Tales from the Dollarama: The Coronavirus Chronicles

Tales from the Dollarama: The Coronavirus Chronicles

A Story by Redgrim
"

Welcome to a window within the world of Dollarama during the Coronavirus pandemic.

"
These are the stories that not even Tales from the Crypt would cover, those faint of heart might have trouble reading...


TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

Customer - "My parents are in social isolation for 14 days, so they definitely have the time to babysit the kids for a while."

OOooOoooOO.

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Stories so spine chilling, if walls could talk they would decidedly choose not to. Theses are...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

A man browses around the store, grabbing items and littering them around the store. Descively indecisive, he continues this for over an hour. Feeling the need to investigate, the manager on duty approaches.

Manager - "Are you buying anything, you've been here over an hour."

Man person - "Well, I'm just browsing. I'm bored and I need to kill some time. It's my birthday."

Manager - "You're endangering my customers. If you're not going to pay for anything, you can leave!"

Man person - *Various upset noises.*

Just as he storms off, man person has the biggest think of them all.

Man person - "Pay for this!"

As he passes by the shelves of boxed wine glasses, he sweeps his arm along the shelf. Four boxes fall to the floor, but in his arrogance, none shatter. Perhaps it is commentary on his hubris. He tears a Covid-19 flyer off the door and vanishes into the dusk. Was it a happy birthday? Maybe for some. For others it was a minor inconvenience because we had to pick up a couple boxes. A minor inconvenience that will be burned upon our souls forever.

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These accounts will twist your brain so hard it'll create mind juice. The time has come for more...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

I enter the aisle to return to stocking when I notice a man thrusting his arm into his jacket, as though he had a second head trying to surface from his breast. Puzzled, I approach him.

Me - "Excuse me, sir, are you shoving stuff down your jacket?"

Sir - *Immense hesitation as the cogs in his head turn* "... here."

He hands me a geometry set sheepishly and begins his walk towards the door. Noticing multiple other unnatural bulges in his jacket, I follow him to the door.

Me - "And the rest of it?"

The man turns, zipping open the breast pocket of his jacket. He pulls out a garbage bag.

Sir - "I brought this in with me!"

He sounded insulted that I even suggested that he tried to steal anything aside from the geometry set. In hindsight, that was pretty rude of me. What he needed a geometry set for continues to perplex me. It only goes to show that some things in life will remain unanswered, no matter how hard we seek to find them.

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These are the stories that are not to be spoken of, hence it being written instead. Hark, as we delve into...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

Customer to my Asian co-worker - "If you guys didn't eat cats and dogs we wouldn't be having this problem."

Oh... racism isn't funny...

By the way, thanks for instilling so much fear into my co-worker that she can't leave her house and has troubles sleeping at night. We would love nothing more than for you to come back to our store, especially since I never got to meet you personally.

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 Gather 'round, children. Hit those lights and nestle in, it's time yet again for...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

Co-worker - "Hello, as part of our new protocol for social distancing you have to take a cart before entering the building."

My co-worker sanitizes the handle and hands it off to the customer. The man's eyes burn with furious anger.

Customer - "This is discrimination!"

My co-worker is taken aback, mostly out of confusion on what grounds he was discriminating this man over. It couldn't have been a race issue, they were both white. The man was quite overweight, so maybe that was his perceived point of discrimination.

Co-worker - "Sir, you can't come into the store if you don't have a cart."

The man reluctantly takes the cart and peruses down the aisles, loudly blustering at other customers as they pass.

Customer - "It's illegal to be in Dollarama without a cart! Can you believe this!?"

The other customers just awkwardly try to avoid him whenever he tries to approach. Hearing all of the hubbub, I take my approach.

Customer - "You tell the guy working at the door that it's your policy to have a cart, not the law!"

Me - "I'll be right on that."

I relay the information back to my co-worker at the door, and he again returns a look of confusion, though clearly fed up with the customer's antics. Like, that old meme of a frustrated Jackie Chan type of deal.

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 These are the stories that men do not speak of lightly... women though, eh, they can go either way. The position of moon tells me it is time for...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

A known shoplifter enters the building. He snatches up a handful of chocolate bars and other tender goodies. He falls victim to his glutinous sweet tooth, but his love for his ten dollar bill is much greater.

I recognize the man, so I follow at a distance, watching him from the ends of the aisles. We play a bit of a cat and mouse game, though it becomes clear to me that he's willing to do this all day. I take a break from my stalking, about ten seconds or so to give him a false sense of comfort.

When the time comes, I return seek him out once more, finding him with his backpack in one hand and his other candy filled hand half into it.

Me - "Sir, you can't put those into your bag."

Mr. Lifter - "...uh, I was looking for my wallet."

