Retail Hell Memories: My last quitting time in retail



From Lee:

I was still an undergrad at college the last time I worked retail (ie,many years ago).  When I was working that job, eventually I met someone who offered me an undergrad research position at the university where I was a student.  As you might expect, I enthusiastically accepted that position as it was much more in line with my long-term aspirations than was working retail.

Eventually my last retail shift came along.  It was a 2-close shift, much like many that I had worked before.  My favorite manager was closing that night as well.  We had quite a bit of closing duties to do
after we chased out the last custies at 9pm that night.

However I found a moment after 9 to run into our shipping & receiving area, where amongst other things our shrink wrapping materials were kept.  Nobody was working that department after 7pm that night.  I quickly took off my work shirt (I had a regular, non-descript shirt on underneath), folded it nicely, and shrink-wrapped it.  Then I snuck the wrapped shirt to my manager's desk when nobody was watching, and went back to my closing duties (at the store where I worked it was not
unusual for employees to take off their work shirts for "street clothes" after 9 so they could more comfortably handle closing duties which often included moving pallets full of computers around).

Our manager then called us over to his desk before closing up that night.  He had a few standard words for us (including sales numbers for the day), and then he noticed the wrapped shirt on his desk.  He asked who did that, and then saw me fighting to hold back a smile.  He unwrapped the shirt, threw it back to me, and told me I could keep it. 



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Toxic Managers: The Boss Isn't Always Right but He is Always the Boss



 From Goober, July 2016, 

The original owner and founder of my present employer (now retired) is an entrepreneur, and a classic Type A personality. Hard driven, and demanding as hell, but as demanding of himself as anyone else, and under it all, a decent human being. (Only Type A I've ever known who, when confronted with evidence he'd made a mistake, would just say, "You're right, I'm wrong, now go fix it." Mind you, he'd never apologize, but he'd admit he was wrong.) Let's call him Bill (because that's not his name).

So, we had this store manager who made assholes smell like cinnamon flavored unicorn farts. If someone did something wrong, or sometimes if they did something right, he'd threaten to hold them down and fart on their head. (He never pulled that shit with - or around - me, despite me being his assistant at the time, because I'd been around longer, and got on well with corporate. If I'd complained, it would have been taken seriously, and the California Labor Board likes to drag employers out into the parking lot for public executions. I don't like office politics, but that's not the same as not knowing how to play the game.) Let's call him Fred.
Displays sell merchandise, and while Fred had the leadership skills of a child molester in front of an angry mob of peasants with pitchforks and torches, he knew retail, so we always had working displays of novelty merchandise, like singing fish (remember Big Mouth Billy Bass? I wish I could forget), and we sold the hell out of them. (This is why I have a pathological hatred of all merchandise that makes noise. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Homer Simpson Talking Beer Opener.) Well, this particular year, one of the hot Christmas items was a "singing Christmas frog." Basically, a frog plushie with a sound chip. Push the little switch embedded in its little paw, and it plays the melody from "Jingle Bells" using various croaking sounds for a minute or two. It was cute, once, mildly amusing about twice more, and caused blind, murderous rage after that. And they sold like hotcakes, because we had a display. It was on an endcap next to the cash registers (where better to put impulse items?), and there were about a hundred of them. Fred would, several times a day, walk by, hit the switch on _every single one_, and walk away. If looks could kill, there wasn't a single cashier who would have avoided prison. Fred was an asshole. And everybody knew it.
But he was a smart asshole, and knew that everybody knew it, so he was only around for a year or two before he found another job, and gave two weeks' notice. A day or two before his last day, the most memorable Fred event occurred.
RHSEPT 259It was an El Niño year, and it was the heart of Wet Summer (Southern California has three seasons: Summer, Wet Summer, and Road Construction. Some years, we skip Wet Summer, which is usually January or February). On this particular day, it was raining so hard we could barely see the cars in the parking lot. It's the end of the day, and Bill is heading home. He gets to the front door, and stops, perhaps to contemplate whether or not we had everything in stock that he'd need to build an ark, and Fred walks up to stand beside him for a moment of companionable silence. Then offers the following words of wisdom:

"You'll be OK. Turds float."

I was truly surprised he wasn't tossed out of the store on the spot, even if he did only have a day or so left. Bill had mellowed as he got older. Or maybe he'd gotten rich enough to have a sense of humor surgically implanted.


