with TWO PIECES GRILLED chicken with potato wedges and COLESLAW. Anything else for you tonight?

Him: I got the one in picture? I only want one in picture! *points again* What is the two piece?

Me: *resisting the urge to walk into the fryer and put my head in it* Yes sir, you got the one in the picture. The one in the picture is the TWO PIECE. Anything else for you tonight?

Him: No that all. *pauses* I got one in picture?

I've only been working this job for about 3 weeks and this was the first truly frustrating customer I've had to date. We spoke to him in a couple of languages and he seemed to understand none of them!

I'm sure I will have more tales from the fryer in time!

Greasily yours,

--Chicken Flinger


 read more Fast Food Hell here

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Retail Balls Awards: Instead of Returning Shopping Cart to Storefront, walmart Customer Throws it In a Ditch and Gets Confronted By Another Customer




From December, 2010

This Newbie Slave and their mother get a Retail Ball Award for their amazing Random Act of Retail Kindness when they did something about a misbehaving parking lot crusty:

Haven't worked in retail for a VERY long time, but I'm a big fan of the site, so my sympathies stay fresh.

I live in Northern Canada, and right now, it's freezing outside. I feel sorry for a lot of people in this weather, but the poor minimum-wagers who have to run around collecting shopping carts from Walmart and the grocery stores... well, they're at the top of my list. People seem to get really entitled and jerky around the Christmas season, and yes, we're all stressed out, but those people behind the counters and cash registers are people too!

Last night, I was waiting for my father in the parking lot of Walmart, and this man and his girlfriend push their cart full of bags to their truck and load it up. Then, in front of my very eyes - I couldn't believe it - he THROWS THE CART INTO THE SNOW-FILLED DITCH NEXT TO THE PARKING LOT.

Yes. He actually threw it. Picked it up, turned it upside down and threw it into the ditch. The ditch that is 2-feet deep of snow, and it's -30 outside. To make matters worse, there was an employee walking around the parking lot collecting carts at that exact moment. I don't know if the employee saw it, but he sure couldn't have ignored it - he (or someone) would have had to wade into that snow in their cheap uniform and dig it out.

So, having nothing to do at the moment, and my mother with me, as pissed and indignant as myself, and egging me on, I decided that if that guy was going to be an asshole, I would make him (and his girlfriend) feel like crap about it.

So I walked over to the truck, where they were now comfortably sitting, and waved at them.  When they looked, I gave him the finger, and walked into the ditch and wrestled the cart out of the snow.

I called "What the fuck is wrong with you? Do you know that there are actual PEOPLE who have to deal with this crap?" and he stopped the truck as he was pulling out of the parking spot. 

For a second, I thought he was going to get out and come help me, yell at me, or something, but then he started reversing again, and clearly meant to high tail it out of there.

JcAt this point, I'd (somehow) managed to get the cart out of the ditch (and the bottom half of my pants were soaked and freezing quickly), so I pushed it towards the main entrance of the store, cutting in front of his truck on my way and giving him the finger again.

I have never seen a girlfriend look SO ashamed to be with someone.

I swear, she sunk so low in her seat I thought she was going to end up on the floor of the truck while they were driving away. Even my mother flipped them off.

I don't really mind if people don't put their carts in the exact right place every time - I'm totally guilty of shopping-cart-abandonment. But I always make sure that it's in no one's way, not blocking anyone's driving or parking, and won't cause any employees a major hassle to get to it. I can't even IMAGINE why someone would think that it was alright to do something like that.

Retail slaves, I don't tell you this to blow my own horn (even if making that entitled prick look like an asshole in front of his girlfriend felt AWESOME).

I tell you this so you know that even in the chaos and stress of the holiday season, there are still people out there that are really, really grateful for the work that you do to help make Christmas (or your gift-giving holiday of choice) happen for us all.

Happy Holidays!

--Newbie Slave



read more Retail Balls Awards Tales here

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Newbie Narratives: Dollar Store Hell



From Retail Noob, January 2010:

I feel I should start out by saying I'm a noob to the retail world and have been working in my first retail job for only a month.

I've been a fan, however, of sites like RHU and Not Always Right for much longer than that! I sympathize with you slaves working in jobs/circles of hell that seem intent on killing you by way of slow torture. I can call myself fortunate that that the customers and coworkers I work with are more often than not pleasant, appreciative, and sometimes even day-brightening.

