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Ilia
in my own little world...
I love writing fantasy and retail-hell stories.
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From Ilia In August of 2011, I joined the team as a blogger, eager to assist with getting stories posted in a timely manner and bringing RHU to full production. Although it was a volunteer job, it was also a dream job. Aside from the stories I shared, I also helped format and prepare submitted stories to go live on the site. Reading the stories of others, preparing them for publishing, and sharing them has been amazing and fulfilling. For seven years, I made RHU a labor of love. Through ups and downs, laughter and tears, frustration and triumph, I brought my dedication to RHU and helped make it an active and productive community. Hearing from all of you and sharing in your lives has helped me through my own retail traumas. I will miss everything Retail Hell Underground had to offer, and will look back upon all my years with you with fondness. Forgive me if I get mushy here, but as my last post ever on RHU, I think I'm allowed. :) Everyone: thank you. Thank you for being part of my life, tangentially or otherwise. Take care of yourselves, RHUers. Remember the Three D's of Retail Hell, and don't forget that fellow retail slaves are out there. --Ilia, signing off Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on December 28, 2009 From MKM I have a good one for you. I work in a locally owned grocery chain in Nebraska. I was working late one day, and a customer came up to me and asked if I could help. I went down the aisle to where the woman led me. She then asked if we (the store) had any more "CREAMY type PEANUT BUTTER" that was on sale. I do not work in that particular department, but I looked in the backstock area, and told her that we were out of that type, but the "CHUNKY" was also on sale also. She then told me that she could not have CHUNKY because she was allergic to nuts. I had an instant aneurysm. LOL Lincoln, Nebraska --M.K.M. read more Dumbass Customer tales here for more Grocery Store Hell go here Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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From Taco Slave, July, 2010: I've been pretty much a Drive Thru Slave for about 13 years now. Right now I'm the night manager at Taco Bell/Long John Silver's. Situated in the nook of a rather ridiculous 3-way intersection, I am blessed with pretty low volume work. I spent most of Black Friday night thanking the retail/customer service gods for making drive thru completely utterly dead. There's a Walmart less than quarter mile away and the streets are packed... And I have one customer. My heart goes out to all the retail slaves getting spat on for their ten dollar tv coupons! The worst I had (before the paragraph to follow) was an entitled woman who thought she would like to prepay her tacos, shop, then come eat them. I told her she better hope I remember her...... Sooooo its 20 minutes to closing time, I've had maybe 5 orders in the last hour.... and I knew I wouldn't get away with no problems today... 10 mins to close this guy wants 50 of EACH hot sauce with his 2 bean burritos. I said "No our policy is one per two items ordered but I'll give you this (giant handful of packets, prolly 20)". He goes "C'mon baby you can do better than that." I just growl and walk away to get his burritos. I ask one of my two crew members to hand them to him because I'm going to yell at him when he asks for even more sauce. She returns a moment later saying '"You gotta come talk to these guys..." So as I return I'm psyching myself up for an argument. Just as I reach for the window latch, the guy gets out of his truck and punches the window, twice, hard! I recoil and suddenly... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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From Online Retail Hellion, December, 2009: Working for an online-only retailer may not have the piggy messes to clean up at the end of the day (and I have worked that terror before), but it does have the wonderful combination of everything else retail related, with the added bonus of phone-based customer service, where customers can be even more abusive because you are only a faceless voice on the other end of the line. With the holidays here again, I thought I'd share my favorite holiday story from working online retail. This story happened to a former coworker: The setup: It's 5 days before Christmas, delivery companies worldwide are in overdrive trying to get people's stuff delivered on time. Delays inevitably develop (last year we had to deal with an entire 'brown' delivery truck full of our stuff catching fire, burning all the presents inside inside to slag. Really!). My coworker "Dan" gets a call from a customer who had just checked the shipping company's website, and found that her son's XBox 360 wouldn't be delivered until December 26th. Therefore, since we were the company she had handed the money to, she called us to bitch. Though we had handed the XBox to the shipper in plenty of time to get it to her (it f-ing left the warehouse the day she ordered it), delays in the shipper's overloaded system had caused the package to be bumped to the day after Christmas. But, it was, of course, all our fault. "You've ruined my son's Christmas!" she screamed so loudly that I, a few desks down, could hear her. "I want you to personally tell my son that his present isn't going to get here on time, and that he's not going to have a present under the tree on Christmas... