Thrift Store Hell: Tiny Updates And Goodbye to RHU


Carolanne baldFrom Puppies in Prada

Soo... this is probably going to be my last post ever on RHU. I'll see some of you on RHU Facebook, I guess. Unfortunately, I don't have much to close out on other than a few signs of hope.

First: the new manager has been selected. Apparently she was a manager for a Starbucks and decided to move on to us. I met her briefly and shook her hand. She seems nice enough, though time will tell. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL that someone outside was hired, and that Lemkil either did not apply or was not selected.

Second: not much to update on the Lemkil angle. His notes about the register being off have silenced. Maybe the fact that I have people on my side subtly warned him off from trying to sabotage me. Patricia thinks he wasn't doing it on purpose; she thinks he just makes human mistakes and then simply gives up rather than re-counting. I don't see that as much better. sigh.

Lemkil apparently spouted some crazy to Allie... about the new manager soon to be firing everyone (but him) when she stepped into power. Ignoring the "delusional asshole" aspect of Lemkil's psyche, that's the most idiotic thing the manager can do, considering how hard the store would nosedive if the entire staff were gone in an instant.

And firing people one by one would be stupid too, seeing as the lot of us could simply walk away and refuse to train our replacements. People work for the Animal Shelter Thrift Store because they WANT to, over opportunities that we ALL have for better jobs.

And let's not even go over the fact that our local Director isn't an idiot, and would react immediately to a mass evacuation of the store. Lemkil, zip your howling screamer.

Finally: I guess this is goodbye, RHU. Thanks for everything. For being there while I vent, for listening and for sharing. For commenting and for simply being a community for us retail slaves. I will miss you all tremendously. be safe, be well, and don't less those crusties get you down!

--Puppies in Prada, signing off




 read more Puppies in Prada tales here




Thrift Store Hell: Missing Missy, And Lemkil Shenanigans On The Tills


Skully coworkersFrom Puppies In Prada

So... where to start... I guess the origin point of today's set of stories is Missy's retirement. Her last day was the 15th, folks. She's... sort of gone? She's going to take two weeks of vacation time to replenish her batteries, then she will come back to train her replacement, before winging her way completely into the ether. No idea where her next job will be. She's going to be doing a few very minor things for the store (like doing the weekly schedules) online. But she is no longer a presence in the store itself. We had two good-bye parties, one for employees and one for volunteers. Lots of speeches, many thank-yous, and many feels in which some eyes were teary. I got a big hug from her right before she left for the day.

One of the leads, Allie, did a lot of sniffling for about two hours after Missy left. Thankfully we keep a box of tissues at the registers, so I was able to hand her the box. I didn't sniffle, but I was pretty bummed for the rest of the day since she was gone.

Sadly, this is the end of any feel-goodness and warm wishes in my story. It's time for a Lemkil update.

And if that gave you a chill down your spine? Yeah, that's the correct reaction.

Allie whispered to me that Lemkil hated Missy with a passion... to the point where he referred to her as a "bitch" and a "whore" behind her back. Delightful.

Coworker hellAnd now Missy is gone.

This were relatively quiet for almost a week. Then I hear that Lemkil blew the fuck up. I was on the donation door and sent up my bin of shoes; I was going upstairs at the end of my door shift (in like 15 minutes) and would take care of it then, I figured. I heard from two employees that Lemkil went on a rant about how people on the door should not send their bins up for others to deal with. The guy who does toys and games went to empty the rolling bin into my in-bin as a thoughtful gesture, and got an earful of Lemkil's enraged (and pointless) tantrum.

I talked to the Toy Employee, thanking him for stepping in, and that I would have taken care of it if necessary. I asked him if he was okay, and asked him if Lemkil had been verbally abusive, or whether he had just ranted ineffectually. Toy Employee reassured me that he wasn't upset over the incident, and that Lemkil had just been making noise.

Thank Thrognar. I would have felt awful if Toy Employee had been dragged into Lemkil's psychotic verbal beating over something I had done. (And wasn't even against any rules, written or implied.)

Then... this weekend. HOO BOY this weekend.

I close. That means I count down one register. There are three of us at every close. Two to count a register, and a lead or supervisor to confirm the count and fill out paperwork.

