A Note For Retail & Restaurant Workers Over The Holiday Season – AND To Those Who Abuse Them

Slightly off topic I know, but this is a subject close to my heart. I’ve done my time working retail both as an entry level worker, and a manager. Neither of those jobs are pretty, and at certain times of year, they get U G L Y.

People think that retail workers are akin to doormats, that they can be awful to them, demanding, rude, and even threaten and/or assault them. I speak from experience. I have been threatened with physical violence, the most horrendous was the threat of rape because I wasn’t able to give someone what they wanted. Being terrorised at work by a group of young men who felt they were allowed to come back into the shop and harass me because the police couldn’t do anything, was genuinely one of the most terrifying times of my life. I’ve also been assaulted by a boss, and subjected to workplace sexual harassment, all during my time working retail.

We get it, you don’t want to be crammed into shopping centres and the like, most likely full of equally irate and sweaty people because someone turned the heat up too high to make everyone miserable. You don’t want to have to queue for hours, or arrive later than usual and miss the item you desperately wanted because it sold out so fast, but you know not getting it will result in the biggest tantrum you have ever witnessed from your eight year old. You promised them. You stupidly promised them because you thought you’d be able to find wherever it is you’re looking for, except that this was the last one, it’s sold out online and it’s too close to Christmas to find more stock. Folks who for their early are selling on eBay at grossly inflated prices because people are horrible shitbags and do that sort of thing now.

You will probably go home and bid on it, hating yourself the whole time whilst sobbing into a glass of your evil MIL’s mulled wine, but not before doing one last thing to let off steam because you will be damned if someone doesn’t feel your wrath.

The poor entry level retail worker just trying to do their low paid and thankless job the best they can, at the busiest time of year; they’re frazzled, tired, probably hungry because nobody had time for a break today, and are full of their own worries from that of a low income and an expensive time of year. You zone in on them, and demand that they check in the back shop to see if there are any left hidden away. They calmly explain that there aren’t, because they have checked for the millionth time today, but you hiss at them to do it anyway. You huff as they walk off to do exactly that and grow ever more impatient as they don’t appear again within thirty seconds. When they come back empty handed, your R A G E peaks and you start screaming at them about how you promised your child, how you’ve been trapped at work all day, how you couldn’t find it online, how you will now have to battle others online via eBay, and you do this at a piercing shriek of volume that could break even bullet proof glass.

You aim this, full throttle at the poor entry level, low paid, exhausted and frankly entirely done worker. They need the job. They can’t afford to just walk away. They have been so polite and helpful all day, and every single day since they worked there, but today you broke them.

Since they cannot magically produce the item you want, you jab viciously at them in other ways. Tell them how fucking useless they are, how their shop is shit and their stock is low quality and useless. You pick apart their appearance. You tell them they look like shit. You keep up this attack until you see their face crumple into tears. You don’t stop, you can’t stop because your own pressure valve is well and truly open, and you couldn’t stop even if you wanted to. You demand to speak to a manager as if that’s going to make a shit of difference. The person you reduced to tears goes off to get them, if they aren’t already there from the godawful commotion you just created. That manager is just as stressed and beaten down, and will either be one of two people, a bastard that takes that out on his employees, or one that recognises customers can be fucking arseholes and don’t deserve a drop of kindness. To be real, most managers fall into the first category, sad but true. The kind ones are the type that walk up and throw a customer out immediately.

The entry level worker is sent away to wipe their face and get on with the other aspects of their job, except that this happens repeatedly over the holidays, because people are horrible and think taking their frustrations out on them is fair. They will go home every day or night, a little more broken than the last, until they can’t cope with it anymore but have to carry on regardless. When they’re not being berated by unhappy customers, they’re being shit on by bosses who have been shit on by THEIR bosses, and the same customers that wanted to scream at them too.

They aren’t paid enough for this level of abuse, nobody is.

It’s worse for women. People are vicious when they don’t get what they want. They say the nastiest things, and the nastiest things you can say to a woman are things like you hope they get raped, or how you’ll be waiting for them after work because you couldn’t get what you wanted. I lost count of how many times I heard stuff like that during my time in retail. I don’t know how, but one of them got my personal details and called me at home with rape threats. It was fucking awful.

When I was assaulted, it was by another manager in the shop I was working in, I was the floor manager, and he was the general manager. He hit me in full view of the other staff because he was so angry. He also hit a customer and threw her out. This was rage because we weren’t there for his sexual harassment bullshit.