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on August 24, 2011 What's D-GAS? Don't Give A Shit. Bookstore Slave again with a story from the days when she was a Scrubs Slave. This job lasted about 9 months, and those months astounded me. It was a small in-mall store tucked in a distant corner. This is a long one so please forgive me. It is all important. On my very first day on the job (literally, my interviewer told me to appear on Wednesday for my first day of work), the two employees looked at me, looked at each other and said that the one manager in the store, also my interviewer, had quit on Monday. Fascinating, because I had called Monday morning and she had confirmed my start date. My paperwork hadn't been processed. I was not in the system. The employees were muddling along as best they could with no manager, because calls to the nearest store a few cities away resulted in nothing. With some effort, we got me input to the best of our understanding. Training consisted of whatever my fellow employees could teach me on the fly. Well, I got folding done fine. I could do cashier work just fine. I could close out the till, take it to the deposit ATM and lock down the store. Cool. Awesome. Bare minimum knowledge, but heck, it kept the place running. On Sunday I learned the process of submitting hours. Awesome. Paycheck on the way, right? Nope. Read on, and abandon all hope. Turns out I was employee number 5 for the whole place, which, granted, is small enough that we can handle it. Joy. Well, we're all manager-less, our calls to the nearest authority figure are still being ignored or forgotten, and we're all just being one tight... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
A little Halloween sendoff: a music video involving office zombies! Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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T’was the night before Hallowthanksmas and outside the store, Lurked crusty old ladies and discount clipping bores. Ready to mob shelves of product stacked here and there Eagerly at the doors, these freaks do stare. When retail slaves should be nestled all snug in their beds, Instead they man the registers due to the holiday ads. Kid demands a laptop, Mommy dearest quickly adds a Wii To silence her hellspawn's screams of "Me, me meee." Then at the front doors there arose a noise so ample, We open the doors and pray not to get trampled, Away to the store racks they flew like a flash, The decorations now lie strewn, crushed, or smashed. From one end to the other, lie messes galore, Sadly not one thing is missed, here in our store. Into the dressing rooms with horrible ado, Someone’s abandoned diaper failed to contain all the poo. And then our spineless, soulless, dear boss Demanded we cater to their whims at all costs. More rapid than eagles, their orders they came They snarled and spat and called us bad names. A teen demands “This! Sell me this right here!” “No sir, you're much too young to buy all that beer. I'm sorry ma’am, you missed what you desired, Your coupon from last year has long since expired.” The woman shouts “Now faster, now cheaper, hey give that to me! If my coupon is expired, then my item is now free! I have no patience, how dare you to defy my will! You’re hiding my discounts so hurry up and spill!” As tossed birds before the wild hurricane do fly We are grabbed, shoved, and battered with nary a sigh. Back to the break room we carefully try to retreat Our muscles all aching; halfway through and we’re totally... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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From Puppies in Prada Soo... this is probably going to be my last post ever on RHU. I'll see some of you on RHU Facebook, I guess. Unfortunately, I don't have much to close out on other than a few signs of hope. First: the new manager has been selected. Apparently she was a manager for a Starbucks and decided to move on to us. I met her briefly and shook her hand. She seems nice enough, though time will tell. I am SO VERY GRATEFUL that someone outside was hired, and that Lemkil either did not apply or was not selected. Second: not much to update on the Lemkil angle. His notes about the register being off have silenced. Maybe the fact that I have people on my side subtly warned him off from trying to sabotage me. Patricia thinks he wasn't doing it on purpose; she thinks he just makes human mistakes and then simply gives up rather than re-counting. I don't see that as much better. sigh. Lemkil apparently spouted some crazy to Allie... about the new manager soon to be firing everyone (but him) when she stepped into power. Ignoring the "delusional asshole" aspect of Lemkil's psyche, that's the most idiotic thing the manager can do, considering how hard the store would nosedive if the entire staff were gone in an instant. And firing people one by one would be stupid too, seeing as the lot of us could simply walk away and refuse to train our replacements. People work for the Animal Shelter Thrift Store because they WANT to, over opportunities that we ALL have for better jobs. And let's not even go over the fact that our local Director