RHZ Retail Hell Zone: Sicko Advice

Flu3_2You don't want to end up like this guy or Influenza Flo above, here are a few RHU tips for working in Influenza-ridden Retail Hell:

1. If you are waiting on sicko customers, get as far back from them as possible and if they sneeze, turn your head away. Who cares about Service Manners, if you don't do something about it immediately, your throat will be scratchy in a few hours. Do you really want that?

2. Same goes for co-workers. Yes, feel bad for them. They most likely got sick from a customer and they are being pressured to work by The Store or due to lack of sick day benefits. A couple of things to remember about working along side sicko co-workers: You do not want to go to lunch with them(are you crazy?), you do not want stand to close to them either, and you should be keenly aware if their hands are touching something you are touching. We recommend spraying the phones you talk on with some kind of disinfectant spray(if you don't have that use glass cleaner or whatever is available in your store) and also bringing a bunch of your own pens to work. Keep a few in your pocket for you to use and let the sicko people use the sicko-covered pens.

2. Do not touch your mouth or nose. You're just asking to become a sicko if you do that in Retail Hell during flu and cold season. Many of us have heard this nose/mouth thing before. It's harder than it sounds. Sometimes we don't think twice about scratching our noses or putting an index finger to our mouth in a Dr. Evil sort of way. Just remember touching the nose and mouth = sicko.

3. Carry around a small bottle of anti-bacterial soap. Wash yourself like you've committed a murder and you think the blood is still there. Wash yourself constantly and take many breaks to the bathroom for soap and water washings (though you should be careful in there as well, bathrooms can be sicko cesspools).

4. Get a fucking flu shot or mist (yes, they work). They do not hurt, you don't even feel the needle. Yes, you need to be healthy when you get it. They are not expensive. Not everyone agrees with the flu shot (we are split, but the one of us that does it - Freddy -has not been a sicko in years).

5. Drink up: Down Airborne and EmergenC in the morning and at night, they both work. In fact, Airborne now makes little on-the-go packets you can carry with you. If you are around any sickos get a water bottle so you can drink it whenever you want. We also recommend taking major amounts of vitamin C and zinc (both of those things are in Airborne and EmergenC).

6. Make sure you eat good and get lots of sleep. Yes, this is shit you've heard over and over and over, but the truth is we get sick when we are stressed, run down, and tired.Flu

7. If you start to feel like a sicko, run to the grocery store and buy as much anti-sicko medications as you can afford: Cold-Eez are great for getting rid of sore throats (they're like cough drops) and ZiCam is good stuff too. Also Vics has a new early defense micro gel spray that you snort (we have no idea if it works, but we'd buy it just cause ti sounds good).

8. If you get sick, we recommend buying as many sicko medications as possible and getting one of these contraptions that the woman has in the pic above. What really sucks about working Retail Hell while you're sick is not being able to blow when you want to and that is a major factor in getting the nastiness out of your body. Find away to blow when you want, drink lots of hot liquids (you have a legitimate health reason now to have coffee, tea, and soup in the stock room), and take as many flu drugs as your body can handle! After your shift take the stuff that will knock you on your ass. Our favorite RHU Flu cocktail is Theraflu mixed with Jack Daniels. Oh yeah. Good sicko times!

9. Believe it or not, there is an advantage to being sick in retail, and it's this: You have a good reason to avoid customers (and they want to avoid you) and you get sympathy from your Managers and co-workers who also don't want to get what you have. Take full advantage of being a sicko! Soak it for all its worth. Be as big a Retail Slave Baby as you possibly can. Ask to work in the stockroom, take a long lunch so you can sleep in your car, or go home early, do what you can to make being a sicko less horrible.

10. If your sicko-ness hits you hard and you're feeling like you have be overcome by the chicken flu, for godsake don't go to work at your Store just because your manager is pressuring you or you feel like there is no one to cover your shift. They will have to find someone to cover you. It's their problem. If it's a money issue, know that you can make it up later or perhaps your HR will let you use a vacation day. Give yourself that day or two you need to heal. You won't be going on any vacation anyways if you end up with bronchitis.

We hope those sicko suggestions help. Stay healthy out there Retail Slaves!

