Witness: Retail Hell

July 16, 2021 | Gurmangeet Baath

Witness: Retail Hell

Working in retail seems like an easy job from the outside. It’s just helping the customers with choosing products and checking out, while also restocking shelves as needed. Right? Not quite. This façade is, in fact, quite deceptive. Retail is a horror filled with the pain of maintaining a cheery customer-facing demeanor even while dealing with mean managers, petty pay, harrowing hours, and curmudgeonly colleagues. Here’s what some Redditors have to say about their experience working in retail.

1. 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.”

Retail Hell facts Flickr, Charles Edward Miller

2. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

3. 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 uboats 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.

Retail Hell facts Pexels

4. 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.

Retail Hell facts Wikimedia Commons

5. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

6. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

7. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

8. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

9. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

10. 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.

Retail Hell facts Unsplash

11. 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.

Retail Hell facts Pxfuel

12. 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.

Shia LaBeouf factsShutterstock

13. 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.

Retail Hell facts Pexels

14. 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.

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15. 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.

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16. 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.

Retail Hell facts Pexels

17. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

18. 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.

Stopped Caring FactsShutterstock

19. 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.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

20. 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.

Retail Hell factsPexels

21. 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.

Office Drama factsShutterstock

22. 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.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

23. 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.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

24. 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 lose their lives, 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.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

25. 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 an 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.

Retail Hell factsFlickr, U.S. Army Corps

26. 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 the 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.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

27. 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 backwards and then mess it up more. Apparently, they never learn.

Office Drama factsShutterstock

28. 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.

Retail Hell factsPexels

29. More Equal Than Others

Another employee and I have the exact same role, or at least we’re supposed to. I’m not a cashier, and I work in the stockroom and on the floor. But, for some reason, I am asked to cover the cashier’s break and their lunch every time, even when the other person in my position is here as well. I covered the cashier’s first break today.

I also hopped on another register to help her any time she got busy, in between trying to do my own job. Then they just sent me on break saying, “Go on your break and when you get back, cover the cashier’s lunch.” I’m on that break right now, about to go back in and cover her lunch. The other person in my role says she hates being on register.

So, they just make me do it every time. I hate it too, but if we have the same job title, I shouldn’t have to be doing different jobs every time I work.

Oversharers factsShutterstock

30. 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.

Sleepover Stories FactsShutterstock

31. Noteworthy

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?

Ideas That Backfired factsShutterstock

32. Tagged

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.

Breaking the Rules FactsFlickr,Mack Male

33. A Tale Of Two Managers

So, I am moving areas and there is opposition. I should be flattered. I really should. After all,  I have two managers fighting over me. However, the thing is that if one gets her way, then I may lose out on my full-time status that I was promised by the other boss. This is how it came about. Last week, I was asked by the woman in personnel to move to work the door.

Initially, I was not going to take the job until I talked to the manager, who happened to be my manager two years ago when I worked in electronics. She recommended me since she has never had any sort of issues with me and knows that I am reliable. She told me that I would be getting full-time and eventually there is a raise that has been cycling its way around the store slowly.

I told her that I would take the job and she is getting it all set up for me so I can start next week. However, the manager over at the front end is not having it. She was told by my new boss that she was getting a replacement cashier who she was told to hire to replace me. She did that. What happens next? I come in one day to find out that a chunk of the cashiers got fired.

Is that my problem? I do not think so! Then I checked my schedule to find it was still showing that I was working as a cashier and the hours that were being set up by my new boss had been slashed.

Lazy People factsShutterstock

34. 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?

Oversharer factsShutterstock

35. 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.

Ruined Court Cases FactsShutterstock

36. 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 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.

Worst Misdiagnoses FactsShutterstock

37. Rewarded

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.

Facebook Statuses factsShutterstock

38. 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.

Worst Christmas Gifts factsShutterstock

39. 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.”

Obvious Romantic Hints factsShutterstock

40. 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.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

41. In The Bag

The one thing that I hate is co-workers who should know better and new hires that think the rules don't apply to them. One new hire thinks bags are free for employees. No, they are not. Not anymore. I will charge you for bags and I don't care how long you argue with me. They are not free. Now, pay for your bags or bring your own. It's not that hard.

Retail Hell factsPixabay

42. No Wiggle Room

Today, I got an acceptance letter of working at a warehouse part time with good pay. Because as a bookseller, $9.00, under 20 hours with weekly pay wasn't going to help out my major bills. I told my assistant manager about how some weekends I can work here and other times I can work at my other job. So, then this ensues.

They say, "You know we can't do that. On weekends, you have to be available and working around your schedule so that you can close isn't going to work out." Then again, it's funny how I have to drive almost a half an hour to fill in for someone who didn't feel like coming in. So, I am quitting. At least I won't have to deal with entitled customers anymore.

Secret Lives Of Rich People FactsShutterstock

43. 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.

Retail Hell factsPxHere

44. 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.

Retail Hell factsPxHere

45. 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.

Retail Hell factsPixabay

46. 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.

Retail Hell factsPixabay

47. Securing Profits

I'm currently working for an international optical retail company based in Europe, in their security department. Last week, after the company meeting, my boss told me that we need to re-check the internal theft issues. The last time we did it was in 2018.  So, apparently, we need to cut down the budget and focus on internal loss prevention since not so many customers visited before or visit us now.

o be honest, this is a big headache to the entire security department because there are more than 300 stores in this company. As I recall, we did the same when we tried to catch the evidence of an employee stealing in 2018. At the time, it took our team three whole months to look at all the details via video playback. What a waste of time! And, more to look forward to now. Oh joy!

Stopped Caring FactsShutterstock

48. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

49. 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.

Retail Hell facts Shutterstock

50. 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.

Retail Hell factsShutterstock

51. 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.

Retail Hell factsPexels


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