There will be countless horror stories from retail workers over the holidays, and they will not all be about customers, some of them will be about their managers or supervisors.

When you walk into a shop, please remember that the person there to help you is a human being. Remember that they are going to be as tired and frustrated as you are, and that if they could, they would probably give you what you wanted because it would mean you’d be happy, and they might actually have someone be nice to them for a change. Please be kind. They have to go home and do their own Christmas, and organise things for their own families if they have them, and they have to grit their teeth and take a deep breath to start again the next day, working the most antisocial and antifamily hours whilst you drink a gallon of mulled wine after your scene in the shop earlier, and the fact that you didn’t win the eBay auction for the toy you promised your child.

People working customer facing jobs deserve to do so in a non threatening environment, they don’t deserve the wrath of shitty customers, and they don’t deserve shitty bosses, but we all know the truth is that they will have to endure.

If you’re working retail, whether in a chain store, a one off store, a fast food establishment, a coffee shop, or indeed anywhere that has to serve customers face to face, I wish you all the strength in the world. I wish you all the patience, fortitude, and ability to brush these monstrous fucktoads off your back, and if you are the victim of physical threats, sexual or otherwise, I wish you the strength to be able to involve the relevant authorities, although we all know that’s another painful and exhausting fight on its own. You are wonderful, patient, and stellar people who deserve everything you need and want.

If you are indeed one of those customers or managers that makes retail workers lives hell because you’re basically a piece of reconstituted BATWANK, I hope you one day wake up and realise that you need to change your actions and stop being shit human beings, but until that day comes, may all your seasonal fare, gifts, and frivolities turn to ash.

Your Christmas unless you change your nasty ways.

DIY Toilet Fizzbombs 🚽

There’s a fair amount of clean loo products out there, but apparently one of the things of the now, are things that fizz and give off fragrance. Fair dos, I mean who wants a nasty shitbox?

If you look at the ingredients, the tablets are essentially similar to bath bombs, except yer chucking them down the loo. I use coconut oil in my bath bombs, but you shouldn’t do that with this unless you want a blocked and slimy bog. These substances are safe to mix, and there is no bleach involved.

Shit you’ll need:

  • Moulds of some description, something with small sections. Silicone chocolate moulds or ice cube trays are good ideas. If you only have larger moulds, then you can cut the tablets to size after.
  • 1cup of bicarbonate of soda.
  • Half a cup of Epsom salts.
  • Half a cup of citric acid crystals.
  • A BASIC liquid surfactant, such as washing up liquid, an anti bacterial one is a good idea.
  • This is OPTIONAL, but if you want them to be fragrant then you’ll need to add either fragrances suitable for use in soaps etc, or your favourite essential oils. Ten drops of oil or the equivalent in fragrances.

This will make a large amount of fizzies, because this combination puffs up like fuck. That’s kind of the point. You combine all the dry ingredients, and slowly drizzle your chosen liquid soap in SMALL AMOUNTS until it fluffs up. When you have finished with the soap, add your chosen scents if you’re adding any.

Yes it might LOOK like meringue, but please don’t eat it because you’ll be quite sick, and you’ll also look a bit silly.

It will shrink down when you mix it, but left to sit it swells again. It is for that reason that you only need to put a very small amount in your moulds as it will end up like this if you overfill:

You can also cover the tray with waxed paper and weight if you find it just won’t stop mutating.

Fill a box with water to act as a weight if needs be.

Ideally you’ll leave the mixture overnight to set properly. Once they are set, throw one down the loo and watch it fizz it’s arse off. They’re also great for shoving down plug holes as a freshener.

I pressed them with a spoon, but they puffed up a bit more.

…aaaaand here they are in action down the bog:

I s’pose if you wanted to you could add food colouring if you want colour in your fizzy shitbox, but that’s up to you.

Do It Your Fucking Self Furniture Polish 😎

Silicone furniture polish can really bugger things up. Over time, it leaves a hazy build up on your stuff, and they will end up looking dull and lifeless. Yes I realise lifeless is a bit of a stupid way to describe an inanimate object, but I’m a bit bloody tired right now. 😛


I also realise I’ve been a bit lazy and transplanted screenshots from other social media here, but that’s because sometimes too many words are not necessary, and yet, here I sit typing too many words. 🙄

DIY Scouring Cream Cleaner 💦

The best thing about this, is you can use it anywhere in the house.

I’ve tried and tested this many times, and it always leaves stuff shiny as fuck and squeaky clean. It only takes two ingredients, but you can add extra essential oils if you wanna.