I return him a blank unwavering stare and he puts his backpack back on. Without any subtlety, I tail him around the store, since we both clearly know he isn't paying for his handful of candy. He places most of the items back on the shelf and stands in line at the cash, though he begins texting.

A mysterious third party enters the store, presumably his girlfriend, and she meets up with him at the line. He hands the chocolate bars off to her and she begins to walk off to the candy aisle. Unfortunately, my manager overheard my previous conversation with Mr. Lifter and came to the front of the store to see him out, which meant that his partner in crime had a different set of eyes on her.

The sweet tooth's influence might have been strong, but they were cornered. Mr. Lifter's accomplice folded and left the remaining chocolate bars on the shelf. The only bar they were biting into on that day was the bar of failure.

The life of one who is a slave to their sweet tooth is one of hardship. Heed mine warning.

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 Hit those lights, but don't sit tight, these tales may very well destroy your tail bones. We return with more...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

As I work in the aisle, a spry young gentleman enters the vicinity.

Young Gentleman - "Do you have any hand sanitizer?"

Me - "No, we run out of that as soon as it comes in."

Young Gentleman - "Do you know when you'll be getting some?"

Me - "We don't know when we get anything in."

Young Gentleman - "Is that so? I worked at a local grocery store for three years and we had a manifest. I knew everything that was on that truck before it came in. That was a local business, Dollarama is a huge corporation. You're telling me they don't keep track of that?"

Me - "Yeah, we don't work that way. There's no manifest or anything."

Young Gentleman - "Can I speak to your manager?"

Me - "My manager isn't available right now."

Knowing that my manager would give him the exact same information and for the sake of not wasting everyone's time, I said that and that was it.

Until the very next day. From the next aisle over I hear his voice once more.

Young Gentleman - "Do you have any hand sanitizer?"

This time around though, he caught my manager as she was working in said aisle. The conversation goes on the exact same way. She tells him the exact same thing and prefaces that she is the manager of the store. He continues with his story about how he worked at a grocery store and they had a manifest.

After he leaves, needing to be told that 'our store doesn't work that way' several times, I approach my manager.

Me - "Y'know, he was here yesterday and we had the exact same conversation."

She shook her head and sighed.

Some say he is cursed to live the same day over and over again, looking for the higher chain of command each time. When he reaches the pearly gate he will ask God himself why Dollarama doesn't have a manifest to consult. He will know that he is a false god if his answer is "they don't work that way."

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 What you are about to read are true accounts from real people. Names have been omitted to protect the innocent. As we all know though, there are no innocents in...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

As a gentle lady enter the store, my co-worker presents her with a cart that she has carefully washed with disinfectants.

Co-worker - "Hello, as part of our new social distancing policy you have to take a cart."

Gentle lady - "I don't need a cart."

Co-worker - "You can't enter-"

The gentle lady bolts past my co-worker, darting into the aisle and grabbing what she came in for. She rushes toward the nearest register and placed them on the counter.

The manager on duty catches wind of the gentle lady and tells her to leave since she is not complying with Dollarama's protocols. She does, however, she swears vengeance.

An hour later, manager on duty recieves a phone call. It is gentle lady. She informs her that she filed a complaint with head office, which wasn't much of a threat since they were complying exactly with head office's protocols. Manager on duty even goes so far as to tell her that exactly.

Gentle lady - "Well, nobody offered me a cart."

Manager on duty looked over to my co-worker, who overheard this proclamation and throws up her hands in disbelief.

Gentle lady - "What do I need a cart for anyways?"

Manager on duty - "It intrinsically keeps you distanced from other customers and its how we keep track of how many customers we have in the building."

Gentle lady - "Well, how many carts do you have?"

Manager on duty - "I don't know the exact number."

Gentle lady - "Well, as manager, shouldn't you know that?"

The conversation more or less ends there since gentle lady finally uncovered an error in manager on duty's judgement, thus satisfied in hatching a seed of doubt in a person who dared to tell her what she could or couldn't do. With her own parable of justice under her belt, gentle lady may now sit at the round table of knightly peers.

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 Look under your bed. Shine a light into your closet. You never know what may lurk in the dark. It could very well be the next entry of...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

As I pick out my snacks for my break, I hear a throaty cough echoing from the distance. I don't think much of it at the time, but it would soon become clear that I was alone in that sense.

A man marches into the aisle and approaches me with a great sense of purpose. Noticing that I was an employee, he confides in me.

Man - "Did you hear that cough? Do you know where it came from?"

Me - "No."

Man - "I work with the Red Cross. That was a very deep cough. He sounds sick. I must know if he's wearing a mask. It's the law you know." (Note: it isn't).

