Thrift Store Hell: Old Lady Tries To Give Commands


OLD-PEOPLE-HELLFrom Puppies In Prada

Donation door time! The door wasn't really that bad on this day. I had five people, and they all wanted to donate the maximum amount we could take from a car in a day. Annoying, but tolerable. I called for assistance in processing it and got it. Awesome.

Scotty comes down at five minutes to the end of the hour, when we had a moment of quiet. He's next hour's door shift.

A car pulls in, and an old lady hops out of her car really fast. She sprints to the back of her car, grabs something and puts it by our door. We open the door and find  one of those covered cat litter boxes.

Scotty: "Hey ma'am, I'm sorry, but we can't take litter boxes."

He bends down to pick it up and the top comes RIGHT OFF. There are three inches of used cat sand in the bottom. Holy mother of Thrognar I can SMELL the cat piss.

Old woman: "Well I can't take it with me."

Me: "Well you're going to have to, because we cannot accept this. We don't take in anything that has been exposed to feces or urine."


My god she's telling us we have to take something we can't take like she's a scolding mother to a stubborn child. HELL NO lady!

Carolanne 003Me: "No. No we're not."

I pick up the cat litter box and put it right back into the back of her car.

Me: "YOU brought it here, so YOU are going to find another place for it. We will not accept this."

Old woman is old woman angry now.

Old woman: "What if I dumped the cat sand out of it first!? Will you take it then?"

Me: "No ma'am, it will have still been exposed to cat feces."

And also, she's the kind of person who will just walk to the edge of our parking lot and just upend it there... I can see it in her eyes. Nope. Nope. Nope. Just... Nope.

She looks furious, but both Scotty and I are standing in the doorway watching her. There's no way for her to just dump it and run without us interfering.

After she drives off...

Me: "...We're 'just going to HAVE to take it'? Okay, I know she's a woman but... the BALLS on that lady, man..."

Scotty: "I'm REALLY going to have to step up on getting work done on my doomsday device...."

What's that you say? Did I wash my hands a thousand times after picking that thing up?

Why, yes!

Yes I did!

--Puppies In Prada


Thrift Store Hell: Return Of Cancer Lady, Plus Family


Carolanne cigar 1From Puppies In Prada

Oh. My. God. Y'all. Cancer Lady is still up to her shenanigans.

So mini background, I usually bring a load of items to the registers, even when I'm not assigned to the registers, to price stuff and get it on the floor from a convenient spot. Usually this means that in exchange for taking up back counter space, I follow the unspoken rule of helping out by answering the phone and/or assisting additional customers.

Wellp, Cancer Lady appears while the other two register jockeys are busy. She wants to look at jewelry.

Sigh. Okay.

I'm showing her tray after tray of earrings while she stares at them, fiddles with them, and puts them back.

Cancer Lady, holding up a pair of earrings: "Oh yes I'll take these. They're just amazing and funky and just slutty enough for me."

Cue tire screeching sound effect. I think my brain just slammed into a wall. Ow.

Me: "Errr, okay. You said it... not me..."

Cancer Lady: "What?"

Me: "You just said they were slutty...."

Cancer Lady: "No I didn't! I said they're amazing, and funky and sleek enough for me."

Jason and thenNo. No you didn't. I did NOT mis-hear you. Eurgh.

Then one of the current Register Jockeys, whom I shall call Maria, gets freed up and comes over to take over.

Maria: "Want me to step in? I know you're trying to get stuff priced, and I can show her jewelry and let you get back to that."

Why yes, that would be great! I have a minor mountain that I'm trying to get on the floor to fill empty spots. I've also had enough of Cancer Lady being creepy, thanks.

I don't even get to open my mouth before...

Cancer Lady, loudly: "Oh don't make me have to put up with her! I don't like her!"

Maria: "..." *eye roll*

Me: "... Well then you're not going to like me either, sunshine."

Cancer Lady looks shocked and appalled. Shocked I say! And appalled! So appalled!

Cancer Lady: "You don't like me?!"

Me: "... Well you were just now incredibly rude to my coworker, you argue with us all the time, and you constantly try to get discounts, even though you know we don't do that."

