RHU Advice: How To Handle Neighborhood Complaints?


Carolanne hairlessFrom: Janitorgirl

Hello, it's Janitorgirl. A lot of the details of this story will reveal where I work, but this story needs to be told.

I live across the street from the Bullseye location I work at. The building was empty for over 5 years before the city allowed them in; the neighborhood should be grateful, but no. MY neighbors protested it. I wanted to yell, "My grandma owns the building across the street! My family has lived here since 1960!"

Anyway today, after 2 years, the shit hit the fan. We got hit with a "noise ordnance" no delivery trucks between 10 pm and 7 am. Why is this an issue? As I learned on my over night black friday shift grocery gets their one mega truck (all frozen food, all refrigerated food, all produce) at around 1 am. Now they have to get it at 7 am. We open at 7 am.

See the issue? Overnight grocery (which is 5-7 people) was left with nothing to do, while day time grocery (only 2 people start at 7) was in way over their heads. Managers pulled over a dozen people from other departments just so grocery could keep their heads above water.

As a janitor this is not my problem -but It makes me sick. My neighbors did this. My co-workers don't deserve this.

I hope someone will reply with an idea of anything I can do. I'm a resident of the neighborhood, the same as the protesters and I know there are others who also live with in 2 blocks of the store.

Thank you for your time,

May all your custy's be sane (and not impede your store's functions).



Toxic Managers: Advice For A Rock And A Hard Place Situation


Carolanne naughty 3My first attempt at a submission to RHU.

I suppose a good name for me now would be Desk Jockey. I finally escaped the hell of retail and food service after about 15 years. I've been a reader here for a long time, and decided it's time to share a few of my stories from my retail days.

I'd like to talk about the horrible management set up for a particular discount store, a "Big" store known for "Lots" of sales. I spent two years working in their furniture department.

My direct manager was awesome, and I have no complaints about him. Easy to get along with, laid back, amusingly sarcastic sense of humor. The problem was the way the whole management worked at this company. Furniture is it's own section, we shared a location, but as far as management goes, I was only supposed to answer to the Furniture manager, the general store management had only marginal authority over our department, and we were supposed to be left to do our own thing. I'm sure you see how "marginal authority" could cause problems.

The general store manager figured out pretty quick that if the furniture manager wasn't in, he could pull the furniture employees out to do duties for the regular store. He didn't want to send one of his cashiers out to get carts, he'd made me do it. He had seasonal or holiday signs he needed to put up, get a furniture guy to do it. We normally only had 1 person in the furniture department at any given time, and most days our manager set tasks he needed done and left us a list when he went home for the day.

New delivery needs organized in the back, or a floor model needs put together, or the section needs dusted/reorganized, we'd have a list of things that we needed accomplished by end of day. So, the whole system puts you in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Store manager calls me out to hang those ridiculous ceiling hanging signs over the whole store, then I'm set to get written up in the morning for not getting the three new floor models put together. If I tell the general manager I can't hang the signs up, I get written up for insubordination.

What the hell are you supposed to do in a situation like that?

--Desk Jockey


Sales Agent Guy's Holiday Shopping Rules of Engagement


Skullies chug  4From: Sales Agent Guy

Stock the fridge with Mountain Dew,
Keeps me calm, it's strange but true,
Holiday hell makes me need it,
Because of crusties full of shit,

How was that for a suitable Christmas carol? OK, I'm not the best at writing Christmas carol parodies.  I'm known for making reports from the world of retail hell.  And if the Mountain Dew bit didn't clue you in, it's time for another report from Sales Agent Guy himself!

OK, this time isn't a report per se, but rather a list of holiday shopping Rules of Engagement from the agent who knows it like nothing else! This was inspired by the list of crusty quotes that we get to vote on, and that inspired me to give out the Rules of Engagement when holiday shopping.  Because retail is bad enough for us retail agents as it stands, but when the holidays come around... oh... just... where's my Mountain Dew?

Ahh, that's better! Now then, allow me to provide the basic Rules of Engagement so that you, too, do not become a crusty:

-Don't ask them if they have any more when they've clearly told you they're sold out!
Seriously, this isn't like the storeroom at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark! If they tell you that they're sold out, then they're sold out! Don't bother them to look for more in the back, especially when they claim that they have no more in the back.  And don't ask them to double-check either, because odds are you're not the first and won't be the last!

