Holiday Hell: Mom Spoils Christmas Herself


C1From Online Retail Hellion, December, 2009:

Working for an online-only retailer may not have the piggy messes to clean up at the end of the day (and I have worked that terror before), but it does have the wonderful combination of everything else retail related, with the added bonus of phone-based customer service, where customers can be even more abusive because you are only a faceless voice on the other end of the line.

With the holidays here again, I thought I'd share my favorite holiday story from working online retail. This story happened to a former coworker:

The setup: It's 5 days before Christmas, delivery companies worldwide are in overdrive trying to get people's stuff delivered on time. Delays inevitably develop (last year we had to deal with an entire 'brown' delivery truck full of our stuff catching fire, burning all the presents inside inside to slag. Really!).

My coworker "Dan" gets a call from a customer who had just checked the shipping company's website, and found that her son's XBox 360 wouldn't be delivered until December 26th. Therefore, since we were the company she had handed the money to, she called us to bitch. Though we had handed the XBox to the shipper in plenty of time to get it to her (it f-ing left the warehouse the day she ordered it), delays in the shipper's overloaded system had caused the package to be bumped to the day after Christmas. But, it was, of course, all our fault.

"You've ruined my son's Christmas!" she screamed so loudly that I, a few desks down, could hear her. "I want you to personally tell my son that his present isn't going to get here on time, and that he's not going to have a present under the tree on Christmas morning!"

SkullysantaDan stammered, tried to reason with her, but it was too late, the child was on the phone.

"Hello?" a voice said, sounding about 12 years old.

"Hey there buddy," Dan said, as upbeat as possible, "I'm really sorry, but your XBox 360 isn't going to get there until the day after Christmas."

"I'm getting an XBOX 360?!" the boy yelled, exploding with excitement.

"Yeah, but it's not going to be there until the day after Christmas." says Dan.

"I don't care! I'm getting an XBox!!" the boy shouted, and handed the phone back to his mother.
Shouts of "Yes! Woohoo!" could be heard in the background as the mother mumbled something about "Yeah, well, it better show up..." and hung up.

--Online Retail Hellion


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Retail Hell Memories: Crazy Custy Attempts to Manage Video Store



From DV-DIVA, January, 2011, right before all the video stores closed:

There is a custy whom I have had the "pleasure" to serve in two different stores now.

I've worked in a total of four stores over the several years I've been employed with my company. His name is John. (Name changed to protect the ignorant.)

John is special. And by special, I mean...certifiable. At my original store, he would frequently bring my employees half a ream of computer paper printed up with information on alien abduction.

No one ever asked him for this information, I think it was more like John felt that he was providing them a service.

What he was actually providing was a good amount of scratch paper for our office.

My distaste for John and his eccentricities began when he came in to return a copy of "Hairspray" that he had rented.

We had the following conversation:

Me: *Generally tolerant of him at this point, but knowing he wasn't all there* "How'd you like the movie, John?"

John: "I found it to be disturbing, and totally without any sense of reality whatsoever."

Me: *Blinks* "I's just a fun musical, really...I guess I can understand people thinking it's disturbing though."

CRAZYCUSTYS4John: "What disturbed me most is that the obese young woman found love with the good looking young man."

He eyes me up and down as I stand there slack-jawed. I, myself, am overweight. An important detail at this point.

John: "Honestly...Do YOU ever expect to find love?"

From that moment on, my feelings toward John and his eccentricities revolve around the various parts of his anatomy that he can stick them in. I'm only as polite to him as my job dictates that I must be.

This past week though, he took the cake...

He came in, complaining that the new store I'm in is too far away. Since the original store closed down a year ago, he now has a further distance to travel in order to get his movies and hand out his alien abduction books.

John depends solely on public transportation, and the bus stop is too far away for him to walk from it to our store. This is upsetting to John. But John has come up with a plan. He comes into the store, and asks to speak with me. 

