Tales from the Dollarama: Revelations

Tales from the Dollarama: Revelations

A Story by Redgrim

Welcome to a window into the world of Dollarama.


Sometimes the best way to help someone is to not help them at all. If only I knew...




There I was, restocking the party section. As I was in the process of putting out more glow bracelets, a sudden stench swept up from behind me. Odd, it smelt like someone brought a skunk into the store.


Skunk man - "Ey man."


The strongly scented man greeted, causing me to swiftly turn about.


Skunk man - "I'm, like, super stoned right now. I can't find anything. Could you show me where the sparklers are?"


With much hesitation, I pointed to the wall directly adjacent to us. The only way it could have been closer to us is if I had them in my pockets. Skunk man squinted, but he eventually spotted them. Nodding like an old man with Alzheimer's, he snatched up the sparklers and walked off, not without thanking me of course.


The image of skunk man walking off was the last I would ever have of him. Never did he return. I believe I might have just killed a man. Who knows what kind of fiery drug induced horror he subjected himself to?


There is nothing more terrifying than a visit from head office. Who should be more terrified though, employees or shoplifters? We shall see in...




A lurching man entered the building. Like routine, he pulled out a cart and carefully placed his empty looking duffel bag at the base of it. Once in place, he began to browse around the store, throwing a multitude of items into the basket and surrounding his bag with loot.


Suddenly, he began to search around the store, investigating every aisle carefully. Little did he know that his scouting caught the attention of someone else in the store. Finally, once he found an aisle with no one else in it, he lurched over his basket. Before he could do anything, he froze. Why was he hearing boss music?


At the end of the lurching man's supposed empty aisle was not only my manager, but the district manager. She was at the store to discuss future endeavours, but since they spotted this known shoplifter, they decided that their meeting could be done on the go. No matter what corner of the store the lurching man tried to hide, they were not far behind, continuing to talk shop like they weren't tailing him.


The lurching man did not like this one bit. He brought his full cart back to the front of the store, twitching and steaming with paranoia. He threw his cart away and turned to the two.


Lurching man - "I'm really uncomfortable!"


Without any change to her countenance, the district manager replied simply.


District manager - "Well, you can leave then."


The lurching man did just that, not without digging his duffel bag out of his cart. Not only did he leave uncomfortable, but without his spoils.


Without a hitch, my manager and the district manager returned to their discussion.


As humans, we intrinsically have the need to search the world for our greatest desires. Some of us find them, others end up with...




A man enters the store. As he meanders through the aisles, he is loudly talking to himself about all manners of incoherent subjects. He has no earpiece, no phone, though maybe there is another person hiding somewhere within his mind.


He stops at the wall of dog treats and slowly looks up and down at the selection. He loudly muses to himself.


Man - "Duck. Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck; duck. Duck, duck, duck; duck. Duck? Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck.”


A distant voice from the neighbouring aisle - "Goose."


The man is not very capable of hearing anyone over the sound of his own voice. He continues, but alas, there is no duck. A broken man is he, but with or without his duck he must continue shopping.


The average Dollarama employee wears many hats. Not only are they cashier, stocker, janitor, and greeter, they are also security. Why? Perhaps we will find out... not likely though...




The position of cashier provides the best vantage point for the store, as such, it is quite easy to scope out shoplifters.


 A man approaches the Public Mobile booth and picks up a sim card. Stroking his chin, he decides what to do from this point forward. Should he pay money for this really cheap sim card? Well, the answer is obvious, he needs to think more on this in an aisle where none of my co-workers are.

Like a magician, when he re-emerges, the sim card disappeared. It wasn't in his hands, where could it be?


This might have been the end of the story, if only he didn't have a friend who was actually shopping. When his friend came to checkout, the man stood nearby so that he could chat. It wasn't his first mistake, but it would be his undoing. Being that he was near enough, I took notice of the little blue corner of the sim card sticking out of his pocket.


Right when his friend was finished paying, I turned to the man.


Me - "You know those sim cards don't work unless you pay for them."


A wash of forgetfulness splashed over his face; the only way he could have telegraphed it more was if he slapped his forehead.


Man - "Aw, I forgot it was there."


Like a true showman, he pulled the sim card from his pocket, slapped it on the counter and purchased it.


Man - " So how do I activate it?"


Me - "After I scan it through the system, all you need to do is call the number on the back."


The sim cards aren't activated through our system, but he was picking up what I was putting down.

After leaving the store, the man and his buddy spent the next half hour in the parking lot on the phone in an attempt to activate the sim card.