You also spun a tale about maybe having cancer just so you could try to wrangle a discount out of us. And you called me a liar and heartless for not forking over said discount. And you and your mother are BOTH guilty of trying to switch tags to get something cheaper, though we can't PROVE it.... huh. Maybe I should compile an alphabetized list or something. I bet it would reach a spectacular length.

Cancer Lady: "Oh wow, so you all took my joking as serious."

Me, coldly: "Ma'am, we work in retail. Constantly asking for discounts when you know you can't have them, and arguing with us, is not a joke."

Freddy Choke JasonCancer Lady huffs and puffs and mutters, "Wow,' in a not-so-subtle way.

Maria stepped in and sent me back to my work, a tiny smile on her face.

Then another woman asks if she can look at the perfumes. I grab the key and go over.

Aaand it turns out she's Cancer Lady's sister. But I don't judge people by the people they're related to.

She checks out the bottles, smells them, tries a few, and eventually selects three.

Cancer Lady doesn't want to see any more jewelry. Instead, she is very loudly complaining to her brother-in-law, "AND SHE SAID SHE DIDN'T LIKE ME! TO MY FACE! IT'S LIKE, 'WOW FUCK YOU TOO!' YOU KNOW?!"

Brother in law is about as emotionless as he can get. He's doing that Pretending To Listen thing where he's turned out the white noise and is just nodding along. Even at the end of the counter I can actually see that that's what he's doing.

Her sister is doing that Pointedly Ignoring thing where she doesn't acknowledge that Cancer Lady even exists. I look over at Cancer Lady, cluck my tongue, look at her sister and go, "Huh. She's about as subtle as a brick to the face."

Sister: "You have NO idea..."

I feel a great swell of pity for these poor folks.

I bring the perfume over to the registers and start to ring up their purchases.

Regan Fuck youCancer Lady storms over with her purchases to Patricia, my lead, and loudly complains to her about how horrified and offended she is that I would be so callous as to say I don't like her.

I'm literally the next register over, not even three feet away. Both I and the Sister are doing the Pointedly Ignoring thing now, and I ring up the Sister.

Cancer Lady actually walks up to her Sister and loudly repeats what an awful person I am to not like her, which the Sister largely doesn't respond to other than to shruggingly say, "I know."

The Sister is very polite and nice to me. The model customer, in the face of her sister's ranting insanity.

The sister and her hubby evacuate like greased lightning, leaving Cancer Lady behind.

Cancer lady snatches up her purchases from Patricia and leaves.

After all was said and done, Patricia and another lead hesitantly ask me if I had really said I didn't like her. I relayed what actually happened and they both just nod and sigh.

To be fair, NONE of us like Cancer Lady.

--Puppies In Prada


Tales From The Thrift Store: Making A Dog Lover Happy


Carolanne and JasonFrom Puppies In Prada

I pull into the parking lot at work, and find myself next to a transport bus. Emblazoned on the side is "National Guard Youth."

Oh my. We're putting up Christmas stuff again, and once again, we have a bunch of buff guys on site moving heavy stuff.
Not that the entire female staff appreciates eye candy or anything. *ahem*

One young man is assigned to the Donation Door with me and a regular volunteer. We're sorting through stuff and a car pulls up to our drive through. I open the door and step outside to greet the woman as she climbs out of her car.

Behind me, I hear a familiar sound... It's that happy, inarticulate noise any dog lover will recognize. I glance over, and see that yes, the lady has an Australian Sheep Dog in her car, and a pair of mismatched eyes and a smiling doggie mouth are in the window. And the National Guard Youth has just stifled a 'squee' at the sight of him.

Jason hair

Alrighty then. I know how to make his day. :D

We accept her donations, and I ask her if her dog would like a treat. (I ask, because some dogs have allergies, or are on a strict diet, etc.) She says her dog would love one.

I fish a milk bone out of a cookie jar we keep by the back door, then casually ask the young man if he would like to give the dog the treat.

Why yes, yes he would! He takes the milk bone from me, trying very hard to seem casual. Then there's a man-shaped cloud of dust behind me and suddenly he's at the car, offering it to the dog... who of course accepts the yummy snack happily. I didn't even get the lid back on the cookie jar before he's over there.