I point to the latter end of the store.

Me - "It sounded like it came from over there."

Man - "Thanks for the tip."

With that, the man continued his search. He disappeared into the next aisle, soldiering on like the brave soul he was. Whether he found his bounty, I will never know. Mostly because I was on lunch at that point.

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One does not know true terror until they've worked in retail during 4/20. Welcome once more to...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

For the sake of enforcing social distancing, I was working the door on this particularly smelly day. I was not prepared for what was about to come through the door.

An old co-worker of mine hobbles inside, very clearly intoxicated on something. He has his phone plastered to his face, muttering something about a girl ditching him in a cab. Once notices me, he enters greeting mode.

Shamble man - "Ey! Is it... Alex or John."

As I said, we worked together, but we don't really know each other. Every time he sees me its a different name. It's not an inside joke or anything.

Me - "It's Eric. As part of our new social distancing policy, you gotta take a cart."

Shamble man - "Oh, I'm only here to pick up an energy drink. Could you get it for me?"

I fall silent for a moment, looking down at my cleaning supplies. It clicks for him that I'm a bit busy at the moment, so he takes the cart and walks forward a couple feet before stopping to either talk to me or whoever was on the phone. It was really not clear because he wasn't looking at me and he would stop his rambling every so often to mutter "hello?" I honestly couldn't follow what he was saying, but it was more of the same about a girl, a cab, and how girls sucked.

Eventually, he makes it to the cash and buys his energy drink. As he leaves, he waves to me and makes a rather loud announcement.

Shamble man - "Ey Eric! Next time I see you I'll lend you some mushrooms!"

Dumbfounded, I nod my head with a expression of stupor. I suppose I should have been more grateful, it was quite the generous offer. It was not the end though.

Shamble man walks back into the building and just stands directly across from me as I try to hand customers carts. He has his phone at his ear again.

Shamble man - "I'm gonna try to call a cab."

Me - "... Do you need the number for a cab company?"

He just kind of laughs at my attempt to rationalize why he's still here. Then he looks at me, more specifically my chest.

Shamble man - "Ey, you don't have man b***s anymore."

The notion puzzled me to no end, considering that I've been as skinny as a toothpick my entire life, but my thoughts didn't dwell on this subject for too long since he just reached out and firmly grasped my left bosom.

Shamble man - "Me though, I got some big ol' man t*****s."

As he makes this profound proclamation, he demonstrates the state of his moobs by pressing them together.

Shamble man - "You though, you're looking good, you're looking jacked. You could go out and get some girls. Well, eh, girls are bad news. No, no, like, 20% of girls are cool. I'm not gay though. Oh, and I'm not a pedophile either."

I assume he mentioned that last part because I kind of look like I could be a high schooler. Honestly, I have a hard time predicting his thought process.

I think it took two or three customers to realize that he was in a really inconvenient spot for the whole social distancing thing, so he decides to duck out and wait outside for his cab. He made it very difficult to return to my duties because it was not easy to inform people about our store policy and try to wrap my head around what just happened.

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 The universe is a vast, endless expansion that poses us with multiple unknowable answers. How did it begin? Are we alone? Why do people refuse to take the cart? Yes, it's another one of those...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

Door duty had fallen to me on this fine day. I wipe down our carts with Lysol spray and hand them off to customers as they enter the building. It sometimes takes some tooth pulling, but they normally take the cart in the end.

Enter Frumpy and his bush beard companion. I wipe down the handle and place the cart in front of him.

Me - "Hello, as part of our social distancing protocol I need you to take this cart, please."

Frumpy - "I don't need a cart."

Me - "You have to take the cart."

Frumpy - "I don't need a cart."

Me - "You need to take the cart. It's our policy. It keeps you distance from other customers and it's how we keep track of how many customers are in the building."

Frumpy - "I don't need a cart!"

A deep scowl grows on Frumpy's face, but does take the cart, contrary to his proclamations. He waddles into the store and rams the cart into the nearest wall. After a loud crash, the man hobbles into the nearest aisle, his silent buddy following suit.

I pursue Frumpy, on the grounds that both me and my co-workers are going to get in trouble if he doesn't follow our protocol, and the fact that he very clearly doesn't have any regard for other people's safety. I grab the cart and pull it back to him.

Me - "You can't be in the store without a cart."

Frumpy - "This cart is about to go up your a*s in a second!"

In that moment my dead eyed expression vanishes. Some say my rage meter grew two sizes that day. I've already had so many people give me back sass about the carts, I felt the most justification to blow up at someone than ever in my life.

Frumpy snatches the cart reluctantly and continues through the aisle.

Me - "Listen, I have to enforce these orders from head office! You can leave if you don't-"

Like a petulant child, Frumpy turns around.

