“He Told Me I Was Going To Burn”
“I was working for a company who ended up hiring one of the Westboro Baptist Church people (the ones who picket pride parades and gay funerals) as senior manager for my department. We knew who he was when they gave us his name, and we googled him. First pic of him was him getting kicked out of a city council meeting. Second was of him holding those awful signs on street corners. He was very narcissistic and pick his favorites and found reasons to do away with the jobs of those he found distasteful. Once he knew we knew who he was, he decided to keep me after work almost every day and tell me all the reasons I was going to burn in the afterlife. He took pride in it. He said I should divorce my husband immediately because a second marriage was an abomination, and I was going to burn if I didn’t. Among so many other reasons, I was unacceptable to God.
So, I documented everything and started blasting out resumes. I hated this guy. I’m an artist, so I was preparing for a local show and finally had gotten a job offer on a Friday evening. I accepted, and planned on a 2 week notice.
Went to my art show and this prick showed up with his family. I had taken some vacation days to finish a couple of my projects. He had the balls to ask me if I was going to be better at my job now that this show was almost over. Knowing I was giving my notice on Monday, I said absolutely.
On Monday I went to HR with all my documentation to give my notice. Needless to say, the President of the company came in and asked if I was going to sue. Hindsight now tells me I should have. I just wanted out badly. They told me to give them an hour so they could consult with corporate. After the meeting, the prick called me in his office and demanded I tell him what I was in HR so long for. I told him it was none of his business and went back to my desk. Three more times he did this with the same answer. He started screaming at me. Narcissists don’t like to be exposed. I finally started screaming back at him that he was a prick and I wasn’t working for him anymore. And if he looked at me cross-eyed on the street I’d dot his eye for him.
HR came running out with the President and took him to one side of the building, then they took me back to HR, where I got two weeks of vacation and two weeks severance and got to pack my desk and tell everyone goodbye. He was still employed for a few years after that. Never been so glad to see the back end of a place in my life.”
An Impossible Schedule Was A Breaking Point
“I was working a job at a Hollywood Video for fun. I had just been let go from a dot com with a cushy severance and was taking it easy for a while and had decided to go back to doing something fun to get me out of the house. So, Hollywood Video it was!
I got paid one step up from minimum (something like $7.30/hour) but I could rent all of the DVDs I wanted free (3 at a time) and got an employee discount on all of the previously viewed movies I wanted. So to me it was a sweet deal, the work wasn’t hard and it paid for what few bills I had at the time so I wouldn’t eat my savings away.
In any case, I didn’t need the job. But I liked it and I was good at it. The manager saw this and within two weeks I had a key to the door for opening and closing shifts. Again fine, it wasn’t rocket science and I enjoyed talking to people about movies.
Then I was assigned closing on Friday nights (midnight) and opening on Saturday mornings (8 AM). It was miserable and after two weeks, I was done. I couldn’t do it any more, it was too exhausting. I looked at the schedule and saw that I was scheduled for the back-to-back again and called the manager to tell her I couldn’t do back-to-backs anymore. She said ok she would change the schedule. Two days later, nothing. I called her back, she said she couldn’t find anyone to change and that if I could please work this last one she would make sure the schedule was changed the following week. Fine, I would do it once more but this is the last time, I really can’t keep doing this.
That week goes by and the following weeks schedule comes out. I’m scheduled for it again. I called the manager and told her I couldn’t work it. She tells me that it is what I am schedule for and she has no one else to work it. I tell her she needs to find someone else and hang up. I am livid at this point but I hear nothing back and nothing changes on the schedule.
That Thursday, I am working my shift and the manager comes in. I tell her to choose either Friday night or Saturday morning, and that in no uncertain terms am I working both shifts again. I reminded her of her promise. She looks at me and says, ‘You will work what you are scheduled, there’s no one else to take those shifts, you are it.’ I am ticked at this point. I start slamming DVDs around as I check them in, and slamming my cash drawer closed. I am just livid. She makes the comment without looking up from what she was doing, ‘You don’t have to slam everything around pouting.’
That was it, I literally stopped what I was doing, stood still, took the store keys out of my pocket, dropped them on the counter, and walked out as she asked where I was going. Hours of unanswered calls later, she finally stopped trying.
