From October, 2010:

A high end department store slave gets a Retail Balls Award and MAJOR kudos for confronting a custy with inappropriate behavior. This story will make you cheer, RHUers! Enjoy:

Another long time reader, first time submitter here.

I've spent my last two lovely years in retail hell from Old Gravy to my current job at Bloomingfails.

I've had my share of rude, entitled, to just plain stupid custys. I was lucky enough to encounter one the other day and of all the crazy retail encounters I've had I don't think anything has ever shocked me more than this.

I'm at the watch bay at Bloomingfails making everything look beautiful and such.

A man about 6'2 in a business suit comes in with his wife trailing after him. I look up and say delightfully, "Hi, how are you doing today?"

Before I even finish, he flips me the bird.

YES, you read correctly, straight up just gives me the finger for asking him how he was.

I hear his wife say, "Oh my god, what's wrong with you?"

Clearly, she disapproves but doesn't apologize to me on his behalf.

Now I'm a 5'7, very skinny 19 year old female and I don't take shit from anyone.

After I get over the initial shock and see them in the store about 5 minutes later, I march right up to him and say in my sternest voice, "Excuse me but I don't appreciate you flipping me the bird and if you harass another associate one more time I WILL call security and I WILL have them escort you out," and walk away.

I look behind me after a moment and see him walking up to me.

He apologizes and says he thought I was someone else. ???? RHSEPT 489

I ask who he thought I was and he said he mistook me for another associate who had helped him the other day.

Okay... still not an acceptable reason to flip off a sales associate.

After apologizing to me he hugs me.


Yes, hugs me.

Whatever, I got the apology I deserved.

What makes someone think it's okay to just flip off a sales associate?

Just because I work in retail doesn't mean you can treat me like shit.

I WILL call someone out, I always have,  and if a manager ever gets on my case for it I will tell them that if the company stands for abuse of it's employees, it's not a company I need to be working for.

I have many more stories to come.

Haven't come up with a name yet either.

Any suggestions?

--Bloomingfails Slave


read more Retail Balls Awards tales here





Monstrous Customers: Bloodsucking Vampire Shopper Encounter



From Fiona, February 2010:

Dear Retail Hell,

I have just been the victim of a half an hour blood sucking vampire shopper.

I sit here deflated, unable to even gather the energy to start my morning shop cleaning. And I arrived at work today full of vim and vigor, ready to start a new week.

A middle aged, dowdy lady came in first thing and, under the pretext of wanting to purchase some footwear for herself, proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with the shoes we had on offer (I know what she didn’t like about our shoes – they had style.

It’s always the worst dressed ones that pronounce themselves ‘fussy with shoes’ and 'hard to find things they like'). She had a foot problem, these ones were too ugly, she likes mens shoes better, heel too high, can’t wear that one it’s not supportive enough, don’t like sports shoes, no that Velcro strap isn’t what I want, how about these mens Velcro ones, do they come in womens sizes? See, I’m in between sizes, I always am.

Like a fool I kept offering more and more styles to this blood-sucking bitch. Like a gambling addict, I always think 'just one more, she'll love it and buy it and we'll both be happy'. And surely she'd be grateful I'm a salesperson making an effort, right?

And even after I had given up and just stood there smiling weakly wishing she would leave (I didn’t even care about a sale, I just wanted my sanity back) she would get stoked up again.

Blood‘Well perhaps I should look in a different area. How about these, can I try them? No, too big, too small, I feel like I’m falling backwards in these ones, the laces aren’t long enough. Oh you have lovely shoes, just look at them, but I can’t wear these ones. Perhaps if the heel were lower...’

As she rattled through the shortcomings of our stock, item by item, I periodically wanted to scream at her 'What DO you want then?'

If it was me in a shop and I didn't like something, I just wouldn't say anything. It was like she had uncontrollable stream of consciousness verbal diarrhea and had to verbalize Every. Little. Thing. she thought.

And not a single word of it was positive of course (apart from the fake ‘oh you have lovely shoes’ as she walked out the door, dragging her leechy energy after her.)

And finally, blessedly she left.

I am but a shell left crumpled on the faux wood flooring.

She is going to think about the last pair she tried on and if she can’t find anything she likes better she may come back and settle for them.

Oh glory day, hopefully I am dead when that time arrives.

Yours in Retail Hell,



read more Monstrous Customers stories here





Opening Time Nightmares: "But I don't want long sleeved"



From u/SpicyHashbrowns Tales From Retail:

This woman was literally the first customer I interacted with today. She set the tone for my shift. I'm M, W will be the woman.

We have a sign next to long sleeve t-shirts stating they're 30% off, the sign clearly states the long sleeves are the ones for sale. Near the stand is another rack of similar shirts, the difference is that they're short sleeve.

W: "What's the price of this if it's 30 percent off?"

M: I find the rack, it's not on sale, I tell her this and the full price

W: "It's 30 percent off."

M: "The long sleeves are 30 percent off." I point out the sign

W: Grabs the same shirt but different size "Well then how much is this one if I got it in large?"