I work for a dollar store that boasts the color yellow. We dress like fucking bumblebees. We're located in the south,somewhat out in the sticks. We are the only store that isn't primarily a gas station between those in the backwoods and the heart of town, as well as the nearest stop for those coming off the interstate from jobs in a nearby major city. They struck freakin' gold placing us here.

As you might have already guessed we get a lot of "good ol' boys" and working mothers struggling to "make groceries" (what we call it when you're basically making something out of nothing money-wise)

The other common breed of customer is the checkbook-carrying old woman. Usually only annoying insofar as their choice mode of payment. About half the time I need to enter the numbers in manually-- Hey, I'm new, remember? This takes me awhile! Sometimes, though, they come with the ever-critical, haggy attitude. They watch every price, complain when things aren't the price they should be, somehow think that's MY fault, and criticize how I check, bag and even speak. Yes, I'm very soft-spoken and a little shy.

My first day on the job was stressful and terrifying. Think back, old timers, you know yours was, too. The first check I ever did was with the lady I came to call Check Lady (original). I gave her her total, and glanced to see her writing it wrong by a few cents. I respectfully correct her, feeling stupid as it is.

Check Lady: Well you need to speak up. Speak proper.

Me: Yeah, I'm sorry, I'm a little quiet. (laugh)

CL: >:|

So I scan the check, enter her driver's license number, D.O.B., etc, and she hadn't said a thing to me since the start. I then ask for her phone number.

CL:(softly) XXX... (quieter) XXX... (a fucking whisper) XXXX.

WTF? Are we 8 or 80 here, lady? She spoke very clear at the beginning of all this, so I know it was all fake. Was she trying to teach me a lesson?

I saw her again some days later, caught her writing her number on the check and told her I wouldn't be able to see it while it was stuck in the machine and couldn't put the info in before.

"Well you could read it before you put it in, but most won't."

Ummm, yeah, I can't remember a whole phone number on the spot, and for sure not after putting in your driver's license number and D.O.B.

Moving on! I was fortunate enough to NOT work Christmas eve (yay!), but I did work the day after the holiday. Honestly, not as many returns as I expected, not even on our cheep little plastic trees. Except ONE....

DsignIt was busy as hell. Both registers were open and you couldn't see the end of EITHER line (oh sush you Walmart slaves, this is a DOLLAR STORE, remember? As a rule we shouldn't get this kind of busy). This traffic was all for the Christmas sales, and while we didn't get many returns, discount vultures picking at what the REAL holiday shoppers left behind wasn't much better (Is this half off? What about this? That rang up full price! I don't want it any more!) Oh yeah, I also can't void squat =/

Anyway, I get thrown in this mess the moment I clock in. A couple I've come to recognize have reached the front of the very long line with only a soda. This is a Hispanic couple who never buy much, speak little English, and are always kind and always together.

Today they want to buy their purchase with 97 cents in change and the rest with the last dredges of their EBT monies. Sure. She empties her pocket and I count it out, mostly nickels and pennies. He goes to slide his card, and as he's entering his pin one of the discount vultures leans over and asks very pointedly, "So what's the hold up?"

Do you not see the change in front of me and the man currently in the process of paying? It's not like we're getting chatty! I hardly spare her a glance as I tell her he's using his card right now. I wasn't about to dignify her impatience with an apology.

At about this point a man walks in, puts down one of our six-foot Christmas trees(in a box, of course), and informs my manager at the other register that he's going to be returning this, as it didn't work. This manager is a joy to work with, and I know you guys would steal her if you could. She's black and a bit on the round side, a great manager, a better mother, and ALWAYS cool under pressure. The following went like this:

Manager: Do you have your receipt?

Man(already walking away): What?

Manager: Do you have your receipt? 

At this point my manager is behind me at the other register, and the man is just a few feet in front of me. This is also when BOTH our registers refuse to finish processing their respective card payments, and I'm free to listen in while I try to get the damn thing to work. Apparently he did not bring his receipt, because my attention is called to them again as the man now begins to shout.

Man: What? What d'you mean you can't do anything? The tree don't work!

Manager: I can't do a refund without a receipt. Without it I can only trade a tree for a tree, and we're sold out.

Man: Did YOU keep YOUR receipt?