I go over, and he lets me know that he has decided that he's going to ask us to set aside a couple hours a week for an employee to go to his house, pick him up, bring him to the store, allow him to pick out his movies, and then take him back home.

I could barely stand there and keep a straight face while he laid this plan out.

Of course, I told him that this wasn't a possibility, and he attempted to argue with me, but I stood my ground.

The impromptu staffing meeting he was holding ended with him telling me that this would be the LAST time he ever came to our store, because we were unreasonable, and more interested in the interests of "Big Brother" than in the well-being of our customers.

Now that I think about it...I should have told him to ask one of his alien buddies for a ride.

Apparently, they like picking people up.



 for more Retail Hell Memories go here

and checkout more crazy custy here...

We do also have a category for Video Store Hell here  (doesn't have a lot in it, but there are few more tales from DV-Diva!)






Closing Time Nightmares: A Collection of Really Bad Ones



From Harry, July, 2011:

I was ringing up a customer on July 4th three minutes after close and she was up to 50-something dollars worth of clearance shit when Douche and Douchette (40 year olds trying to be 17 kind of deal)  walk in and walk right past my manager who politely explains to them we are closed. They say 'whatever' and saunter around my store.

They complain about our cheap shitty earrings and how they'll turn Douche's ears green. Whatever, fuck them. The lady I'm ringing runs off to grab one more thing and Douche and Douchette throws a pair of five dollar earrings on the counter amid the pile of stuff from the other lady.

I can't pause a transaction and go onto a new one and I'm certainly not going to cancel out 50-something dollars worth of stuff that I just spent the last five minutes ringing up.

I explain to him that I will be with him in just one moment. Douchette goes 'wow' really loud and Douche is like 'I know, fucking everyone's gotta be rude cause they're closed.'


I couldn't even respond. And my manager just blinked, as dumbfounded as I was. They left in a huff and the lady, who, though was making us late to close, was pretty nice, was like "You aren't rude. He just needed an excuse not to buy those earrings for his girl."

Anyone wanna share some bad closing time stories?

[Read them all here]



for more Closing Time Nightmare tales go here






Retail Hell Memories: Ilia - When A Company Runs On D-GAS


This story was originally posted on August 24, 2011


ILIA1What's D-GAS?

Don't Give A Shit.

Bookstore Slave again with a story from the days when she was a Scrubs Slave.

This job lasted about 9 months, and those months astounded me. It was a small in-mall store tucked in a distant corner. This is a long one so please forgive me. It is all important.

On my very first day on the job (literally, my interviewer told me to appear on Wednesday for my first day of work), the two employees looked at me, looked at each other and said that the one manager in the store, also my interviewer, had quit on Monday. Fascinating, because I had called Monday morning and she had confirmed my start date.

My paperwork hadn't been processed. I was not in the system. The employees were muddling along as best they could with no manager, because calls to the nearest store a few cities away resulted in nothing. With some effort, we got me input to the best of our understanding.

Training consisted of whatever my fellow employees could teach me on the fly. Well, I got folding done fine. I could do cashier work just fine. I could close out the till, take it to the deposit ATM and lock down the store. Cool. Awesome. Bare minimum knowledge, but heck, it kept the place running. On Sunday I learned the process of submitting hours. Awesome. Paycheck on the way, right? Nope. Read on, and abandon all hope.

Turns out I was employee number 5 for the whole place, which, granted, is small enough that we can handle it. Joy. Well, we're all manager-less, our calls to the nearest authority figure are still being ignored or forgotten, and we're all just being one tight knit co-worker community because, damn it, we're all that's there.

With phone calls and a pow wow, we figure out our own scheduling, breaks and coverage needs. We, the untrained minions, have figured out how to keep everyone's breaks covered while juggling availability. Let's hear a round of applause for the poor untrained slaves.

Carolanne boobsSo why did Manager 1 leave? Because she discovered that the company planned on firing her for "Stealing." Now keep this in mind because it's important.

Two weeks go by, no paycheck. A call to the nearest store results in a "I'll get right on it." Translation: Shut the fuck up, you're being ignored already.