M: "Only the long sleeves are 30% off."

W: Grabs the same shirt again only it's a different color "Is this 30 percent off?"

M: "No, the long sleeved ones are."

W: "But I don't want long sleeved." Walks away




Sale Hell: “IS THIS LITERALLY $9.95?!”



From u/Mystik-Spiral Tales From Retail:

Most days I have a very high threshold for the amount of whatthefuckery that happens in retail. It takes a lot to push me into turning into a sarcastic, rude, Randall Graves clone, even though it’s sometimes incredibly warranted.

That said, this lady tested every ounce of my patience and made me yearn for a bottle of wine. Not just to drink, but also to hopefully bash some sense into her with.

I work in a women's clothing store. (Side note: this means WOMEN’S, not juniors, not children’s, not plus size, though we do have a plus size section. So, please stop bringing me your 10 year olds to dress. And please believe me when I tell you little Suzy isn’t going to fit into anything, and no, not even the XS’s. Because she’s 10. And hasn’t got a woman’s body yet.)

We currently are trying to clear out our clearance wall. Things are $4.95-$19.95, which I agree is a pretty amazing deal.

This lady, 30 minutes before close, simply couldn’t comprehend this promotion.

Yes, there were signs.

Yes, I confirmed the deal.

That didn’t stop her from asking, I kid you not, every minute “ARE THESE PANTS LITERALLY $9.95?”

“Yes they are! All bottoms are $9.95!”

“But, these are literally $9.95?”

“Yes, just as the sign right there says.”

“So, these are LITERALLY $9.95?”

“They sure are!”

“I can’t believe... THESE JEANS ARE LITERALLY ONLY $9.95?!”

“... Yes. I’m not sure how to reassure you that, yes, all our pants are indeed $9.95.”

I show her the sign, explain the deal, AGAIN, and even take my hand down the row of pants explaining, calmly, that all clearance bottoms are $9.95.

She looks at me, jeans clutched in her hand...

“Are these literally $9.95?!”


And at that point I walk away and grab the associate and tell her I’ll be in the back for a minute because I need to silently scream into the latest ugly sweater we’ve been sent so I don’t LITERALLY punch someone.






Return Hell with a Monstrous Customer




From u/TheBugMonster, Tales From Retail:

Today I had a customer return a package of arrowheads, normally never a big deal. But said customer had left this package of very sharp arrowheads opened in the bag. Now I didn't know the package was open, and that one of the arrow heads had come loose, but these things are razor sharp on 3 sides with a nasty point.

Now i had a line building, so i was doing returns just a bit quicker than usual. I reached into the bag, grabbed the first unopened packages of arrowheads, 2 of em, reached in a 2nd time and grabbed the last package, ran my fingers over a very sharp edge, and reflexively jerked my arm back out of the bag. When i jerked my arm out of the bag, the arrowhead that was sticking out of the package jabbed my palm, and slit my palm open, it cut from middle of my palm, to tip of my middle finger.

So I'm sitting here looking at my hand in shock, when the customer says:

If you werent in such a rush, your hand wouldnt be cut open right now would it

Customer behind him took my defense and started bad mouthing him in every way. Meanwhile my hand is bleeding profusely all over the counter. Coworker comes over, sees my hand, radios my manager and back we go, leaving like 15 customers waiting in line.

I got a bad survey for being such a "shit associate", and also a few kind parting words from the guy who returned the arrowheads.

Called me an idiot for his mistake, said i got what i deserved for being in such a rush, and then blamed me for the other customers basically shit talking him out of the store. Also said i would be hearing from his lawyer for "spreading a biological hazard on everything"

Typing this up while I'm looking at the 28 stitches in my hand. Its been a great day :(





Retail Hell Memories: I’m so sorry about him


Carolanne 067

From u/pigontherun Tales From Retail:

I’ve been working retail in the same jewelry/accessory store for 3 years. One day, last winter, I saw this cute little older couple that seemed like they were having a hard time finding something so I went over and asked if they need help. The wife showed me the headband in her hair and said, “I need more... all that you have, just like this.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see any on the sales floor, so I told them that I would check in the back. The husband said, “thank you, my name.”

I thought it was a little out of the ordinary that he referred to me as the name on my name tag, since no customers ever call you by your actual name.

I came from the back and told them that we had no more of the headband she wanted in the back either. She was a little disappointed, but I showed her some different ones that she settled on buying instead. After I checked them out, right as they were about to leave, the husband stopped and looked at me. Before I could ask if he needed help with anything else, he asked if it was alright if he gave me a hug.

I was a little confused, but I think we’re all used to dealing with strange things in retail. Also, I didn’t think he was hitting on me or anything like that, especially since his wife was standing right next to him so I agreed and gave him a hug.

He said, “Goodbye, my name” and immediately darted out of the store.

At this point I was just staring at his wife, who then said, “I’m so sorry about him... our daughter died in a car crash a few months ago. She had the same name as you. While you were in the back he was saying how much you reminded him of her.” She then pulled out a picture of their daughter from her wallet to show me and I felt like someone had just stabbed me in the heart.