Some wise person on Twitter once said that working in food service is like a jump-scare horror movie, but working in retail is pure psychological terror. When it’s not a customer attempting to break you down into nothing, it’s a manager gaslighting you. These people survived their own personal retail nightmares, and lived to share their stories. And boy oh boy, there is not enough money in the world to make me deal with the types of horrible, entitled people that they had to face.
1. A Giggling Fit
It was getting near closing time and I was cleaning the self-checkout machines while my manager was topping up the coins and receipt paper. This woman, just shy of 50, came up to the checkout and just stood there with her mostly empty cart. I was waiting to see if she would walk up to the actual register for service, but no; she just stood there.
I finally asked her, “Do you need help?” She replied, “No,” and kept standing there. Then, she started giggling loudly to herself in a way that made other people around her uncomfortable. I just kept cleaning and my manager continued filling the machines, all of which were devoid of customers. Finally, the woman spoke loudly, to no one in particular, saying the rudest thing ever: “Do you want to work or not?”
I let out a long breath, then dropped my cloth and spray bottle down. Suddenly, my manager stepped in and replied loudly, “She does have work! She’s cleaning right now.” Then she motioned for me to keep cleaning. Well, the woman giggled again, really loudly and snottily this time, and said, “I want a checkout.” My manager replied, “You had your chance. She asked you if you wanted help. You said no. And now, you’re going to have to check yourself out.”
The lady started freaking out and demanded to see the manager. My manager destroyed her with one sentence: “You’re looking at her.” The woman sheepishly checked her own items out while we both watched her. And then my manager giggled loudly, just like the woman had done. It was glorious.
2. Something Fishy
I was a Visual Merchandising Manager for a large department store. My job entailed a lot, and one of my duties included ensuring our departments were up to snuff according to corporate standards. Our Big and Tall men’s department was unfortunately worse for wear so I was in charge of fixing it up and making sure that it was correct according to our standards.
I was given no assistance so I fixed the department by myself, which something of a constant with this company. In the very corner of the department was a series of shelves that housed stacks of different sizes of trousers. This department had not been given any love or attention in months so the sizing was completely off and I had to resize the hundreds of pairs of trousers on the wall.
Each time I bent down to pick up a pair of trousers, a strange…fishy smell kept wafting from the bottom of the shelves. I legit thought it was me. I spent a good few minutes making sure that the smell was not, in fact, emanating from my person, but rather the bottom shelf of trousers. I couldn’t see the entirety of the bottom shelf from where I was standing, so I bent to look at the shelf squarely.
Upon it was a Ziploc bag with what appeared to be a brown substance inside. I immediately grabbed paper towels, because I was not touching an unknown object without it, and pulled out the mystery package. I can only assume that an employee had been working in the area and left their lunch because I have no other explanation. Inside of this zippered baggy, was a forgotten cooked piece of completely rotten fish.
I had to damage out over 100 pairs of pants because the fishy smell had completely permeated them.
Fact: That’s My Kind Of Doomsday Prep
Did you know that Walmart stocks up their shelves with strawberry flavor Pop-Tarts right before a hurricane strikes? That’s because according to their data statistics, folks go out and buy approximately 7 times more of these items before a storm. I mean, if you get the kind with icing, that’s 3 out of 4 food groups right there. Now you know exactly what to buy before the zombie apocalypse hits.
3. Loyalty Is A One-Way Street
This is the tale of my best friend, Sara. She hired me back in 2007, and we became very close. We worked at a small, local chain of gas stations. Our district manager was a tough, but she knew her job. We will call her Mary. Mary was very good at her job and we respected her a lot. She taught us both so much about our job and how to handle a store like ours.
In 2009, our company was sold to another small, local company because the CEO was preparing for retirement. Enter Dave. Dave is a terrible person and the big boss at the new company. He likes having a gaggle of women around him that he can control and belittle. Tammy was our new district manager, and we weren’t sure that we liked her either.
I ended up leaving the company in 2012, and Sara was heartbroken that I left her, but understood. Unfortunately, it all went downhill for her. She was put on a pedestal by Dave. She was hard working, dedicated, and became the company fixer. Every time a store was in peril, they would move Sara into that store. She would clean it up and get it making a profit again.
Dave promised Sara a promotion to district manager, but the job opened up and Dave gave it to Melissa. Melissa was eventually caught pinching from an ATM and fired. Dave again promised the spot to Sara, but hired Alex instead. Alex quit before he got fired. Dave again promised the spot to Sara, and once again, passed her over. This happened one more time.
Every time it happened—four times in total—I would console her while she cried, but she always stayed fiercely loyal to Dave. Over time, Sara and Tammy had become really good friends and Sara loved having Tammy as a district manager. Meanwhile, Dave made the decision to move Sara to a rural store. She was happy because it was closer to where she lived and she could not take the heartbreak anymore.
She found her home there as the manager. But one day, Dave decided to really mess with Sara. He had hired Mary from the previous company and made her Sara’s district manager. Sara was thrilled to be working with Mary again, but Mary had changed. She was unfocused, disoriented, ditzy, and quite frankly, a mean person. She was not the Mary we knew and respected.
Sara was at her wits’ end dealing with Mary being around all the time, messing up her store. Yet Sara still stayed fiercely loyal to the company and to Dave. Here’s where the real heartbreak happened. In late 2020, Sara suffered a brain injury. She ended up in the hospital for weeks, unable to talk properly and had to relearn motor skills.
Dave promised her that when she was ready, her manager spot would be waiting for her. Then he promised her that a job would be waiting for her. Then he let her go so that he wouldn’t have to pay her insurance anymore. He did not tell her this. She found out when she got a letter stating that her insurance was cancelled. 11 years, people.
11 years of hard work, dedication, and loyalty for long hours, horrible pay, and horrible treatment, just to be thrown away without Dave even having the courtesy to talk to her about it. Once again, I consoled her. I was angry, sad, infuriated, and cried with her. We now both hate Dave. But she still is fiercely loyal to the company.
I tried to convince her that she had a case against them, but she won’t sue. That company was her whole life, and after the blood, sweat, and tears she put into it, she was left with nothing. Not even a severance. Moral of the story: be loyal to your good co-workers and managers, but steer way, way clear of bosses like Dave and Mary.
These retail companies don’t care about you and never will. One broken promise is reason enough to leave. There’s nothing in it for you except your paycheck, and there’s lots of retail places hiring. Take care of yourself. Stand up for yourself. Give them enough respect to not get fired, but always put your needs first. Except for the wonderful few, they do not care about you and will get rid of you at the drop of a hat.
Sara is still recovering, but her progress slowed when she was let go. She doesn’t feel like she has a reason to get better. Just seriously, I hope that you get what’s coming to you, “Dave.”
4. A Lucky Gamble
This just happened. A guy walked in and asked me, “What’s the $8 lottery package that my wife always gets?” I looked at him, but I couldn’t place him. In fact, he didn’t look remotely familiar to me. He was not wearing his mask, mind you, but so far, I’d been pretty good at recognizing the people I’ve only ever seen with masks on since we bought the store.
However, I had no clue who this is. So I asked, “Sir, did you just ask me, a complete stranger, what your wife’s preferences are?” He reiterated, “Well, she always gets an $8 package.” I told him, “The lottery doesn’t have an $8 package.” Then, he asked, “Well, what are the standard games?” So, I rattled off all the games until we figured it out.
I handed him his purchase and said, “OK, here you go, sir, and may I highly encourage you not to tell your wife that you asked a complete stranger what her preferences were.” I thought that would nip it in the bud, but he just wouldn’t quit. He still seemed to think there was nothing amiss and replied, “Well, she’s in here all the time.” I still said, “But she’s not here now, and I don’t know who she is.”
So, he clarified, “Well, I come in with her sometimes.” To end the situation, I said, “OHHH! Well, I have a pretty bad memory so that must be it.” What was unsaid was, “It couldn’t be that I see a few hundred people a day and you’re all just faceless blobs in my memory if you don’t come in here pretty much every day and actually have meaningful conversations!” Sheesh.
5. Waking Nightmare
I used to work for a quaint art retail shop in Kent in the UK. My husband and I relocated far away from our friends and my family for this job as it was good pay. I had previously been a huge fan of the company and it sounded like an opportunity I would love to take. Luckily, it was an online-only business so no customers at all! Sound completely ideal? I thought so!
I suspect my ex-boss there was, and I don’t say this lightly, a sociopath of some kind. She would come in one day, be absolutely sweet as anything, gift me with free art supplies—once even a free coffee machine—listen to your troubles and offer pretty sound advice. The only issue was the 80% of the time in between these sweet moods.
During these times, she would scream, shout, threaten people with their jobs, throw things around the office, and once she thrust a paper tray with an inch of dust into my face to aggravate my asthma. She actually screamed at my colleague an inch from his face once because he dared to ask her how she was that day. She was also furious that a pregnant worker there dared to go home with extreme morning sickness.
She called me almost every weekend, often screaming at me because her house was a complete mess and it was my fault. Bear in mind that none of us worked at her house. We had a unit miles away from her apparently mucky house! I even took out a second phone contract so I could switch my sim card out on evenings and weekends to give myself a break from her.
You never knew where you stood with her. I would spend weeks unable to eat, feeling sick at the thought of going in to her unbearable mood, and then suddenly, she’d come in with Krispy Kremes for us all to “thank” us. Honestly, this woman gave me emotional whiplash. But there was a bigger issue. Because it was a small company, she was HR.
She had external HR to raise cases against staff, but we had absolutely nowhere to go. I finally snapped after two years there and had a complete nervous breakdown. I was so horrifically stressed, it physically manifested itself as shingles which, I was told by my doctor, is extremely rare for a 26-year-old otherwise healthy young woman.
During this sickness, she got one of her minions to sack me for “failure to do my job.” Yeah right. You sacked me because if you had it your way, you’d have us all there 24/7 grinding. Because she despised us having a life outside of work. I thought about taking her to court for unfair dismissal, but I was so completely done with her and her nonsense that I chose to leave it all behind for the sake of my health.
I felt like my shingles was my body’s way of saying “please step away from this place,” and before I was sacked, I was genuinely terrified it could be a heart attack or something as equally dangerous next time. Wind forwards a year and a half, me and my husband have moved back to the same town as my family and our friends.
I work for an office for Lidl which I completely adore. My husband has got his dream photography job, we’ve adopted a cat and life is very good. So good in fact, that my review with the doctors yesterday resulted in myself being told that for the first time in 10 years, I’m not currently clinically depressed. I am genuinely so blessed at this moment in my life!
The only issue is when I go to sleep. I dream about this old boss three to four times a week, and I’m lying here at 4:30 am after the most horrific dream yet when my old boss was trying to trap and kill me. Thanks for that one, subconscious! I won’t go into all the gory details. Just know that it was utterly terrifying, and I don’t plan on going back to sleep tonight.
Clearly, I’ve got some unresolved feelings and thoughts about this old boss. I sometimes regret walking away and not taking her to a tribunal for the terrible things she did to me, but I had to do what was best for my health in that moment in time. And I am 100% healthier for that choice. I hope that one day, I can resolve whatever trauma it is my subconscious is experiencing, and I can be completely free to enjoy this lovely place in life I find myself in.
6. Three Strikes
Some years ago, I worked an extra part-time job in the evenings at a small national retail chain in the U.S. that specializes in woodworking tools, supplies and machinery. The vast majority of our customers were great, but every so often we would get one that was a real peach. On the night in question, it was 15 or 20 minutes before closing.
I was at the front counter where the registers are, doing busy work to fill the time before I locked the doors. The sales floor was completely empty, except for me. I heard the doors open and looked up to see a customer walking in. “Hi! Welcome to our store!” I said to him in a genuinely friendly tone. Fish-eyed, he turned his head to glance at me.
He made momentary eye contact before walking past without saying a word. Strike one. A few minutes later, I saw him walking up to the counter, so I asked, “Hey there! Did you find what you were looking for?” Again, without a saying a word, he tossed a few packs of euro hinges on the counter. Strike two. Then, I asked, “OK! Have you shopped with us before?”
I needed to know as it was part of my job to enter our customers’ information in our computer system if they’ll let us, and if they’re in our system, then we ring them up under their account. Rather than answer me, he tossed a postcard-sized piece of paper onto the counter. Strike three. Ding! Ding! Ding!
Now, if someone’s in our system, and they give us the month of their birthday, we send them a birthday coupon every year, good for 10% off of everything in a single purchase. There are a few exclusions and conditions clearly printed on the coupon. I picked up the piece of paper he’d thrown in front of me, and it was indeed his birthday coupon.
I used the information on it to pull up his account, noted a key piece of information on the account, and gleefully told him, “OK, sir. I see your birthday isn’t until next month, and unfortunately, the birthday coupon is only good for a single purchase during the month of your birth.” As I said this, I was holding the coupon up and pointing to the text I was referring to.
I am 90% certain I had my best customer service smile on my face at that point. After standing there and staring at me for a few seconds, he let out a snort of what I presume was disgust, then he turned on his heel, and started heading for the door. “Wait!” I called after him. “You forgot your birthday coupon!” Without stopping or turning, he made a dismissive wave of his hand, went through the door, and disappeared into the night.
Adios and good riddance. At this store, our manager was a super-cool guy who encouraged us to bend over backward to help customers, which I gladly did. Customers came in all the time trying to use their birthday coupons early, and it was never a problem. We’d happily give them the discount anyway, with a friendly reminder that it was supposed to be used during their birth month.
But hey, he wanted to act like that. He couldn’t be bothered to show me even common courtesy, nor would he speak even one word to me. That was his choice.
7. Talk To My Back
It was my last scheduled day to work, but my supervisor did not know because my manager refuses to communicate with anyone. I work replenishment so I got there and my supervisor gave me three full uboat carts of boxes to work out that day. As I get closer to finishing them, an hour before my shift ends, I hear her shout my name.
I walk up to her and she is upset because she wanted me to do another uboat before I left. She expected me to finish the three I had in three hours. I told her that she should’ve told me that before I started so I could’ve budgeted my time better. She yells, telling me that I should be working quickly no matter what and that my hours might get cut.
What did I do? I walked out. Right in front of her. Most satisfying moment of my life.
8. A Customized Experience
A customer showed me a ring and asked me about it. I told her that it was a sterling silver lotus ring. The customer then proceeded to show me that it did not fit her. As she wedged it halfway down her finger, she said, “But it does not fit me, see?” Did I look like a jeweler who could resize rings on the spot? No. So I explained to her that we had only one piece of that design left.
A while later, the same lady asked if the artist was local. I said that I wasn’t certain that she was from the city, but that all the artists represented in the shop were American. That meant that if she wasn’t from our state, then she was from another state. Then the lady said, “Well, duh. If she’s not from here then she’s from somewhere else.” Sigh.
I wanted to eye roll since that was my standard response whenever someone asked about local artists, and I had never gotten such a sour reply before. Most people just wanted to confirm that the thing was at least made in America if not locally. And then she asked me which way her husband had left, so I just pointed to the only exit and said, “That’s the only way out.”
9. It’s All Fun And Games
I worked in an independent video game shop in London, UK when I was 18 to 22 years old. Final Fantasy VIII on the PS1 came in via delivery with this pretty awesome-looking box that contained a memory card, a t-shirt, and possibly some other stuff as well. This was to be sold at £44.99, the same price as the normal edition of the game.
Unfortunately, my manager saw this and…he wasn’t pleased. So he decided to do something ridiculous. He took out the memory card and told me to put a company sticker on it, covering it up. I asked him again because I could not believe what I had heard. He asked me to do as I was told. As you can imagine, I was pretty dumbfounded by this and had no idea what to say.
Then, a young man came in to pay for his copy of the game but couldn’t find his deposit slip. The manager said to him, “Well, that’s not our problem, and we can’t look in the books to say whether you did it or not.” Thing is, I actually remembered him coming and putting down a £10 deposit for the game. I tried to speak up and each time that I did, I was shut down and told to be quiet.
My blood was boiling. Unfortunately, that young man, despite finding his deposit slip, was told that he had to pay the full amount and that the deposit book was “missing.” This made me feel understandably infuriated, and no matter what I said, I was always told that I was wrong in what I was saying and that I did not know anything. But it got worse.
Days later, the memory cards were sold separately for profit, while the t-shirts and the other things that had been in the boxes were given to his friends and family. The boxes were to be destroyed. Not just simply put in the bin, but ripped up so no one knew about it. It was one of the many horrible experiences that I faced working in that retail shop.
10. Taking A Bow
Several years back, I was working at a small beauty supply store in the southern part of the US. Among other things, we sold little clip-in hairpieces. A family of four had come in and the mom and dad were discussing products in the first aisle while the two little girls were running unsupervised through the store, being loud and making messes.
It was truck day, and I had been stocking shelves out of a shopping cart, referred to as a buggy by many people in that area. It was chock full to the brim. I had gone to the stock room and when I came back 30 seconds later, I saw one of the little girls pushing my cart around the corner of the opposite end of the aisle.
She was standing on her tiptoes and still could not see over the handle. I heard her say something to her mother and her mother told her, “Put that back where you found it.” By that time, I had nearly caught up with the kid, who had turned the basket around. She pushed the cart up to me and said proudly, “Ma’am, are you lookin’ for yer buggy?”
I replied, “You do not need to be messing with that.” That’s when the mom’s Karen came out. She came roaring around the corner saying how I should not speak directly to her child and that if I had something to say, then I should say it to her. Never mind the fact that the kid had run into a shelf, slipped a bit on the tile floors, and almost turned the basket over on herself on the opposite side of the store from her mother’s location.
I did not bother to argue about safety concerns and instead went back to stocking shelves. A little while later, the mother asked me to help her match the color of her hair to the hairpieces. I helped her pick one out, then heard her confirm to her husband that it was the one she wanted. I then went up to the register, while she rounded up her kids.
When she got to the checkout, the hairpiece that she put on the counter was a different one than what I had seen her discussing. I asked her about it and she indicated that the other one was more than she could afford, but she planned to come back for it. I rang her out and they left. The next day, I got to work and the opening clerk said, “I got one of your customers today.”
I said, “Oh yeah?” I didn’t get customer complaints often, but that particular week, I had someone else come in, while I was off, saying that I was rude. They had been unhappy that I had prevented them from shoplifting but they gave some other bogus reason to complain. When my coworker confirmed this, it was in a tone that made it clear I was in for a ride a bit later.
So, I asked, “Have you ever seen me be rude to a customer?” “No,” she answered. “It always seems like you’re sweet, but to hear them tell it, you’re big and bad.” About that time, the door opened, and in walked the hairpiece woman and her kids. It was about to go down. She started laying into me about how she had come to return the hairpiece that she got yesterday.
We did not take returns on hairpieces in the first place. However, she said that in the process of trying to return it with my co-worker, they had found a discrepancy between the item that she was trying to return and the one I had rang up. So, my coworker had asked her to come back during my shift so I could assist with the return.
This woman pulled the product that she wanted to return out and it was a different product than the one she purchased from me—in fact, it was the one that I had heard her tell her husband she wanted…and it was in a different product box. I told her as much, and she started screaming, saying that I better not be calling her a liar.
She also started making thinly veiled physical threats. In the meantime, one of her darling kids had come back around the sales counter where I was standing and she was trying to get my attention to get in on the action. I was ignoring the girl, but she kept tapping me on the hip. I whirled around and curtly said, “Don’t touch me.”
Then, remembering the scene from the day before, I snapped my head back to the mom and smiled sweetly. Through gritted teeth, but with the most upbeat voice, I said, “I am sorry, could you please tell your child not to touch me and remove her from behind the counter. It’s not safe for her to be back here.” She snarled, “That’s better.”
She barked a command at her kid, then made it clear that she would be back in an hour to continue her reign of terror. Shortly after she left, our store manager arrived unexpectedly early for the closing shift. We brought her up to speed on what had been going on. When the lady came back, I happened to be in the stock room.
My manager closed the stock room door and told me in the sternest voice ever: “Do NOT come out.” I could only hear snippets through the door, so I don’t know exactly what happened. I got the picture that we must have given her some money back as a one-time thing, probably because the other option was to refer to corporate, who would have given her money back.
But then I very clearly heard the woman’s voice ring across the store, “Go get her and bring her out here. I am going to snatch her up and…” “You will not lay a hand on my employee,” my manager emphatically interrupted. I did not hear any of the exchange after that, because I was so shocked at my sweet, proper manager’s firm retort.
My coworker, apparently, was similarly surprised. The consensus among the employees after that was that we were pretty proud of how tough our manager could be if needed. They also decided that if I was being rude to a “customer,” it was probably someone stealing.
11. Sauce For The Goose Is Not Sauce For The Gander
I have been working in a hardware store for roughly four years now, and I actually kind of enjoyed it until 18 months ago when my daughter was born. Since then, management seems to act oblivious to my parental duties. Recently, my daughter has issues with going to sleep and only really sleeps if I’m there to rock her and sing her to sleep.
Understandably, it puts a great deal of strain on my girlfriend when I’m out. Our store closes at 7 pm, and I don’t get home until 8 pm. Her bedtime is 7 pm, so I asked my manager if I could only be on the rota until 6. Bear in mind that I can work pretty much anytime from open until 6. Their reply made my blood run ice cold in my veins.
Instead, I was told really snidely, “You have to be more flexible with your hours.” That really annoyed and upset me but I understand that they are, I think, within their right to decline my request. However, the real kicker is that all of the other parents in the store are allowed to not work certain hours due to looking after their children.
And now, after I told my manager that I don’t think it’s fair that I’m the only parent that doesn’t get certain time off to look after my daughter, when our hours were cut, guess who got most of their hours cut and is now on a measly six hours? I’ll give a hint, it rhymes with “me.” There are a lot more double standards besides this at my workplace that have just pushed me over the limit, and I’m now actively seeking out a new job.
12. A Watery Chuckle
I work in a large airport at a small convenience store on one of the busiest concourses. I hear it all, especially about our prices. Although we try to keep our margins as low as possible, we still have to pay our rent as a business, and it’s about $14k a month. One day, I had an older woman come in and set down an expensive brand of water that was priced around $5.15 after tax.
I knew that she was going to say something about it, so I prepared myself mentally. Indeed, she did say something, and it threw me for a loop. She asked me, “Wanna know something funny?” I said that I did. She said, “This same water in another airport is $2.50.” I stared blankly at her for a solid 10 seconds. Finally, I said, “I think I missed the joke.”
She then proceeded to insult me, but she still purchased the water before leaving in a huff. Best day I’ve had in a while.