-Know the store hours beforehand and don't keep them from closing!
If a store's only open until 9:00 PM, then don't call them and say you're going to be right down.  Odds are it can wait until the next day! And don't come in at the last minute and say you're only going to be a few minutes.  Especially since that means you're going to take your time looking for things.  Instead, just come back the next day! Give those poor retail slaves a chance to rest!

Xmas2009 072-Wait your turn and don't badger the staff!
If you're old enough to go shopping on your own, then you've obviously graduated from kindergarten, where you were taught to wait in line patiently and wait your damn turn! Don't try to cut in front of other people or badger staff to open another register.  And for the love of all humanity, DON'T try to argue you only have one item and that they should let you go ahead.  Odds are you're going to pay with a bunch of coins which is going to make everyone more miserable! Seriously, all coiners should get a TON of small rocks of coal in their stocking!

I know this wasn't part of the quotes, but it bears mentioning.  If your hellspawn is tired or hungry, then don't just let them scream all the time.  Do something about it! And for the love of Thrognar, DON'T just let them run around making a mess of the store! If I had my way, I'd make you clean it up and then kick you out!

For the record, our store doesn't do gift receipts except with official store gift cards.  So I can understand if you want separate receipts.  But don't come up with like 20 Visa Gift cards and insist all of them be paid for separately because you need separate receipts! For one, we can write the amount on the back, and two, if there's a problem, you can't return it to us, you have to call the number on the back!

Let's get one thing straight, I am a fan of How The Grinch Stole Christmas, but I am NOT one.  Nor are my fellow agents in the field, nor are the retail slaves everywhere else.  If they tell you they're sold out, then they didn't ruin your Christmas.  YOU did, because you were stupid enough to wait until the last minute to go shopping! Next time, buy in advance!

-Most of all, try to realize we are NOT your stress toys!
We know that the holidays are stressful, but don't take it out on us! Don't yell at us or rush us just because you're stressed out.  Don't throw the money at us or get huffy when we ask to see your credit card.  And for all humanity's sake, DON'T use profanity! This is the celebration of the birth of... Oh, what's the use? Point is, DON'T SWEAR PLEASE!

-Don't blame us for your inability to pay!
If your credit card is saying it's declined, it's not going to tell us if there's a problem with the card or if you've reached your daily limit.  More often than not, it just says it was declined.  Don't ask us to figure out why, because we have no way of knowing.  And you can claim that you have plenty of money in your bank account or available to charge, but that doesn't mean a thing if it says it's declined! Maybe I'll try it again, but if it keeps saying declined, you have two options: Find another way to pay or come back another time.  Oh, and if we tell you there's a limit on sale items, don't try to trick us or create loopholes.  It won't work!

All right, I think I've covered everything.  Now to go enjoy an ice cold Mountain Dew while praying that my sanity remains with me throughout the remainder of the holiday season!

For now, may all your crusties follow the Holiday Shopping ROE!

--Sales Agent Guy


Buying A Haunted House: How Will You Know Beforehand?


JasonmoonIf you're in the home buying market and have your eye on a certain house, you probably want to know whether plates tend to fly around the kitchen, a bloodstain reappears nightly on the staircase, or houseguests have been know to flee the back bedroom screaming, right? But you aren't likely to see the word "haunted" in any home-listing advertisements. (A few people might be fascinated by the prospect of buying a haunted house, but real estate marketers don't yet consider spectral activity to be as big a crowd-pleaser as, say, granite countertops or a remodeled master bathroom.)

No matter what you believe about ghosts and the afterlife, it seems like some houses just have a lot more odd, unexplained activity than others. And such activity seems to ramp up at night, just when you're trying to get some shut-eye. So how would you find out about any such propensities in a house you'd like to buy?

Step one is to check the seller's disclosures. Most U.S. states require sellers to fill out a standard form, revealing what they know about the property's physical condition. No, you're not likely to see a "haunted" box ready to be checked off on any state's disclosure form. Nevertheless, sellers are, in many states, obligated to disclose things that affect a house's marketability, which the oddities described above certainly could. Smart sellers would describe exactly what they've observed, without drawing conclusions.

Carolanne freaked 2Another useful step is to ask the neighbors what they know about the house. It's best to start generally, of course, with open-ended questions like, "Do you think that house would be a desirable place to live?" or "What can you tell me about the house's history?"