But speaking of Bill, there was the day that the store manager (not Fred) in the fishbowl (the store where the corporate office is) got a comment from a customer about an employee who smelled of alcohol. The manager, very concerned, asked which one, and the customer pointed out Bill. "Well, you see, he's the owner, so he's allowed to do that." Customer thought that was perfectly reasonable. (Bill is the sort of guy who is absolutely incapable of walking by a customer who wants to give us money, and not stopping to see if he can convince them to give us more, whether he had a shot before he headed home or not.)


Carolanne 020And then there's Abe. Abe has true leadership skills, and his people generally like and respect him. But he's one of those people who can't turn a computer on and off without help, and literally can't read an error message off a monitor screen in front of him because "I don't know anything about computers." (I know this from experience - multiple times) Completely helpless with computers. So he was transferred to a different store. The morning he took over, he tries to ring up a sale, and corporate had forgotten to add his logon to the new store. Phone call, complete panic, and I didn't have the security at the time to fix it. "Have a cashier sign in for you, and <guy who can fix it> will be here shortly." Civilization ending catastrophe averted. A little while later, the receipt printer runs out of paper, and we're in the middle of cash register upgrades, and he hasn't seen the new model before that day. Another phone call, complete panic again. "Have a cashier show you how, they've done it a hundred times." (The new printers, it's a matter of open the cover, drop in the paper, close the cover. No feeding paper through slots you can't see, like the old ones.) Catastrophe averted again.

The next morning, I get an email from a customer complimenting him by name on his customer service. (We get at least ten times as many complaints as compliments, so this is notable.) We need to make sure he has an assistant who is computer savvy, but there are reasons why we keep Abe around.



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From BasementRat, August, 2017:

A friend who is a docent for a large U.S. zoo often tells me about his fun encounters , both the animal and human kind. He is studying to be a large animal veterinarian. It is mostly outdoor work, which he enjoys and he has come to know the habits, likes and dislikes of the animals on exhibit.

Visitors to the zoo are many, especially on weekends. My friend enjoys speaking to tourists from all over the country and the world.

One day a group of about a dozen came up to the rhino enclosure. They were all wearing team sweatshirts from the University of Michigan. My friend was delighted to see them because he had gone to the school . He told them all about the rhinos and warned them to stay back from the fence because they have a habit of urinating in a wide arc. A hippo will fan his tail in a circular motion while in the water , a sort of cement mixing of their urine and excrement, while a rhino when urinating, will pretty much flood an entire area with pee.


After five minutes they said that the exhibit was lousy ,a waste of time and money. My friend told them that they are not trained circus acts and not to taunt the animals.

My friend walked away in disgust and got about twenty feet away from the rude tourists when he heard screams.

He turned around in time to see the dozen sweatshirt wearing alums being hosed down with gallons of urine.

From head to toe, some with open mouths too stunned to move, the visitors were soaked in steaming piss.

Drenched and stinking, they cried for help, and demanded an answer why?...why did the rhino do THAT? My friend quipped…”Well, you were wearing Michigan team sweatshirts, that particular rhino came from an Ohio zoo, he is obviously a Buckeye fan.”




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One man's error is another man's success


Skullies 3

From The Key Oracle:

On the desk in my home office are two phones. One phone is the family phone and often receives calls from friends and family. The other phone is used for other things (outgoing faxes, etc.) and rarely receives legitimate calls. The other phone rings and when I answer there is a 10 second wait followed by someone speaking in a slight Southeast Asian accent so I already know where this is going.

CB: Is this Mr. ????????

ME: Yep, that’s me.

CB: This is Computer Bullshit and I am calling you to let you know that your computer is sending out errors into the internet.

ME: That’s great. I have spent the last week programming it to do that. Thanks for letting me know that I have been successful.

CB: I am here to help you fix your computer so that it will no longer be sending out errors.

ME: Why would I want it to stop after spending so much time and effort to get it to do that?

CB: But your computer is sending out errors.

ME: Right, isn’t that fantastic?

CB: I am here to help fix it.

ME: It is not broken, it is doing just what I want it to.

CB: Ok, bye.

(Hangs up)

-- The Key Oracle


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Medical Clinic Hell: Dumbass Patients



From February, 2010:

Hiedi here-

I currently work as the head RN of a medical practice ran by 5 doctors, all who are friends.  One doc, however, the one who hired me-when this practice first opened 8 years ago, is a piece of work onto himself.  But that is not why I am writing, at least not today.