Fact: Black and Blue
Every retail worker dreads one day more than any other, and the modern title of “Black Friday” comes from a surprising place. The first people to describe the crowds of Thanksgiving shoppers as “Black Friday” were the Philadelphia police in the 1950s. After hordes of people disrupted the law and order in the city’s shopping centers, the men in blue coined the term to describe the pandemonium.
13. It’s Over When I Say It’s Over
I closed my store today, which I’m supposed to finish doing at 11 pm. However, people kept creating more go-backs for me to put away, which stressed me out. On top of that, my boss chose today to be an incredibly ignorant jerk and yell, “You’ll leave only when all the work is done.” I ended up leaving 20 minutes late. The reason that I was in a rush, you ask?
My dog was dying and I had to rush home to say my goodbyes and take him to the emergency veterinarian. Now I am sad, miserable, dogless, and I hate my boss more than words can explain.
14. They Are All This Together
I work for a grocery store that only sells all-natural foods. That means no artificial preservatives, sweeteners, flavors, and such, as well as any items with certain ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup. We have an internal list of ingredients that products cannot contain and even have had to cease carrying some top-selling products after reformulation introduces one or more of them.
Being the type of store that we are, we get people from all over the political spectrum and quite a few on the extreme fringes. This is about a guy who came to our store multiple times. I will refer to him as Mr. Q since I do not even know his name. Mr. Q was a semi-regular customer since before my employment. My first experience with him was indirect.
I was overseeing the front-end and placing some orders with vendors. He went through the line of one of my cashiers, Melissa. Unfortunately for her, Melissa did not have anyone else in her line, so the guy stood there yakking her ear off. Then I heard that chilling phrase. I do not recall what the full sentence was, but he said the magic words: “QAnon.”
This immediately made my ears perk up. He could have been someone more on the left, making fun of the QAnon thing or he could be a believer. Once I knew that he was spouting off right-wing conspiracy theories, I told one of the other managers that I was going to go rescue Melissa who was just smiling and nodding.
This involved getting myself to a phone out of sight and then paging the staff member to the loading dock so they could hide for a few minutes. This particular incident happened pre-pandemic, so the store’s general manager was still there. As I used the phone right outside his office, I got an odd look from him, until I told him, “Crazy at her lane.” He does not suffer fools, so he just chuckled.
This visit was done with. Then, after the pandemic started, my store adopted the policy of “masks must be worn, but if you claim a ‘condition,’ then you don’t have to wear one.” This annoyed us because we had so many liars. Mr. Q, of course, was one of those. He was relatively quiet until he checked out. At the exit door, he stopped and turned around.
Then, he started loudly proclaiming how the whole pandemic was a hoax because otherwise “people would be dropped like flies in the streets!” We just rolled our eyes at him and he left quietly, thus, ending that visit. Then came the third and final visit. This happened after our store had decided to go to a “mask-mandatory” policy without the medical exemption.
We got battle-hardened by this since we had to fend off people screaming about how it was against the law and how they were going to sue us, etc. That’s when Mr. Q came in, and things started to get interesting. One of the other managers, Aaron, spotted him but he was occupied with a customer, so he alerted me. He also said, “That guy is a fool, so good luck.”
Our strategy for dealing with people without masks was to just grab the box of the complimentary ones we offered, approach the person, and ask them if they needed a mask. Most of the time, by then, it was people who simply forgot to put one on…but that wasn’t the case with Mr. Q. Our conversation went like this:
I asked him, “Hi! Did you need a mask today?” He simply replied, “I have a medical condition.” I clarified, “Sorry, but we still need you to wear a mask to be inside the store. We do offer curbside shopping though. But, since you have a list, we would be more than happy to shop for you and then take payment and bring the bags out to your car.”
He, of course, became annoyed and said, “Are you aware of the United States Constitution? Do you know you are violating my rights?” I stood my ground and said, “Sorry, sir, but this is private property and we do require a mask.” By this time, Aaron had finished with his customer, so he came over to back me up and said, “Yes. We are not a government entity.”
That’s when Mr. Q did the unthinkable—he proceeded to dramatically say that he felt sick, then he fake coughed on Aaron and me. So, of course, All semblance of “customer service” and “courtesy” went out the window at that point, and Aaron said, “You need to leave now. You are no longer welcome here.” Mr. Q took that as an invitation to go on a random rant about his rights.
So, Aaron told me to call the authorities. Mr. Q then went on another tangent and said, “You guys are poisoning people with the products you sell! What do you have to say for yourselves! I know my rights!” In the meantime, I went over to the phone and started dialing. By that point, we had called them so many times that we knew half the department by name.
Now, Mr. Q realized what I was doing, so he wisely abandoned his cart and left the store. Aaron pulled out his phone, started filming, and followed the guy out. Mr. Q then spent the next five minutes pacing our parking lot, screaming at Aaron. It was truly unhinged. His rants alternated between us poisoning people and targeting Michelle Obama.
Aaron repeated to Mr. Q that he needed to leave and that he was now banned from the store. Then, when he saw Aaron was filming him, he started yelling about how Aaron must be like Michelle Obama too. Thankfully, he just kept pacing. I joined Aaron outside after calling the authorities and getting one of the back-end managers to come up front to watch over the cashiers.
Unfortunately, he left before the authorities arrived. And since he did not buy anything, we did not have his full name to give to them. After showing the general manager the video, we got the verdict that Mr. Q was banned from thereon. That means that the next time he shows up, we call the cops immediately and then tell the guy he is banned, in front of them.
This would allow them to arrest him on subsequent visits. He wisely has not shown up since then.
15. A Ban Challenge
Today, a guy bought something at my checkout. After paying, he went, “Actually, I am banned here. What do we do now?” I stared at him for a solid second, my brain probably making the Windows XP shutdown sound. I was shocked by his audacity, to not only come again after being banned but also telling me about it, after buying something.
I asked my supervisor, who sighed, saying that he got lucky in that case and that I should tell him to take his things and leave. But that wasn’t enough for him. He started provoking me, saying, “And what about the next time, huh?” I explained that I wasn’t authorized to decide about the duration of his ban and that, in case of doubt, he just shouldn’t come again.
He still went on, now outright harassing me, “Yeah, what do you want to do? Do you want to call the authorities? Huh? Huh?” At this point, I was about to cry, because he just kept harassing me and I didn’t know what else to tell him. Then a lady in line stood up for me, telling him to leave me alone because he was making me nervous.
“Yeah, I can see you’re shaking. I wonder why,” he blurted out. I was, in fact, shaking because it took all my strength not to cry in front of everyone. After telling the lady to mind her business and being rude to her too for a bit, he finally left. My heart goes out to the lady, who was third in line, and told me, “Honey, don’t ever let a man talk you down like that! Always remember: Big ego equals small elsewhere!” That really lifted my spirits!
16. A Red Flag
We have one of those self-serve lottery machines. Do you play numbers? Mega Millions? Scratch-Offs? You can do it all here at this machine. Except this one grown woman who, I swear, was deliberately just not listening despite saying repeatedly that she did not know what she was doing. I still persevered and tried to explain the process to her.
I said, “OK, so right in the middle of the screen are three big blue boxes. Touch the middle one.” The lady touched the Powerball button, which was on the far left, on a row of four boxes. I tried to correct her by saying, “No—that’s Powerball. You need to hit the red rectangle at the top right of that window where it says ‘Close’ to close this.”
She proceeded to touch the little tiny red button by the quantity bar. I repeated that she had to touch the box with the word ‘Close’ in it, but she was not listening. Of course, stared intently at the bottom of the screen where there was literally no red at all. This back and forth went on for a good twenty minutes. Somebody just end my misery for me.
17. Like Money In Your Pocket
I used to work for Kohls. While there, I had one customer come to the service desk with her receipt, saying that the cashier did not take off her 30% coupon. Usually, this is an easy enough fix, but when I looked at her receipt, the total was $0.00. She had already used Kohl’s cash to cover the whole thing. I told her the computer system takes the dollar off coupons first.
It is only afterward that it will then take the percentage off. This is how it works, irrespective of the order in which you scan them. Since her Kohl’s cash took care of the total, I told her that the system couldn’t take 30% off of $0.00. Apparently, she didn’t like that…not one bit. She then started yelling at me and telling me that I was stealing money from her.
I explained to her that Kohl’s cash is just a coupon we give to customers and not actual money. She then told me that she wouldn’t be shopping at Kohl’s again, and she threw her 30% coupon at me before leaving.
18. The Right Timing
My honeymoon is in about a month. We’ve got it all booked, planned, and ready. The place that I work at has us put in time off requests electronically. If you try to talk to a manager about specific days, then they just refer you to the app. This app also has a maximum number of days away that you’re able to request and it’s basically three months.
That’s fine. I went in and put in my days as soon as the full week was available. I even booked this all around the idea of still being able to work a few days at the beginning of one week before leaving and the end of another when I get back. Prepared as can be, right? I also stuck a note on it reminding them that it was my honeymoon.
Well today, as we begin creating schedules for the first week impacted by my time off, I get notified via that same app that my days off have been declined. I guess I’ve got two questions really. First, they had no idea of their staffing needs prior to this? They just let a trained seasonal hire know the end date of their employment.
This end date was before my time off by about three weeks, as if that wouldn’t help them cover that time period. Second, do they honestly think I’ll cancel a trip I’ve spent about three thousand dollars on just because they did an inefficient job? Well, they’ve got another thing coming. I won’t by the way, we’re still going. I just find it amusing that they have known about this for two months and not a peep was made.
And here we are, finally approaching crunch time, and they think this will fly. I am not sure whether it’s even worth mentioning or if I should wait for the first phone call that Wednesday asking where I am and just respond with a beach selfie.
19. Listening In
I have been working throughout COVID in a supermarket. A few months ago, I found out that I have permanent hearing damage and hearing loss from an illness I had from January to February. I am currently in the early stages of an audiology referral and my employer has been really helpful. They are making sure that I can still work in the same roles as before with the same level of confidence.
One day, a customer arrived at the till who, for some reason, misinterpreted one of the offers that we run. Essentially, she wanted the discount but did not want one of the items required for the discount to go through. She did not realize that I have to scan everything and, therefore, charge her for the extra item in question so that she could get the discount.
I processed the transaction in this way but not without her raising her voice and attempting to grab the item that she didn’t want out of my hands. At that point, I was quite confused. I could hear parts of this customer’s sentences, but she was speaking very quickly and I did not understand why she was getting so incredibly agitated over some frozen peas. Around this time, she also started to badmouth all of my colleagues and myself, saying that we “shouldn’t work here if we don’t know what offers are on in the store.”
She also said that the staff members “know nothing,” implying that I was the one who should lose my job because of her adamant misreading of an offer. Through this, I finally understood why exactly she was so angry. So, I asked one of my colleagues to come to the tills in order to assist the customer.
She did not want to engage with me, nor was she capable of having a civilized conversation at that point. My colleague arrived and I began to serve the other customers waiting while the woman went on to my colleague about how I was “incompetent” and “useless.” But that’s not the worst thing she said—she repeatedly stated that I “wasn’t listening” to her, even though I had given her my full attention.
The repeated emphasis this woman put on me not “listening” really hit a nerve. The last thing that I wanted after going through the wringer with various illnesses for the past seven months was to be told that I was losing my hearing. It was permanent, and it was not something that could be fixed in the same way as the previous illnesses.
I have to work a lot harder on the tills due to the aforementioned hearing loss and as much as I try to not care and ignore it, this was just too much for me to handle at the moment. I started to cry in the middle of a transaction while this woman thoroughly berated me for something that I had absolutely no control over.
Somehow, I managed to pass it off as hay fever which I don’t think anyone believed. Eventually, it clicked into place for the customer that she was incorrect, and she very quickly went on her way after realizing that she had just completely humiliated herself in a store full of people. There was no apology made to any of my colleagues, or to myself and the other customers in the store.
I had been debating whether or not I needed to get a lanyard clearly stating I have a hearing loss, but it is still very early into the investigation process and I didn’t want to buy one before I had any thorough tests done on my ears. But this was the event that cemented that I absolutely needed to get one as soon as possible.
Regardless of my hearing loss, that kind of behavior is absolutely unacceptable and a completely different kind of demeaning. It was the most insulting reaction I have ever seen, and over a bag of frozen peas, no less. If she didn’t want them, we had a perfectly acceptable food bank to which they could be donated.
20. Feeling Drained
I just got my first performance review at the retail job I’ve had for six months. I’m honestly stunned. I have been at this job for six months, four of which have been as a fulfillment associate in the specialized jewelry department where I was hired because the associate in charge of this department liked my work ethic. That’s what I’ve been doing for four months now.
I occasionally also fill in as a sales associate when we are understaffed. There are times when it’s really quiet and I can’t stand having nothing to do, so I go and find what needs to be organized to keep my hands busy. I always make sure I’m within view of the customers and am near a cash register so they know that I’m available to help.
All of my co-workers are at least twice my age and have been working there for 5+ years. A couple of them like to order me around and will tell me that I’m not doing enough with fulfillment. They’ll do this in front of customers when I’m helping them, even when I’ve been assigned to the floor. Yesterday, during this review, I talked to my manager. It didn’t go the way I wanted.
I told her that some of my co-workers don’t seem to understand my role and that I do both fulfillment and sales. I acknowledged that this happens when it is busy and stress likely has a lot to do with this, and she flipped it around and said that it’s because they see me organizing and think I’m not helping them enough with customers.
This is blatantly untrue, as I am always helping customers and checking in on them. I know my co-workers don’t particularly like me doing this because we all work on minimum wage plus commission. My manager wasn’t saying any of this harshly and had generally good things to say about my work, and I get that she doesn’t want to get involved with any conflict.
However, her response honestly felt like a slap in the face. The department was a mess when I arrived and only one other co-worker and I bother to try and keep it organized. But, apparently, now me putting in more effort when everyone else is standing around on their phones isn’t a good thing? One of my co-workers also tattled on me for setting watches—which were already running—to the correct time and told the manager what I was doing drained the batteries.
Fine then, if you do not want organization or effort, then you won’t get it. And I honestly advise none of you all to dedicate the energy I did to my job for the past four months, because no matter how nice your manager or some of your co-workers are, it won’t be appreciated and they will just feel like you are showing them up at work.
21. A Short Wick
I work at a candle store and this happened yesterday. An older woman came in—she was probably in her 80’s but still seemed to have her wits about her. Anyway, she was going on and on about needing a small gift for a guy who did some work in the building she lived in. I told her that we carried a line of skincare and bath products for men.
She scoffed and says that would be weird. So, I said, “How about a candle?” This was because, you know, I work at a candle store. Her response made me curl a fist. She basically said, in an angry voice, “I can’t give him a candle. He’s not gay!” I was trying very hard to bite my tongue and remind her that we have tons of male customers and even my straight boyfriend likes our candles.
She then had the nerve to say, “That’s good for him, but I cannot give the man a candle because he’s not gay!” At that point, I was over it and I walked away. My manager then stepped in because she has a lot more patience for ignorance than I do. After she left and we vented about her, my manager told me that the woman ended up buying a notebook that says, “Slay the day.”
Fact: The Future Of Retail
Although AI workers are expected to become more and more common in the near future, that doesn’t mean that all jobs are expected to disappear. Experts don’t see jobs like therapist, doctor, nutritionist, or priest being taken over by robots any time soon. Most of the jobs that are expected to be taken over by robots are those that require only a high-school degree, such as cashiers, retail salespeople, fast-food workers, and drivers.
Sigh. Depending on if you like your retail job or not, it’s either terrible news, or great news.
22. How To Shut Down A Store
I worked at a Tim Hortons for a year, and the whole year was a series of red flags that eventually made me quit. When I was hired to be on the night shift, they told me that they were going to properly train me on the equipment and make sure I knew what I was doing before sending me on the night shift. Unfortunately for me, that never happened.
I only got a 1/4 of my training with a supervisor on the afternoon shift until they told me they were putting me on the night shift. At this point in time, I was still unfamiliar with a lot of aspects of the job and there were only going to be two other employees on the night shift to train and help me. The person they eventually got to train me was a guy that had joined only three months before me.
It was, basically, a case of the blind leading the blind. However, I also had an awesome supervisor at the time. That helped a bit, but he didn’t have the time to train and help me too much. The expectations and the resources that they gave us to do our jobs were not even close to being enough. Our job consisted of manning the front counter, doing the drive-thru and cleaning the entire store.
As I was new, I was very slow at doing the cleaning due to the fact that I wasn’t familiar with what needed to be cleaned and what the procedure to clean certain items were. Even though it was obvious that I was new, every single day when the head manager and the other day shift staff came in the morning, we would be belittled and called lazy, among other things, etc.
This was for, apparently, not getting all the cleaning done. We were a very small staff and also had to stop everything we were doing to serve a customer at least 50-60 times a night, sometimes for up to like 20 minutes at a time if it was a complicated order. Our store is located down the road from a lot of factories, so we got a lot of the workers from there.
When the factory workers would go on their breaks, they would all drive up to our store and buy two to three sandwiches, multiple coffees and more. Every night, we could expect at least three times a night to have 10 cars in our drive-thru all at once. This was, of course, a lot of work and took us away from our duties. It all reached a breaking point.
When our supervisor, who has been there for many years, talked to the Head Manager on multiple occasions about how we needed more staff on night shift because it was very busy, all the Head Manager would say is that they would work on getting more people on nightshift. But then they would never do anything to actually fix the situation.
With the problems stated above, when the store would find someone who applied for a midnight position at our store and got hired, they offered them the choice of staying on a day or afternoon shift. Due to the fact that not a lot of people really want to work a night shift, they all, of course, took the afternoon and day shifts, leaving us on the midnight shift completely high and dry.
Our Head Manager and some of the day and afternoon staff for some reason hated our guts even though we barely interacted with them. It became quite obvious when we had someone leave our store due to the fact that they were going to England to live with their girlfriend. At the time, we needed a new supervisor for the night shift.
You would think that they would ask someone who was experienced in the day shift or afternoon shift to become a supervisor for the night shift, or at the very least give the title to one of us who had been working the night shift for over a year, like myself, at the time. Our manager, however, decided it would be appropriate to give the title to…a new hire.
The said new hire, who we were currently training, had been there for only two months at that time. It all went wrong very fast. Unsurprisingly, our night shift supervisor finally had a mental breakdown on the floor due to the way our Head Manager had been treating us for the past year. The Head Manager was there when it happened.
The first thing that she did was to defend herself by claiming it was not her fault and trying to deflect blame off herself instead of making sure that our supervisor was ok. Clearly, the night shift was not going to work. After some time, the now four months’ new hire supervisor needed to be transferred to afternoon shifts due to family concerns and obligations.
So, we were down to a two-man team most of the night. I will admit that back then I was a very people-pleasing person who would do a lot of things to help people out and didn’t want to leave without a “proper excuse.” Because of that, I stayed there a while longer even though I shouldn’t have. In total we only had three people who were willing to do the night shift at all.
This meant that if you were hurt or sick and you called in, then the store was put on red alert to replace us. Because of that one night, I decided that I was just done with this store’s foolishness. I thought to myself that I keep on making excuses to stay and I knew that if I didn’t just do it then I would never leave. As a result, I would be miserable for many more years.
Because of the lack of respect and decency that my boss gave me and the rest of the night staff, I decided to just leave a note on my boss’s desk, at the end of my shift, telling them that I quit and that I wasn’t coming back. The consequences were so satisfying. As I said, we only had a skeleton crew working the night shift. So, when I quit, they had to shut down the night shift at the store.
It was down for at least three months. Honestly, I can’t say I regret it. I mean the only thing that I do regret is that I didn’t have the guts to march into my manager’s office and tell her off before I left.
23. Sole Cost
I no longer work retail, but I used to work at an extremely discounted store, something like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, etc. This incident actually happened a few nights before my last day. We were about to close, and this lady came up to my register to check out. She handed me a pair of Michael Kors baby shoes and asked me how much they are.
I told her the price—$27—and she flipped! She retorted that the price could not be correct. I calmly said, “They are $27, ma’am. Did you still want them?” She replied, “I want them but not for that price.” She clearly wanted a discount. I had to clarify: “I’m sorry, ma’am, we don’t do discounts. We’re already an extremely discounted store.”
She said in disbelief, “$27 for baby shoes?! That’s crazy.” So, seeing her reluctance to pay that much, I assumed that she did not want to buy them anymore. Thus, I offered to put them back for her. She stopped me angrily, saying, “Uh hello? I said that I want them!” I acceded to that but firmly maintained my stance by saying, “OK, ma’am. They’re still going to be $27 though.”
She refused to believe me and asked me to check again. So, I flipped the computer screen around and showed her the price. At that moment, she did not know what to do because she was wrong, so she snapped at me to get my manager. The said manager came, confirmed the price, then left.
I thought that was the end of it, but no. Karen then said, “I just don’t understand why they are so much?” I tried to make her understand by saying, “Well, these are Michael Kors, one of the more expensive brands we carry here. If you were to buy these anywhere else then they’d be at least $100. You’re actually getting a pretty good deal.”
She still refused to budge and said, “I just don’t believe you. That’s not the real price. And you should know, I work for the Attorney General, and it would be a shame if you lost your job because you’re making up prices.” Still trying to maintain my cool, I replied, “There’s no benefit for me to lie to you.” She finally became quiet.
What was she thinking? Consider this, lady. I get paid $9 an hour to scan items. What on earth makes you think I make commission? If you want Michael Kors goods then you have to pay Michael Kors prices, even though this was already a bargain.
24. A Not-So Comical Situation
I recently started working in a comic shop. The owner had a very stable staff until slightly before COVID. I understand that a lot of mom-and-pop stores, especially comic shops, had it hard during this time, and some stores didn’t make it through at all since distribution of new comics ceased for a while. But in any case, none of the staff I’m familiar with work there anymore.
Either way, I applied and got hired without an interview, or even having my application looked over. I now know this was a huge red flag. That’s how desperate the owner was for help and that was definitely reflected in the store. It was a mess. During the “interview,” the owner made it a point to let me know that they were difficult to work with because they’re a mean person.
That really didn’t faze me because it is their business, their livelihood. They’re allowed to be that way if they want to be. So, I’m working—as one is expected to do at a job—and everything is going great. I’m cleaning up the store, getting things where they need to be. The place looks less like a tornado that rolled through a nerdy flea market, and more like a legit comic shop.
Some of the random issues that were scattered around needed to be sorted, and some of these comics are kind of big deals. One in particular is Venom #3. It was just sitting there in a box, collecting dust, loose, smashed alongside nearly a whole run of other early Venom back issues for that volume. I know that it’s going to cost something, but it’s not in perfect condition.