Saturday night: Whoo hoo! The tills balanced! None over, none under. Me, Steve, and Supervisor Patricia. Signed, confirmed, and sealed.

Sunday morning: Lemkil counts the tills in. Claims Register 2 was short $1, and Register 3 was over by $5. Leave notes to that effect.

CASHIER-HELLSunday night: Tills balanced perfectly again. No sign of missing or extra money. Me, Steve, and Lead Allie. Signed, confirmed, and sealed.

Monday morning: Lemkil again counts the tills in. Claims he found a penny in the dime well, claims the tills are $0.09 off.

Monday night: Yet again, the tills balanced perfectly. Me, Steve, and Lead Allie. Signed, confirmed, and sealed.

We all sign off on the totals. Where the fuck is this money going if the tills are perfect the night before, 'missing' the next morning, and back to perfect that night?

Allie came to me and made me aware of the register shenanigans right away. She, the assistant manager, and Patricia are all clued in to Lemkil's bullshit. Three D's of Retail are now in effect: Documentation, Documentation, Documentation.

I looked at Allie tonight and said, quietly: "I don't know if Lemkil even applied for the position, but if they EVER announce that he is Store Manager, I will fucking quit; effective immediately. There will be NO two week notice. I. Will. Walk. The. Fuck. Out."

Allie was silent for a beat, then said, "You wouldn't be the only one. Most of the staff would follow you."

--Puppies In Prada


Thrift Store Hell: Heavenspawn Encounter


HeavenspawnFrom Puppies In Prada

Had another heavenspawn at the registers the other day at my Thrift Store. She's with her parents and buying a few toys.

Now, it's the end of the day, so we're all tired, and just want people to go home. But when this kid comes up, I pull it together. She has a pouch full of loose change (normally that's a bit of an 'oof' for most cashiers) and she wants to buy the playset she found.

Her total is $2.50, and she proudly spreads approximately $0.15 on the counter.

Kid: "Here you go, $15."

I can feel some amusement roll through me, but I refrain from laughing. She's young, still learning, and hasn't sorted out the difference between cents and dollars yet. Best not to make her feel self conscious about her mistake.

It's all good though, her parents are right there and start to help her in that respect.

Soon a fist full of change is on my counter, as they start to help her figure it out, reminding her that $0.15 is the same as 15 pennies, and the total is $2.50, so she needs a bit more than she has out.

Carolanne and thenI step in and count the change, out loud, in front of her. She may or may not have a big enough grasp of money to keep up with fast counting, so I do it slowly. We make it through some quarters, but also nickels, dimes and pennies. I balance it, because I have to count this out in less than five minutes, so I don't want ALL pennies, or all dimes, etc.

I take the right amount, and let her put the excess change back in her pouch.

I got thanked by both of her parents for being so good about it and for being patient with her. Apparently she'd been saving up her change and this was her first "big" purchase.

I thank them back for bringing up such a good customer, and they head out into the night with the playset.

I was tired and done with customer service for the day... buuut that ended the night on a good note, so I felt better about humanity, just a little.


I saw that folks are wondering where I'll move once RHU shutters its inbox. The answer is... Well, I'll probably post my stories in RHU Facebook. If you're not already a member, you may want to apply. There are a few small requirements to get in though.

This also means that I'll be dropping my moniker, and you'll know who I am. I'm okay with this, and when the time comes, I hope to see you all there!

--Puppies In Prada


Thrift Store Hell: Men's Restroom Horror



From Nicole, September, 2008:

I work at a small thrift store, and each of the slaves that works there has to clean the public bathrooms once a week, before the store opens. Well, my coworker called in sick on her bathroom day, so guess who got stuck doing it for her?
So, after cleaning the women's restroom, I opened the door to the men's. I was immediately hit by a wall of filthy stench. Walking farther into the room with my hand over my nose and mouth, I suddenly saw the source of the stench.
Some filthy asshole (literally) had taken a shit IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR. It didn't look like he had an accident and didn't make it to the toilet. He seriously must have just exposed his nasty ass, squatted, and taken a dump. In the middle of the floor. Deliberately.
It took me hours to clean it up, and I thought it could never get any worse. I was wrong.
Later that day, my boss informs me that one of the toilets in the same fucking bathroom has overflowed, and I got to wade into the putrid six-inch-high shit flood, wearing thigh-high rubber boots.
I had to unclog the drain in the middle of the floor, unclog the toilet, and shovel chunks of slimy shit into trash bags. I think they should make a horror movie after my story.