A Google or other Internet search may also turn up relevant information. Too bad Jeffrey Stambovsky didn't do a little Web-surfing before he bought a turreted turn-of-the-century Victorian in Nyack, New York in 1990. Being from New York City, Stambovsky wasn't familiar with local legends, and the seller hadn't disclosed to him that the lovely riverfront home came with its own family of Caspers. According to reports by the previous owner, Mrs. Helen Ackley:

  • The ghosts periodically left gifts of baby rings for the owner's grandchildren (and then took them back).
  • One ghost woke the owner's daughter every morning by shaking her bed (until the girl loudly informed the poltergeists that she wanted to sleep in because it was spring break).
  • While she was painting the home, Mrs. Ackley (according to what she told The New York Times) saw a ghost, sitting in midair, rocking and back forth. "I was on an 8-foot stepladder. I asked if he approved of what we were doing to the house, if the colors were to his liking. He smiled and he nodded his head."
  • Another ghost was a Navy lieutenant during the American Revolution who confronted the owner's son "eyeball to eyeball outside the basement door."

Freddy Holy CrapOnce Stambovsky got wind of all this, he wanted out of the purchase. He took the seller and real estate agent to court, claiming fraudulent misrepresentation. The lower court was not sympathetic and ruled that the seller and agent had no obligation to disclose ghostly presences. But a New York appellate court made the astonishing ruling that the house was haunted:

"Whether the source of the spectral apparitions seen by defendant seller are parapsychic or psychogenic, having reported their presence in both a national publication (Readers' Digest) and the local press (in 1977 and 1982, respectively), defendant is estopped to deny their existence and, as a matter of law, the house is haunted."

Apparently the seller had sold her story to Reader's Digest for $3,000 and made a "verified" claim to the magazine that the house was haunted. As one contract lawyer pointed out, "If the seller now claimed in the litigation that the house wasn't haunted, the seller would have been caught in a $3,000 lie to Reader's Digest."

Stambovsky was allowed to back out of the $650,000 purchase. But don't feel too bad for the sellers. Once word got out that the house was legally haunted, a new group of buyers were attracted to the property, including the well-known mentalist, The Amazing Kreskin.

via www.nolo.com



RHU Advice: Is It Legal For Costco To Search Their Customer's Shopping Bags?



From an RHuer:

I was at Costco shopping with my mother and nephew, checking the store out to see if I might want to get a membership myself. We went up to the checkout and my nephew went over to look at the display of Christmas lights. I had left my purple bag in the cart with the big items and the bag had my name on it. I was keeping an eye on my nephew and when I looked back, the male individual who was boxing the order up had his hands in my bag, digging through it. He pulled out an amiibo character that I had forgotten was in there, something that had been delivered to my parents' address since I am in the process of moving and that my mother had given to me while we were all eating together. When I asked him about it, he said he was just making sure. I have never felt so humiliated and angry in my life and this happened at least a week and a half ago. Needless to say, I will not be getting a membership there.

My question is, do I have any leg to stand on legal wise? Can an employee do something like searching your bag without even asking you? I admit that I shouldn't have left it in my bag, but the store doesn't even carry amiibo characters and I had honestly forgotten.



Bad Parents: RHUer Asks For Advice On How To Help If Someone Is Beating A Child In Public


Carolanne omgFrom: Katie

Working on register, I witnessed a man beat his daughter.

The girl was standing across the aisle, looking at gum. I heard him say her name and when she didn't immediately move, he grabs her by her ponytail, threw her against the counter, and when she fell, he kicked her.

When she tried to get back up, he punched her and kicked her again. All the while yelling at her to "listen when I talk to you!"

I came out from behind the counter. got between him and the girl and told him if he laid another hand on her, he'd have to go through me.

At this point a manager arrived on the scene, and I was taken to the back room.

I was told that I was not allowed to interfere, and that because of me, the child would probably get a worse beating when she got home! I was made to feel that if that child got hurt, or worse, killed by her father, that it would be MY fault for interfering!

I couldn't just stand there! They never directly threatened my job, but they made me feel REALLY bad for doing something! I never heard any more about it after that, so I don't know if I was actually "formally" written up or anything.

How can a worker help in such a situation?