After the woman drives off, he's the picture of dignified politeness... an image that is ruined by how happy his voice sounds. "Thank you, ma'am."

I hold back a small chuckle, "No problem."

I get to give treats to dogs all the time, whereas he was only there for part of one day. This was definitely as much a treat for him as it was for the dog.

--Puppies In Prada


Thrift Store Hell: Losing An Awesome Store Manager


Carolanne omg faceFrom Puppies In Prada

We got hit by some devastating news folks... I walked into work on my Monday, only to find out that Missy, our store manager, has turned in her 30 day notice. Some are contemplating dusting off the ol' resume, just in case. Some of us are hoping desperately that the Assistant Manager will take her place, as the AM is the second unicorn in our grove (aka a manager who supports the employees, not the customer).

Emotions are bounding from sorrow over losing Missy, to anxiety over whoever the replacement will be, to a kind of grim resignation and preparation for the worst.

As for me? *sigh* Well, I've basically been working here to pay for college. I'm part time, without benefits. I've known all along that no matter how much I love this job, it was always going to be temporary. That doesn't keep me from feeling the feels though... Missy has always retained her humanity and soul. She's in a position of authority, but she has always been approachable, relatable, and above all, reasonable and accommodating. I've known a freedom working for Missy that has never been anywhere else in any other job.

She lets us get away with a lot of things that no Corporate run store would ever put up with. We've essentially "trained" our customer base to be better customers, simply by drawing a line and not letting them cross it.

She puts us in charge of our department with full and complete governance over it. As long as the products move, and as long as we don't end up being a detriment to other departments, we can do as we please. Where other jobs will tell you to 'take ownership' of an area but give you no control, we can arrange our displays as we wish, and can request various display items from storage. If they'll fit in our area, and we have them available, they're ours to use as we please.

When my area experienced growing pains (my shelves were no longer adequate for the volume of stuff I was moving), Missy talked to me about whether I would like to use some of the stored shelving. My area got a makeover, and I was able to put out a minor metric crapton of stuff more than I had before. My department profits promptly hiked.

Ugh, it probably sounds dull to read all of that, but really, when you can do a good job, actually feel good about it, and know that what you're doing is meaningful, it's surprising how happy you can be shoveling used shoes and purses.

I will be working for the Animal Shelter Thrift store until the end of the year at least, whereas Missy will be gone sometime Mid October. I will have at least a few more months with whoever swaggers through our door.

Fingers crossed RHU, that whoever comes in won't destroy the team of people I work with.

--Puppies In Prada


Thrift Store Hell: Of course that bag you want to buy is just full of your own personal belongings!


Carolanne 030

From  u/foreverstubborn Tales From Retail:

So I worked at a thrift store about a year ago. It was a heavily regular-customer based store, and sketchy customers knew which cashiers were new and which ones were experienced. I had trained a new girl on the register, and she was running it just fine, so I let her be for a little bit. She called me up for help with a lady who wanted to buy a larger purse and our price tag had conveniently fallen off. We knew this lady, she always coincidentally fell in love with items whos tags had gone missing.

So I went up, informed the lady that I would take the purse back to our sorting/pricing room and have one of our sorters re-price it, and she handed the purse to me. It was clearly filled with something. She said, "Oh, I was making sure everything from my current purse would fit, nothing sketchy!" Right, ok. I smiled at her and said I'd be right back.

Got to the back room and we opened the purse. Surprise! Packs of underwear, several pairs of sunglasses, and a scarf are stuffed inside, all tagged. No personal belongings. We priced the purse, and I carried the previously concealed merchandise in one arm/hand and the purse on my other coming back to the floor.

The new cashier looked like she was trying to keep a straight face talking to the lady when she saw me coming, and when the lady turned around she was immediately feigning shock. I asked her "Would you like these? I found them inside it while we quality checked the interior". She said no, and mumbled something about how we probably didn't have to quality check the entire purse.

Amazingly, she whipped her wallet out of her own still-full purse to pay.

TL;DR: Lady assumes she can rip a tag off a purse for it to be re-priced cheaper with a new cashier, stuffs it with other merch she intends to steal, tries to convince employees that she tested putting her own belongings in it yet hands it off while it's still obviously stuffed (supposedly with personal valuables) and is surprised she is found out.