isn't an idiot, and would react immediately to a mass evacuation of the store. Lemkil,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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From Pharmacy Psycho I started this story in "The Rudest Thing a Customer has Ever Done to Me"... I originally got the job at Hardee's (that's Carl's Jr. on the west coast) working the night shift to pay for my hobby of showing dogs. (Don't let anyone fool you into thinking you will make money breeding dogs. It's really quite the opposite!) I was working nights because I had 2 young daughters, my husband worked days and I had weekends off to show. It was a really nice arrangement for me. As I was saying, I had been in a car wreck, had hit my head on the steering wheel (yes, I always wear a seatbelt), and was experiencing headaches afterwards. Normally we were required to eat in the small break room in the back, but because it was January and very slow, my terrific manager said I could take my drink out to the dining room where it was quiet. At that time, there were no customers in the restaurant. About half-way through my dinner break, four guys come in that are in their late teens or early 20's. Definitely out of high school and definitely troublemakers. They ordered their meals, and out of the whole restaurant, they decided to pick a table two down from me. If my visor hadn't been on the table, they wouldn't have known I worked there since I had my coat on. I was being very still and very quiet just trying to get through my dinner break so that my head would stop pounding. It was really hurting (I had never had a migraine before, so I didn't realize what I was experiencing). A minute later, a spitball skitters across the table and lands under my crossed arms. SHIT! I couldn't believe... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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From Just Jay, April, 2010 'sup, all! This is the tale of me, the customer and the poppyseed friand that took place yesterday. Custy: Does that chocolate have nuts in it? *points* (Note: I am well prepared for this question because people are stupid and don't know how to protect themselves in order to avoid having an allergic reaction and I'll be damned if it's on my head) Me: It does not have nut chunks as part of its flavor, but I cannot guarantee that any of our chocolates are completely free of nut traces. Custy: *only hears the first part* That looks like a nice chocolate. Or maybe that one. Custy's friend: It doesn't have nuts in it. Me: Like I said, I cannot guarantee any of our chocolates don't have nut traces in them. Custy: What about this cake? This orange and poppyseed thing? That doesn't have nuts in it right? It wouldn't. Me: *deep breath, count to five* Ladies, I cannot guarantee that ANY of our food products do not have nuts or nut traces in them. Do you have an allergy, madam? Custy: Yes. Me: Then I have to tell you, it's entirely possible that everything in this shop possesses either traces of nuts or has been in contact with products or utensils that had nuts involved somehow. Custy: Unbelievable. Me: *blank stare* Custy: I'll get the poppyseed thing. Custy's friend: But it's got nuts. Custy: It should be fine. Custy's friend: Well, you can just try a bit and see how you go. Me: *mentally rewinding trying to make sure I've covered everything before I give her the friend of anaphylactic doom* Custy: Do you get that question a lot? Me: Not as often as you'd think (It's true in the two and a half... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on March 21, 2011 Ashy-Boy here yet again, SO~ I had my first actual day working for Balls a couple days ago. Which meant I was supposed to be training. BOY OH BOY~ If you're all looking for a job where they take you gently into the position and train you decently, do not work for Balls. The manager told me as soon as I came in that I'd be working with another slave, and that I'd shadow her for an hour to watch how things were going before they put me on my own register and had someone shadow me for the last five hours of the shift. Cool, I could deal with that. Not even fifteen minutes after I started to watch this other co-worker work, the head cashier came up and dragged me to another register, had me count out my money, and flicked my light on. Then walked off. I shit you not. I was literally alone up there, with only the basic clues as to how this computer register worked, and suddenly custys FLOODED in. It was like a nightmare. I was overwhelmed, got mixed up on several simple transactions several times, and had to keep calling to the guy who was supposed to be watching me to help. I felt like an idiot because each time he came over to 'help', he'd act like it was the biggest pain in the world, even though that was what he was supposed to be doing. Then I got a lecture each time I didn't manage to sign up a customer with a Scorecard, which is this little grocery-store like card thing that earns points for every dollar you spend at Balls. It's useless for people who don't go there often enough,... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on May 30, 2010 Hello all, Laughing Barista back with another story from the drive-thru of a coffee chain. I am fortunate enough to work with one of my best friends. This makes work fun and tolerable (even though I have a cool boss and good hours, etc etc). However, Saturday mornings ALWAYS suck because they're so damn busy. Now, one of our biggest issues is the fact that people purchase WAY too much stuff in drive-thru. If you're getting more than five items (and by this I don't mean five donuts or five bagels but rather, five separate units), go inside. So it's around 11AM on Saturday morning and my best friend and I are working sandwiches. We're incredibly busy and can't believe how hungry people are that morning. We have huge orders from the front as well as drive-thru orders that need to be made quickly. A lady comes to the drive-thru and orders a plethora of drinks and 13, count them, 13 sandwiches. This is ridiculous. Even if it came from the front I'd be pissed but drive-thru? You're holding up the fucking line, asshole. My co-worker kindly informs her to wait inside while we make the sandwiches as to not hold up the line. She complains for about a minute or two until she concedes. She comes inside and stands right where we're making sandwiches and starts complaining about how she has to wait inside. I don't want to hear her. My best friend is annoyed, too. I tell her that it's not fair to the other customers that she take up their time because they can't order if her car is in the way. She said that my co-worker told her to wait on line again. I told her that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on December 01, 2009 Hallway Troll is ready to take on those Piggy Custys: I have been working in the hotel field for almost 4 years now (The first two years I was in college, the past two I blame on the economy). While working at my first hotel we underwent construction. We knew months in advance and would tell anyone who made reservations that we would be undergoing construction and the pool would be closed during their stay. I should note that one of the reasons people chose to stay with us over competitors, is that our pool was open 24 hours. I'm working the afternoon shift one of those days during construction. We have signs posted all over the entrance doors notifying customers we are under construction, which I thought were somewhat pointless as the moment you enter the building you walk through a 3 foot wide tunnel of plastic while a jackhammer (no joke) tears up the lobby floor. There are also signs posted at the desk saying the pool is closed and we're under construction. We also verbally tell all check ins that we're under construction and the pool is closed and have them sign a document saying they were told of this. Towards the end of my shift, around 9pm, this grandpa comes up to me asking where they can get pool towels. I apologize and say that I am sorry but the pool is not open due to the construction. He glares at me for a second and says that the only reason they stayed with us is because they wanted to take their granddaughter swimming. I apologized again and informed him that several notices were posted and that he did sign the form. He glares some more and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on April 13, 2009 From Former Retail Slave M About 20 years ago, I owned and operated my own little corner of retail hell in a very nice mall location. A very nice franchise Pipe and Tobacco shop, walk in humidor blah blah blah. I had only 3-5 employees even during the big Christmas rush. Only once that I can remember in the many years I owned the place did I own my own balls and this story is the day I used them. Standard Customer rush...3 customers wandering around our small store. I am in the closet of a back room while my assistant manager helps a nice couple. An older man and his mid-20's age daughter. The phone has been ringing every few minutes all morning and when I pick up the phone I either get a freaking squeeeeeel of a fax machine or someone hangs up. My nerves were on edge waiting to see which it would be next. Phone rings...I answer...in the back room remember. Me: XXX How many I help you? :: CLICKKKK:: Me: (Trying to keep my sense of humor...) Well, fuckyouverymuch. As I hang up the phone, I realize that my voice is loud enough to carry out to the store and I immediately go out and apologize to my assistant, to the customers and to god up above. The young woman is buying a couple of things for her husband, and laughs off my apology as more chivalrous than needed but the old man is insulted. HIM: I am a christian preacher, sir, and I am insulted by the way in which you speak in front of my daughter! Me: Again sir, I apologize, you're absolutely right, such language has no place - Her: Daddy, it's ok.