It’s perfect for my collection, though, since I read and collect comics too. I put it to the side for myself because I know that it will have to be properly priced. Sorting through random boxes of shoddily stored comics will give any collector a few pieces that they think have nice covers, or some key issues they’re missing that would be a shiny gem in their collection.
So, I’m going about my day as I’ve always done. Sorting, moving boxes, rearranging nearly half of this small store so that it looks presentable, at least a little bit anyway. I’m jokingly complaining about how working here is terrible for my wallet, but good for my collection. Then the owner chimes in with a reply that stopped me right in my tracks.
He says, “Just so you know, your discount only applies to new comics going forward. It doesn’t apply to back issues or anything that you already had in your subscription bag.” I quietly nod as I try to process this. There are no “prior” current releases in my bag since I pick them up regularly, so the comment really just boils down to: “Those back issues that you found in the random piles of garbage I call a store are going to cost full price, depending on what I can find out about them on eBay.”
The more I dwell on the idea, the angrier I become. All back issues? So, this means there’s no discount on 90% of your store? The store that I work in? That I’m in the process of sorting through for you? I’m still quiet. I still haven’t approached him on this, and I really have no idea how to. Do I just ask him to explain why there’s no employee discount for back issues?
Furthermore, the more Wednesdays—the days on which new comics are available to the public—the more corruption I witness behind the scenes. I know this probably goes on a lot more than I’d realize, but this last week, the owner comes up to us as we’re sorting comics and says, “Finish putting W.E.B. of Spider-Man in everyone’s bag that subscribed to it. Bring the rest to me. It’s a $50 comic, so we’re not selling it.”
Through the following days of that week, customers come into the store and ask for it and I have to claim to them that we are already sold out since we did not order that many. All the while, I know that we have about 40 copies sitting in a cabinet a few feet away. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but it’s such a shady business practice.
Maybe holding back a few…or half, even, would be ok, but all of them? Worst of all is that by the time the owner gets around to trying to flip them on eBay, they’re going to be closer to cover price after all the release/first appearance hype dies down. It’s already down to closer to $15 on eBay at the time of this post. So really, not worth the trouble.
And sorting through random boxes, I actually found comics that were on my pull list from months ago that I thought just “never came in.” No. They were “hot” titles for a second before the price bottomed out, but the owner never did anything with it. So, I’m left to find the evidence. I’m disappointed that I never got my books because the owner lied to me.
And the reason that they lied was because they intended to profit from the fact that I was the only person affected since it was such a niche title to start with. I got in contact with one of the people that used to work there and told them that I worked there now. They responded with something along the lines of questioning why I would do that.
After a lengthy discussion, it turns out that, apparently, the owner is not only a slob but also very bad at running the business in general. The sales generated from the current week’s books pays for the next week’s, with very little left over to go toward anything else aside from rent/utilities, and this is the way it has always been, for a good long while.
So, now I’m left with this shocking realization that the owner isn’t really a mean person as much as they’re a greedy, trashy, unethical business owner. The problem is, otherwise, I really like the job. The customers, for the most part, seem cool. Having the ability to call first dibs is kind of neat, even if I don’t get a discount. But I can already tell that the owner is not the reason this store has stayed open so long.
25. Limits Are For Other People
This happened around the time when Walmart had just announced its pickup service. We had no sort of “do your shopping for you” or personal shopper positions, so I should have seen the immediate red flag when my customer service manager (CSM) approached a coworker and asked if I wanted to be a personal shopper.
I was mid-transaction, and the coworker was chanting to herself, “Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes.” But I was 19 and naive and still believed cranky last-minute Christmas shoppers were the only problem creatures. I also wanted to make my co-worker happy, so I said, “Uh, sure.” My CSM briefed me on the woman who had only $85.
I was told to make sure that she stayed around $85, and that was the only introduction or warning I got before I was sent off with the lady, who I never learned the name of, but I will call Audrey, as she was just as cartoonishly whiny as the little girl from the old Little Audrey cartoons. The first red flag that I saw was that she immediately walked over to the garden center to see the Christmas clearance items.
I had just met Audrey, so I assumed she was certainly old enough to know her limits. She was probably around 65 if I had to guess. So, I followed her. But boy, oh, boy, was I entirely wrong. We walked around the garden center and she took notice of the special perfume and cologne sets that companies get specifically as Christmas gift ideas.
She grabbed one and said that it looked really nice and that she would love to try it out. She then placed it in her cart and proceeded to pick out sets for various family members—some nice slippers with vibrators in them to massage your feet, and not one, not two, but three Christmas yard decorations with lights.
I politely informed her that she already had easily over $150 worth of stuff in her cart, and she asked me whether I was sure. So, I totaled up the price of all the stuff in her cart and then added on sales tax. She reluctantly put back several of the perfume sets and two of the lawn decorations, and we departed for the next area of the store.
Since she was old-fashioned, she still used a landline phone and informed me that she needed AA batteries for it. She said that she wanted to get rechargeable ones, to save money, and I agreed that may be a good idea…until she picked out $30 batteries. We spent a lot of time there because she specifically wanted batteries that indicated on the package that they were good for phones.
I got her to put back two more Christmas items, but some of her more expensive items remained in the cart. Then I asked her if she was ready to check out—she informed me that she still had to get her groceries. I had easily spent 45 minutes with this lady but I was long overdue for my break…my stomach sank so far that I had to scoop it up off the floor.
But I followed her as she picked out her groceries, all the while reminding her that she had a limited amount of money. At that point, I fully understood why my CSM would lie about this. Once again, I informed her that she had over $150 in her cart so she put a few items back; though, she did not believe me when I still insisted that she was over budget.
Instead, she insisted that we head to the checkout to confirm. Maybe she was one of those people who had to see her total to believe it, or maybe she was just being dumb, but I was too mentally exhausted to deal with it, so I just followed her to a checkout lane and unloaded her cart of items for her. When he recognized her, the cashier looked at me and nodded.
He then asked, “How long did it take?” To that, I indicated that it had been over an hour and he rolled his eyes, saying that sounded about right. But my ordeal was far from over—the cashier rang up all of her stuff with me there to bear witness, and he did not know her limit this time.
So, he did not say anything when we passed it. We made it to something like $193, and Audrey looked at her total and said, “Oh…” She took off a few slabs of meat, which brought it down around $20, and then handed the cashier a flavored drink enhancer and stared at him expectantly. The total was still $172, and she passed him another flavored drink enhancer.
I informed her that we might have to take off one of her more expensive items, like her perfume set or her slippers. She insisted on the slippers but decided the perfume could go. Great! That brought it down to $161, which was still progress. She inched the total down a few items at a time, all the while insisting certain items were off-limits.
I thought she put back the batteries and replaced them with regular batteries since those were much cheaper. The guy had since turned off his light but he still had a line. With his replacement cashier now present and the light still off, we were all trying to talk the lady down from everything she still insisted was necessary.
When we got her down to $120, she started asking us if she could just have some of her items The cashier seemed to know where this was going and told her she could have them if she paid for them. We tried several times to pry more items out of her transaction, but she insisted she needed everything that was left in the cart. It was a nightmare.
She started asking the replacement cashier if she could help her afford the items, to which the cashier told her no. She could literally lose her job for trying to do that. She then turned to the man behind her and asked for money, and he was about to offer to pay the remaining cost until the cashier gave him a look and requested that he please not do that. Clearly, this woman had done this before.
She then told the lady that she was not allowed to solicit at our store and that she was going to have to put some stuff back. Defying the advice, the nice customer behind us gave her $10. The lady put back another frozen item and was at $115. All she would need to do is to put back her cheap plastic lawn ornament…but she continued to whine about how she really needed it and how it would make her yard look so much nicer.
At that point, I sighed and decided to just take the item off her transaction, pay for it myself, and give it to the lady. I was done with it entirely. The cashier, however, told me that I could not do that and that I could lose my job for it. But I took the item to punch out for my break, grabbed my wallet from the back, then purchased the item and gave it to the lady.
I told her that I did not even have a yard and I just wanted it to be over with. The CSM later decided to just ban the lady from the store. I was also allowed to take it easy for the rest of the day. A very stressful ordeal, but the closest thing I could have gotten to a happy ending. And no, I didn’t get in trouble, much to my relief.
26. Calling All Stations
I worked for a small business for about three years ending in 2020. This store was notorious for being understaffed due to people calling in sick or screening calls to avoid working with the manager that stars in this story. As the cast, in this short and sweet tale, we have the awful manager, myself, and my kind, long-suffering mother.
So, to set the context, please know that I borrowed the manager’s phone a few weeks prior to this incident after mine stopped working so that I could let my parents know where they could pick me up from. On the day of this incident, it’s a Saturday morning and I didn’t have work, so naturally, I slept in until about 9:30-10 am. I got up to do the regular things you do when you first wake up.
I went to the bathroom, ate my breakfast, brushed my teeth, etc., all while having left my phone on my bed. Unbeknownst to me, my manager was attempting to call me to get me to come in and cover a shift. As you can probably guess, I didn’t answer her call. This was not only because I wasn’t with my phone but because she wasn’t supposed to call after 9 am for a shift coverage.
Strangely enough, this was a very weird rule put down by her specifically. The next thing that I know, I hear my mother’s phone ring and her saying, “Oh, hi.” Then my manager asked my mother to bring me down to work, stating that she “had no one else to work,” which was untrue because we had a full house that entire shift. I am glad I’ve left that place of work.
It has always bothered me that my manager invaded my privacy by contacting my mother and asking for me to work instead of just finding someone else.
27. On The Edge
A lady demanded that I call her a manager today. She wanted to complain about how some items did not have a price on them while others did. She started interrogating me about pricing protocol, but I was on SCO duty today. Though, since I’d never seen her in the store before, I lied and said that I had nothing to do with stocking.
The manager arrived and Queen Karen launched into a full-fledged rant. Then, while she was at the counter complaining, she added a very hand-flailing, gestured complaint that the counter edges were too rough and sharp. She went as far as to say she was lucky that she did not injure herself, otherwise she would have called the health board. I wipe that counter down probably 200 times every day.
I assure you, there is nothing sharp about it because I would be among the first to raise a concern about it if there was. The employees where I work are very aware of how something small like a sharp edge on a cart can end up with a potential lawsuit in this crazy economic and opportunistic climate in which we live right now.
My manager handled it well, but the other associates and I couldn’t stop laughing about it all shift. Their loud proclamations about how such-and-such—mostly random things like the color scheme, etc.—could have been fatal for us were just absurd.
28. Indelibly Annoyed
I work at a retail chain that “accepts” tattoos. Before working, I didn’t have any visible tattoos. Well, I saved up some money, and went to my supervisor to ask if it was okay to have one visible. He said it was fine. So, I get this beautiful watercolor tattoo. I’m very proud of it. It’s on my upper arm and barely goes to my elbow.
In other words, most short sleeve shirts cover the bulk of it. Anyway, weeks after getting it, a manager asks me to put on a sweater to cover my tattoo. Out of politeness, I do just that, but I do ask a couple of coworkers if they had the same treatment. My coworkers shrug. I give the issue a couple of weeks until my anger subsides and I can collect my words.
Today, I walk into work and ask to speak to my supervisor again about the policy surrounding tattoos. He speaks with the store manager. Then the truth comes out. Apparently, there is no policy surrounding tattoos, and as long as they aren’t offensive, they can be visible. Lo and behold, my closing manager is the same lady manager as before. She doubles down on her views.
She reiterates that tattoos should be covered and it’s unprofessional to have them out. That is not acceptable. I am going to speak directly with my store manager tomorrow and look for other work.
29. Make Way
So, I work at a grocery store chain and Tuesdays are what we refer to as “Specials Day.” Basically, it’s my job to change out last week’s special with the current week’s special. It is a long and painful project that I volunteered for when I got promoted because I like doing projects that other people do not.
That day, I was doing my thing in the specials aisle. I started getting gradually more and more annoyed since the whole process would be three times faster if they just let me do it when the store was closed, but, for some baffling reason, they wanted the customers to interact with me as I was occupied with 10 pallets of random things.
Near the end of my ninth pallet, I had myself basically pinned into a corner of the aisle. This was a strong nonverbal language that should have signaled to the customers, “Hey, maybe don’t walk this way. I’ll have to step around my pallet, move my pallet jack, and reset myself if you do.” But lo and behold, trouble was headed my way—a lady came walking down the aisle, approaching me at the end.
I am a chill guy, but I don’t really talk much to the customers because my store is in an upper-class area and the wealthy folks don’t like getting spoken to by some sweaty dude in a uniform. So, when she kept walking towards me, I realized that she was going to try and walk around my pallet or, God forbid, walk on it.
I quickly moved my jack and the pallet and looked up at the ceiling, questioning God for creating oblivious customers. Apparently, that look at the ceiling really truly infuriated her. At first, as she walked through the suddenly clear path, she apologized half-heartedly in that way only some types of customers can pull off.
But her apology read more like “Oh, I am sorry wage person. I sure hope I didn’t inconvenience you with my presence.” I nodded my head at her “apology” and turned back to move my jack and pallet back to where I was working. Apparently, not only did she expect me to move, but she also really expected me to graciously tell her it was no problem that she made me move my entire working station so she could save 15 steps.
Between not accepting her apology and looking at the ceiling for about three milliseconds, she decided right then and there that I was a menace and needed a talking to. She started with the basic criticism of me being a retail grunt who didn’t have a big fake grin on my face the entire day. She topped it off with the classic line that always gets my blood boiling: “I do not think you should be working here if that is going to be your attitude.”
She said that while looking at me like I was an animal in a zoo exhibit. I did not reply and just kept working. “What’s the worst that can happen?” I thought. I cannot please everyone. Then she got in line. Now, the line to the checkout is situated about 10 feet from where I was working. At that point, the villain, in her mind, had her walkway obstructed.
She went out of her way to loudly criticize me and complain about how I should not be allowed to work at the store. Now, I will be honest with you, I should have just let her have her moment. If I had let her just screech and complain, it probably would have ended there. Maybe a phone call or strongly worded email to corporate. No biggie. I should have just smiled and kept working.
But there was a part of me that needed her to know that yelling at customers about how terrible I am is not how we did things at our store. So, I told her, calm as I could, that she needed to stop making a scene. And when I say something snapped in this woman, it was like someone hit a light switch. Immediately, her phone was recording me and everything got a lot more dangerous.
She was asking leading questions like, “Did you just tell me I can’t talk to other customers?” and “Do you think you have the right to break my first amendment?” and “Who’s the manager here?” Now, there are two things you can do when someone gets their phones out and records you. You can walk away, potentially get followed, and then you can ask them to stop recording.
Or you can be a fool like me and ask them to stop recording you right away. The latter method, naturally, led to her screaming even louder and accusing me of being a terrible person. She randomly started threatening me, saying that she could have me fired whenever she wanted. At that point, I was just trying to get her to leave.
She had made the scene worse by recording and trying to be the next viral “look at how bad I was treated” internet star, and it was clear that she just wanted to capture my angry reaction on film. I am glad to report that I did not get angry with her. I did not raise my voice at all. I just stood there and let her scream at me. As she finally finished paying for her groceries, I asked her again to please leave if she was going to continue making a scene.
This led to her sitting behind the cashiers and between the doors and waiting for me to walk away so that she could leave. I informed her that I needed to see her leave. She said that she was not leaving until I was out of her sight. I stood my ground and told her that she needed to leave or I would be forced to call the authorities.
Oh, God. She had the wrong reaction to that statement. Most of the time, if someone says, “Hey, this might need to become an official matter,” the natural human reaction is to reevaluate what they are doing and decide if they want to continue. For reasons only God knows, this customer’s reaction was “Good, call them. I want them here.”
Here’s the thing. I was not ever going to call them. It was a bottomless threat. What was I going to say to them? “There is a lady screaming at me and recording me?” Worst case scenario, this woman makes the whole situation into some kind of bigger issue and I end up on the news. So, my bluff having been called, I walked into the office and called my direct manager.
I told her what had happened and she basically told me to get back out there and deescalate the situation. I went back to the registers and I actually decided that the best course of action was to tuck tail and just apologize. So, I did. I said to her, “I’m really sorry you had a bad experience today. I hope you can come back and shop here. I understand what went wrong and I will gladly give you corporate’s information.” And then I told her to have a good day, indicating the door as I said that.
She sort of accepted my apology. Of course, she still went on about how I was terrible and how I should not work there, but at least she calmed down a little…until she mentioned she was an “investigator.” Not seeing a uniform or a badge, I asked her what I thought to be a natural and reasonable question.
I asked, “An investigator for who?” Her exact reply was, “Do not play stupid. You know what kind of investigator.” Then she went on to say that she was going to call corporate, let them know that I was only harassing her because she was an immigrant (which was ironic since I am an immigrant too) and that I should expect not to have a job in the next 24 hours.
I just sat there and took it. There was nothing else I could do, really. Sometimes you just have to let them screech so they will leave. As she finally turned to leave, she noticed that I was watching her. So, she came back and said that I could not watch her leave because I was “going to attack” her outside.
I clammed up even more at that comment. As a final shot, she told me that she had “the means to retaliate” in her car and that she’d “gladly use it” if I come outside. She finally left and I called my boss, breaking down in tears of pure frustration, telling her how the de-escalation went. My boss assured me that she was just a crazy lady and that she, my boss, would have my back if this turned into a bigger deal.
30. In Good Graces
Our manager has shown extreme favoritism towards one of our supervisors. He told me to my face that he would never promote her to her current position, yet he did so literally within a week of him getting the job. I would’ve accepted it if she was a hard worker, but she’s not and customers constantly complain that she’s nasty and rude towards them.
Sometimes, they even ask outright what she does at our store. In addition to that, she’s earned herself the reputation of not doing anything in her department of our store—other managers and our district manager have actually said so—and she’s just not respected in our store as a member of management. Nevertheless, she was recently given the opportunity to craft our schedule.
This was inexplicable since we have an assistant manager. Letting that be and just looking at the schedule, it was a mess. It was nothing but a high school like schedule. All of her friends got the best hours, of course, while the hardworking people got the scraps. It is blatant they’re running the store as they please, so I just left.
There is constant drama too and I just don’t want to feel ostracized because although I’m a hard worker, I’m not in the good graces of the manager and his lap dog. I have nothing lined up, but I’d rather live off my savings than work at that store anymore.
Fact: It’s Fiction
If you’re curious which stores put on the worst “sales” for Black Friday, look no further than jewelry stores. According to WalletHub, most jewelry items only have a 4% discount at best. This is all despite the ruthless advertising campaigns that jewelry companies create each year before the big day. Uh, no thanks. It isn’t just jewelry stores that are potentially ripping you off on Black Friday.
In 2019, WalletHub’s studies revealed that up to 14% of all products had the same price on Black Friday as they did on any other day.
31. Showering The Troubles Away
I am a shift manager two days a week and a cashier for three at a truck stop and rest area. We have fast-food restaurants, showers, parking for big rigs, and passenger vehicles. Today’s troubles, like most of the trouble I encounter, revolved around showers. A driver came down, plopped his wet towels on the counter (even after my cashier directed him to a towel bin), and then threw his key onto the pile.
The cashier asked him, again, to place the towels in the bin. He finally grabbed them and said, “Oh, so you guys do not have to touch them.” I replied, “Yes, policies have changed some due to the pandemic.” In truth, that has been the policy for at least the three years I have worked there, but this seemed to be the quickest way to resolve the matter.
My cashier asked him what shower he was in, and instead of speaking, he held up the numbered key. Though, his finger was blocking the number, so we could not see what it was. When my cashier reached for it, he raised it higher so he had to stretch to get it. At that point, I was starting to get really irritated. His behavior was just so unnecessary.
I told the driver, “Way to make it complicated.” This man lost his mind. He got right into my face and said he would slap me hard. I told him to leave, and he started flexing like he was actually going to throw a punch but said, “I’m not going to go for you. But want to know what I will do? I will find your family and mess them up.”
I pulled my cellphone out and started recording. The store manager then arrived at the building and heard the tail end of our shouting match with each other. He stepped in between us when the driver came too close. The driver started shouting at him, ” Don’t get involved, bro. You don’t want none of this.” My boss replied, “This is my property.”
The driver calmed down very quickly, and they stepped outside. My boss told him exactly the same things I had; that he was not to return, etc. The end. Fast forward to the end of my shift—we had yet another driver issue. So, the policy for our showers is that we hold onto something as collateral until we get the shower key and the towels back. 99% of the time, it’s a non-issue.
The other 1% of the time, it’s a mess. This time, a driver came down, and since my cashier had a few people in line, I thought to ask the driver if he had brought the towels down. The driver said that he had not because he had not been told to do so. The cashier clarified that they had, in fact, told him. The driver just shrugged and said, “I don’t care, man. I have a Lyft outside waiting. Give me my keys.”
He had left his personal keys as collateral, but since we did not get our items back, I told him he would have to get the towels. He became belligerent to both me and my cashier. At that point, the overnight manager was in, so he got some too. This went on for a few moments; then, in what I thought was a bluff, he said he was calling the authorities.
Spoiler alert, it was not a bluff. Like the guy at the start of my shift, I started recording on my phone. And this guy actually threatened me. After about seven minutes or so, a couple of officers arrived. The guy was belligerent with them too, and he pushed the cashier to the point where they told him he needed to back up and calm down.
One of the troopers came to the back desk where we dealt with the showers. The driver, at that point, looked like he was about to break down in tears. The trooper asked about our policy, and it was explained. The driver told him what he told us, “I am here for a shower. In and out. I do not have time for this. I have a Lyft outside. I just want my keys.”
In what I thought would be the best moment of my day, the trooper escorted him upstairs to the showers and made him get the towels. We gave him his keys and receipt for the shower, but I added that after today, we did not want him back on the property. The trooper and the driver walked away, but the trooper made sure that he acknowledged what he had been told.
He asked him, “Did you hear what the manager said? You’re not welcome here anymore. If you return, you will be charged with trespassing.” I left a note for my boss about what had happened and went home. If the driver had simply said, “Oh sorry, guys. I forgot,” or if he just didn’t act the way he did, then we would have just given his things back. But he wanted to be petty about it.
I am better at the petty game. My takeaway from today is that my boss is pretty awesome. He had my back, stepped between me and a guy who audibly threatened to harm me and others. He probably will not appreciate that I let the second incident go as far as it ended up going but it is what it is. Sometimes, in retail, you just have to defend yourself.