The Most Annoying Customer Line Ever: Excuse Me

Underground_photo_shoot2_5171The only time Excuse Me should be uttered by customers in a store is if a Perfume Squirter is chasing them down the escalator or they have grabbed a sale t-shirt at the same time as someone else and a fight is about to breakout. Using Excuse Me for those things is completely acceptable, but using it to hail one of us Retail Slaves should be made a punishable Retail Crime.

When Customers blurt on "Excuse me," as we all know, it's almost always while we are on the phone or helping another customer. It's often times said louder than a normal voice and sometimes even shouted. Where did all this rudeness come from? It has definitely gotten worse over the years. People can't seem to wait 30 seconds, let alone for their turn.

When a Customer says "Excuse me," what they are really saying is, "Drop what you are doing right now and pay attention to me."

What We Would Really Like to Say back is: "There's no excuse for you and your rude-ass behavior. I've decided not to help you. How do like those fuckin' apples." But of course we can't. We have to find some way to put on our Retail Droid face and pay attention to them while doing whatever it was they interrupted us from. Excuse Me is Multi-tasking Monkey Madness at its worst.

Excuse Me is almost always said in a condescending tone as well. Rarely do we hear a customer say, "I'm so very sorry to interrupt you on the phone, will you please excuse me, I most desperately need to find a bathroom." If a customer was ever this polite it sure as hell wasn't in our life times. Many times they don't even pause after shouting the irksome retail demand, "EXCUSE ME, WHERE'S THE BATHROOM?"

And we all know what usually follows the abominable Excuse Me phrase: Glaring eyes, annoying finger-snaps, and irritating fingernails tapping on counters.

Freddy wishes he could point a laser at those glaring eyes, Jason wants to break those snapping fingers, and Carolanne said if she hears one more fucking fingernail tapping on her designer class counter she is going to whip out a sledgehammer.

There is no excuse for using Excuse Me to get a Retail Slave's attention. We want it banned forever! Any customer that says Excuse Me should be fined $500 which would go into the Support Underpaid Retail Slaves Fund. We'd make more money that a swear jar in a prison dining room. Ka-ching, ka-ching, Beverly Hills here we come.

Our Dream Retail Hell Resolutions

Underground_photo_shoot2_019 1. Say What We Really Want To Say whenever we want!

2. Don't take any shit off of customers, co-workers, or managers.

3. Demand to work only opening shifts and have weekends off.

4. Demand a raise and get it.

5. Make all customers clean up after themselves. This would include re-folding massive amounts of jeans and t-shirts they have left in piles on the fitting room floors.

6. Take two hour lunches and hour breaks every day.

7. Leave early whenever we want and still get paid.

8. Demand that the Store give us "sick" days so when their customers give us the flu, we can stay home and still get paid.

9. Not lose commission on old shit customers return.

10. Be able to chew gum and text on our cells whenever we want.

11. Hire Merry Maids to do all the cleaning and picking up.

12. Demand that the Store give us European-style vacation time - that means nine weeks a year!

13. Answer the department phone only when we want to (which will be rarely).

14. Not work alone if we are paid hourly or work alone if we are on commission.

15. Stand up to any kind of Retail Hell by walking away from the situation whenever we want instead of standing there and taking it up the ass.

Retail Hell would be a lot less hellacious if even half of these Dream Resolutions came true. Oh, how we wish....

Retail Slut and Whore New Year Resolutions

Th_carolanne13 Okay Sluts and Whores! It's the start of the New Year and you are a Retail Slave. As the crowd chaos simmers down in The Store, now there's time for a bit of Self Retail Reflection. Ugh. Yes this is painful, but read on. One of four things is going on in your Retail Hell life right now:

1) You're a Retail Slut, you hate your retail job and want to make that transition into the career you've dreamed about(like us).

2) You're a Retail Slut, you don't really hate your retail job, but your heart says you should be doing something else, you're just not sure what.

3). You're a Retail Whore, you hate your current retail position for whatever reasons, but you love the world of retail and all its hustle and bustle. You want more out of retail.

4.) You're a Retail Whore, you love your retail job, and feel content with it, except maybe you're not making enough or you're having trouble being the best at it.