It is forbidden to speak of this five-word phrase. Only the most hardened of individuals can resist the urge to shutter at the sound of it, even then, they still don't feel safe. "The customer is always right" is what they say, but it is not to be believed. This is...




The best stories always begin with the cashier, in this case, I was filling such a role. With each passing customer, you never know which will stick with you in infamy until it is too late.


An elder man approaches my counter and lays down a pack of Sharpies. He is confident in his purchase until the screen at my cash shows him the price of his product.


Elder man - "That's supposed to be a dollar."


Me - "Oh, sorry, it might have been placed in the wrong spot. It's supposed to be three dollars. I can take it off if you don't want it."


The elder man shakes his head and proceeds to pay for his product. Once he does though, he returns to the stationary aisle while I continue to work at my station. The next customer comes along, a young woman.


Young woman - "Sorry about my dad, he can be that way sometimes."


I brush it off since the elder man didn't make that much of a scene about it. Or so I thought. Once there wasn't a line up anymore, the elder man pokes his head out of the stationary aisle and pulls out his 'come hither' finger. I unwittingly follow the elder man's allure.


The elder man points to an empty scanner peg that displayed a one-dollar label.


Elder man - "This is where I got my product. It says it's a dollar."


I point to the label, more specifically the text above the dollar symbol that clearly does not say Sharpie or marker for that matter.


Me - "The item was misplaced; it's supposed to be with the rest of the Sharpies further down the aisle."


Elder man - "As a consumer, how am I supposed to know that?"


Being that I was away from my station, I couldn't just stand there and argue semantics.


Me - "You can talk to my manager if you want."


Elder man - "You can tell your manager that you stiffed me two bucks."


With his raspy and bitter reply, the elder man marched out of the store, no doubt the thought of never returning storming through his mind.


After returning to my post, my manager came to check up on me to see how things were going. She asked about my progress, to which I nobly reply.


Me - "Well, I stiffed a guy two bucks."


The value of a dollar is dependent on the perspective of the individual. Some see it as expendable; others will latch on and refuse to let go. Take your guess of what is to come in this...




I find myself shackled to the cash register yet again. It isn't all bad this time since there aren't many customers, though the frequency of customers is usually proportionate to the number of... memorable ones.


Cue the entrance of a man of senior. He has a can opener firmly grasped within his hand. He walks directly towards the counter and places the contraption upon it, followed by the receipt.


Man of senior - "I bought this a week ago. The stupid thing's broken, so I'm returning it."


I point to the bottom of his receipt, the part that has no returns, no refunds, and no exchanges written in bold letters.


Me - "We don't take returns. I can do a straight exchange if you want, you can go grab another can opener and I'll write this one off as damaged."


Man of senior - "I don't want another can opener, I want my money back!"


Me - "We can't offer refunds. You can try calling head office if you want."


Disgruntled, the man of senior picks up the can opener in a thrusting motion.


Man of senior - "They can shove it up their a*s!"


With that, the man of senior tosses the can opener into our returns cart and walks out of the store empty handed. The only sense of relief I could grasp was the fact that I wasn't involved in his metaphorical rectal exam.


Welcome, friend, to another tale in which men are cursed by knowledge and their punishment is to express it to lesser beings who clearly don't know better. These lesser beings are sometimes referred to as retail employees. In greater detail, this is...




Our hero enters the lowly establishment known as Dollarama. He stops at the Easter candy section and picks up a pack of jelly beans, showing it to his... female companion (not sure of relation). After they both remark over it, they approach the cashier, who happens to be me.


Hero - "You know you have stuff on display that's been expired for a couple years, right?"


Considering that they came from the section of Easter candy, my curiosity peaked. They were fresh out of their packaging, probably only on display for a week or two. As such, I follow the man back to his inquiry. He hands me a pack and points to a stamped-on label at the front of the package. It read '201223MD02.'


Me - "I'm pretty sure that's a serial code."


Hero - "No way, I worked for the food bank, that's an expiration date. I mean, they're jelly beans, so they're probably fine, but that's still not good practice. Like, all the Dollarama ls are selling these things and they're all expired."


I try to make sense of the serial code, but I've never worked for the food bank, so clearly, I can't understand how to read an expiration date. I ask the man to make sense of it for me.


Hero - "That's 2012, 23 is the day, 02 is the month."


Me - "...So why is there an MD in between the day and month?"


Hero - "It stands for month and day."


There were no further questions from there. I got what I needed out of that. I return to my position at cash, until hero man came along to checkout his items.


Hero - "Aren't you gonna inform your manager about this?"