It sucked because it was a fun job at the time but if the management starts to take that kind of attitude towards their employees, I’m done. I felt bad for the other employees but hope that she had to work those shifts herself.”
“You Do It, I Don’t Have Time”
“About 4 years ago, I took a part-time cashier position at the local Dollar Tree. I work full time but wanted some extra income and made this very clear in the interview process because the store manager seemed perplexed by my over-qualifications. I have spent the majority of my career in customer service with a few years of retail management, too, but I wasn’t looking for a career change, just a temporary income boost close to home.
I asked for 2-3 short shifts per week, explaining that I worked 9-5 Monday through Friday. I said I could do 1 or 2 weeknights and alternating Saturdays and Sundays. Instead, I was scheduled for 7 hour shifts for every Saturday and Sunday and no weeknights. Ok, I could deal with working 7 days a week straight, if that was all, just to make a little extra money for a short time. But that wasn’t all…
I quickly learned that Dollar Tree employees are paid minimum wage and treated like dirt. I would be scheduled with only 1 other employee at a time, who was either the store manager or assistant manager that I would only see for 5 minutes at the beginning of my shift. I would be checked in, given the till drawer with only $20 in change in it, then directed to an under stocked register and given a list of tasks to accomplish, usually including a pallet or 2 of stock. The manager would vanish, only to make brief reappearances when summoned and berate me for summoning her.
I’m no stranger to retail— I knew I wouldn’t be idly sitting behind the register. But working at the dollar store was awful. And the clientele was a motley crew too. Every shift, I was left to deal with an overflowing line of cranky customers, helium balloon orders, unruly children, angry seniors, and demands for personal shopping assistance all alone.
It was a never-ending madhouse (& a shoplifter’s dream). Customers would yell out in line about waiting, asking why aren’t there any other registers open. These same people would then pay with slowly counted out change, or checks that required 2 forms of ID, or declined credit cards (always MY fault), or demand I wrap their glasses and dishes in newspaper and cardboard like it was fine porcelain. If two people paid with a 20 dollar bill within the first 10 minutes of my shift, I was cleaned out of change (you wouldn’t believe how many people whip out a 20 or a 50 for a $2 sale).
We had resident crazies like the old man who called us all Yankees and waxed poetic in the aisles about how he missed living in Savannah, and the Diet Pepsi man (2 bottles every day, exact change, must get bag & receipt); regulars who came in just to use the bathroom; people who never made it to the bathroom but shopped anyway; weekly shopping trips from the nearby group home; local business owners haggling over bulk items they bought there just to mark up at their own stores; angry parents buying last minute school project supplies; people in formal wear buying cards on their way to an event; cheapskates trying to get refunds because the $1 toy made in China broke after 15 minutes; little kids crying as they learn for the first time about sales tax when that toy costs $1.07 …
There was nothing more I could do than try to move everyone along as fast as humanly possible. I was filling up helium balloons with one hand, scanning items with the other, running from aisle to register to balloon center and back to the register. Meanwhile, the manager would be off in an aisle stocking shelves or hiding in the storage room or chain-smoking out in the parking lot. If anyone asked her for help, she’d send them up to the register for me to deal with.
When I would page my manager for help if I had a line to the door or a 50 dollar bill or I ran out of change, she would take her time coming through multiple pages, then alternately tell me I should have called her sooner or not at all. And with every appearance, I would be reprimanded in front of the customers for not stocking enough product, double bagging canned items and running out of bags, accepting too many 20s, paging her too often /not enough, not kicking the shoplifting teenagers out, not walking someone over to the toilet paper display, not knowing if we sold out of a product (because I never knew what we had since I couldn’t leave the register), you name it… I would come home feeling like I had run a marathon.
Memorial Day weekend, I went in for my regular hectic Saturday shift, and saw the upcoming schedule taking away my entire holiday weekend and the next 2 weekends, again. I grabbed a sharpie and wrote a note on my task checklist asking to be removed from the schedule permanently. Next to each task, I wrote stuff like, ‘nope’ and ‘are you crazy?’ or ‘you do it, I don’t have time.’ At the end of my shift, I turned that in with my receipts and left. I didn’t show up the following day and never called to make sure anyone read it.”