32. Knowing Better
I have been working at a small retail pet store for almost three months now as a manager. The first couple of months were awesome. Most of my team are hardworking and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I also got along with my other manager, the old assistant manager, and the general manager. But in the blink of an eye, everything changed for the worse.
A couple of weeks ago, we got a new assistant manager because our old one got transferred to another location. At first, he was nice. He also had a lot of management experience working with big companies including Disney. But, as time went on, he started to micromanage more and more. Just the other day, he told me to do something three times while I was doing things that were a lot more important.
In our store, we have online pickups and deliveries, but we do not deliver on Sundays, so he wanted me to call a customer to tell them that they will not get their items that day. That’s fine, but I can do it when I have time. He then asked me two more times and said that our general manager had said that we have to call customers who ordered for deliveries on Sunday.
I do not remember this and told him as much nicely. However, he went on that he was there and heard it and that I was there too. This is possible but I probably tuned it out because I was probably doing something else. It’s one thing to tell me something that I did not know, but do not say that I was there and assume that I heard something if I was not a direct part of the conversation. It didn’t end there.
Next, he started ranting about how bad it is when we help customers save money with coupons. This is a mom-and-pop shop, so we care more about customer service and the animals of our customers. I know this because my general manager told me as much during my interview. Also, one of the reasons why I took the job is because I love stores who care more about the customers than the money.
This was not the last I heard from him, either. One day, me and him were facing the store, trying to make it look nice. While doing so we were talking, and me being me, I was trying to know him better and just being nice. I mentioned jokingly that with my luck I would get fired over something foolish. He looked at me and said that they would have a hard time firing him since he is in a protected class and I am not.
Even in a joke setting, I found this inappropriate because I did not really know him that well. I would say something to my general manager about this, but am hesitant because they seem to be getting along well. I certainly do not want to lose my job over this because I love my work and my team, but this new guy is starting to drive me up a wall.
33. Smoke Signals
We had a new employee start yesterday. She seemed to be a very sweet girl in her late teens and had a great sense of humor. I took a liking to her instantly. She had never been in charge of a register before, so I was put in charge of training her. I showed her the ropes and let her take over, staying close by in case she needed me.
When it was quiet, I taught her what the procedure was when it came to smokes. She asked me if she had to ID everyone and I told her that she would have to use her judgment. If a person seemed younger than 21 to her, then she should go for it. If they looked older, then it wouldn’t be necessary. She seemed to understand, and she was getting the hang of the register quickly.
I figured that I could stop shadowing her and let her do her thing. I told her that I was going to do some stocking, but that I would be close by if she needed anything. In fact, I would be no more than an aisle over. She smiled and said OK. About 10 minutes went by, and I heard somebody yelling. All I could hear the girl say was: “I am sorry, sir,” in the most terrified tone.
I came over to find this old man screaming at her. She was hunched over and looked like she was about ready to cry. Apparently, he had told her that he wanted a particular brand of smokes. She gave him the wrong ones twice and was slow to find the right ones, and then she asked him for his date of birth when she rang it up.
He was yelling about how he was in a rush and needed to go. He saw me and said, “Hey, can you ring me up? This woman does not know anything.” I looked at her and saw the tears rolling down her face. That was not OK. I told him to not talk to my coworker that way and informed him that it was her first day. He said, “I see that, but I have to go.”
I told him that he obviously did not because if he did, then he would not be screaming at her. He replied with a threat, saying that if I said one more thing, he would never come back to support our store. That was fine with me. I did not want customers who disrespect employees in the store anyway. In the cheeriest tone I can muster, I told him to have a fantastic day.
He stormed out muttering and I consoled the new girl. She was full-on sobbing at this point. What a horrible first day that had to have been. All because some mean person could not show a little empathy.
34. Read My Mind
Last week when my boss asked me if I could work an extra day, I said yes. She told me that I might be working either Friday or Saturday or both; she just wasn’t sure at the time. She informed me that she would let me know what day and time to come in. I checked my texts all this week just to make sure that I did not miss any messages.
But I didn’t receive a message from her at all. At the job, she said nothing. Then, Saturday comes around and I get a message saying, “Where are you?” I answer by asking who was messaging me. She then calls me and starts yelling at me that she told me to come in at 3:00. This is not true. I inform her that she has not sent me a message or a new schedule.
She then changes to yelling at me for being apparently lazy and not wanting to work. While I explain to her that she should have let me know the time to come in before it was too late, she hangs up on me. She then calls me back later but I do not answer because I am not going to tolerate that type of disrespect at all. I don’t have time for that.
My boss would never treat my other co-workers this way but when it comes to me, then she expects me to be at her beck and call. She has even told me to my face that my job should be more important than my life. I’ve even heard one of her favorites boast that they can call out any time they want and that she would let them have the day off.
I’ve had many issues where she would call me to come on days I needed off. This is also not the first time I’ve caught her lying. She constantly blames me for things that happened when I was off when she knows very well that another employee has done it. When I point this out, she accuses me of being difficult and disrespectful for standing up for myself.
35. Behind The Doors
I just finished working the weekend and, boy, reopening after a lockdown has really brought out the geniuses, huh? Yes, please take your sweet time, ignore the store hours since they are clearly just a suggestion. It is not like we have lives or would like to get home before it starts pouring out. Keeping in line with the genius parade, on Friday, some dude waltzed in 10 minutes before closing.
I greeted him and asked if I could help him find what he was looking for since we were closing soon. He didn’t really answer. Fast forward nine and a half minutes—I caught him talking to my coworker for the greater part of his visit, and I knew immediately that he would be trouble. He was mostly about random topics, but clearly, she did not care. Unfortunately, she was too nice to cut the guy off and say that she was busy.
I start the closing ritual for the store, which involved turning off the open sign, flipping the sign by the door, closing the doors, etc. I also tried to make more noise than usual so that the guy noticed what I was doing. Of course, he did not, since he was too far into his story about wanting to be a hairdresser or something.
I waited about 30 seconds before I abruptly interrupted. I asked my coworker if she was ready to close her register. That tipped the dude off and he finally left…he did not even buy anything. We have had more people like this, all just waiting for the store to close. Then, we have those who are the other way round. We had a woman who was standing at the doors for a while waiting for us to open, and then got into her car and left as I was walking to unlock the doors. This has happened quite a few times and I cannot really wrap my head around that logic.
36. Jack In The Walmart
I don’t work for Wal-Mart but for a vendor company and work in all the different grocery / retail stores in my area. Pallet jacks are always hard to come by, especially in Wal-Mart and especially a good one. I gave up asking associates for jacks because nine out of 10 times they do not want to give one up. I try my best to find one a decent one that’s not being used because I have heavy pallets.
So, one time, I walked around the store multiple times trying to find one and just could not. So, I went to the lawn and garden area where they usually try to hide some. There were two jacks there. One of them was a newer jack and I knew it was a really good one. I saw no one around to ask, so I took it. Around 30 to 45 minutes later, I was pulling a pallet down.
Then this big guy comes up to me out of nowhere, pulls me away from the jack, takes it away, and then turns around and starts yelling at me, threatening to fight me. I retaliate by saying that I’m just trying to do my job like everyone else, and I needed a jack but could not find one, so I took that one to finish my job properly.
The guy continues to threaten me, proceeds to yank me by my shirt, and starts waving his fist in my face. Several associates are watching, and once he grabs me a manager steps in and immediately takes him into the office. A couple of other associates ask me if I’m ok and offer to give me their best jack. A minute or so later, the manager comes to me and asks if I would go into the office and explain my side of the story and what happened to the lead overnight manager.
The guy who threatened me is in the room also. They make him apologize, proceed to try and ease the tension and ask me if I could bring my own jack with me. This is not possible since I drive my own car between stores. Then they ask me if I accept his apology. At this point, I accept it because I do not know what else to do. I wish I’d never done it.
Then they lightly start joking about how jacks are hard to come by and that they just ordered even more jacks. They tell me that I should ask the employees if I could use the jack before taking it. I do this in general but, as I said, there was no one around this jack at the time. I also ask for the name of the employee multiple times and they just keep saying that they are handling it.
This meant just making him apologize and saying that he can’t lay a hand on anyone. At the moment, I’m still working in the store, and they are all trying to be nice to me. They keep asking if I’m ok. But, in my opinion, they should have sent him home and taken the situation a bit more seriously. I’ve messaged my boss about it before I decide to do anything else or call HR.
37. With A Smile
One day, I had an old guy come through my register with lumber. I said hello to him and instead of greeting me back, he immediately told me had eight pieces of the stack of lumber on the left. I proceeded to count them and he snapped at me, saying, “I said eight!” I told him that we were supposed to count them. I completed counting and rang up those eight pieces.
He then told me that there were 10 pieces of lumber on the right side of his cart. Once again, I counted them. He said to me, “What school did you go to?” I was so confused by his question that I did not even know what to say. What was interesting is that, despite how cranky he was, he kept smiling at me as if his rude remarks weren’t uncalled for.
He was also wearing his mask with his nose hanging out. Once he finished paying and I gave him his receipt, he left the store without saying thank you or anything to me. That guy is definitely up there as one of the worst customers I’ve ever had. Absolutely no manners and I am still disgusted by his behavior to this day.
38. Meat Of The Matter
I am a meat cutter in a grocery store. Here’s a list of what I do: I close five to six times during the week, I take care of both pork and beef cutting, hamburger grinds, sale items, and I run our truck myself. Meanwhile, I work with three other guys who just sit in our office during their shift. I try to be friendly, but it takes so much out of me I just ignore them now.
I’ve spoken to my store manager about this, and he’ll talk about it with them, they’ll work for a week, and then sit down again. I can’t take a break or lunch without hearing “Get back to work.” One day, I snapped. I told one of the guys, “Screw you, all I do is work.” I got written up for it. Today, I was on lunch and one of them told me I messed up a steak.
They made me look while I was on my lunch and then cut in on lunch. And they wonder why I give up on doing more. It has finally gotten to me. I’m going to do my very best to hold off until my vacations are done and then I’m leaving. Good riddance to these people.
Fact: Stop Theft With A Smile
It might sound weird, but those Walmart greeters aren’t just there to put a smile on your face. Nope. They’re actually placed there because they believe that a friendly face and a warm welcome will tug at a shoplifter’s heartstrings and make them reconsider stealing. Who knew a greeting could stop crime? Walmart did!
39. Powered Up
On one Saturday afternoon, we had a power surge followed by an outage. It affected all of downtown, but the store was not notified. Now, you would think that people would be understanding…but there was not one empathetic soul in our store that day. People started complaining that we did not have a backup generator. This was, in their eyes, totally the employees’ fault too.
We had one register that could still ring, but the card reader was down, so it was cash only. And the belts would not move. All of this should be obvious, but no. We got questions like, “You mean I can’t use my bank card?” despite the fact that we had been repeating that for the last 20 minutes. Add to the mix this one lovely man who kept shouting, “Time to get out the pencils and paper!” because we most definitely know the price of every item in the store.
We finally got everyone out, locked the doors, and put stuff away to enjoy 30 minutes of bliss. The instant the power went back on, people were beating on the door. My manager told them everything had to reboot but, of course, they wanted to shop during that time instead of waiting five more minutes.
40. Badly Lit
I just had an interview today at a new job and they hired me on the spot. I could not be more thrilled to be able to get a new better job that isn’t working at Cumberland Farms where I currently work. However, I had to break this news to my manager. I told her that I would need to adjust my hours so I can see how this new job pans out.
They are starting me part-time so I want to keep my current full-time benefits as long as I can. Once I’m full-time, I’ll either quit Cumbies or at least gut my hours. At first, she was reasonable about it and immediately took note of what time I needed off and when. This became a 180-turn quickly. Suddenly, she started lecturing me about “not quitting too soon.”
This was even though I had already said that I was not doing that anyway. On top of that, she tried probing to learn what I was not happy about. This is something she already knows by now: Some of the people at this job are infuriating to work with, and I made it clear it’s toxic. However, she always brushes it off and makes excuses for those in question.
This then proceeds to devolve into a repeated barrage of criticism of me for being “too sensitive” or “overreacting too much.” For context, I have anxiety, depression, and PTSD, and she knows this. She always brushes it off and deflects by treating it like a joke despite claiming that she has anxiety herself. It seems that she is just trying to instill doubt in me to keep me from leaving.
She knows I’m one of the better workers here and cannot afford to lose me. I even turned down another promotion because I simply could not deal with it anymore. My support group agrees with me and even called it gaslighting.
41. Here We Go Around The Counter
I had a customer who was standing at the cash with items all over the counter, just staring at me. So, I sidled up and cashed them out. All of sudden, the customer left and started browsing the store some more. When he moseyed back up to the counter just moments later, I asked him if he was all set. He said nothing and went off again to look at something else.
Then, after some time, the customer stood impatiently before the register, proclaiming sourly, “Can I get some help over here? I’m ready to cash out.” It took everything in me to not give a bratty reaction. As I was ringing him up, I also got hit with the old, “No, I always get 10% off,” even though our item rewards system has literally been only 5% off for the past 10 years.
But no, this guy said he always gets a deal here. I had never seen the guy before in my life, but okay. Needless to say, they did not get the claimed discount.
42. Sour Candy
The store that I work in is in a little town. Most of my customers are regulars with the exception of the people who camp at the site down the road. We get truck deliveries three times a week, one for our general goods and the other to fill our cold goods. Our cold goods have been running late due to not enough drivers so at this point they’re hiring anyone.
Well, so today I got to deal with the biggest jerk. He showed up today while I was helping to get my cashier’s line down as we are quite busy on nice days. He refused to acknowledge that I need a moment before he can start unloading so I can break the seal that only store managers can break. He broke it anyway and never brought it to me even though I need them for our records.
When he was finally done, he asked for his paperwork and I asked for my seals. This set him off, and he asked what I meant. I clarified that I need the seals for my logs. He replied that he needed his paperwork. Exhausted and irritated, I said that we would do that after he kindly brought me my seals. This is right about where he completely lost it.
He said, “You’re going to make me go out into the rain and do more work!? No. You were supposed to get them. Know what!? Come on! You come back here and you grab them!” Nothing like going with a strange, angry and creepy man to the back of my store. I’m a small girl, I would be outmatched had he wanted to hurt me at any point during our conflict.
Still, I did go, only to find that he threw my seals into the muddy parking lot. After grabbing them, I went to get his paperwork so he’d just leave. He followed along, berating me. He claimed that because I was “rude,” he would get a free pop. I refuted this by saying that we did not give free pops. Apparently, to him that meant that I was going to buy him one insyead.
I refused and said that it was not my responsibility, and I finally handed him his paperwork. He then blocked me in so he could dig through our candy stash for what seemed like a whole hour. I managed to move him along and he imparted his final words of wisdom to me and said, “Even though you’ve been so rude, I will be nice. Tell your co-worker to have a great day!”
Hopefully, when we report him, something will be done. Retail sucks but the great customers who gave me their ear and offered hugs make it worthwhile.
43. Not A Know-it-all
This customer came in 10 minutes before closing. She was looking at jeans up until closing with the help of one of our newer staff members. He had been hired six months ago for the holiday season but received only one shift weekly. At closing, I told my coworker that we were closed, so he told the customer that he would have to bring the items to be cashed out.
The customer continued looking anyway. My coworker took me aside and spilled the truth about the situation—he told me that the guy was being aggressive and almost yelling at him to help. When he came up to the cash, he complained about not being able to find the jeans that he was looking for and said that my coworker should not have been hired because he did not know anything at all.
Bear in mind that my coworker normally works in our shoe department, so he does not know much about casual wear. He then wanted us to call another store in order to look for his size. It was five minutes after closing, so obviously, no one picked up. The cashier told him that, and he decided to ask for the manager as if that was going to do anything.
Since I am the shift leader, I was the acting manager. I turned around and asked him what he needed, and he started going on about how I needed to hire people with more experience. First of all, I don’t even hire people. Secondly, this was the kid’s first job—he was barely 16, and he was one of the nicest, most eager-to-please employees that we have.
I almost lost it at that customer. I told him not to talk about my employees like that. I do not even remember what else I said before my cashier jumped in to de-escalate the situation. Maybe I overreacted, but my coworker feels like the little brother at our store.
44. The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back
I think I’ve come to the end of my retail journey. The customers are bad enough, but for the past 12 months I have worked for some of the absolutely most clueless and lazy people I’ve ever met in my life. I’m talking about people not knowing when they work or how long they work, despite the fact that schedules are posted three weeks in advance.
Then there are cashiers who refuse to call for backup. I’ll be in the stockroom or the office doing something, then come to the front and there are lines going almost half way through the store! No one knows when their breaks are even though you take a break every two hours. I could understand if someone just didn’t know these things but learned them over time.
But that isn’t the case here. There are people who have worked for the company for over five years, who you would assume are new hires on their first shift ever if you just looked at the way they behaved. I just don’t get it. I could understand maybe one person behaving like this, but half of the people working are borderline zombies who have no situational awareness or autonomy of any kind.
Once, I asked an associate who had worked there for over seven years to tie some balloons to a balloon weight. My jaw dropped when they reacted. They fought me on it because they “had never done it before and didn’t know how.” Yesterday it took me nearly five minutes to get an associate, who has also been working here for over seven years, to mop the floor because she wasn’t sure how much cleaner to use.
Today was the last straw. Tomorrow, Thursday, I’m supposed to be trying on the tuxedo I rented for my friend’s wedding. The wedding is Saturday. Today one of my cashiers, just moments before clocking out to go home, said to me, “I think I might have COVID. I got tested this morning and get my results tomorrow.” So, she worked her whole shift like that.
She was handling money, dealing with the public, touching people’s products, and didn’t say anything about her awaiting test results. We ask a long series of questions before each person’s shift and they have to sign off that they don’t have symptoms and aren’t awaiting test results. She, apparently, lied on the questionnaire in order to work her shift.
Now, since I’ve been in close contact with her, if her test comes back positive then I have to miss my friend’s wedding and stay put for 14 days… again! Yes! Again! This exact same thing happened last year. A girl lied about getting tested, and I had to miss two weeks of work over it. I lost all of my vacation time to supplement my pay.
If this other girl’s test comes back positive then I’m going to lose all of the vacation time I’ve accumulated thus far. I was at a loss for words when she told me today. I thought that we’ve been asking you these same questions day in and day out and explaining exactly what to do if you start to show symptoms or need to get tested, and as soon as one of those things happens you act as if it’s no biggie.
Essentially, if this happens again it’s going to mean my store manager is going to have to work doubles for two weeks, I’m going to miss my friend’s wedding, lose my vacation time, and anyone else who has worked in close proximity with her is going to miss work as well. You ready for the icing on the cake? That comes after she tells me about the test.
After this, she tells me she’s putting in her two weeks’ notice because she cannot deal with work right now. This coming from the girl who just stands around doing nothing! Or if she does do anything then she will just make a huge mess somewhere and leave it for someone else to clean up. I’m so done babysitting adults. I am currently moving out of the retail space.
I am exhausted of trying to hold up other people to simply break even. It feels like I have slipped into some alternate universe. I’ve never experienced this lack of awareness and common sense from adults in my entire life. I’m so done right now.
45. Selective Vision
Today, I had two unrelated customers really get under my skin. Most of the time, I shrug off mean customers. I let them complain and then reply with “Sorry, company policy” or some other non-response to shut them up. But not today. And the first one was a doozy. This customer was an older lady who had bought four packages of hot dogs.
We currently have a sale for hot dogs: buy two and they are 99 cents each while their normal price is $2.99 each. The limit is one, so it’s a pretty good deal; you save $4 overall. However, this lady was angry that only two of her hot dogs had gone for the sale price. I was called up and asked to fix it. The lady claimed that there was no limit mentioned on the sale sign.
So, I got out a sales flier, and before I had even opened it, she claimed that she doesn’t read the fliers. That made me instantly angry. I set up a refund and went to get the on-shelf sale tag. And wouldn’t you know it, in big bold capital letters the tag read: “Limit offer one per customer.” I grabbed the sign and started to go up front to show the customer.
She saw me coming and immediately took off because the cashier had run the refund before I had a chance to get the tag. It irks me that customers can read the sale sign, but selectively ignore parts of it.
46. Elusive Promises
I worked for a supermarket while I was studying for my degree. Once I completed it, I ended up going from part-time to full-time. I had managed to work my way up to a supervisor position and moved to a new store and gas station that had opened up. It was supposed to be an upwards move with more pay, and I had to travel further to get there.
So, I’ve been there for almost three months, unable to do most of my supervisor job role because I’ve not been allowed to go for my training. Why? Because another lady who had started before me need to go for her training first. It was only fair, but even though I understood I was still frustrated because her training start date was perpetually delayed.
This was because we were so understaffed that she wasn’t allowed to go. Suffice to say, neither of us was happy as we were both not being allowed to do the job we were hired for and weren’t getting paid for it either, which would have meant an extra good chunk of change at the time. I was frustrated and definitely regretting the move, but I continued to work and wait my turn.
One day, I was the supervisor on an evening shift along with one other colleague. It was not a particularly busy evening and things seemed to be going all right. Then a little girl walks in; she’s maybe eight or nine years old or thereabouts. She’s been sent in by her dad to pay for the gas he filled his car with, which is something our company doesn’t allow.
As she is under 16, I cannot accept payment from her for the gas, the same way I couldn’t serve her if she was paying for a drink or a smoke. Before she’s even out the door she’s yelling, “Dad, she won’t take the money from me!” Her dad comes storming in, unhappy that he has had to come in, something he clearly was avoiding for some reason.
He complains that he had gas on his hands as we had no gloves out there and didn’t want to touch the money. I politely apologize about the gloves and explained that they were restocked only once in the morning and that we would not know if the boxes outside are empty. I refrain from pointing out that he would have touched the money to hand to his daughter or that he would have touched his steering wheel to drive off.
Before he’s even out of the door of the very small store, and he didn’t even bother to keep his voice down, he turns to his daughter and says, “See, this is why you should learn or you end up working in a place like this.” This really upset me. One of my biggest regrets is not telling the customer and his bratty daughter that sometimes it doesn’t matter how educated you are.
Sometimes, out of necessity, you have to take a job that puts you into contact with ignorant people like him. The reason that I started working at that supermarket in the first place was because I needed a job while I was studying. Also, I was living at home and my parents had a huge financial burden and everything I earned was going to them to help them pay the mortgage and bills.
This upset my parents more than it upset me, because they only wanted me to be independent but, unfortunately, were not in a position to refuse my help and money, especially as I was still living with them. I let the customer and his daughter walk away and did what seemed like the next best thing at the time…but turned out to be the worst.