Reluctantly, I turn to the intercom and call the manager on duty up (if my manager had been there, he would have been laughed out of the store). When manager on duty arrives, hero runs everything through him, to which he believes to some extent. He begins to gather up all the jelly beans as hero and his companion go to leave, their heads held high as they think they saved the day.


I tell the manager on duty to stop what he's doing. I grab one of the packs of jelly beans and turn it over, revealing a copyright logo dated for 2018. Now maybe the Dare company was forward thinking in copyrighting their logo a few years ahead of schedule, so I sleuthed further, grabbing another Dare product off the shelf. It had a similar stamp to the jelly beans, only it began with '2102.' I thought to myself 'man, these products must be good if they only expire in a hundred years.'


There is little in this world without order. We as humans cannot allow chaos to consume us all. Some see themselves as the guardians of order, but this position is sometimes a curse than it is a blessing...




A co-worker of mine was stationed at the cash register this day. It was a slow day, as such, she was tasked to put out some chocolate bars when she wasn't busy. The food aisle is a few brisk steps from the cash anyway.


While she was away, a man stood in line, waiting for her inevitable return. The seconds he was waiting for felt like hours. Why, in the time it took for my co-worker to return, he could have checked his phone or started placing his items on the counter. But no, that was a task far greater than he could handle. As my co-worker returns to cash, he grows a grumpy expression.


Man - "If you're working cash, you should be here."


Co-worker - "I'm sorry sir, I have other responsibilities."


Man - "No! You're a cashier, you shouldn't be leaving your station!"


In his outrage, the man placed his basket on the counter and stormed out the door. Leaving without his items, he revved up his truck and pulled away moderately fast and semi-furiously.


I never knew we were on an episode of Undercover Boss, but after hearing this tale I think we must have. I tirelessly search through each episode to find this little snippet, but to this day I can't find it.


Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Such is the code that many live by. It may well be considered the unwritten eleventh commandment, that is, if it isn't already part of the ten commandments. I don't give much credence to top ten lists, so I don't commit it to memory. Anyways...




After a hard day's work, it was time for me to sign out. I had to drop some things off in the back first, so I cut through an aisle, passing a couple customers along the way. Considering that freedom was on my mind I had a sort of tunnel vision that prevented me from noticing the people around me.


When I was finished with my errands, I returned to the front of the store to sign out, passing by the same aisle yet again. One person in particular was in the middle of the aisle, so I had to wait for them to move before I could taste the fresh outdoor air once more. The man was lurched over his cart, but that didn't mean he wasn't aware of my presence. He suddenly turned around. It was Mr. Uncomfortable himself, the lurching man.


Lurching man - "Would you stop following me!"


Me - "... I'm not, I'm trying to leave for the day. Could I just get by you?"


Lurching man - "Oh, good."


He replied with a bitter tang to his voice. He pulled his cart to the side and let me go by, however that allowed me to get a good look at his setup. The ol' duffel bag at the bottom of the cart trick.

After signing out, I sought out my manager and passed on the info that a familiar face was really antsy about my presence. With that, I left and my manager was willing to pick up where I left off. Without any subtly, she tailed behind the lurching man, he didn't like that. He swung his head around once more.


Lurching man - "Quit following me! I'm going to report you to your manager!"


Manager - "I am the manager."


It seemed they were at an impasse. However, the lurching man had another hand to play.


Lurching man - "You're a b***h!"


Manager - "Noted."


As stated, he had another hand to play, it just wasn't a good one. With all his options exhausted, the lurching man dug his duffel bag out from his pile of items and stormed out of the store in a huff.


They say the world is only as we perceive. Who 'they' are, I have no idea, it does sound quite profound though, doesn't it? Anyways...




As dusk began settle, it marked the time when our man-hours should be dedicated to cleaning the store. As such, I was busy facing and cleaning the front-end caps. It gave me the opportunity to peek in the aisles every so often.


During one of these moments, I spotted a man with a hoodie. Once he turned around, I noticed that something was off about his gut region. It was bulging with thirty to forty lumps, like he had a farm of boils growing down there. The second I spotted him, he casually walked out the door.


I looked behind me, noticing that the Cadbury Cream Egg display was looking particularly empty. I wasn't certain about it, since I wasn't working the floor that day, I never noticed how full it was before. I asked one of my co-workers about it and showed them the display.


Co-worker - "Now that you mention it, it does look way emptier than it did before."


Me - "Ah, I think I know where they went."


I still can't believe that guy swallowed all of those Cream Eggs whole.


Confidence is merely a synonym for arrogance. One should never substitute confidence for wit, especially when it hinges on...




