I've worked at two different retail jobs. The first was a grocery store, where I worked for 2 years before I was (ridiculously) fired for a mistake. The second, and current job, is at everybody's favorite largest retailer, where I am about to reach 2 months of slavery.
But some of the worst stories I have aren't about customers, they're about the other employees.
The grocery store, as most places do, had a policy against family members working above other family members, which they ignored for my older sister and me. There's a good reason for the rule though. Family members tend to have personal agendas.
My sister, for instance, saw her in charge of me as the "natural order of things" and would therefore insist that I call her for every little thing. When I didn't, since I knew very well how to do most things for myself, she would hover over me, making constant comments about my items per minute ratio, my failure to ask for donations, or my horrid bagging skills. And when I did call her for something that required a supervisor, she would loudly berate me for "playing around on the clock" and walk away without helping me.
My favorite story comes from the land of supercenters and what used to be a smiley face. I had been working there for less than two weeks, and it was my first day off so far. It had been a while since I last stood all day, so my legs, feet, and ankles were all incredibly sore.
I had fallen into bed early the night before, and was still asleep and planning on staying that way for a long time. 9 am, I get a phone call.
"Where are you?"
I try to come up with something rational to say, but being groggy, I can only come up with "ummm... bed?"
"This is your manager. You were supposed to be here an hour ago. Where are you?"
"I was told I have off today. I think... I can loo-"
"How soon can you be here?"
Considering I live 45 minutes away- "An hour, most likely."
"Hurry. Call when you're on the way." Click.
I spring out of bed, throw on my unwashed work clothes, that I was planning on washing later that day, drag my dad out of bed (I can't drive) and off we go.
On the way there, I try to call about 35 times before concluding that somethings wrong with the phones.
Finally, we get there. I walk in and locate the manager I talked to on the phone.
"Here's the schedule I was given. I'm not in the system yet, so it was handwritten by ___." (the person who writes the schedules)
He snatches it out of my hand. "What day is today?"
"Second, third, fifth... you're right, you don't work today."
A CSM comments "I already put her in the system as a no show for the day."
The manager: "Alright, you can go home now."
Gee, thanks guys.
I was looking for the perfect chance to waste gas, time, and one of my absences.
I'll write again sometime with some of my stories about shoppers.
I've got some interesting ones there.