1 month, no paycheck, the General Manager appears on a routine tour of the store, and I bring up that my paycheck hasn't come in yet. A quick and simple fix reveals an un-dotted i or an uncrossed t somewhere in the system, the hours are submitted and I get all my missing pay promptly from there on out.

Two months later, we get a note, Employee 2 is Manager through internal promotion. No manager training results.

One month later, Employee 2 quits. Why? "Stealing."

Employee/Manager 3, rinse lather repeat. Quits before being fired for "stealing." See a mysterious trend? I can vouch for 4/5 days closing till with all of these managers that the till was never off by more than a few pennies, and that was usually over due to declined pennies.

By now we have two complete newbies that we had to hire because, well, our ranks were dwindling. We are struggling to train through osmosis, essentially.

Technical difficulty #1. A pipe cracks in the ceiling, resulting in frantic store rearrangement, a plastic bin being dumped out on the floor and placed under the crack. We place a call to the mall repair who could hear the pattering of water and sent a repair man right away. Problem fixed. Simple, relatively painless.

Technical difficulty #2. The fluorescent lights start going out. A call again results in a veiled STFU from Useless Manager. No way to contact the General Manager and not a problem important enough to pass on to her from UM. The light gets progressively dimmer in our store as they go out one by one.

Eventually customers start having to change in the dim stalls, coming out and using a mirror outside because they can barely see for shit.

When a customer (surprisingly they were all at abnormal levels of being patient and understanding) FINALLY sought to complain, I said "Please do!"

Cue shocked expression.

Coworker: I think you broke the customer."

Customer was sent with an itemized list of complaints and the only phone number we could offer, which was, sadly UM's number. I can only assume the customer complaint was shunted like everything else.

Nasty Ass ThievesFast Forward to 5 months into my job. GM comes wandering in, looks around and goes "Good lord, it's dark in here."

I bit my tongue till it nearly bled to hold back a loud and emphatic "DURRRRRP!" What followed is a brisk lesson in ordering and installing the lights (the mall told us it was OUR problem to replace the lights) and how to receive shipments (because we had no idea where the doohickey to scan new shit was or how to work it so we were forced to just open the boxes and put it out to keep the shelves from going bare.

No Inventory correction was done.

We lost an employee shortly after that due to school.

So. New employee. Now our tight knit community has been surviving on mutual support, so not only did we work together as best we could, but we also assisted one another for transportation and covering breaks.

However, this new girl never got the memo. This was a real, honest to god Thief.

Another employee was a single mom with five kids. Having no one to take care of all of the kids all the time, Single Mom would bring her eldest in occasionally so she could keep an eye on him. Now this was an angel, not a hellspawn. He helped out around the store, listened to mom, helped shelve scrubs that we folded and all around acted like the kind of kid you almost never meet in the retail business. Again, keep this in mind, as the following paragraphs will reveal important info.

The first clue was money disappearing from MY purse, and Thief with a cheap meal at a mall store, after complaining that she was starving and had no money. "No I meant that I didn't have any money for TOMORROW." mmmhmmm...

Once again, a complaint was ignored. "It's not [company's] responsibility to handle employees stealing from one another." Still no contact information to the GM despite us asking for it when she had been here.

So, I took a trip to Wally World, bought a toolbox and a padlock, and locked my stuff inside. Later that same day, Single Mom confronts me, saying that Thief said that I was locking my stuff up because HER KID was suspected of stealing. WHAT?!

I had to straighten it all out, touting her kid as a wonderful helper and that I would have hired HIM if he'd been of age. I had to explain that Thief had taken money from my purse while she was the only one in the back room and the kid had never left anyone's eyesight except to trot across the hall for the public bathroom.

After my purse had to be locked up, the till suddenly became exactly $5 short every time Thief worked. Every. Goddamn. Time. UM acted all concerned when we reported the till being stolen from, which was ultimately the COMPANY'S fucking money, but if you've noticed the trend, you know what was done about it for two whole weeks. That's right. abso-fucking-lutely nothing.