I ranted on Facebook. I defended the company and my colleagues, a lot of whom were students who were working there while studying. As I had, unfortunately, named the company in my post, the managers had flagged this, and as I had insulted the customer while defending the company, I was suspended for doing so. I know it was the wrong thing to do.
If I had not put the company name in there, then things would have been different. Let’s just say the names I called him were not pleasant. But lesson learned. I was suspended for three weeks before I got a disciplinary hearing. During that time, I was job hunting like mad as I was still supporting my parents and they still needed my extra income.
I was eventually cleared to go back to work but had, thankfully, secured a new position and was only there for two more weeks after the disciplinary. If I had stayed, I still would have had to wait 12 months for the disciplinary action to fall off my record to even apply for a supervisor position, never mind the training that I still had never gotten.
It was honestly a difficult time back then, but also a blessing in disguise. Six years down the line and I’m working in a job I love and don’t regret leaving somewhere like that at all. After I was cleared to go back, I was able to hand in my notice on my own terms, but it was a reminder not to trust the people who promised progression but reneged when it came time to deliver.
47. Needing An Explanation
I had never ever encountered anyone really going off on me at work…Until yesterday. This encounter at my workplace—a burger place—involved a rude customer named Darren, his young daughter, my coworker named Karen, my manager named Bernard, and me.
At my workplace, we organize orders numerically. Once your order is finished, we call out the number and the customer comes to pick up their order at a hand-out area. Now, I am currently training for a new role, so I was close to the handout table, but not working it. I noticed a man, whom I came to know as Darren, standing in front of the table with a receipt in his hand and a burger in the other.
Obviously, I knew he had a complaint. I just didn’t expect that it would go like this. I asked him if something was wrong with his order. He said that he had gotten the wrong burger. He was actually calm at this point and he sounded only a slight bit irritated, but there was nothing alarming. I apologized and asked what kind of burger he was missing.
That’s when Karen, who was taking orders next to us, jumped in and said, “Oh, I think his daughter grabbed the wrong order. His order is in the back.” I later told her that it was not necessary to tell the customers their mistakes in that manner because either way, we were going to fix it for them. It was faster to just fix it rather than play the blame game.
Plus, no one was going to blame her and go on some witch hunt. I just wanted to do my job. At the time, I just said that the food in the back was already cold, so I just needed to know which burger he needed.” Instead of answering me, Darren said, “Wait. My daughter grabbed the wrong food though?” Karen said that was what she thought had happened.
So, Darren replied, “Well, can you tell her that? Because I do not want to start a fight if I tell her.” At that point, Karen and I looked at each other confused and uncomfortable. He then waved his daughter over. They were a tall duo, but I guessed that she was around 12. I tried to avoid the situation and reiterated, “Really, I can just get the correct burger for you. It’s not a big deal at all.”
Darren insisted that she needed to “learn this.” I then said, “OK. Well, I did not hand out the food, so I cannot say if she grabbed the wrong order. Karen can help with that.” Karen quickly washed her hands of the situation by saying, “I can’t. I am in the middle of taking orders.” That annoyed me and I thought, “Why were you listening to us in the first place then? Why put in your 2 cents when I was already fixing it and we had no issues?”
But my concern, at that point, was Darren, who suddenly really wanted me to do it. His tone made the situation really uncomfortable. Even his daughter started to look extremely uncomfortable. As he started getting irate, more condescending, and loud, I started to just look for a way out. He continued to insist that he wanted to talk to me and know what had happened.
I, once again, expressed my helplessness. “Yes, sir. But unfortunately, I do not know what happened. I was not here handing out the food.” He kept cutting me off, so I finally said, “I am going to get my manager for you because I cannot help you any more with this.” As I turned to step away, he started screaming at the top of his lungs.
He shouted, “No, don’t walk away from me! Ma’am, I do not want your manager! I am not trying to create a scene here!” Everyone was staring as he was going off and I yelled out Bernard’s name. Bernard came over and that is when Darren went back to his calm voice. He told Bernard that he just wanted to know what happened with his order.
I was still standing there and Bernard said, “He wants to talk to you.” Darren had a condescending voice when he was talking to me. He gave a half-truth and then asked, “Is that not what happened?” So, I stood quietly, and after he asked again, I said, “Well, I mean, my manager is here. So, yes, I am agreeing that that is what happened.”
I also refused to look at him because when I get angry, I cry. I was trying so hard not to let the tears out. Also, because he was bending down to my level, I wanted to punch him. Darren started saying stuff like, “Will you look at me? Why does it feel like you don’t want to be talking to me? Do you even want to be here talking to me?”
When he didn’t stop his aggression, I absolutely lost it. So, I said, “No, I don’t. Bernard, I’m not doing this. I can’t do this.” And I walked away. I went to the back where three or four different coworkers checked up on me. One even offered to let me punch him to take out my anger. I did not take him up on his offer, but I love that kid.
At that point, I only had like 10 to 15 minutes left on my shift, so I got to go home. Bernard apologized to me and said he didn’t expect him to speak to me that way. On one hand, I understand because Darren could come across as a normal calm customer. But on the other hand, this guy was literally just screaming at me. And he was at least 6’3 (192 cms) while I am 4’11 (125 cms).
Even his daughter was taller than me. I told Bernard that it felt a little biased because he was not as condescending with him as he was with me. But Bernard said that he felt it was more to do with height since he was just as tall and built similarly to the customer. Either way, he said that there was something off about that guy anyway, and I agree.
Fact: Big Box Breaking Bad
If you’ve ever gone shopping at a Walmart after midnight, you’ll probably agree that it’s a madhouse full of questionable characters. But a little crazy is nothing compared to what happened in 2011, when there were a minimum of four occasions where folks were caught cooking meth inside one of the stores. There are also numerous—numerous—stories from Walmart employees detailing customers who peed and/or pooped in clothing sections.
There’s even a Walmart that had to deal with someone writing on the store’s bathroom walls in their own excrement. On multiple occasions.
48. Promotional Mirage
A store manager I had been working for was recently terminated and we got a new one. I have been having a lot of pain in my knees for months. I found out that I tore my meniscus in my left knee and I warned my job months in advance that I would be going for surgery. The now-terminated store manager offered me a full-time position two months prior to my operation.
I remember that he said, “I want you to have this position because you deserve it.” I accepted. The terminated store manager put my picture on the wall as part of an announcement that I had been promoted. He also ordered special name tags for me that only full-timers get. He scheduled me full-time hours, and I worked those hours.
And it was hard. I was in constant agony, especially since he often asked me to lift heavy flower pots and furniture. He was 100% aware of my condition and he still had me do those things. Nevertheless, I persisted. I wanted to save up my sick time in case I needed it. I also planned on using vacation time towards my recovery when the time came.
On April 19, my store manager was terminated. On April 26, our new store manager started working. On April 30, I had my surgery. I waited until today to call work to let them know I would probably need to be out at least another week or more. The pain is even worse now than it was when I injured myself in the first place. I spoke to the new store manager.
He assured me that my job is secure, which is very nice. However, he informed me of one awful mistake. The terminated store manager had never put me into the system as a full-time employee. I never got the pay increase I was supposed to get either, nor any of the benefits. I worked full time hours for two painful months and I only earned a whopping eight hours of sick time.
49. Too Good To Be True
To preface, it needs to be said that my store does not have coupons. We never have, and we probably never will. On this day, I had a woman come in saying that she wanted to get decor for her new house. I offered to show her what we had available. She then mentioned that she was so excited that she was going to get such a good deal.
I assumed that was because everything she was picking out was 40% off. Spoiler alert: it was not. She proceeded to spend over an hour picking out everything and having us put it behind the counter for her. That was when she finally mentioned, “Oh yes, I was so happy to get a coupon for half off of everything here,” which was the major red flag.
I then asked her if I could see it while also explaining that we did not carry in-store coupons. She proceeded to spend another 30 minutes looking for the supposed coupon. I finally got a glance at her phone and it all made sense—she had pulled up one of those websites that claim to give out coupon codes, but they usually don’t work.
It even said in a big text that they uncertified codes. She was perfectly polite the entire time but explaining to her that she couldn’t use any of that in-store was exhausting. I know the older generation can have trouble with stuff like that, but it was like she just could not believe that she could not use her coupons. And, of course, she had us put half of it back.
50. Fishing For Problems
I work in pet retail and I’m in charge of maintaining our aquatics department. We make a lot of money in particular from our saltwater fish, which are very expensive, and also highly sensitive, and prone to illness. The reason our sales are so good is, in part, because I work hard to maintain the department and make sure the fish are healthy.
My direct supervisor is on vacation right now, and my manager literally couldn’t give two figs about any of the animals in our department. So obviously, important things aren’t going to get done if I don’t come in and do them myself. I work part-time and I have no obligation to do this; I just care. As of now, four of our saltwater fish are sick.
I know that nobody would medicate them if I didn’t come in yesterday and today on my days off to do it. I got permission to clock in, because I refuse to work off the clock and not be compensated. When my boss saw me today, the first thing that he said was that I need to be in uniform if I’m working. Seriously? I’m not in uniform because it’s my off day.
I don’t even want to be here. I’m not going to change into my work clothes so that I can come to work to do something in my department that I decided to do purely because I care about our fish and I don’t want them to lose their lives. The four fish that are sick are worth over $200 combined. We can’t sell them while they’re sick, and if they don’t make it, we take a loss on them.
To top it off, after he saw that I also came in yesterday, he told me that if I’m going to come in and work, I need to check with him first because of payroll. First, I got permission from a manager both times that I came in before clocking in. Second, I know for a fact that payroll is not a problem, because I had to threaten to quit before he would schedule me for less hours.
Furthermore, my other part-time co-workers are constantly complaining that they want less hours. I’m not even anywhere close to approaching overtime this week. There clearly wasn’t actually a problem, so why even say anything? He never thanked me for coming in to help, either. I like my job. I love fish, and I genuinely enjoy working with fish.
But my job is making me miserable and I don’t want to be here anymore. I like my direct supervisor, and it does not help the morale either to hear her constantly talk about how tired and stressed out she is from work. My general manager will just decide to take a day off if he feels like it because he’s on salary so it doesn’t affect his pay.
Then he will come back around and get mad that the other managers are going into overtime and things aren’t getting done. I see myself quitting within the next week.
51. An Apple A Day
I had a customer yesterday bring in the clearance item that he bought, which was a MacBook. He came up to the register to return it. That was no problem. For reference, I’m five feet tall and he was a big guy. I followed protocol and opened it. I then checked to see if the laptop was up and running to turn off his iCloud accounts.
When the screen turned on, it was stuck on some weird screen with a mysterious folder labeled with a question mark. That’s all it displayed. I didn’t give it much thought. As I was processing the return, I noticed on the receipt that the form of payment was a $43 gift card, and the rest of the $1,057 was charged to his card.
Returns work by giving back the money in the same form of payment. So, I was telling him that he would get $43 back to a gift card. He immediately got upset and tried telling me that the last guy who helped him return an item of his but not to his card, but to a gift card. So, he wanted the whole $1,100 to his card.
Normally, I would let the customer know this kind of thing, and they would be OK with it. I was a little overwhelmed, so I called my super. She was held up with something and a minute into waiting, this guy started getting aggravated. He told me, “I don’t have all day! C’mon.” At that point, I was begging my super on the radio, “Please, I need you here.”
She came and checked out the situation. She also investigated the MacBook. I didn’t know if the guy didn’t disconnect it from his iPhone yet, but his accounts were still attached to his laptop. So, he started getting even more aggravated. Eventually, I called a floor manager up. They were letting him know that there was nothing we could do on our end.
This was because he did something like wipe his system. So, he had to call Apple to disable his accounts or find out why it was not working. He was sitting there, calling Apple, and I guess he was trying to use voice commands because he kept shouting something. Then he started to argue with the floor manager again, so I just walked away to compose myself
In the end, the guy got all his money back to his card and he was still able to return the item, claiming that he’ll never buy clearance items from us again.
52. Only So Many Hours
I run a convenience store; we’ll call it Square Q. We are open from 6 am to midnight. We’ve been understaffed since February, with myself coming in almost every day. For the last month, it’s just been myself and my assistant manager, Bert. Everyone has either quit and gotten unemployment, or moved on to a higher paying job.
We finally hired a new employee, Jane. After Jane’s first week of training, Bert was bitten by a black widow spider, and is out for at least a month. Jane works a second job elsewhere, and does not have open availability. This puts me coming in at 5 am to open, leaving at 8 am when Jane gets there, then returning at 3-4 pm and working till midnight four days a week.
And of course, my phone is blowing up nearly the whole time from work. My only day off work in the last six weeks was April 15, and that was to take my mom to a doctor’s appointment. My boss tells me to get together with Dora, who has been with Square Q for 3o some odd years and is the manager at a sister store down the street from me.
I am supposed to see if I can borrow some help from her. Dora’s store is short-staffed as well, but not nearly as bad as mine. Every time I ask for help, however, I get excuse after excuse. Her people have told me she does not even ask them if they want to pick up hours at my store, and they would be willing if she would approve it.
I tell my boss, he talks to her, but she still gets her way and I get the short end of the stick. I. Am. Exhausted. I don’t want to quit. But 70–80-hour work weeks in a convenience store are taking a toll on me. My paychecks are beautiful these days, but my body is giving up. I wake up every morning feeling like I’ve been hit by a semi. That is, when I get sleep.
Stress-induced insomnia has been depriving me of even that lately. I tried to tell Dora all this. Her response was, “Yeah, there was one year I worked 365 days without a day off and I was fine. But I guess that’s just because of my dedication to being a manager.” Are you kidding me? If I wasn’t dedicated then I’d have let the whole place go down the drain a long time ago.
I just don’t know what to do. I’m burnt out and beyond tired. If I quit, I can’t pay my bills. But I can’t keep this up.
53. Always On Clock
I finished a shift at my work and I was on my way home when I realized that I needed to do some shopping. I could not be bothered to go all the way back to my store, so I went to another shop on the way home. Mind you, I was in my work uniform and it was too hot to wear a coat over it. I was going to be in and out so thought it was no big deal.
How wrong was I?! Well, two minutes in, an elderly couple came up to me and ask, “Excuse me, do you know where the food storage bags are kept? I replied, “I am sorry but I do not work here I’m afraid. They just say, “Oh, right!” They stormed off and, although taken aback, I thought little of it. Instead, I got on with my shopping and headed to the self-service tills.
Just as I was about to finish, the couple came back and they had a manager with them! They told the manager, “This employee of yours refused to help us find our items.” The manager looked at me, then said, “I am afraid that this man does not work for us.” He pointed to my uniform saying, “He works for another company.”
The couple stared at me and said, “We thought he was making that up!” I’d never had a complaint from a customer while shopping in another store before! Well, there is always a first time.
54. Halt! Who Goes There?
Yesterday, I was out in our garden section at the cubicle that’s there. Like any good cashier, I was watching our only entrance/exit since the garden section is a popular spot for shoplifters to sneak out. So, I’m pacing around when I see this guy walking toward the exit, with a Milwaukie tool chest and hoodie tucked under his arm.
You know one of those chests with the dividers and tubs in them? So, I step forward and politely ask, “May I see your receipt really quickly?” He keeps moving forward and says, “I brought this stuff in with me.” I don’t buy it at all, but we are not allowed to accuse someone or take a hold of the merchandise unless we have proof. So I came up with an ingenious plan.
I just smile at him and say, “Alrighty then, have a good afternoon.” As he’s walking away, I take my time memorizing as many features of the guy as I can and, as soon as he gets out into the parking lot, I call my supervisor and let her know that we had a walk out. I turn my eyes back in his direction and watch him walk off to his vehicle.
I start jotting down what the make of the car is, hoping that when he swings by past the gate I can get a glance at his plate to help our agent file a case against him. It’s at that point the guy pulls around front, still in his vehicle. He rolls down his window and shouts, “You gotta problem with me?” I tell him, “No. Not at all. I’m just doing my job.”
He responds, angrily, “There a manager I can speak with or something; this is wrong!” The man then proceeds to back his car up, nearly slamming into a couple of cars in his way while violently honking his horn at me—or the other drivers—and does a lap around the parking lot. I call up my supervisor and tell her that she may need to send security to the area to escort him off the premises.
He then proceeds to demand to talk to a manager again, but I’ve already got someone on their way and tell him as such. I go about my job trying to check a lady in line out, while my supervisor comes in and starts talking to him. He then proceeds to start shouting and swearing at my supervisor, accusing me that I was profiling him when he was just a vendor.
My supervisor said, “My cashier was just doing his job. He was trying to get information because he had thought you were taking something. If you had just told him that you were a vendor then he would have let you go.” And I would have. Is it so hard to say “I’m a vendor, I brought this with me,” rather than saying “Oh, I came in with this stuff”?
Not to mention, the fact that you were getting defensive about me doing my job makes me even more suspicious that you are doing something wrong in the first place. After that blow up, the vendor storms out and then proceeds to tell his boss that he was being profiled by me. But here’s the kicker, all the managers in the store took my side.
They also told his boss that I was in the right and that your employee shouldn’t be treating the store’s cashiers like that. And that since he represents us, what does that exactly tell customers when they see a guy screaming at a cashier for doing his job. Again, is it honestly so hard to say “I’m a vendor”? I mean those three words could have saved you so much trouble and not make you look like a terrible person.
55. Cost Per Spray
I work at a thrift store, and due to COVID, there needs to be a door greeter who greets customers coming in and sprays their hands with hand sanitizer. This was what I was doing when an elderly woman came in. As I sprayed her hands, she started coughing dramatically as though this was the first time anyone had ever done that.
Then, she said, “You sprayed too much. It got into my mouth.” I immediately felt bad when she said that, but then she lost me when she said that it had gotten into her mouth. She was clearly wearing a mask. To top it off, as she walked away, she muttered something. It sounded like, “This is going to affect the amount of money I spend today.” I don’t get how that affects me, but okay.
56. Jamming Session
So, we got this new electronic safe at work and honestly, it seems pretty great. When it is time for a cash drop, you just feed the money into it like a vending machine and it prints you out a little slip. You would think it would be simple, but no.…first off, Ronnie, the special kid, is always jamming it, despite telling him what not to do.
Sure enough, every night I come in at 10 and Ronnie has jammed it again. Then comes the manager and her assistant. They are both bad with electronics. Every morning is a mess now of trying to get the end-of-day stuff done. The most frustrating thing is that I have already learned most of this stuff, and I know exactly how this safe works.
But trying to tell this to either of them gets no result. The manager and her assistant just respond with something like a “yeah yeah” and ignore me, mess it up, do it backward and then mess it up more. Apparently, they never learn.
57. In The Know
This happened this past weekend at my shop. The customers were one of those annoying couples who’d regularly come in and ask questions every time. They would ask things like where the bin bags were or where the rice was as if they weren’t here literally all the time. One day, this couple came up to my till and I start scanning through the items.
Suddenly, the man said, “Can you press subtotal at the end?” I said that I would. This was because, obviously, I was going to have to do it anyway. I thought he was just particular or did not really understand how it worked. Anyway, the total came to around $55 and they were not very happy. They started asking me how much every item cost and to void out other items, which of course I did without a problem.
When they came to scan their voucher, the pop-up appeared as expected, telling me to get a supervisor to authorize the void. I told them, “Because you have removed some products, I have to get someone over to authorize them. They shouldn’t be too long.” The man looked at me with confusion and said, “I thought pressing subtotal would make it OK.”
This deeply puzzled me. Did he think that of all the people who ever worked my shop— till staff, supervisors, and management—that no one had ever considered or worked this out before? Did he think he, a completely random man, knew more about our till systems? That he knew more than the staff who are on them all day? Strange!
Fact: X This Customer Out
It’s not uncommon for people to attend Black Friday while armed, but this story takes the cake. According to police, a frustrated woman at a California Walmart was waiting to pick up Xbox 360s. Annoyed at the line, she pulled out a case of pepper spray and assaulted the people around her “in order to get an advantage.” Did we mention that she had two children with her at the time?
58. A Not-So Grand Reopening
We’ve been remodeling since March, and our “reopening” is this weekend. It’s going to be a total nightmare. Five out of eight of our cashier-operated registers are broken. The remaining three have a few glitches of their own. At least five of our self-checkouts are also malfunctioning. The company that services our registers has told us to stop putting in tickets because there are already so many.
It’s been like this for a month. We also don’t have any signage at the customer service desk. We don’t have the TVs yet that are supposed to be installed in place of signs. Our security sensors aren’t set properly to the counter and wobble if you touch them. Our counter isn’t set properly to the cabinets and moves when leaned against.
Furthermore, our counter is scratched and was never replaced since it was the remodel team that scratched it. There are paint specks everywhere. Half of our drink coolers don’t work. Half of our machines are neither plugged in nor in a spot where they can be plugged in. Signs are in the wrong spots with one in particular blocking one of our cameras.
A majority of the store is still yet to be polished and deep cleaned. This is just the front end. I don’t even know the state of the rest of the store. We are, of course, still reopening. It is definitely going to be “grand.” As a joyous bonus, they are making everyone work both days of the two day “celebration.” Any call-ins or no-shows are automatically two points for each day.
59. Time Is Money
I’ve worked in customer service for two years and the amount of stuff I’ve had to deal with is enough to blast God to the 16th dimension. One time, a customer wanted something way high up on the shelves, in the depressing fluorescent lights territory. I told her that I should be back within 10 minutes because I needed to get a ladder. She said that was fine.
Now, I don’t even weigh heavy enough to donate blood. I’m a petite little ballerina of a rodent with Campbell soup noodle arms. None of the other workers were around to help as they were dealing with their own stuff, so I dragged this ginormous ladder from the break room all the way across the store to get back to the lady and the merchandise.
Well, I headed back to the desolate ghost town of an aisle and find that the lady decided to take a first-class ticket to Employees’ Time Is Meaningless-Ville. She was nowhere to be seen. Okay, time is money, and people have got things to do and places to be and all that. But don’t act like your time is more valuable than mine, because it’s not.
60. A Bitter Pill
Back in April, I did a Zoom hiring event to be a pharmacy tech at a large grocery store chain and, in this interview, I was told by the people who were interviewing me to get registered with the state for a pharmacy license, as it is required to be a pharmacy tech. In May, I had a follow-up interview, though I had still yet to hear back from the state.
However, I was told by the pharmacy manager that it takes the state a while to get them done. In June, I finally, after more than six weeks, heard back from the state. When I went in person to the pharmacy to follow up, I was told the manager was on vacation until July 1. Today, I went in person to again inquire about the next steps, and I was told that my application expired after 30 days without an offer.