Most of us Retail Slaves can find ourselves emotionally attached to one of these situations. Love or hate Retail, we all have some sort of aspiration surrounding it, whether it be to get the fuck out or make more fuckin money!Jason21

In this New Year, RHU wants you to get the most out of your Retail Life. In the upcoming book, The Retail Hell Survival Guide, there will be a crapload of tools and info to help you deal with these situations, but for now we are offering a simple New Years Resolution approach.

Pick the number below that matched the Retail Anxiety number you related to above.

1) For Retail Sluts Who Have a Dream Career: Take a cool piece of paper (a fun color or texture) and write on it with a marker: I am______.  Fill in the blank. You could write, I am a fucking idiot for working retail, but today we are focusing on who you WANT to be, not who you are right now. So go for the dream goal as if you have accomplished it. I am a Singer. I am a Writer. I am a Doctor. I am an Actress. I am a Real Estate Agent. I am a Garbage Truck Driver. Whatever floats your boat. The piece of paper doesn't have to be huge, but it needs to catch your attention like one of myspace's crazy ads (the scary-evil baby with laser eyes always gets us). Then hang this statement by your computer or somewhere you can see it often. Next: Do ONE thing this Month that will move you into the direction of Who You Want To Be. If you can do more than one thing, great, but don't stress over it. Doing at least one major thing and taking one step toward your dream is an awesome way to start the year.

2) For Retail Sluts Who Have No Dream Career: Do the same as above with the cool paper and marker, only write out the sentence: What would I love to do? Since you don't know what career you'd like to have, but you know retail isn't it, this will be a reminder to keep the question circulating in your brain. Too often it's easy to get lost in the Retail Vortex and you don't even think about thinking about other options. Put your What You'd Love To Do question somewhere you can see it and contemplate the answer all month. Next: Make a list of careers that you admire and then investigate them. Check them out online or talk to friends. Be creative with your thinking. The hope is that by the end of the month you'll find something you'd rather do other than retail.  Then it's time to take that step and move toward it.Freddy12

3) For Retail Whores Who Have Higher Retail Dreams: Follow the same instructions with the paper and marker, and write on it: I am_______. Fill in the blank with your Retail Dream goal as if you have accomplished it. Here are some examples: I am now working at Neiman Marcus making 100 grand a year. I am now the Store Manager. I am working at a store I love.  I am the owner of my own potato chip store. Whatever rocks your world. Then hang your retail statement somewhere you will see it daily, and just like the Retail Sluts, your next step will be to do ONE major thing that advances you in the direction of that goal. This could be deciding what store you want to work at and finding out how to get hired, or if you want to move up in your own store letting your store manager know. Again, this doesn't have to be a huge step, the idea is do ONE thing this month that will get you moving in the right direction.

4) For Retail Whores Who Love Their Position But Are Struggling: Find that piece of paper and write on it I am____. Fill in the blank with a positive solution to whatever problem you are having at your store. I am the number one salesperson. I am making more money. I am getting along with my stupid-ass manager. Whatever. Write it as if it's been taken care of. Regarding money issues: Listen to us! Loving and being content with your retail job is not a horrible thing, but you shouldn't have to live in a shithole apartment or eat PBJ sandwiches for a week either. Perhaps your goal should be to find away to make more money at your retail job or outside of it. Next: Do ONE thing that you have been avoiding that can make your retail job better or financially more fulfilling. This could mean taking a class or securing more hours. It could also mean robbing a bank because your retail job is not going to give you more money! But the thing here is to remember that you are not bound by the Store, you are bound by your thinking. If you think beyond the Store's constraints, your mind will open to possibilities you didn't see before.

If you're a Retail Slave that is lucky enough to not find yourself in any of these Retail Hell situations and in need of no advice concerning your Retail job, then we say GOODY FUCKING GOODY for you! Seriously, that's awesome. Enjoy yourself. Keep it up! Now you can focus your resolutions on all the other shit that dragged you down last year. Make 08 your best year yet Retail Slaves!Th_decemberretailhell0212



We thought this best represented how we feel today! Happy 2008! If you're lucky enough not to be working today, we recommend doing what the dogs are doing. They have the right idea.