Thrift Store Hell: Two Letters From Lemkil


From Puppies In Prada

So I'm just going to let you read this.... abomination from Lemkil from a few days ago. Just... read it first, then read the rest of it....


So.... Hoo boy. How do I even describe this? Potential sexual harassment? Standard harassment? Hostile work environment? I... don't even fucking know the laundry list of things this letter would have resulted in, in a corporate company. If this had been aimed at me, I would have stolen Thrognar's mighty hammer and wielded it with a scream of "FOR ASGARD!"

The actual story:

We have two electronics dudes. Scotty is one. The other is the subject of this... 'letter.' Let's call him James. We received a mini fridge at the door. James took it to an outlet and plugged it in. The idea was to let it run for a while and see whether it would actually chill. He left a note on it to that effect.

Steve passed by and out of random passing curiosity, opened it and stuck his hand inside to see how it was doing. It wasn't chilling. Steve fiddled with it, and discovered that plugging it in wasn't enough. There's also a switch you have to turn to "ON." He flips the switch, and the refer starts chilling.

Steve tells some of us the story, and there's some good-natured, and lighthearted ribbing amongst ourselves (James wasn't present at the time, he had some sort of minor family emergency, thus 'unscheduled time off.' The guy has two kids and a wife he absolutely adores, so they were probably involved), with most of us admitting that we've all been guilty of turning on the wrong burner on the stove before. It was a simple derp that any one of us could have done.

Nothing serious, nothing devastating, not even really a thing that will actually impact anybody at all in terms of workload.

And apparently Lemkil overheard.

Now you've read the actual story. Go back and read that monstrosity again. If it makes you even MORE pissed off, you know how I feel typing this. And you can imagine the horror that our poor Accessories Girl must have felt when she spotted that letter pinned to the COMMUNAL CORK BOARD in the break room for several days! She knew who it referred to, and it upset the hell out of her. She pulled it down, trying to spare James' feelings, and told one of our Leads about it. The Lead took it from Accessories Girl, made photocopies and planned to show it to Missy.

But wait! There's more... APPARENTLY this story doesn't end here. 

Lemkil somehow got wind that his note made someone upset and that was why his message was removed.

THIS appeared on the corkboard the very next day.

"Spirit of jest." "Good natured comedy." Mother fucker, what color is the sky in your world?!

Good natured comedy is a sympathetic grin and a mild nudge of "So I hear you forgot to turn it on, huh?" Not... that. And then the knee jerk.... passive agressive? or just aggressive? I know it's only a note, but that doesn't seem all that passive.... response to someone becoming offended.

Keep in mind, this is Lemkil.The man who behaved in a violent manner toward objects and carts, who snarled at me when I called him out on his behavior, and who has (since then) screamed 10 F-Bombs at me in the span of two minutes because HE accepted a massive amount of sports items at the door. We were not supposed to accept them for a while because there was no room, and when I reminded him... F-Bombs leveled the city.

Missy is leaving. Maybe Lemkil is mentally incapable of handling the fact that the management is changing and is acting out in some way? (This dude is in his 40's or more, so Jesus fuck, how do you get to be that age without learning how to handle change?) Maybe Lemkil doesn't want to work here under new management and is hoping to be canned, rather than take it upon himself to find another job? Maybe this is some ass-backwards way of 'punishing' Missy for leaving, by trying to force her to have to deal with him before she goes?

I just... I don't understand this... I mean, I agree that it sucks that Missy is leaving (on the 15th no less, still no idea who the new manager is...) but there are WAY better ways to handle this, even if you just want to quit.

I'll tell you one thing... if all that commentary was truthful about planning to be harsh and 'professional' to employees, and that he will be actively hunting us all down for the slightest infraction, every fucking employee will either kill him and bury the body in the field out back, or simply leave the job on the spot.

Pray for us, RHU.

--Puppies In Prada