I told the manager whom I spoke to that I had been waiting to hear back from the state, that I couldn’t speed that process up, and that I couldn’t move forward without this paperwork by law. I was told to apply at a store more than an hour from my home and from where I had initially applied, as they had an opening. I am beyond furious.
I want my $127 back. I do not even need the pharmacy license now because I will not drive an hour and 12 minutes for a part-time job paying less than $15 an hour without benefits.
61. Adventure Time
I currently work at a mall, in a candy store close to the food court. In the food court, there is a play area for kids with different structures to climb and play on. This play area has a no-shoes policy, meaning that to play there, kids have to take their shoes off. Now, kids are attracted to candy and have been known to wander in.
We can tell that they are from the play area because they lack shoes and, usually, we have an employee walk them back. These kids are usually really young, so it scares us a bit when they do not have an adult nearby watching them. Well, today there were three kids, probably siblings, all five years old or younger, that wandered in.
We took note of their lack of shoes and asked them to show us where their parents were; a common tactic to get them to walk back to the playpen and to their adult. Well, this five-year-old was kind of sassy and said, “I am five years old. I don’t need my parents since I walked here on my own.” His younger siblings agreed with him.
We then told him that he couldn’t buy anything because he did not have any money. Honestly, though, we will not sell to kids without shoes regardless of whether they have money or not. He and his siblings ran out of the store and we watched them run to the play area. We figured that they went to their parents and moved on.
15 minutes later, they were back with an unexpected vengeance. They all grabbed a bunch of stuff and tried to run out with it, but we stopped them. This time around, my manager walked back to the playpen with them. Later, when she came back, she said that when she got there, the other parents did not want to allow them back in since they had been disruptive and had pushed some of the other kids.
So, she had returned with them in tow and we had to call security to pick up the kids and make an announcement over the PA system. A security guard later said that a woman had picked the children up and was mad at them since she had told them to stay in the playpen while she shopped. Later, I told my friend, who works at one of the restaurants at the food court what had happened and she said that she had spotted them running around the backs of the restaurants.
She had to kick them out from there since it was dangerous for the kids to be there. My only question is, “Who lets their young kids alone in a busy mall while they shop?” Just get a sitter!
My boss is very bad at being direct with people, and she lets little things go until suddenly it is a huge annoyance. At that point, rather than just saying “Hey, Mike, can you remember to mop back here at night,” it’s a page long rant taped to the wall. First off, notes are foolish. For one, the people who are guilty are going to assume it’s not about them.
On the other hand, the people who do perfectly fine will think it is about them and now have more anxiety. Secondly, this one pretty much called me out directly. It was addressed “to whoever does overnights,” and that’s usually me. Everyone else gets some degree of privacy but suddenly my failings are broadcasted for the store.
Thirdly, it is about 50% absurd. Some of it is about things that I did not realize were specifically my job, or things that I did not know had to be done every night as opposed to about twice a week. But a lot of this note was things that are not true. For instance, last night, our dumpster was overflowing so I bagged up all the trash but did not throw it in.
Of course, by the time the boss gets around to throwing it away, the guy has come and emptied the dumpster. So, she just up and assumed I left the trash bags for her. Or, I can mop the floor all night long, but when people come and track all over it constantly, there is only so much I can do. And, lastly, my boss has been telling me for months that I’m doing a great job.
So, what am I supposed to do when you tell me that everything that I do is right but then leave notes to the contrary?
63. Grabbing Luck With Both Hands
Our store has a lottery kiosk. Yesterday, this lady was buying tickets and she ordered me to tell her good luck. She didn’t mean to wish her luck, either. She specifically said, “You should say good luck to me when I’m getting lottery tickets.” I just told her I grew up doing theater and I was conditioned not to say good luck. This is sort of true, but I mostly do not say it because I just cannot be bothered by these people.
We have a spot where we put all the name tags at my job. When I came one day, I couldn’t find it, so I asked my co-worker if she had seen it. My manager was right there. I even looked during my break but still couldn’t find it. I had no choice but to work without it, and my co-worker couldn’t find hers either. At the end of the shift, the manager complained about us not having them on.
They asked where our badges were and we, of course, did not know. The next day, I see my badge back where it was supposed to be. When I asked the other manager where she found it, she told me it had been in the office.
65. A Question Of Receiving
I had a woman say that she didn’t want her receipt. Then, when I threw it out, she yelled and said that I should give her a receipt. So, I went to print a new one and she immediately said, “No, I want my original receipt.” So, I pulled it out of my trash can, which only had receipt paper in it, and she goes, “It’s that one!”
I wondered, “Lady, how would you know? They’re all the same.” However, I held my tongue and just say, “No, this is for a smaller purchase. You got a bigger size.” I found hers and she huffed off. Fast forward a few days—I looked through the customer feedback box and I was shocked. We get a bad review saying that I was rude, threw out her receipt when she asked for it, and did not print her a new one.
It went on to claim that I just pulled a receipt out of the garbage and didn’t even give her the right receipt. Corporate gave her a gift card. I was done after that.
66. Putting On A Front
I’ve got one co-worker who is crazy controlling. She was off for one week and I took on “her job” which is just making sure the front of the store is stocked and organized. There have been a few items discontinued over the months. So, while I was filling the front and organizing, I removed the discontinued spots and condensed what we actually stock.
Now the old buzzard is back and trying to change everything I did. That’s not the main issue. The main is that she is trying to do so in a really childish manner. I am frustrated because I consulted management and the planogram before I changed things. However, she is trying to claim we were not selling any of the items in the order that I had them.
Really though? I can look into the point of sale and we have been selling just as much as normal. However, because she’s old, the bosses do not tell her what and what not to do. She also asked me why I filled the shelf and said, “They don’t all need to go out.” As I say, we carry product to sell, not to keep. But what do I know?
Fact: A Disturbing Pattern
Walmart has an increasingly bad crime problem, and it really only starts with shoplifting. In recent years, Walmart has cut costs by employing fewer workers, which has opened the door for more people to steal their products—so much so that in places like Tulsa, the police have a security office inside a Walmart. In fact, the Tulsa police were called to one Walmart 5,000 times in just five years.
But it doesn’t end there: At the same Walmart, there were also five armed robberies in one year, a murder suspect in a parking lot, and a deadly shootout. This pattern holds for other Walmarts, and indicates a serious and disturbing problem for the franchise.
67. A Valuable Lesson
Yesterday was horrible. My relief wasn’t on time, and because of our nonsensical late policy, I was technically working for free after my shift ended. So, I was a little cranky when my last customer asked to “just grab one thing really quickly.” I said yes, but I was admittedly huffy. The customer decided to “teach me a lesson.”
They waited to grab the item until the entire order was through. I cannot void an order over $10, so that wasn’t an option. And today was the first of the month, so it was busy and I couldn’t afford to have my time wasted. I just wanted to scream.
68. A Brief Interlude
I was hired by this company all the way back in September for a new store that they were going to be opening. I got to train at multiple locations and met a lot of different people. Finally at the end of January, the store opens. It was a disaster from the very start. First, there’s not a lot of products out. Furthermore, our front-of-store lights did not work and the plumbing was a joke.
They never even put anything in our grand windows saying something like “we’re open.” Fast forward to yesterday, I’m opening the store up and having a pretty good day. Until I get a phone call from my boss. At first, he skirts around the issue. He goes, “Oh, I’ll talk to you on your break.” I tell him, “No, let’s talk now. What’s going on?”
He refuses a few times, then gives in and tells me that this store will be closing. It is underwater with rent, and the numbers are not that good. He goes on and on about all this and, at first, I am crushed—in fact, I still am, since I helped put this place together and finally felt settled down. But then it just turned to pure, unadulterated anger.
We got off the phone and I called my girlfriend to vent about it. I mean, I can still work at another of their locations, but this commute was perfect for me, and I helped put this place together. I had been planning to get a microwave or mini fridge to add into the break room since we weren’t equipped with that either. Just what did they expect?
They did not put anything into this place. We got shipments of product just last month. There is still nothing in the windows, since there are no fixed lights or anything for it. How do they expect anything to sell or work if they do not put in the work? My boss is literally here one day a week, and that too only for a couple of hours.
I just feel crushed and disappointed and angry. I already worked at one company and had to say goodbye to that. Finally, I felt at home and now that is gone too. Now, I have got to plan out a new commute and everything. Anyway, I went through and took pictures of everything to remember the place the way it was before we start boxing up and putting going out of business signs up.
69. Time For Change
What is up with the over 50 crowds being inconsiderate and generally just difficult to deal with? I had a retail customer come in at 9:30 am, right after I locked the door to go to the bank. He knocked, so of course, I opened the door and helped him. He got up to the register and paid with two $50 bills and two $1 bills for his $31.94 purchase because he wanted to break up his bills.
He then proceeded to dictate the exact denominations of change that he wanted, which I didn’t have since I hadn’t gone to the bank yet. So, I flipped through the change in my cash bag. He saw the denominations that interested him, which happened to be the only change that I really had. He wanted them, but I hesitantly obliged because what else was I going to pay him with?
That was when another customer walked in and wanted to pay with—wait for it—CASH! I hate it here!!! I have also noticed that it’s always the same kind of people who do things like this. They call in two minutes before closing and ask you to stay, or show up 30 minutes before you open and bang on your doors, etc. I cannot finish my home inspection classes fast enough because I am fed up with how rude and seemingly clueless a lot of people can be in public.
70. Promotion Purgatory
I work in a big box retailer and have been there for nearly two years now. Around October of last year, I asked my supervisor if there were any full-time positions open. He suggested a Coordinator position. A Coordinator is like a department guru, and my domain would be the registers. It would also mean that I could go full-time with a raise and vacation time.
It sounded great to me. I started training that month, and was told that training would be done by January. Over the next two months, I learn how to manage the break schedules, troubleshoot registers, and most importantly, manage customer complaints at the register. I’m effectively the first ring of management a customer sees before an assistant manager has to step in.
I also train all new cashiers hired since November on register and start to fill in for other Coordinators that call out sick. I make it through December, but have a couple of huge hiccups. I have PTSD, and had a massive anxiety attack on Christmas Eve. I was able to power through it for the most part, but it did put me out of commission for a good hour.
Anyway, I do make it through December, but there is still no word from my district manager about my promotion. I shrug it off and keep working, which was probably my biggest mistake. I was given an interview with the district manager in late February. The verdict was that I need more training because I don’t sound confident over the phone.
So now here it is, late April, and I am working as a Coordinator, but without my pay raise and without any of the benefits. I’m still technically part-time, too. My mind is made up to look for other jobs while hounding my hire-ups to give me a raise for essentially bailing them out for four months now. Every fiber of my being wants to simply walk out but I can’t do that until I have another job lined up. So, for now, hounding it is.
71. An Ill-fitting Argument
I work at Zara as a sales associate. Due to COVID, our dressing rooms are closed because they would be used as a shared space and, therefore, they’d require a wipe down, among other things, every time they would be used. We just do not have the staff to do that. So even though the pandemic is starting to die down, no dressing rooms.
Our return policy is pretty standard, though, so most people do not give us any grief and just buy their items and return or exchange them the next day if they do not fit. No big deal, right? Right. So, this happened while I was walking back and forth from our dressing room, which we are using as an extra stock room, filling up the shelves.
We were in the middle of a big sale, so I was trying to hustle and get everything out there as fast as I could. I was putting knitwear on racks, humming along to the song that was playing, and just generally having a grand old time. Then, approached me. The dreaded demon. Karen. She goes, “Excuuuuuuuuse me!” And I’m immediately on guard.
I turned around and immediately all my warning sensors were going off. She looked like a total Karen. Stringy blonde hair, thin lips, years of sunburn that has ruined her skin, not wearing a mask—but has one pulled down below her chin—and a girl behind her in her late teens that looked absolutely miserable being out with her.
Before I even fully processed it, my brain just said, “Oh boy.” I turned on my customer service smile and said, “Hi! How can I help you?” She was immediately in my face, not respecting social distancing at all. She demanded to know if we had a fitting room open, saying, “I was just by your fitting rooms and I saw your sign. Do you have any fitting rooms open?”
The sign clearly said that we did not, but I started with my little spiel. I said, “No, we do not have the fitting rooms open due to COVID, but our return policy still stands, even for the sale, so—” She interrupts me by saying, “But I need a fitting room.” She also stepped closer to me so I stepped back. Clearly, she had no respect for our social distancing rules.
I tried to explain again that she couldn’t use the fitting room, but she wouldn’t have it. “I just saw someone in there.” I replied, “I know, ma’am. That was my manager; she’s pricing items.” That apparently was not a good enough explanation for her, and she rebutted, “So she’s back there and I can’t be?” I just said “Yes.” She still kept trying to get close to me and I kept taking steps back.
She had me quite literally backed into a corner. She proceeded to retort, “This policy is ridiculous. I can’t believe this is still instituted, it’s completely absurd.” She then went on this entire rant about how stupid she thought the whole situation was. Apparently, she felt that she had to explain to me how stores work.
I replied, “Well, ma’am, we are still in the middle of a pandemic, and if we were to open the fitting rooms now, then we wouldn’t have the staff to keep them clean and also run the store.” She rolled her eyes and just started talking about how stupid and ridiculous it was that we couldn’t accommodate her. At that point, I had enough.
I try to get her to stop attacking me for things I cannot control by putting it in perspective, “Ma’am, I’m just a sales associate and this policy comes from corporate. There’s really nothing that I can do about this.” This apparently enrages her, and she starts demanding that I change the policy right that second and get in touch with corporate to change the policy just for her.
At that moment, I had a divine moment of self-reflection. My third eye opened and I realized that throughout the whole conversation, I had been looking down. I am 5’3″ (162 cm), so I don’t get to look down at people very often. In arguments, I always feel stupid because I’m yelling up at whoever I am arguing with.
I am clearly not tall, but at that moment, I felt like an Amazonian goddess. I realized that I did not need to fear the Karen because the Karen would never have the dignity of talking down to me in an argument. She was still ranting and raving at this point, talking about how I needed to be the one who instituted the change because it’s my job in danger.
I looked at her, gave her my best sales smile, and said, “Zara is an internationally successful company, ma’am. I am pretty confident in my job. You have a nice day, now.” And I gave the polite gesture of “Get out of my way.” She stormed off, and the daughter, who had been silent and miserable the entire time, whispered, “I am so sorry,” and hurries after her mom.
I went to the fitting room and complained to my manager, who made a few choice comments about the Karens who don’t take the pandemic seriously. I love that lady, truly. Also, when I got home, I searched for Zara’s net worth out of curiosity. Seeing the results, I was relieved. Not worried about my job, not even a little bit.
We have a rewards email system that we have to ask about and get 70% of guests signed up for. The normal average is about 30%, but the manager is almost always batting 100%. Today I saw her entering her own email in when the guest said no. I mean, it’s a clever way to get the percentage up—because people already signed up count in that number—but it was just weird to figure out her magical way to make the numbers work was to literally cheat the system.
73. Brand New
I work at a clothing store and our policy is that if the item has been worn, you cannot return or exchange it. So, this guy came in the other day and I was already getting a weird vibe. He was shuffling around and messing up all our displays, just muttering to himself. At that point, I was only walking through the children’s department to get to our break room.
But he stopped me to ask a question. He pulled out this filthy pair of children’s shoes—absolutely caked in mud—and demanded an exchange. He said, “The shoes have no sole.” I took a look inside the shoe, and within seconds I could tell that the shoes had been worn for a long time already. There was absolutely no mistaking it.
In fact, they had been worn so much that the sole had been worn down completely. As in, there were still little chunks of sole at the edges, but they were completely gone at the center. So, I said, “Sir, unfortunately, due to store policy, we cannot return or exchange items that have already been worn.” And he replied, “These have never been worn. I need an exchange. I just bought these the other day.”
So, I looked around the kid’s section for just a minute and I could see that the shoes weren’t even out. I tried to explain that to him, but he adamantly kept saying, “No, I bought this the other day. They have never been worn. I need a return.” I kept trying to explain to him that he could not return the shoes since they were caked in mud and worn out.
What he said next really flustered me. “I have been coming here for three years. I know the girl downstairs, and I need this return.” I obviously caught him in a lie, but he was not backing off. Fortunately, a lovely coworker of mine walked over and said, “Go take your break, honey. I got this.” After my break, I was walking down to my section of the floor and I could see the two of them, in the exact same spot, still arguing.
I heard him go, “This is downtown New York and I cannot even make a return? This is ridiculous. Just get me the girl downstairs.” When my co-worker asked for a name, and he could not give one. I could tell she was getting annoyed and a few seconds later, she met up with me on our escalator and we both just rolled our eyes.
74. Looking Out For Number One
In case you guys don’t know, for many years now, a common way for phone scammers to receive money from their victims is through gift cards, specifically through prepaid MasterCard/Visas, or ones for online services, such as Amazon, eBay, Google, or Apple. If a customer, especially one that is elderly, is buying a large amount of these gift cards, I have a tendency to ask them why exactly they’re buying these gift cards.
By doing this, I’ve actually stopped quite a few people from getting scammed. It makes me happy knowing I’ve stopped this, because I’ve seen many stories about people who have been scammed like this, and it makes me feel terrible. The most common one I’ve stopped is the DirecTV scam involving eBay gift cards. However, today, my manager called me into her office, and had me sit down.
She then pulled up some reports on her computer and told me that she has received many complaints, from both corporate and customers directly, because I’ve been asking customers about exactly why they’re buying all those gift cards. I tried to explain to her that I only do this to prevent our customers from being scammed, and that I’m not trying to be nosy.
But then, she tells me, “That’s not your job. You’re not an FBI agent. You are a cashier. Your job is just to simply sell the gift cards. Not stick your nose in other people’s business. We leave that kind of stuff to the authorities. Got it?” I didn’t want to argue with her, so I just told her that I understood. She then told me that if she ever gets another complaint like that, she’s going to write me up. Now, here’s what I really want to say back to her.
“The authorities? They can’t intercept every single scam call. They can’t help a scam victim recover their money. Once they get scammed, they probably won’t get the money back. Even though I’m just one person, I want to help stop it as much as possible. Also, not my job? It’s not my job to help out the other departments when they need help. It’s also not my job to help customers while I’m off the clock. But I do these things anyway, because I’m just a nice person.”
From here on out, it’s going to be pretty hard for me to watch customers get scammed. My last job was at an entertainment center with a ton of rigged arcade games, and one thing that made me quit that place was watching them scam a bunch of children.
75. Fishing For Trouble
I work at an aquatics store and I manage the freshwater aquariums. Whenever I work at the store, I usually ask people about their fish tanks to help them figure out any problems the tanks may have or recommend the best fish for them. Most of the time, I can help them prevent any beginner mistakes, or just stop their fish from dying prematurely.
A few days ago, a lady came in a few minutes before closing. I was already behind on closing because of other customers, so I was kind of tired. This lady brought in dead fish and a water sample. The parameters looked good, but as a hobbyist myself, I suspected ammonia poisoning for her fish. We did not test for ammonia though.
Furthermore, this lady had done a full water change before her fish kicked it. So, I went through the usual—I explained the proper way to do a water change (25% every week) and also recommend products. She wanted a quick fix despite me explaining that her cycle was a mess and that there was no way that her fish would survive unless she started her cycle all over again.
Such is a process that can take weeks sometimes. Instead of listening, she made up an excuse about how she really needed to take some fish home because her kids want them. I still tried to guide her to a sensible decision. I recommended that she take only two fish so as to not shock the new cycle too much. All went well until she realized something that I had overlooked myself—the fish sale would end in a few days.
Then she insists that she absolutely must take the other fish too. I mentally say, “Alright. Fine. Take your fish.” Out loud I remind her that there is a good chance her fish are going to lose their lives unless she is very careful with her cycle. I, finally, send her on her way thirty minutes after closing because she would not listen to any advice that I gave her.
This was despite asking me what she could do and then not wanting to do it because she thought that it was too much work or she did not have time. I explained it later to the manager and she said that if she came back to return those same fish, I was to deny her the sale.
Fact: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Box Store
We all love deals, but Black Fridays have a dark history. Since 2006, 98 people have been injured during Black Friday stampedes, with another seven people dying. To put it into perspective, more Americans have been killed during Black Friday than from shark attacks. All in all, we’ve got a serious problem on our hands.
76. Moving Along
About 20 years ago, I had a work-related injury. I fell over and tore the ligaments in my ankle. It is far worse than just a sprained ankle, and my doctor told me if it happened again then they were going to have to fuse my ankle into place. Fast forward a few years and rewind a few weeks back, my manager notices me limping and ask me what’s wrong.
Fair enough, so I told her I had torn the ligaments several years ago and today it has “popped” out of its socket which is why I’m limping. She comes back with a “just keep moving it.” Really? Not a clue what she thinks I have been trying to do while working. Does she think that I enjoy the limp and working slowly while my ankle gives me sharp bouts of pain because it is not sitting in its socket right?
It does eventually go back in after a few hours of walking but it can pop out at any time. This can happen not just at work but even while walking to the car, the shops, or to my parents’. And if I’m having a kick around with my son then I have to be very careful on it. But, in all her sage wisdom, it will be ok if I just “keep moving it.”
77. A Calculated Move
In one of my old jobs, I worked in a coffee shop. I really enjoyed it and the people who came in regularly were a dream. One time, the till had broken down, and we resorted to a pen-and-paper process to take people’s orders. We also worked out their change correctly by punching it into the calculator. Everything was going well.
Or, it was going well..until this absolute demon of a customer came in. She started rattling off her order. I was hurriedly writing it down and double-checking the prices on the menu. She saw what I was doing and she tutted me as if she was disappointed. She also had the audacity to tap on the broken till and say, “Why aren’t you using this? Surely it’s easier?”
I pointed to the sign next to them and said as nicely as possible that we were using pen and paper, etc. Then, rolling her eyes, she said her order slowly but with a condescending tone. After taking her order, I took my time repeating it back to her, since she had asked for a lot. Apparently, that was too much for them.
She responded by saying, “I am in a hurry and you are taking too long.” I apologized and explained that I simply wished to make sure that the order was correct. Then I proceeded to total up her order with the calculator, and I heard her sighing and huffing as I was typing away the figures. She said, “Why do you need a calculator? Clearly, someone did not finish math, or else you would not be working here.”
That was the final straw. I balled up the piece of paper, threw it in the bin next to me, and said, “Another member of staff will be with you to help you shortly.” I made my way to the staff area and told my manager what had happened. They told me to relax and said that they would sort it. Needless to say, I watched as my manager went out and made it very clear that the customer’s business was not welcome.