Dropping A Glitter Bomb
“I worked for the most insane, chauvinistic chef ever in his ‘fine dining’ restaurant. I was just a grunt, which was unfortunate, given my training. This man tried to be Gordon Ramsay in that he always screamed at us, except it was never for any good reason. He would smoke weed in the kitchen and then dip and double dip breadsticks in all of the sauces. He was disgusting, but I really needed the work at the time.
One time, I had a UTI. For the uninitiated, a urinary tract infection is literally e.coli bacteria in your urinary tract. The doctor told me to take a couple days while the antibiotics kicked in, because despite proper hygiene, anything can happen. I brought in my doctor’s note, and the prick of a chef berated me, threatened to fire me, and said he wanted march down to the clinic and tell the doctor to jump off a bridge. That was enough for me.
When I went back, I was armed with a pocket full of glitter and rage. Worked as normal, but the second he got in my face, I reached into my pocket and ever so gently blew a large handful of glitter into his face, smiled sweetly, said I quit and left. It was satisfying.”
Black Friday Chaos Is Too Much To Deal With
“I worked for Best Buy back in the early 2000s, before Geek Squad, as one of their computer techs while in college. The job itself wasn’t horrible, but it was super boring because anything past a simple upgrade was sent out to some depot, so I wasn’t very invested in the job. On top of that, they never got around to ordering my work shirts, so I just walked around in a black polo I already owned instead of a black Best Buy polo.
You’d think that was a hint that they didn’t care about their employees, but then came all the issues with scheduling. I had a very rigid and predictable school schedule: 8 am to 3:30 pm every day. I told my boss when he hired me about it, and he said it wasn’t an issue. However, they kept scheduling me for noon to 8 pm or some weird stuff that conflicted with my schedule at college. After the first few times of ‘Where have you been?!’ it kinda became a running joke and I realized maybe a better job was a good idea.
Cue the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday. The store was set to open at some ungodly early hour like 3 am, so they wanted everyone at the store at 2 am to get ready. I drag my butt in, and an hour later, total chaos breaks loose. Customers being rude, coworkers being grumpy, and the store manager being rude to everyone. It sucked, I was tired, and we quickly figured out that there was no intent on giving any breaks even though we were scheduled enough hours to legally require one.
5 am rolls around and coworkers are getting angry at management for no breaks and started treating customers like trash. The manager comes over and starts yelling, so I take off my name tag, throw it on the counter and tell him I quit, right in front of the computer department staff and customers and grab my coat and start walking out. He yells after me, ‘YOU HAVE TO TURN IN YOUR SHIRT RIGHT NOW!’ to which I turn around and yell back ‘I’VE BEEN HERE THREE MONTHS AND YOU NEVER GOT ME A SHIRT!’
Petty, but man, that felt good.”
“I had a position that was a year’s contract. The year was coming up and I decided that I did not want to continue past the end date , so I told my boss (a complete moron) that I wasn’t going to renew my contract. This was six weeks before the contract ended.
Starting from that day, I was person non-grata in the office. I wasn’t CC’d on any e-mails, not invited to any staff meeting, they had a ‘team building’ event outside the office one day but didn’t tell me. I showed up for work and no one was there in my department, because they were all out ‘team building.’ I spent the whole day just reading a book and surfing the web.
On my final day, it was about 1 pm and I was saying good-bye to people in other departments. The boss comes down and says, ‘We need you in the office NOW!’
I used the phone to call someone and they said that they had planned a goodbye party for me! After six weeks of being treated like dirt, they wanted to make themselves feel good by giving me a cake.
I said no way – and snuck up to my desk (already cleaned out) and walked out the front door, got in my car and drove home.
Turns out they started paging me for about 30 minutes, then realized that I was gone and the boss got ticked.
She decided NOT to send out my record of employment so I can collect unemployment insurance. I sent an e-mail to her boss, her boss’ boss and the CEO explaining what she did and they had three days to get me my record of employment and if it did not arrive with my final paycheck, I would file a complaint with the government and see where it goes. It arrived via FedEx the next day and she was fired two months later.”