CaroldollarManager: (silence, presumably ignoring him or tending to a customer, probably both. I believe this is when her register froze as well.)

Man: (louder) Did YOU keep YOUR receipt?

Manager: Sir, you're gonna need to quiet down.

Man: I'm not gonna be quiet! You jus' said you can't take it back!

Manager: Well I can't.

Man: Where's your manager?

Manager: I'm the manager on duty, and if you're going to be rude you're gonna hafta leave.

Man: YOU were being rude the moment I came in here!

Manager: I was not, I asked if you had your receipt. Now I'm gonna hafta ax you to leave. ('ax', not 'ask')

Man: You think I give a fuck about leavin? I don't give a fuck! I'm takin' this to the other [dollar store]! *storms out, his girlfriend screeching something at us on the way out the door.*

A few minutes later during a cash pickup she tells me "I'm quitting and I'm leaving you the keys."

At least the drama served as a distraction while the system had continued to spazz. The Hispanic couple quietly apologized, took their change, and left beverage-less. We eventually fixed the problem, efficiently herded the customers out the door, and basked in the silence of a nearly empty store a solid hour of business later.

Me: Oh man...

Manager: Yeah...

Me: I can't believe he did that.

Manager: And you didn't stick up for me! Wait till I tell your mama... =P

Me: You were handling it so well! I was about to! Really! ;o;

And so concluded my first real taste of Retail Hell. Are you proud of me? Hopefully you won't hear from me again too soon...

Hmm, yeah, I need a name... *ponders* Aha!

--Retail Noob!


Retail Hell Memories: New Hires



From RHUer

Many years ago when I left home and started university I worked weekends at a very busy pizza place in Burnaby, BC, Canada. During the week there were usually 4-6 full timers working but on weekends staff went to 12-15 with part time staff because we were so busy.
New hires were usually started on deliveries. You give someone a car, a pizza, a map so WCGW. One weekend I was training a new kid, call him JD because he looked like John Denver. He was very young, quite shy but seemed to understand the job.
Half way through the night he goes out for a delivery. The drivers always had to write an ETA down so we could get the next set of pizzas ready. He's late, then it's like he's half an hour late. 
Then another driver tells me he's sitting out back, just sitting.
I charge out and the kid is just sitting and won't say anything. Manager time.
We're standing there and the Manager tries to get him talking and after a few minutes of talking this comes out.
M What happened, you can tell me.
JD (stammering)The girl.
M What girl?
JD The girl at the door
M What about the girl
JD Naked
After a couple more lines
M Did you get the money?
JD looked at him with this totally blank stare and said "Money?"
I broke up laughing and went back into the restaurant. 
He left our employment that night. 





Retail Hell Memories: Fastest firing in the district


Jason 033

From u/DejoMasters Tales From Retail:

This is a story from a couple years back but a recent AskReddit thread brought it to the front of my mind.

I work at a pharmacy retailer. I started working there in high school and was the first of my friends to get a real job. I kept pushing them to work with me at this place, and eventually one of them applied.

He got accepted, everything's aces. I keep an eye out for his name on the schedule, and sure enough, there it is! Hooray! My friend has made it. Even though I had certain... Doubts.

Let me explain. The guy is a genius. Like, freaky good at academics, math specifically. He easily could have been the top performer in our school, but if it wasn't math he didn't understand it instantaneously and therefore didn't care. He always got into trouble for simply ignoring teachers during class, sleeping during class, fighting with teachers, etc. He also ate the same thing for lunch, everyday: peanut butter crackers, M&Ms, and a thermos of milk. He was just a weird guy all around. Still my friend, but... Maybe not job material.

Anyway, his first day comes and goes and I've completely forgotten about it. But I start to hear this story going around the store: an employee was fired during orientation. Huh, that's weird. A few more days go buy and I realize that my friend was supposed to be working already, so I ask my coworker when he's starting.

Coworker: Didn't you hear? He was the one fired during orientation!

Me: Wait, what? Why?

Coworker: He got there, they started, and he just fell asleep! They woke him up and they fired him on the spot!

I asked some mutual friends about it and, yup, sure enough he didn't even make it through orientation conscious. Of course I was told not to mention it to him, so he never got to know that for a brief, shining moment he was the most famous ex-employee in the district for fastest firing.