I just wish that I had the sense to throw that balled-up piece of paper in her face. I hate people like that.
78. Uniquely Placed
I am currently a sales associate at Uniqlo. I have been working at the company for almost two years, working at both a flagship and non-flag ship store. My experience ranges from the women’s department, the men’s department, to basically every floor/department within the store. Originally, I began working in August of 2019. During my interview, I should have known this work environment was not friendly at all.
When I came for my interview, I was informed that HR was not in due to a company emergency, which should have been a red flag. I was, instead, interviewed by Leadership, the highest-ranking person in the store. This person came running in distressed and disheveled, due to the fact they were understaffed and were trying to cover the work of multiple people by themselves.
They interviewed me, asked for my resume, and said that they would get back to me as soon as possible. Well, they did. I was hired almost immediately by email from HR, not even an hour after I was interviewed, and that I started training that weekend. There is not much I remember from my training besides it being broken down into two parts.
Part one was basically sitting in the employee break room for almost three hours, listening to HR break down the rules, policies, and work codes. I was given a contract almost 1/8th of an inch thick and a miniature employee handbook, which I was required to carry on me at all times during my shifts. Then I was talked to by Loss Prevention AKA Security.
We were told that we must prevent shoplifting by monitoring and reporting to Loss Prevention consistently, so that we do not lose any merchandise/company money. Also, we had to report at least twice an hour any suspicious activity. Another red flag: We were basically told, despite their disclaimers, that we were supposed to look for certain people.
I will never forget that, ever. Part two was where the actual training occurred. It was basically working a nine-hour shift with a one-hour non-paid lunch break. We showed up early and clocked in with the rest of the regular employees and then were separated by our “trainers.” Our trainers were regular sales associates, not even managers, with one being employed roughly just three months there.
We were told and showed what was expected and how to get the job done. We learned how to body fold clothing, how to unbox, process, and fill merchandise, and also how to maintain sales floor standards. They did their best, but our training was cut short because, we were told, “we had the basics down and that’s all we need them from them.” Then the struggles began.
From my first shift ever at the store, I knew I was in for trouble. On my first day, I was basically thrown into the deep end head first and with zero help from management. Not only was I new, but I received almost no help or direction from anyone. I was yelled at for being “too slow” at refolding an entire fixture of sweaters within 10 minutes.
Mind you, they were to be perfectly folded, size ordered, and applied with our “color theory,” which basically meant that we had to arrange them in an “appealing” manner for customers. I was talked down numerous times by managers on how I did my job, spanning from “I don’t know why it is so hard for you to understand something so simple,” “Weren’t you trained to do this?,” “You get paid $1 over minimum to do this work,” and my all-time favorite: “I don’t know why _____ was hired if they can barely get the basic work done.”
I was continuously put down, because I simply asked for help on how they wanted things done. Then there were the outright lies. They had promised that I would be working at least between 10-20 hours a week as a part-time, but I was working just one nine-hour shift every two weeks. I also continuously asked to be trained for cashier.
I would always be told, “Yeah, don’t worry we are going to train you soon so we can have more coverage.” I was never trained for two years. I was told that to receive a promotion I had to apply for it during our promotion period. Then they purposely left me off the schedule every time the promotion period happened. The biggest nail in the coffin was when my co-worker got trained and promoted.
This was a problem because they were hired and trained at the same time as I was. They were also properly trained and promoted by the manager who always denied me, simply because they were friends. My days began to be cut, then my hours, and then I was basically working once a month if I was lucky. Of course, there will always be favoritism everywhere, but at Uniqlo, it is very apparent and you will learn your standing.
Those who are favored by management are scheduled almost 2-3 times a week with full nine-hour shifts. Those of us who weren’t favored, were given a single shift every two weeks—if you were lucky the full nine hours, if you weren’t then only a five-hour shift. Management dictates who receive and who don’t receive things like promotions and raises.
There were times when coworkers were working to the bone just to receive a promotion and were simply denied on the basis that “their work was not satisfactory” with no follow up explanations. Then when quarantine was in full swing, we were emailed and told that at Uniqlo we were appreciated and no one would be fired. This is the biggest lie told by management to date.
After a month of being shut down, the company opted that it was in its best interest to fire all part-timers across the board, no matter your rank or time with the company. We were told to apply for unemployment and all of us were denied. Months later, they rehired the part-timers, and some were called early way before certain others, AKA friends of management only.
We were also told that we were going to receive minimum wage, unlike the dollar above we received before, and would do the same level of work and should just be happy we had a job at all. I am fully quitting this job soon. I am beyond mentally exhausted by how poorly this company treats and regulates work culture.
79. Delivering It In Style
I work at a shipping store. One day, I was asked to ship something to Iraq to who I assume was a military husband. Well, as a typical Karen, she gave lip and was upset about price and other small things. After a long process, we got the $20 of junk shipped. A few weeks later, she returned to the store, upset. She demanded to see my boss.
She began to chew him out about how I sent the package to the wrong place and how we charged her too much. Her problem was that she wanted to send it to a military base, which should have astronomically reduced the price. My boss took one look at her, and shut her up with a single sentence: “Ma’am, how does my employee know a random street address in Iraq unless you told him to send it there?”
Karen was dumbfounded and, after a few moments of being flabbergasted, she rambled back that she would call the local news. She never did that or the other things that she threatened to do. She didn’t even write a bad message on Google.
80. Flipping The Lid
I had a seven-hour shift today at my work in a dessert shop/café. We were down a staff member so I only had two people working. I did the entire opening alone, putting tables and chairs out, putting the gelato out, and carrying the signs out. I cleaned the entire kitchen and had to spray for silverfish. I also made a huge mix for waffles.
Then, I cleaned under the dishwasher and changed the detergent. We, thereafter, refilled all the chocolate bars and all the 20 different toppings. We also made 16 boxes of donuts. We started washing up plates and cups ready for our full reopening on Monday. We made up 100 boxes. We sorted something one of the other managers didn’t do.
We also emptied and cleaned all the bins, swept the shop, and took out all the cardboard. And, in the midst of all this, we served a ton of customers who came in for ice cream and fulfilled all of the delivery orders, too. But we forgot about cleaning some lids that the evening manager didn’t see until after I—the morning manager—had finished.
So, somehow, that just erased all of the work that we did. She just did not see it during the hour she was there before I finished so it, apparently, did not exist.
81. A Steep Price
A man came in today to exchange a pair of pants. Unfortunately for him, he had bought a $70 pair and a $60 pair on a BOGO 50% sale, so the $60 pair was 50% off. He wanted to exchange the $70 pair for another $60 pair, but the system pairs up items when they’re in a BOGO offer. On the receipt, it would’ve looked like he was returning both pairs and repurchasing the one he wasn’t returning, in order to remove the BOGO offer.
After exchanging, he would have had to pay $11 since the BOGO offer was no longer available. He was not happy, as he would have had to pay even though he was returning a more expensive pair. I did him a solid and threw in 25% off. He would’ve gotten around $5 back, but he still was not happy with the offer. At that point, I knew he was going to be difficult.
He asked to speak to the manager, and as the shift leader, that was me. He wanted more of a discount, but I couldn’t reasonably give it to him. He kept getting angry, so I told him to come back tomorrow, and maybe the store manager then would reach a different decision. He agreed and finally left after holding up the line for a little over five minutes.
Well, he never asked me to keep the pants on hold for him. It was our last pair, too, so I put them on my manager’s desk, called her, and asked her for a favor. If he comes in tomorrow, she’s going to tell him that we don’t have them anymore. I also called my girlfriend—my manager’s daughter—who works at the closest store to us and asked her to hide their only pair in the back room.
The closest available pair in that guy’s size is now two cities over. He kept asking for more and now he will get nothing. It’s not much, but it’s a victory.
82. A Crafty Thing
I’m 19 and I work at a craft store. I work as an early morning stocker, usually in the kids’ crafts section of the store. In that section, we display some of our overstock on a high wall. It is usually very full so I try my best to keep the overstock in the boxes above the aisles. Yesterday, my supervisor told me that my manager found something on the high wall.
Since what they found was not assigned to that section of the wall, my hours could soon get cut. I told her that I’ve fixed the high wall twice and that I always assign everything to each section. She ignored this. She then also told me that I need to correct an additional thing that someone else apparently messed up, and then put away a uboat of stock.
I tried to correct the aforementioned mistake before putting up the uboat, which took me half of my time. I, unsurprisingly, did not finish the entire uboat. At nearly the end of my shift, my supervisor yelled at me, called me slow for not getting everything done, then said that she had lied and that my hours were already cut. I cried a bit afterwards. I’m done. I quit.
No human deserves to be treated like that over boxes full of useless kids’ crafts. I already have another job lined up at a movie theater.
83. No Matter How You Slice It
I had this one customer one day ask me, “It’s 50% off for bag mulch if it has got holes in it, right?” I told him that it was up to the cashier and how big the holes were. He said OK. My sketchiness radar went off, so I went to tell one of my coworkers to keep an eye on him. After a little while, the guy came back with four bags of soil. Each one had a huge slash on top.
They were clean slashes too and not holes from rough handling. He said, “50% each, right?” I had a small line, so I went ahead and rang them up (each bag was like, $4 originally). After I gave him his receipt, he said that he would like me to tape the holes shut. Again, I had a line and explained to him that I could only do that once the line is gone.
That’s when he blew his top. He started making a scene, so I told the person behind him that I just needed a few minutes. It took me five minutes and a complaint from another customer for me to get them taped and sealed to his standards. A few days later, I was outside with a new coworker and he asked her, “Do you give a discount on rocks?”
I told her that it would depend on how bad the situation is. At first, I did not recognize him as the same guy—I thought that he said rakes, not rocks. So, he showed up with a few bags totaling roughly $90. He was demanding half off on each, so the coworker asked me what to do. We were only allowed a $50 markdown without any assistance. When I look at his bags, I almost lost it.
Once again, there were clean cuts. I told him that they were just open and none were missing, so we couldn’t do the full 50% off. Instead, I helped my coworker take $20 off. He did not like that and kept demanding we give him 50% off, saying that someone ruined his bags. I told my coworker to just mark them down so he could finally leave and we could get our lines moving.
84. To Stock Or Not To Stock
I’m an assistant manager at a dessert café in the UK. Recently, after one of the supervisors left, I had been asked to take over the ordering, which was her main job, as well as to continue my existing AM duties and training the 10 new team members we have. So, I now have only one supervisor left, as there have been no applications for the job.
Going forward there is manager 1, John, manager 2, Hanna, and the last supervisor, Rita. On a Saturday, I say to John, “I am off tomorrow, but I need someone to do a full stock take so that I can do the order on Monday, as they’ve changed the times and it has to be done by midday.” John asks, “Can you not do one on Monday morning?”
I clarify, “No, I start at 11 am and I need to get the store ready for opening. I don’t have a team member that I can leave by themselves since they are new.” He seemingly understands and says, “Okay, I will be for a while tomorrow. I will ask them to do it.” I then have Sunday off and ignore my phone all day because work is stressful and I want to relax, and do the other things I have to do at home.
Then at 6 pm on Sunday night, I call Rita and say, “Did you do a stock take today? I have to do the order tomorrow morning.” She promptly says, “No problem. I will if I have some time.” I thank them, go to bed and wake up early on Monday for my morning shift, and see a text from Rita saying, “Sorry, it was too busy so I wasn’t able to do that stock take.”
Hanna chimes in saying, “We shouldn’t be doing stock takes on the weekends anyway, they should be done Monday and Wednesday mornings.” I reply, “I can do them on Wednesday nights, which works since the order is by Thursday. But I can’t do them on Monday mornings as the order needs to be done by 12 pm. It used to be 4 pm but the suppliers changed it.”
Hanna shrugs off the responsibility, saying, “Well, it has to be done somehow, so going forward you need to find a solution.” I want to scream. The most annoying part is that the other supervisor has more stock experience than I do, so really it would make more sense for her to do the order, especially since I still have to run the store, and train the staff, which would be easier if I just took over her cleaning rota.
Fact: You Can’t Invent Trust Like This
The patent for the first mechanical cash register was filed as “Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier.” Its intent was to prevent sticky-fingered employees from pocketing cash themselves, hence the “Incorruptible” part. If I were Ritty’s employee, I’d have been pretty insulted…
I work in the produce section at a Trader Joe’s clone. It’s a hyper-corrupt corporate structure, but for once, I can’t blame what happened yesterday on corporate. Here’s what went down. So, yesterday, I was nearing the end of my shift and was bringing a few dozen plastic packages of cut fruit out to our cut fruit fridge. At the time I was exhausted.
I didn’t think about how I was balancing these packages on my work truck, and they all fell onto the floor—berries and grapes were just flying everywhere. Obviously, this was not a big deal, but this happened right in the center of the store, where our four departments and the doors to the back room converged. The store was also well over capacity with customers doing their Saturday afternoon shopping.
This incident had created a traffic jam of sorts. My manager and I were scrambling to pick everything up, and I was down on my knees trying to pick up the grapes. What infuriated me were the glib jokes and quips that customers felt they needed to make and the fact that even though there was plenty of space for them to get around us, they still grazed their carts within an inch or two of where I was squatting.
I was embarrassed enough, but it just got worse for me. I started hyperventilating and got tunnel vision, and had a panic attack. Even if, from an outsider’s perspective, the situation was somewhat comedic, from my perspective, it was exceedingly humiliating and dehumanizing, to be treated as an object. Customers were weaving around me like I didn’t exist and provided unnecessary commentary that nobody else cared to hear.
It was the most embarrassed that I’ve ever been at this job. In my state, the customers seemed like cackling buzzards swooping around, narrowing in on the prey. We, somehow, managed to clear up the path and get out of the way of the buzzards.
86. No Escape
I work for a pretty well-known corporate retail establishment. A guy who used to follow me around and essentially stalk me used my name with managers to get an interview at my job. He was charming and had experience, so they hired him. In the beginning, his behavior towards me was incredibly inappropriate but I felt badly about reporting so I didn’t for months.
After I finally did, they talked to him and he left me alone. But it went into a spiral from there. Months later, he still worked there and more and more girls started talking about similar experiences and not being comfortable with him. So, I shared my experiences with some to encourage them to report it. In a bit, I get pulled into the office and asked why I am telling people they did nothing about the issues.
Also, around this time, they tell me that I can no longer work in a certain department where I was supplementing half of my hours because it was a liability to have me and this guy work on the same team. Last week, another female employee that works on this guy’s team was telling everyone that he was a no-call no-show, and, since I was in the room, she dropped the fact that he had harassed me in the past.
That same day, I see her get reprimanded for lying because the guy had spoken with a member of management. Today I get called in my manager’s office again and told that if they hear about me spreading “lies” and talking about the situation that happened to me again, that I would be written up for harassing him. I am completely dumbfounded.
It would seem that either the other female implicated me when she was reprimanded, or just word of mouth has contorted things because I was physically present, but I’m so exhausted with this situation. I’ve had to deal with all of this on top of having my hours cut, which meant that I’ve struggled this entire year to make ends meet.
I have a relatively high rate of pay but I’m just now coming out of only getting 10 hours a week in my actual department. Before I was begging and picking up any and every available shift just to get enough hours to pay my bills. Now this situation has me terrified because I obviously can’t express any distress or unfairness over the fact that I’ve been told that I can’t work in a different department because of my complaints on this guy.
I also am only up to 20 hours a week in my department and I sincerely cannot live on those hours alone either.
87. Discounting It
A doctor came into the store a few days ago with a bag of clothes. She asked if we had discounts for health care workers, to which we said that we did not. The discounts were only for military personnel and teachers or students. Immediately after hearing this, she got upset and said that doctors worked much harder and deserved it more than teachers.
In my eyes, it was rude and ignorant to expect that a well-paid doctor should get a discount over teachers who are severely underpaid. If she could come to our store and blow $300 on clothes and also have other shopping bags on her, I seriously doubt she needed a discount. But it only got worse. She had the audacity to say, “Well, who was working hard during the pandemic? Yeah, doctors! That’s right.”
It’s true in some ways, but she was also very well paid. Teachers, on the other hand, do so much to teach the younger generation, including future doctors, but they are not paid nearly enough, which is why they often get discounts. It just blew my mind how she sat there bashing teachers for getting a discount as if it was something the employees decided on.
88. Scheduled Standoff
Yesterday I was supposed to have another manager relieve me so I could take a half day due to me working six days. This manager just got promoted to the new general manager of a bigger location. After her not arriving at 2 pm, I waited until 3:30 to ask if she was on her way. Then they call me and basically tell me they are too busy to come.
I begin to tell them they were being very unprofessional by not following the schedule and by calling nearly two hours after the scheduled time. She did not care about what she had done and for having eaten into my off time and, instead, told me that I was the one out of line for my tone. I think that I did the right thing by standing up to her.
89. Holier Than Thou
The main guy of this Pentecostal church group comes into our store every Sunday and Wednesday. He told one of our servers that she was going to suffer and that she couldn’t serve him because she has tattoos on her arms. He would never wear a mask even at the height of the pandemic. He’d constantly complain about the service and how no one at my restaurant was a good server. But that’s not the worse thing he’s done.
He also told one of our servers that he was going to call CPS on her because her kids shouldn’t have a mom who has tattoos and piercings. I would love to knock the religious superiority right out of his body through a punch right to the ear.
90. Holey Moley
They cut my department’s hours. My department is huge, by the way. It includes pharmacy, toiletries, cosmetics, and baby products. There’s already just 2-3 of us working a day and now probably less. On a daily basis, we have probably 4-5 pallets of new stock to put on the shelf, plus the pick list and cycle count, which need to be done daily.
And then a few days after cutting our hours, they decide that we need to scan the cosmetics’ holes three times a week. Cosmetics has such small products and the area is big enough that it would probably take two hours to scan all the holes. To top it off, the managers are always walking around telling us, “Hey, the overstock isn’t done yet.” Uh…duh! We don’t have enough people to do all this work.
Maybe instead of walking around and doing nothing, you could help out.
91. Rules Are For Others
My store is currently closed for in-store shopping and we don’t have a proper click-and-collect set up yet. The system we have basically sends us an email, then we call the customer to confirm. Well, someone called about 30 minutes to close on Saturday and I squeezed her order in at the last minute.
She yelled, “Ugh, whatever,” and hung up on my manager. We got back to her within an hour and placed her order. When she came to pick up both on Saturday, she disregarded all our COVID policy signs saying to call the store for pick-ups. Instead, she climbed over the barriers to knock on the store’s door. I was on the phone with a customer when she did this, and my coworker was completely out of sight.
When she did it again today, I gestured for her to call us. She called, and then when I collected her order and opened the door, she laid into me about how rude I was being. I countered, “I think it was rather rude of you to ignore all our signs and barriers and knock on the door.” She got very upset and yelled at me about how she was never coming back. “You’ll be lucky to have a job tomorrow,” she threatened.
92. Half-Baked Notion
I work in a bakery in a grocery store, and we have plexiglass in front of us and in front of our artisan bread for obvious reasons…Or maybe, not-so-obvious reasons to some people. Today, I had a lady reach over the glass, over my case full of cakes, to grab the cake from the top of my pile. She had to struggle to reach it.
Not only that, but all throughout COVID, we had to put all our bread in bags instead of leaving them out in the open. The glass is literally two feet tall. All I could think was, “If you have to struggle to reach over the glass, it probably means you are not supposed to be doing the thing you are doing!” This phenomenon has actually been happening even more since COVID and I’m really just over it.
93. The Fountain Runneth Dry
I run a convenience store inside a mall. Just outside our store is a lovely fountain, only it’s drained. It has been that way since before we got the store last year. One day, I was sitting around, enjoying the cool air on my face. Our store is located on a kind of odd angle, where one wall is shorter than the other, and you can see people walking by through the glass windows.
I sat around watching mall traffic while keeping an eye on my game, always alert for trouble. At one point, my idyllic view was interrupted by the sight of a man, clearly with a purpose, striding directly toward me. I didn’t even have time to give my usual chipper, “How you doin’ today?” line. The angry man asked me a question that threw me off-guard: “When are they going to turn on the fountain?”
I apologetically replied that I have no idea. A moment passed and the man’s brow furrowed. It appeared as though he was not sure how to process the fact that I didn’t have an answer. Then he said, apparently to make the situation clear to me, “They drained all the fountains!” It was my turn to be confused. Clearly, they drained all the fountains…I’d been looking at the empty fountain all day long, so I would know.
I don’t know why he thought I didn’t notice…Did he think it was my fault? Maybe he didn’t know that the mall makes its own decisions. So, I told him, “You’d have to ask the mall management. We’re just a convenience store.” He firmly told me, “I will!” And with his sense of duty now apparently locked onto a new target, he stomped on out of the store with the same clear sense of purpose.
94. No Down Time
I just got a phone call today telling me that I’ve been scheduled for an extra three days. I had all weekend scheduled off. Now I’m in from Friday till Sunday for all opening shifts, which we call the Karen-pocalypse shifts. I objected. I was told that if I refused shifts, I would be fired and then reported to Revenue Canada for “refusing work,” thus rendering me “flagged.”
I was also told that I can’t request time off in the future because we’re short-staffed now, and I will be reported/laid off for requesting days off. And then, on top of this, I was informed that two of my co-workers, who I thought were just laid off because there were no hours, were actually fired for making a fuss about their own schedules and hours. Then my boss twisted the knife in.
My boss reported them to Revenue Canada…after firing them…to make sure that they couldn’t get financial assistance and would be flagged forever. I want to quit after hearing this ugly truth but there are literally no jobs where I live. I just feel so sick. This company ruined lives, and they are threatening me now with what they can do to me.
95. Blame Game
These last couple of weeks I have been under quite a lot of stress. This is not because it is busy but because apparently when I had a cash strip on my register, rather than it being sent up in the aerocom tube system we have, it was apparently found on top of the till. This was even though I never put it there, and very clearly put it in our tube system and was sending it up.
It struck me as odd because I would never leave money lying about. The only place that I would put it would be under the till if I didn’t have the tube system available, and even then I would try to notify management about the strip. Since the money was found on top of the till and my name was associated to the strip, this got taken up all the way to management.
As a result, they were trying to figure out what happened since this was nearly $3,000 left on top of the till. I was naturally confused because I know I put that money in the tube. Then it went from bad to worse. Just a few days after I had received my final warning, I had forgotten that I put money under my till and it was found later that day.
The management, of course, wondered how this would happen twice. For the latter half, I take responsibility as I simply forgot the money was there. But for the former I vehemently claim that I put the money in the tube to be sent up. Then management reviewed the video evidence of the first time about how the money was found on top of the till.