For about a year, we made requests for security cameras to be installed. We had enough to do without having to monitor the sales floor for shoplifters. It would take some time, but head office would eventually run out of excuses for why we couldn't have any.


With our new security cameras in place, it felt like a weight was taken off our shoulders. Finally, we didn't have to follow sketchy people around the store to deter their hungry pockets.


As I was walking through the kitchen aisle, I came across a man lurching over his cart and futzing about with his bag. Without even passing him, his head shot up like a gopher from its hole.


Man - "Uh, I'm not stealing!"


It was a pretty solid alibi, I must admit. I didn't question it though, that wasn't my responsibility anymore. If he was caught on camera, then security could deal with him.


Me - "I don't care, we have cameras now."


I pointed to the wall at the end of the aisle, where the camera should have been, but there was none. Only two aisles had cameras installed, the rest were trained on the cash registers. I stood there, paused as I stare at the blank wall.


The man took the opportunity to get out of dodge and left the store with his ill-gotten goods, whatever they were.


So, our new cameras really just limited the aisles that people could steal stuff from. And if they needed anything from those aisles, they would just grab them and then stuff them into their bags or pockets. Not only that, but the security feed didn't transfer to mall security, but to head office, who don't do anything to stop shoplifters. So, the security cameras ultimately do nothing.


Join us as we enter into realms unknown. Places you may recognize, but the truth behind their walls are just out of reach. Welcome to...




There are times where I don't particularly remember why I was in the aisle I was in, but it must have been something that didn't seem important. I only know, because it was interrupted by a child of age twelve or somewhere within that realm. All I knew was that they were a tiny person that should probably be in school.


Child - "Do you have any pods?"


I blinked and tilted my head.


Me - "D-what?"


Before the child could re-iterate his question, another child of his age range came strolling in from the other direction. He chose not to hide his swagger, adorn with sunglasses and a laid-back persona. All he was missing was a leather jacket and a popped collar, then he would have been the coolest kid on the playground.


Cool kid - "Hey, I know where the pods at."


Just like that, the two of them sauntered on out of the aisle. I returned to whatever I was doing, relieved that the situation resolved itself. I really didn't care to learn what pods were.


As I did my nondescript job, yet another child approached me, this one armed with a phone.


Phone child - "Hey, could we get your permission to use your likeness for the video we're making?"


Apparently, this child was recording the scene that had taken place earlier without my noticing.


Me - "... Sure."


Phone child - "Thanks for being a good sport."


With that, the gaggle of children fled.


For all that I know, I'm a meme on some portion of the internet. The confused pod guy. I suppose that is a legacy worth living.


Friends are good. Friends are strong. Friends are reliable. Whether they be boy, girl, or somewhere in between, they make shoplifting much easier. What else are friends for, especially within the realm of...




Yet again, the cold faceless monitor of the cash register was staring straight back at me. It was a cold, lonely day. That is, until a co-worker of mine approached the cash. She notified me of a man stuffing our products into his diaper bag. At first, I didn't hear the last part, so I was horrified but ultimately not that surprised. We switched roles for the moment, considering that she was at the brink of retirement and I was a spry young gentleman.


I pursued the diaper bag man down the health beauty section, facing and cleaning the aisle to disguise my motives. I merely needed to catch him in the act, or at the very least keep on edge enough to prevent him from taking anything more.


The diaper bag man decided to take his browsing elsewhere, sauntering out of the aisle. I quit my cleaning, despite the mess that remained, and followed. Before I could take my leave, a crashing sound arose from behind me.


A female customer, with her baby in cart, had 'accidentally' knocked over a porcelain soap dispenser. It shattered rather spectacularly against the ground, presenting me with a catch 20/20. Fortunately for the diaper bag man, sweeping up the porcelain shards took priority.


As I returned to the aisle with a broom and dustpan, the female customer placed an oopsy hand over her mouth.


Female customer - "I'm so sorry, that stuff just hangs so low. You guys should probably fix that."


She logically informed as she gestured to the display, which was half shelf for the soap dispensers and half hanging pegs for loofah balls. There was at least a foot of distance between the loofahs and the soap dispensers.


Once the female customer was finished shopping, she checked out at the cash. The diaper bag man was waiting just outside the building, peering in through the window. As one could probably guess, the two were reunited once her transaction was completed. Together, they disappeared beyond our jurisdiction.


So, not only did the shoplifter escape unscathed, but I was reprimanded by his accomplice. In summary, it was a good day.



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.


© 2020 Redgrim

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Added on May 26, 2020
Last Updated on November 11, 2020
Tags: Dollarama, retail, horror story, real life, true story, memoir



Val Therese, Ontario, Canada