Jason beerOn the plus side, we got a hallelujah from the back room, because GM's number was magically unearthed in some mysterious corner under a bunch of product boxes. Thief was promptly fired. Our lack of manager was FINALLY noticed and we got a brand spanking new manager, who I'll call Racist Bitch (you'll see why). Now she was not Caucasian, something that would normally not bother me. Over the course of working here, we had workers of all colors, and I got along with all of them save for Thief.

Now RB decided that the store needed to be whipped into shape and proceeded to do so.

Her: "Now I know you all know what you should be doing so I don't see why you haven't been working according to company standards."

Us: "Um..."

Her: "I know you read the handbook."

Us: "Handbook?"

Her: "This."

She pulls out a key, unlocks a drawer that has been locked and inaccessible since I started and pulls out company handbooks, which should have been part of the hiring process.

Cue blank stare.

Her: "And you should have seen the company video."

Blank stare, then I say: "How?"

We do not have a tv or a vcr except for a recordable vhs collection and a monitor, which are part of the bloody security system that we use... mystery of mysteries... to record security tapes 24/7.

Sooo, we are all "trained" by a "proper" manager, who had to eject the security tape and play the company video on the monitor.

My hours, despite having no other job or school at the time were suddenly reduced to 4 hours each for three days a week. The math resulted in paying more for gas than I got in a paycheck every week. The reason? "It's a competition now. If you want more hours, you all need to work harder in order to earn them." She even wrote me up for not working harder, which served as an excuse for termination if I dared made a stink about it.

Yeaaaah fuck you.

1) I am the only employee whose hours were reduced right now, instead of balancing according to store needs.

2) I'm not working harder for less hours because YOU reduced them.

Skullies RHU3) I worked my ass off for the 8 months BEFORE you ever came to this store, and

4) I helped save this store's ASS not only in money but in manpower to keep this fucker from shutting down completely.

I gave up and quit after only a month of her presence. Passing by on a later date, I glanced in and saw that all of the former employees had been replaced. Running into another former co-worker, I found that Racist Bitch had served everyone the same treatment "work harder if you want more hours" and then writing them up so that it was documented that she had "made an effort to correct the behavior."

All the while, she had been cutting back on hours until the employes had to find other employment to pay their bills. Each and every employee that replaced the hardworking mini community was hand picked by RB, and each and every one of them was the same ethnicity as she was.

5 years later, RB was STILL manager, and over the course of time, every single employee in that store has only ever been one particular ethnicity.

The Useless Manager was useless, the GM only ever did the bare minimum she could get away with and it took them 8 damn months just to hire a new manager for the store, resulting in my leaving the company after 9.

Complete and total D-GAS.

--Bookstore Slave


Read more Bookstore Slave / Ilia stories here!


Retail Hell Memories: Rude Customers - Spitballs


Sisu 2From Pharmacy Psycho

I started this story in "The Rudest Thing a Customer has Ever Done to Me"...

I originally got the job at Hardee's (that's Carl's Jr. on the west coast) working the night shift to pay for my hobby of showing dogs. (Don't let anyone fool you into thinking you will make money breeding dogs. It's really quite the opposite!) I was working nights because I had 2 young daughters, my husband worked days and I had weekends off to show. It was a really nice arrangement for me.

As I was saying, I had been in a car wreck, had hit my head on the steering wheel (yes, I always wear a seatbelt), and was experiencing headaches afterwards. Normally we were required to eat in the small break room in the back, but because it was January and very slow, my terrific manager said I could take my drink out to the dining room where it was quiet. At that time, there were no customers in the restaurant.

About half-way through my dinner break, four guys come in that are in their late teens or early 20's. Definitely out of high school and definitely troublemakers. They ordered their meals, and out of the whole restaurant, they decided to pick a table two down from me. If my visor hadn't been on the table, they wouldn't have known I worked there since I had my coat on.