Frumpy - "Stop yelling at me!"

Right, how rude of me. Shouting at people for threatening rectal disfigurement? Parish the thought. I left him at that, though, I was ready to move on to round three if I saw him or his buddy step out of line.

A couple minutes later I saw Frumpy and company drop off their cart at the exit, leaving with nothing. Whatever it was they came in for, clearly it wasn't important. Or maybe wasting everyone's time was important to them, in which case, they got a real bargain that day.

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 These are the stories of the brave souls who endure the worst of society for less pay than the average person on E.I. We now return to...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

After signing in, I make my approach to the front of the store. That is when I witnessed the scene. My spine trembled at the familiarity.

Of course, it was yet another man who refused to participate in our social distancing protocol. Within a sea of shouting, it was difficult to make out what either the man or my co-worker were spouting at one another, but it was quite venomous based on their facial expressions.

Guy - "I don't understand why I need a cart!"

While, I can't verify that my co-worker explained our policy, it is very likely she went over all the main points since it now and forever occupies a section of our brains like a tumor.

My co-worker - "I don't deserve to be treated this way!"

The mud slinging carried on as the man circled around the cue of carts, making his way to the exit. We watch him walk back to his truck to make sure he doesn't cause any more trouble. Suddenly, a customer pokes his head out from one of the aisles.

Hero man - "I heard somebody shouting at you guys over here, is he still around? I've been itching to get into an argument all day!"

He was not the hero we deserved, but he was the hero we needed. I point out the window, heeding the call of our great saviour.

Me - "He fled, but there may yet be hope."

As the man pulled away in his truck though, our hero sighed in disappointment and returned to his shopping. Alas, if only we had a bat signal. Wherever you are, hero man, we need you now more than ever.

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 Dusk has settled in. The moon greets you with it's pale light. You know what time it is...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

As I wait at my station for the next customer to come in, a familiar man approaches me.

Familiar man - "Hey, are you guys hiring right now?"

I don't know the answer to the question, but his familiarity to me is typically not a good sign.

Me - "Not at the moment, no."

Familiar man nods in understanding and walks off with his plentiful cart, disappearing into the maze of aisles. I return to my scrubbing duties, though I swear I heard the echoes of a rustling noise in a far off corner of the store.

Familiar man returns with a can of pop and a bag of chips and hands them off to me.

Familiar man - "I'll be back for these, I just need some cash from my buddy."

His unusually full backpack sways as he exits the store. Without a moment's hesitation, I go back through the food aisle and put his items back on the shelf.

In hindsight, it might have been a good idea to ask him for a resume, I'm sure his interview would have gone over well.

Familiar man - "I'm not good with money, but, ey, if you need someone good at packing bags, I'm your guy!"

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For some, the scariest situation to be placed in within the modern world is an interview. However, usually fear is instilled in the interviewee, not the interviewer. Today we shall see in...

TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA

John Doe is called upon as the next interviewee, wearing a fancy plaid collared shirt along with a crisp pair of dress pants. He sits across from my manager in her office and they conduct the interview.

Manager - "Tell me a bit about yourself."

John - "Well, John is an overachiever. John is very hard working."

My manager is stunned for the moment, but continues the interview anyways. John, without fail, speaks about himself in the third person through out the remainder of the interview, speaking with a plastic smile and a can do attitude.

John - "So, when do I start?"

My manager gets a bit of whiplash from his sudden change to first person pronouns.

Manager - "Well, this is just an interview and I still have other people to interview. We'll call you to let you know."

John - "But, wouldn't you want your new Assistant Manager to start as soon as possible?"

Manager - "... We're only looking for part-time right now. We don't have an open position for Assistant Manager."

With both parties rightfully confused, John picks himself up and leaves.

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If you think your heart strong, then consider delving even further into the pits of despair. They thought it couldn't be contained, but yet it has. TALES FROM THE DOLLARAMA is now available in print. Now each story not only holds terror within its content, but also the fear of physical lacerations should you shiver when turning the page. This edition chronicles every tale that has been told here, including exclusives and bonus content, such as a top 5 list of stolen goods. Number 2 will convince your dad to come back home. Links are below.

Softcover:
https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/eric-leger/tales-from-the-dollarama/paperback/product-7jp5w2.html
Hardcover:
https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/eric-leger/tales-from-the-dollarama/hardcover/product-782py6.html


© 2020 Redgrim


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Added on May 8, 2020
Last Updated on November 11, 2020
Tags: Dollarama, retail, horror story, real life, coronavirus, covid-19, true story, memoir

Author

Redgrim
Redgrim

Val Therese, Ontario, Canada



Writing