The medical clinic I work at serves as a primary care clinic for the locals. We also serve as an urgent care clinic. 2 of the 5 doctors are dentists, one who is basically a dental surgeon. We have an in house lab, the ability to set broken bones, (depending on the severity of the broken bone) do x-rays, minor surgeries, stitches, minor to major dental work, Colonoscopy’s (shoving a camera up peoples butts and down their throats for cancer and other screenings is not the highlight of my day) and stuff like well baby checkups, strep throat treatment, pap smears (also not one of the highlights of my job) and physical exams for bus drivers or whoever needs one for work or non work related purposes and we have stuff like an in house lab for blood work. You get the picture.

My job continually convinces me that the only thing certain in life other than death and taxes is the nature of human stupidity. 

I have nothing against heavy people. If you obese and happy, great. I had a gentleman come in, who weighed around 550 pounds, who complained of a skin rash on the folds of his skin.  From the smell of the rash, it looked like a fungal infection to me.

I began to examine the irritated skin, (thank god for gloves) and as I lifted one of his folds of fat where it was the worst, a turkey sandwich fell out.

The man figured it was a month old. The smell and mold confirmed it. I threw it out, gave him some cream and told him to clean the area and put the cream on it irritated skin.

I had another patient come in, complaining that his butt was hurting. He was 21. I took him to xray. I let the xray develop, but wasn’t in the room when the Doc came to look at them.  I heard the Doc treating this guy go “OH MY GOD” and went to see what the issue was. 

OCTOCAROL 057The man’s rectum and entire colon was a solid mass. 

Thinking he had some advanced stage of cancer, I hurried back into the room to ask him how long this had been going on and to give me some more info (we were busy, I didn’t get a chance to get many details from him before the xray) and the man turned 5 shades of red. 

I gently explained we can’t help him properly unless we know when this pain in his rear end started and how long it’s been going on.

That’s when the truth came out. 

He and his boyfriend of 5 weeks recently began having sex. 

After one too many beers the night before, one of them had the bright idea to pour fast drying cement mix down a funnel into his rectum. 

Where it dried. 

Under local anesthesia, two of the docs (one of them is a former trauma surgeon who got tried of the wild hours the ER provided) and myself were able to remove the perfect mold of his colon. 

And one ping pong ball.

I had a young female patient, who was 26. She seemed fine, and I came in to take her blood pressure and such, I asked her what the problem was.

She explained she was having unexplained pain in her cooch area. 

Oh great, I thought, another vaginal exam. 

I asked her if it was okay to do a vaginal exam on her, and that we have a female doc working that day if she would be more comfortable with her rather than one of the male drs. She asked for the female doc. 

I let her get undressed and handed her a gown, and when we were ready, I go Sue, our only female doc on staff. 

It didn’t take long to figure out what was causing her woes. 

A set of car keys. 

The woman explained she didn’t want her boyfriend taking her car so she hid them where “he never goes.”

--You local RN



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Retail Balls Awards: Monstrous MAGIC KINGDOM Customer GETS TOLD



From Readheadactress, October, 2010:

We were closing up for the evening. In fact our hours sign is in big bold white letters and numbers, yet people still try to come in. Most are understanding, but I have some that are like this asshole.

Cue asshole and his two children.

Me: “Sorry sir, we are actually closed for the night.”

Ass: “So is that the way it works, huh? People who are already here get to stay but no
one else can come in?”

Me: “No, I am actually emptying out the arcade right now. They are just finishing up
their last games and redeeming stuff.”

Ass: “Come on kids, the mean bitch won’t let you in. *turns to me* You ruined my kids‘

Me: “Excuse me sir, but that is uncalled for.”

Ass: “So? I am on vacation from my very important job, something you wouldn’t know
anything about since you are uneducated woman working here.”


Me: “First of all, I am very educated, graduated with honors and a B.A. in theatre and
elementary education and you don’t know me. Second of all, I do not care that you are on
vacation, it does not give you the right to be a jerk to me, especially when I did
nothing wrong. Third, the arcade closes at 11pm sharp and it is not my problem that you
chose to show up 5 minutes after we closed. And lastly, if you are not out of my sight
within 5 seconds, I will be calling security to escort you off the property, without
refund and without your belongings. 1, 2, 3...”

*custy scampers off*

My coworker was behind me the entire time and laughed at me.

Yes I know I broke Disney look, but seriously I do not care. I will not allow someone to
take away the person I am on the inside. I am a real person and deserve to be treated
that way.

On a good note, I requested a transfer and I am on a waiting list to be a server. That
means better custys, more money, and less bullshit. But for now, it is back to the arcade.

Love and chocolate peanut butter pie,




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