I was being very still and very quiet just trying to get through my dinner break so that my head would stop pounding. It was really hurting (I had never had a migraine before, so I didn't realize what I was experiencing). A minute later, a spitball skitters across the table and lands under my crossed arms. SHIT! I couldn't believe it!

The guys were all snickering and thinking they were funny, and I was hoping that was the end of it, but it wasn't. Another one landed in my HAIR! Okay... now I was pissed. Growing up, I had been teased a lot in school because my brother was "different", and here I was in my late 20's and I was just too fucking old for this, and so were they. I decided that if it happened one more time, I was going to have to say something... SPLAT! They nailed me right at the top of my head, and broke up laughing... that was it, I'd HAD IT!

Balls award5Before I could stop myself, my almost-full, LARGE cup of Diet Coke ended up in the lap of the prime offender! OH SHIT! There went my job. The guy of course was all indignant...


Me: "Maybe I don't like having spitballs shot at me?"

Him: "What spitballs? I'm going to report you!"

Me: "Go ahead, Asshole!"

Him (to manager): "Look what she did to me!"

Me: "He was shooting spitballs at me!"

Him: "I was not!"

Me (holds out handful of spitballs)

Manager: "GET OUT!"

Him: "I'm calling your boss!"

Manager: "Go ahead. Want his number?"

Manager (to me): "True, I know those guys are trouble-makers and if you had to hit one, you hit the right one. But it does make us look bad when you do things like that."

Me: "Sorry. I have a headache and I don't like being abused."

Manager: "They won't call. And even if they did, I would back you up 100%."

Sadly, I had to quit my job a week later due to the headaches, and even ended up selling off my dogs. I still suffer from migraines to this day (20 years later). My manager died in a car accident a year later herself, and that was hard for me. She wasn't wearing her seatbelt. She told me she was saved by not wearing it one time so she never believed in them again.

--Pharmacy Psycho


Dumbass Customers: I'm Allergic To Nuts But I'll Be Okay



From Just Jay, April, 2010

'sup, all!

This is the tale of me, the customer and the poppyseed friand that took place yesterday.

Custy: Does that chocolate have nuts in it? *points*

(Note: I am well prepared for this question because people are stupid and don't know how to protect themselves in order to avoid having an allergic reaction and I'll be damned if it's on my head)

Me: It does not have nut chunks as part of its flavor, but I cannot guarantee that any of our chocolates are completely free of nut traces.

Custy: *only hears the first part* That looks like a nice chocolate. Or maybe that one.

Custy's friend: It doesn't have nuts in it.

Me: Like I said, I cannot guarantee any of our chocolates don't have nut traces in them.

Custy: What about this cake? This orange and poppyseed thing? That doesn't have nuts in it right? It wouldn't.

Me: *deep breath, count to five* Ladies, I cannot guarantee that ANY of our food products do not have nuts or nut traces in them. Do you have an allergy, madam?

Custy: Yes.

Carolanne argh 3Me: Then I have to tell you, it's entirely possible that everything in this shop possesses either traces of nuts or has been in contact with products or utensils that had nuts involved somehow.

Custy: Unbelievable.

Me: *blank stare*

Custy: I'll get the poppyseed thing.

Custy's friend: But it's got nuts.

Custy: It should be fine.

Custy's friend: Well, you can just try a bit and see how you go.

Me: *mentally rewinding trying to make sure I've covered everything before I give her the friend of anaphylactic doom*

Custy: Do you get that question a lot?

Me: Not as often as you'd think (It's true in the two and a half years I've worked there I've only been asked about three times.)

Custy sits down with friend and I look over a moment later to see her tucking into her 'poppy seed thing.' I turn to a co-worker who had watched the whole thing.

Me: There's a certain part of me that wants her to have a reaction.

Co-worker: *gigglesnort*

Seriously, It is not my job to police your health. It is no one's job to do that but your own, or your caretaker/guardian.

Peace Out,

--Just Jay


Read more Dumbass Customers stories here!