Blood Bath And Beyond

A Post By: Craig Sean

It was a dark time during my life. I couldn’t find the type of work I wanted, but instead of complaining about it I decided to go to the flawless business that is Bed Bath and Beyond (aka blood bath and beyond aka bbb aka B^3) then I could complain about how much I hated my job. At the time I really didn’t like my job but now that I look back on it, it really wasn’t that bad other than having to tell people I worked at the the triple B. I tried to get my friends jobs there so we could all be in misery together but it never worked out. I was paid just over minimum wage to do just under the minimum amount of required work. A typical day would be me getting a list of projects, which was clearly too much work to finish in one shift. My boss, who shared my work ethic, would tell me “don’t worry if you don’t get through all of them, just be safe and get done what you can.” I interpreted this as “take your time, I don’t really care.”

B^3 as a company is real big on a couple of key points with their employees. They have a bunch of acronyms but i forgot most of them. The big points are, for the most part: safety, talk to every customer, and some other stuff. Safety was always first. I took advantage of this. If you have been to a blood bath and beyond you have probably noticed that the products are stacked to the ceiling. They do this to keep the size of the back warehouse down and increase the amount of selling space in the store, or where the customer can shop. because of this my projects often included the use of ladders to move 35 humidifiers from a 20ft high shelf to another 20 ft high shelf. This meant I could only take one at a time, because anymore would clearly be unsafe. this project would take me about 75% of a shift. Other good, time consuming projects were assembling bathroom shelving (at least 4 hours per unit) and steaming sheets in the break room (2-3 hours per set). I never rushed anything so I was always safe. After all I saw the accident free days at 1000 days or something then one lady cut her finger, it was minor but required stitches, and I never saw her again (i ASSUME she lost her job). The last thing I was going to do was to lose my job because i was rushing to get a project done. I don’t want to sound like a bad employee. I just don’t work hard at jobs I dont like. I love my job now and, at least i think, i work pretty hard now.

If you live in a city with a bed bath and beyond you have likely received countless 15-20% off coupons. These coupons are treated like gold in some households. It is a pretty good deal but people get carried away. I worked at 2 stores, one in my hometown and another where i went to college. the one in my hometown was a hotbed for coupon hoarders. Those coupons are per item with no limit on how many you could use per purchase. It wasnt uncommon to have someone purchcase 25 items and use a coupon for EVERY item, leaving another 50 for their next trip. Also these coupons had expiration dates but for some reason that doesnt matter because we still accepted them, and these coupon hoarders knew it. The computer wouldnt take the expired coupons so I had to call the manager over to get me “backup” coupons that i had to fill out in place of the expired coupons. Another little known fact is that they will return ANYTHING. Say you buy a blender use it for a couple years, lose a couple pieces, break a few parts, and keep using it until you have deemed it completely useless, you can take it back, and if you were lucky enough to have kept the receipt you get ALL of your money back, no questions asked and if you didn’t keep  your receipt you get what the amount the product is selling for at the time.

Another group of people that bothered me was the people who came in around closing time to look at rugs. Without fail ,monday-friday, the rug shoppers would come in at 9:00. They would waltz around the store for about 45 minutes then hit the rug room. every night i had to “close” the rug room, which was basically just making sure the room looked clean and making sure the rugs were folded on the shelves. I understand that when you bu a rug you want to first unfold it and make sure its really what you want, but there is no need to take 6 of the same rugs out to make sure they’re really the same. these rug shoppers would look around until about 10 minutes after we closed when I had to instruct them to leave, while inviting them to come back the next day. This leads me to the fear of the secret shopper.

The fear of the secret shopper was shared by most of the employees. about once a month B^3 corporate would hire a “secret shopper” to determine the quality of certain BBB stores. This person could make or break your career. The managers would make it sound like it will be someone completely random, but it was pretty clear who they were. Most people don’t come in with legal pads asking specific questions about our “products of the month” when i encountered these shoppers i did what i was taught by “passing the buck”. blood bath and beyond really encourages their employees to “pass the buck” or “if you don’t know, find someone that does.” When the product of the month was the faberware glass microwavable soup pots and someone came in with a notepad asking about our faberware glass microwavable soup pots i knew what to do, and that was to “pass the buck”. Fool proof, it was the perfect way to get through the secret shopper test.

my time at bbb was a lower point in my life but I learned an immense amount in my time there. A couple things a learned are: pass the buck, safety, to look out for the rug shoppers, beware of the coupons hoarders, and that I really don’t want to work at Blood Bath and Beyond ever again. Oh yeah, the “beyond” part isn’t anything crazy like the movies portray…its the online store.

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