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on December 12, 2009 Another story from Holiday Hell to warm the cockles of your weary retail hearts. It's always an amazing thing when a crew gets a Manager they love and a Manager gets a crew they love back! I've been fortunate enough to have had that experience and it's the one of the things that gets us all through Retail Hell at the end of the day. This story is from Melissa. It's long, but well worth the ending... A few years ago I worked as an Assistant Manager at a major Party supply store that is now out of business. I started two weeks before Halloween that year so instead of trial by fire I was given a tube of burn cream and a pat on the back. Halloween was absolutely horrible but I made it through to the day after. Now anyone who works in retail knows what happens the day after Halloween - The Christmas decorations come out! Due to the massive re-zoning, stocking, etc.., every manager and 75% of the staff was on duty, and things were going very well. All the managers chipped in and bought pizza for the whole crew as a "Thanks for a job well done". This was a Saturday night, and the store closed at 9:00pm. At 8:45pm, an elderly woman came in to browse our collection of Christmas decorations. While doing a walk through I noticed her "wandering", so I stopped and asked if I could help her find anything. She explained to me that the previous Christmas, she had bought several miniature snow globes and absolutely loved them, and was hoping that we had them again this year. Now I had done inventory earlier that day and knew we had the snow... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on December 03, 2009 Retail Slut Stevie, is getting a Retail Balls Award for this post on how she handled being in line behind a disgusting Piggy Shopper who attempts to lie.... First off, let me say that in the near five years I've been in the work force, I've experienced nearly all types of Retail Hell. I've been in fast food, large chain stores, bar tending, and currently a large discount store. That being said, I make sure to be an extra-nice customer everywhere I go. Now, I'm 30 weeks pregnant, and I was really jonesing for some fresh pineapple after my doctors appointment, and I was out of soda. I decided to go to the new grocery store in town since they still have some pretty decent grand opening deals. I retrieved my items (one pineapple, and one case of store brand soda) and was moving to get into the express lane, when a big ghetto bitch with her rude ass friends and seemingly adorable daughter run in front of me with a FULL FUCKING CART of groceries (that were needless to say, purchased with food stamps). In my mind, I'm screaming "FUCK YOU BITCH! THIS PINEAPPLE AND SODA ARE HEAVIER THAN YOUR FUCKING DOOR KNOCKER SIZED HOOP EARRINGS!!! WHAT KIND OF PERSON CUTS A PREGNANT WOMAN WITH 2 GODDAMN ITEMS IN LINE????!!!!"...but being the generally courteous person I am, I said nothing. Then ghetto momma and her witchy friends just gossip about the magazine covers, not even paying attention to the child in the cart. This child is trying very hard to grab some frosted cakes displayed to the left that someone had obviously worked hard making...then it happened. A frosted and decorated carrot cake fell off of the shelf and onto... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on November 08, 2009 Monotony before the Madness. Here we have a retailicous poem from Shirley the Sunglass Slave: Sundays are quite erratic in our mall, being either nice and busy or dead as a doornail. Today was the second type of day, so I quickly became bored. I got out my neon writing tablet and started just jotting stuff down and came up with this little treasure: Utterly and completely bored Can't even think of what to write Sitting at my sunglass booth Not a customer in sight My sales sheet sits there empty The register has fallen asleep Sunshine peeks through the skylight While my endless vigil I do keep Days this slow make me wish For ANY custy in the world Nothing breaks the tedium Like snobby cell-toting girls As I sit and hours drag on I know I will soon look back And dream of these peaceful days Once the holiday shoppers attack! --Shirley the Sunglass Slave read more Retail Hell Memories stories here Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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This story was originally posted on November 26, 2009 From Chicken Flinger So I recently got a job at a well known fast food chicken place. I can leave it up to you to decide which one. I was working the lobby cash register the other night and we were experiencing a rush. You can see where this is going, right? So, of course, at the beginning of the line is a man who seems to speak no language whatsoever (no, he was not deaf, he just didn't seem to have a comprehending of any language we tried speaking to him). He kept pointing at the menu, saying he wanted "that". Me: Which one? Him: That. *points* Me: Where? Him: One on the bottom. *points again for emphasis* Me: The 4-piece individual meal? Him: Yessss! Me: Original, extra crispy...? Him: No no no, I just want chicken. Me: *hits original just to save time* What else can I get for you tonight? Him: I want that one too. *points above my head* Me: You want the football box? Which one? We have 5 different kinds. Him: No no no, I just want that one. Me: Yes, but which one are you pointing to? Him: At the top!! Me: Okay, do you want that in original, extra crispy or grilled? Him: No no no, I just want chicken! Like in picture!! Me: *looking up I notice the picture is grilled, so I put that in my computer. as I review his order...* So I have a 4-piece original with mashed potatoes and coleslaw and a football box with mashed potatoes and coleslaw? Him: I never order a 4-piece! I just want that! THAT! *points violently* Me: The PICTURE? You want what's in the PICTURE? *he nods* The family meal or the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground
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--u/Greenhairdontcare182 Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2018 at Retail Hell Underground