It turns out that a cashier took the money out of the tube system because the tube failed to go up, and had left the money there on top of the till. However, because my name was on the receipt of cash strip it was therefore on me. So even if it wasn’t my fault, because someone moved the money on top of the till, they still nearly got me fired from my job.
As my managers were discussing things, they talked to HR to more or less approve a termination, but HR was saying a couple things didn’t really add up, and that it was more of lack of understanding/mastery of the procedures/policies than negligence or malice. At that point, management looked at me and said, “Don’t do it again, or else we will fire you.”
That is completely fine with me as I have no intent of doing so. But I still can’t help but feel awful that someone may or may not have intentionally tried to get me fired from my job when it could have been as simple as pressing the button to send the strip up to the vault. I do my best to own up to my mistakes, and as mentioned in the latter half, I take full responsibility for that.
96. Greasing The Parts
At the time, I was the front desk receptionist at a car dealership that had an attached service and parts department. I dealt with all kinds of people, but this one customer particularly left me dumbfounded. It was around 7 pm, about an hour after the service and parts department had closed. The sales department was open until 8 pm, so I was just going about my business as usual.
A woman walked up to my desk and slammed a 19-liter jug of motor oil down on the counter. That scared me since I was looking away at the time. She immediately demanded that I sell her the oil. I was confused and just kind of…looked at her for a moment. There was no checkout counter at my desk as we were in an entirely different part of the building.
Also, where did she get that? The parts department was closed and the window into the storeroom was locked with a fold-down metal cage. I finally got myself together and told her that the parts department was closed and that I would be unable to sell anything. Her reaction was priceless. She immediately got angry, blowing her top while gesturing to the closest window demanding that I give her the oil.
I suggested for her to go to another shop nearby, as they were open until 9 pm. Surely, she could get oil there. She didn’t like that answer and scoffed at me. “I need Kia brand oil, for my Kia brand car.” She said it incredibly matter-of-factly and stared at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet. That again caught me off guard.
I have pretty bad anxiety, so I was still mentally and physically reeling from her slamming the bottle down and I was not getting very collected thoughts. I tried to explain that any brand of oil would do and that I’d be happy to help her figure out what would work best so she could pick it up there…but she just kept shaking her head at me.
Finally, she shouted out that she would just come back the following day, that I had been absolutely no help, and stormed out. I noticed then that she had a kid with her. What a great example she set for her children. I did figure out that she had pulled the oil jug down off of a display case in the service department. That was extra amusing to me, imagining someone taking something off of a clearly not-for-sale display shelf because she was mad.
97. Dog Days
Several years ago, I used to work as a dog trainer at a very well-known pet supply store. While I was a dog trainer, it was still retail, so of course, I had to do 100 things outside of my job description. As a result, I was working the cash register, stocking, and yes, helping our loyal customers. The store I worked at was an absolute disaster with Karens, too.
Big, white suburban neighborhoods were situated around this store, so they came in like hordes. Well, on this particular day, it was vet day. Basically, a local vet service partnered with the store to offer quick walk-in vet checkups for things like vaccinations. Of course, put “cheap” and “Karens” together and you get the worst workday of your week.
This week, the store was packed. The line went all the way to the front, and we were the biggest store in the area. People were asking me questions left and right, dogs were relieving themselves everywhere, and kids were playing with the dog toys. It was the whole shebang. I was already like a headless chicken, having to juggle five tasks while also prepping for a dog training class. Yay.
But as I was making my way from the vet station helping another customer, I saw her, and she definitely looked like trouble. She had a dark tan, shoulder-length straight hair, sunglasses, and she was dragging a couple of kids down the aisle toward me. She looked like she was wanting to turn into the Hulk and was ready to fight. I prepped myself before I started to say, “How can I help—”
She stopped me in the middle of my sentence by saying one loud word, “Dogs!” She had a crazy gleam in her eyes. I tried to decipher her cryptic message and asked, “Dog…toys? Dog…food?” She then said, “Where are your dogs?” It took a second for my brain to catch up with her shrieks; to understand that she was hoping that we sold dogs.
Now, luckily, big box stores like this one tend to not sell dogs directly. Otherwise, they would get them from puppy mills. But now, unfortunately, I had to inform this lady that we were not that kind of store. I geared myself up for a battle, then said: “I am sorry, ma’am, but we do not sell dogs he—” She cursed and shrieked, then immediately spun around, pulling her kids like ragdolls the entire time.
She then stomped out the door again. It felt like I got hit and run over by words. This interaction was less than 30 seconds, so it was like a new record. It was then that I decided it would be best if I took my break before doing my next class.
98. Hotel Havoc
I used to work as a front desk agent at a boutique hotel. A guy who was obviously very full of himself came in with an online reservation that he had booked at a shockingly cheap nightly rate. He proceeded to give me a hard time about EVERYTHING, from telling me he shouldn’t have to give me his credit card info since he had prepaid his reservation, to telling me “Um yeah, I’m pretty sure I can find the elevators, I’m not stupid.”
He was just being an all-around jerk. About 10 minutes after checking him in, he came down and demanded that we give him a bigger room with a king bed and a view, even though he had booked a standard queen bed online. I complied, as we had extra king beds available. 10 minutes later, he came down again to complain about the size of the room.
He told me, “I’m only going to give you one more chance to make me happy,” and asked for the general manager. After much arguing between him and my manager, we ended up giving him our nicest suite AND free parking since we had “Given him trouble.” He got all this for a way cheaper rate, like $40 per night! Oh, but he outdid himself.
Get this: He informed us shortly after the ordeal, while on his way out to dinner, that he was not even going to be in the room for the majority of his stay, as he was visiting friends and would be staying at their home. What the heck! So I made it my personal mission to make his life a living nightmare from that point on.
I reset his room keys every time I saw him leave the hotel—which was quite frequently, 3-4 times a day. It was particularly funny when he came back tired from a night out and had to come all the way down to the front desk to get his keys fixed. Needless to say, he was very frustrated by the end of his stay. I doubt he’ll be staying with us again.
99. Anything Can Happen
I’d been having a really busy night, non-stop back and forth, without any time to even pause and go to the bathroom. I’d been so busy that I wasn’t even thinking about bathroom breaks. But we were also going through a bit of a heatwave in our area, so I’d been drinking copious amounts of water. All of a sudden as I was driving to this particular delivery, the urge to go hit me.
Like, things went from 0 to 60 in an instant. Thankfully I was close to the customer so could get this one over with quickly. Or so I thought. I pulled up to the house, and it was an area I’d delivered in before, so I could immediately see that something wasn’t right. All the lights were off in the house, not even the glow of a television or anything.
It was extra apparent because the streetlight closest to the door happened to be out of order. And on top of it all, the block was super quiet. This is a big university area, and obviously there aren’t many student renters in July, but there had to be at least one person, because someone ordered this pizza. Maybe they just liked sitting in the dark or they were out back in the yard, whatever.
I just didn’t want to get out of my car and knock on a quiet house in the middle of the night (around 9:30pm) without first checking that I had the correct address and the customer was inside. It was scorching that night, even after sundown. My car’s A/C is a joke, and the piping hot pizzas don’t help things much, so I have to try and open the car door as infrequently as possible to keep any cool air in.
I called the number the customer provided and the voice on the other end said, kind of brusquely and out of breath, “Yah?” I just tried to keep it clear and concise, “Hey, it’s your pizza out front but there doesn’t appear to be anybody home?” And the customer replied, still gasping for air, “Yah, I’m not home.” I had to pee so badly by that point that I was much less patient than I’d otherwise be with a customer right out of the gate.
“Well, then we’re going to have to terminate the order, because I’ve arrived in the stated delivery window and you were supposed to pay in cash, so, I don’t know what to tell you. Plan ahead next time.” I instantly regretted letting my bladder do the talking for me as the voice on the other end came through more clearly as a young, bubbly, and very distraught girl who couldn’t have been older than 20 or 25.
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry I was running down the street so I could barely hear you!” She cried, “I just switched you out of my Air Pods. Is that better? Sorry, I completely lost track of time at work, but I knew you were coming, that’s why I’m literally running home right now. Please don’t leave, I’m starving and I don’t have a car. Seriously, please don’t leave. Five minutes tops, ok?”
I know what it’s like to be hungry, and running late, and have no car but not live near any restaurants. Plus when I heard her voice I began to remember more specifically having delivered to this place a couple times before, and she’d always been perfectly nice. Now I felt bad for snapping at her. I tried to walk it back, while simultaneously looking out my window for potential spots to pee.
“No, no, my bad, I’m letting the heat get to me and it’s not your fault. No need to rush. See you when you get here.” I hung up and, while watching the street, was starting to think I was really out of luck. All the other houses had people in them, and were close together, so there were no clumps of trees or out of the way patches of land or anything.
Of course, I had just tossed my empty water bottle at the last delivery, because I’m an idiot. I had to resort to drastic measures. Finally, I decided it was escalating to the point of an emergency, and the safest bet was to use a bush in front of the woman’s house. She wasn’t home, after all. The streetlight was out so no one would see me.
The people who were home were inside. My car was parked across the street and we’re a small shop who don’t wear uniforms, so if someone did spot me, they’d have no way to connect me to my employer. Animals pee outside all the time, humans are animals…this is fine. I scurried over to the tallest bush in her front yard. She didn’t really have much of a yard, more just a walkway lined with bushes and flowers that ran adjacent to her front door.
The biggest cluster of bushes, the only one where I could be sure there would be no visible splatter on the side of the house, was about four feet from her door. I looked both ways, unzipped, and let fly. After the initial millisecond of relief, I noticed the sound was way off, more like pissing on something solid than something leafy. I started panicking. I was thinking I’d aimed wrong. But once I start, I can’t stop mid-stream, so I kept squinting into the darkness to see if maybe I was hitting a key rock or something and could just move a few inches over. Instead, all of a sudden, I heard a way more concerning noise. A deep voice exclaiming, “What the heck?” And before I could turn around, assuming I’d been caught by a neighbor, a man came leaping out of the bushes.
He blew by me, brushing my golden shower off him as did. He spit pretty emphatically on the ground, so I think I might’ve beaned him right in the face. I didn’t see where he went after a few paces but, though this next part is kind of a blur, I do think I remember hearing a car screech out from a bit further away after a minute.
I’d gotten some night vision by that point so I was able to make out his height, build, and outfit, but only the most general details of each. I was in such shock that I didn’t even pull my pants up. I just stood there trying to figure out what had happened. The reality was so terrifying that my mind refused to accept it. Instead, I impulsively searched for a reasonable explanation that could make everything okay.
I thought, “Could these bushes lead to some backyard area and just looked like they were against the house? Could they have been obscuring an open window?” My inner voice was desperately screaming, “Bruh that man was wearing a hoodie in 90-degree weather. That was a bad man. You’re in a bad situation.” But the very idea that I was within inches of a guy who would be hiding in bushes at all, let alone in front of a young woman’s house at night, just wasn’t something I was ready to grapple with yet.
I was coping by not coping. My fight or flight response totally failed me at that point, because my dumb brain did the absolute last thing I should have done, and I approached the bushes to try and validate this “There must have been a good reason for a man in a hoodie to be behind these bushes in the middle of the night” theory. So I walked over to the side, turned on my phone flashlight, and tried to peer around the line of shrubbery.
Pro tip: As scary as things may look in the dark, seeing them with a single beam of your flashlight can sometimes make it even worse. That’s when I saw the bag. There was a tattered drawstring bag sitting behind the bushes, slightly splashed with pee. But I was in such a moronic daze from shock that I groped around for it thinking, “See? This is it, this will explain why he was back here.” Oh, it explained it.
Once I maneuvered it over and pulled it open, I saw a sharp knife, a roll of duct tape, and a bottle of pills. The delusions officially broke at that point and all the adrenaline, endorphins, and self-preservation instincts that had been suppressed kicked in ten times over. I became whatever the opposite of dazed is. More laser-focused than I have ever been in my life, with one singular goal: “Get back to my car.”
I dropped the bag, booked it across the street, got in my car, and slammed the pedal to the floor before the door was even all the way closed. I went as far as I could as fast as I could until I hit a red signal, then I pulled off to the side and realized I shouldn’t be driving anymore than necessary in the condition I was in. I pulled into the parking lot of a 24-hour drug store and took a breath.
I was finally calm and coherent enough to zip up. Then I formulated a plan of action. My first lucid thought was, “Who do I call first, the authorities or the girl whose house that was?” I thought about it for what couldn’t have really been more than 10 seconds, but felt like an hour, and decided “Ok. I am in my locked car with the engine running. If trouble starts, I can drive away. I know something’s up, she might not, and she needs to know not to keep walking in that direction.”
But as I was dialing her number, a more disturbing thought occurred to me. “What if there was no girl?” I thought I remembered delivering to that house before, but what if I was wrong? What if the girl on the phone was just a decoy to get me there to rob me, or worse? Every pizza guy on the planet has seen the Evil Genius documentary by now, so I thought, “She called me all out of breath. She wasn’t home. The whole thing was off, can’t risk it, I’ll start with the authorities.
I called 9-1-1. The operator was very helpful in keeping me calm, because I was a complete wreck by this point. He kept assuring me that someone would be there soon. I kept telling them they had to get there before the girl did, but I was trying to express three thoughts at once, and really damaging my own credibility by the end of it.
It came out more as: “You’ve got to save this girl because he wasn’t after me I was just delivering a pizza. Unless they were after me, in which case there might not be a girl, but I talked to one on the phone, so then you should find that girl because they used her to lure me there. But if she’s real she doesn’t know about the guy, who was also real, and there could be more guys if there’s actually a girl, and you know what? Even if there isn’t a girl there might actually be more guys. I only checked one part of the bushes so I don’t actually know. But we’ll know which guy is the one I saw because I peed all over him, you know. I didn’t mean to, this was back when I thought the girl was real but not home, but she might be real so you really need to find her if she is because the guy was real—”
Finally they basically just asked me to stop talking and stay on the line. But that was when I saw an incoming call from the customer. I couldn’t answer it without disrupting my 9-1-1, so I just ignored it. My problems just got worse. Then she sent me this text like, “Hey I’m here, don’t see you?” I told 9-1-1 she was there and they said officers were only minutes away.
But who knows how long that meant? Especially after I’d given such a scattered account of the events in my panic. I just felt overwhelmed with guilt. Because my rational mind said the odds of her being a decoy girl for some large scam targeting pizza guys were low and the odds of her being the intended victim of a predator were high.
So I put my 9-1-1 call on mute (where I can hear them but they can’t hear me) and turned back, heart absolutely pounding out of my chest. Then I took 9-1-1 off mute and told them I had returned to look for the girl. They weren’t happy about that, but I saw her meandering past the parked cars in the street looking to see if one was mine, and I waved her down, flashing my brights.
She bounced on over to the window of my car, happy-go-lucky. I figured that was a good sign that she wasn’t in on whatever this was. But I was just so scared to be back in the general area and to not know what had just happened or what was going to happen. I kept whispering “Get in. Get in!” And she was like, “Get it? Huh? Oh! You want me to get the pizza from the back?”
I didn’t want to make the same mistake with her that I had made with 9-1-1, so instead of trying to tell the whole story, I stuck to the bare basic facts. “There was a man in your bushes. I’m on the phone with the authorities. I don’t know where he is right now. Please get in the car so we can lock the doors.” I was barely able to get even those sentences out, and I was shaking like I’d had 10 cups of black coffee.
I held up my phone with 9-1-1 on the call screen to verify it for her. I thought that was why she got in the car with no further explanation, but it turns out that wasn’t entirely it. “You still there? Is she with you? Are you safe? Is anyone else there?” 9-1-1 kept checking in, not knowing who the third party I was talking to was. I reassured them, and we drove, more cautiously this time, to a location 9-1-1 instructed us to wait at to speak with officers after they cleared the area.
I didn’t actually have to do much after that. The officers came pretty soon after, a car met us, I gave a statement telling them everything I observed, and she went to go speak to more officers in more detail than they needed me for. It turns out the reason she got right into a strange pizza guy’s car without probing any deeper into my story is because she knew who the man was right away from my description.
She had an ex-boyfriend who was apparently psychotic enough that he immediately came to mind from hearing “There’s a guy in your bushes.” She later called us to thank me and insist on leaving a huge tip. I wasn’t there when the call came in so the kid who answered didn’t know to refuse the money. But the manager already promised the next time we see her we can load her up with enough “one free pie” cards to last a lifetime.
Easily the scariest thing that has ever happened to me, on the job or off. I don’t get the chance to tell the story much, because I try to avoid sharing it with anyone who could possibly know the girl or know of the event. But I’m still not the same since. Even though I know he didn’t even have anything to do with me directly, this truly shook me to my core. Be safe out there guys. Anything can happen.
100. Thanks For The Shirt
My boss went to an outlet mall for Black Friday shopping, and told me this one today. Some random woman asks her: “Excuse me, do you have more of these?” My boss ignores her, continuing to look through the rack. The lady literally throws this sweater across the rack and into my boss’s face, yelling: “I asked you a question and you can answer me right now!” My boss’s reply was legendary.
She says “Thanks!” and decides to buy this sweater just to irritate this lady, and leave the store. After checking out, the crazy lady is screaming over the crowd, “Stop! Where the heck are you think you’re going with MY sweater!” She runs after my boss and grabs her bag, screaming like a madwoman. She’s slapping at my boss, calling her all sorts of things—and insisting she gets fired!
My boss just kept saying, “I don’t work here!” “GET AWAY!” etc. Security shows up to pull the lady away, and she SCRATCHED at their faces!! She gets restrained, falls to the floor and tries to fake a seizure saying, “You’re making me have a seizure,” ‘cause that’s how seizures work. She also yells, “Call 9-1-1!” Well, officers show up, and the madwoman is loaded into the back of the car, AND SHE SPITS ON THE WINDOW! My boss made her statement, and wore the sweater to work today. It’s her new favorite.
101. Every Office Needs An Otis
A while back I was working in an office that allowed dogs. It was an open floor plan and since customers never came into the office, we kept the dog food and water bowls right by the front door, just because it was the most convenient space and no one else would see them but us who worked there. Of the six of us who worked in the main office area, I was the only one who didn’t have a dog and I always felt horribly left out.
To make matters worse, across the way was a doggie daycare. One day, a very frantic woman came in and she had an absolutely massive Basset Hound with her. Usually, the only people who came into the office were associates who had appointments with someone working there, but it was rare they brought their dogs. She ran up to me and said, “Do you work here?”
I said, “Yes, how can I help you?” And she said, “I wasn’t sure if you took walk ins but I read online I could just drop him off? I tried to call but no answer.” I didn’t know what she was talking about at that point and I said, “Come again? Who did you call exactly?” Thinking if I could just saddle her off to whoever she came to see, I wouldn’t have to decipher her problem.
She said, “Well it doesn’t matter now. Look, something urgent has come up and I really need to leave him here. Here’s his food he likes and I’ll be back in a few hours and—” At this point I wasn’t thinking of the doggie daycare. I thought maybe she was a friend of someone here. I said, “Well alright, can I get your name please?” And she said her name and then asked if I needed her to sign anything.
I was so confused at this point I just said, “Why would I need you to sign something?” And she left almost immediately. So I took Otis (the dog) to the back and showed him to my coworkers and no one knew the woman or dog. I was worried she wouldn’t come back, but at the same time, my wish for an office dog had been granted! And Otis was supremely chill.
All he did all day was lie around and drool onto his own ears. I just freshened him up every now and then, took him out every couple hours, and he was happy as a clam on a big cushy dog bed we thankfully had an extra of. He just loved attention from anywhere he could get it. At the end of the day the woman, thank God, came back. She said, “Thanks, you’re a lifesaver. How was he?”
I said, “He was a champ.” And was about to say “But why is he here” when she said, “That’s a relief. Most kennels say he gets anxious around other dogs. I heard you operated at a much higher capacity, I was thrilled to see you had so few clients in the room at one time. So, how much do I owe?” It honestly took me this long to realize what had happened.
She thought we were the dog daycare. Now, I probably should’ve corrected her. But I loved my day with the office dog and I did want to get paid for supervising this strange dog all day. I just threw out the number that sounded fair and appropriate “That’ll be $20.” I said. She replied “Reaalllly?!” In this very high tone, and I couldn’t tell if I’d overshot or undershot.
But she paid me and left. My coworkers were laughing hysterically when they realized what had happened and we thought it would just be a good story for the future. Wrong. The next week…she came back! She said we were so much more affordable and less overcrowded than her other place, and that she was happy to use us. I was glad for the company so just took him.
I didn’t think there was any way she couldn’t have at least some idea we weren’t a dog daycare. The whole ordeal was so strange I just figured, “don’t question a good thing.” I was much younger and dumber then. Not long after, Otis started getting dropped off two, sometimes even three or four days a week. I was in heaven. He was such a love. And he made fast friends with the delivery guys and visitors.
One day, we took our office Christmas card photo and Otis was over that day, so we included him. In a Santa hat. It was pretty great. But it turns out Otis’ owner was friends with one of our clients who I guess happened to have the card out on her table or was kind enough to display it alongside her other holiday cards. Because one day, Otis’ owner came in holding the card and walked up to me and said, “I can’t even believe I’m asking this but… is that my dog in this photo? This isn’t a dog daycare at all. This is just an office, isn’t it.” I froze in my tracks.
She said it with a note of surprise, as though she was looking around and putting it all together for the first time. No coincidence that this was the first time she wasn’t in some crazy rush either. She was like, “Then who are all these other dogs?!” And I explained. I was terrified she was going to demand her money back, or worse, take some sort of action against us for misrepresenting ourselves as a dog care business, or complain to corporate.
Instead, she basically said, “Why didn’t you ever say anything!” And I explained we just really liked having Otis around. She stopped for a minute and seemed to be thinking and said, “Is that right?” And I said yes and told the story of how I was the only one in the office without a dog so loved the company. She seemed a little flummoxed or hesitant, understandably, because the whole thing was so weird.
She turned to my coworker and asked if I was telling the whole truth. I don’t know why she thought my coworker, also a stranger to her, was any more trustworthy than me, but hey. Strange times. Coworker backed me up. So she said, “Well, I wish you’d said something sooner. Could’ve saved me a lot of embarrassment with my friend back there. Alright, I have to get going. See you at 4:00.” And she left Otis!
I couldn’t believe it! I said, “So he can stay?!” And she replied, “Where else could I find someone to watch him one on one all day for $20?” And off she went. Otis stayed my office dog until his family moved away, luckily right around the same time I took a new job.