Shit you’ll need:

  • One clean SQUEEZY bottle, empty shampoo bottles are great for this (RECYCLE YOU WASTEFUL SHITBAGS!)
  • 1.5 cups of bicarbonate of soda.
  • 3/4 cup of your chosen washing up liquid.
  • A mixing bowl.
  • Some manner of spatula/spoon/whatever for mixing.

If you use washing up liquid that contains tea tree oil and/or eucalyptus, it will already be anti-bacterial by default.

Shove the bicarb in the centre of your bowl, and make a well in it. Slowly drizzle your washing up liquid into the aforementioned well, and combine it until you get a consistency that you’d be able to squeeze from your chosen bottle. If you find it’s too thick, add more washing up liquid. If you are using a plain liquid that doesn’t have any anti-bacterial properties, now would be a good time to add some essential oils if you wish. Ten drops of eucalyptus, tea tree, or grapefruit oils will work well. If you consult your local and hopefully friendly search engine, you will discover a list of oils that are helpful in this regard.

Other scent combinations that are lovely but not anti-bacterial, are lime and mint, or orange and lavender. You can experiment of course, just don’t add too much oil or you’ll make yer eyes water when yer cleaning. Once you’ve got your SQUEEZY WONDER, transfer it into your bottle using a funnel. A little bit of this goes a long way too, so not only is it cheap to make, but it’ll keep you going. My bathroom and kitchen have both been cleaned with this combo, and they were super shiny and squeaky clean. Cream cleaners are always bloody useful to have around. Most of them are cheap enough to buy now, but if you can’t get out to the shops or just don’t want to, you can make this and it’s just as effective and likely better for the environment.

DIY Cloth Pads Budget Style

This is the olllllllld way of doing it. For people who want to use cloth pads each month but can’t afford to buy enough of them to last through their cycles, this is a non glamorous (not that there’s owt glamorous about yer bits being a blood geyser every month) way of mopping up the mess.

I have made and used these myself. I definitely approve of cloth methods, but even though they’re re-usable, I find a lot of the other cloth ones for sale out there are really pricy. People should absolutely be paid for their labour, but sometimes I think some folks are taking the piss. It’s almost like cloth pads are for fancy well off hippies and nobody else.

Get yourself a stack of cotton towelling facecloths. I scoped out eBay and Amazon earlier, and found several listings of twelve cloths for under a tenner. You can also get dirt cheap ones in supermarkets from whatever their basic brand is called.

That’s just a screenshot of an example for ye. Before you use them, and because you don’t know where the cloths have been sitting warehouse wise, it’s best to put them through a 90° wash first. Adding a cup of white vinegar to the washer drawer is also a good idea too.

Now – see the way that one cloth is folded on top? Fold them all like that, so they’re at least shaped like cloth pads. If you are a lucky bastard, you will have a sewing machine and this will take considerably less time. If not, then sorry mate but it’s going to take a little bit of patience. Sew the ends closed, and down the middle where the folds meet. Do this with the rest of your facecloths, and you’ve got a pile of very basic, but incredibly effective cloth pads. If you want to add something to them to secure to your underwear, you can get creative with a few pairs of flat cotton shoelaces. Sew them along each end, and you’ll have something to tie around yer gusset, but then you’ll also have dangly bits! However if you’re a member of the tampon crew, you’ll be used to having dangly bits.

This is how they used to make them before we had disposable sanitary stuff. Me Mum used to tell me she wondered what HER Mum was doing sewing cloths in the same way, until she got her first period and it all became apparent. You treat them as you would towelling nappies; pre soak in a pail (if necessary) and then put through the hottest wash. They’re easy to make and cheap, better for the environment, and much kinder to your purse than expensive cloth pads, and definitely better than disposable ones.

It’s also worth noting that food banks really need sanitary products for people who menstruate, so making a pile of these to donate to food banks to give to someone who might need them (provided they have access to laundry facilities of course), would be helpful.

I, like a lot of other people, end up in so much pain each month that it’s not always possible to use internal methods of mopping this horror up, so these work for me.

Zoflora Kitchen Wipes

Shit you’ll need:

  • One roll of Regina Blitz.
  • A lidded plastic tub.
  • Tap water.
  • Yer chosen Zoflora scent.
  • Scissors.

I thought I’d share this alternative to making wipes – this is not to say it’s better, it’s simply another method. If you’re wondering what the alternative IS, well basically folks have been adding Zoflora to cheap baby wipes which I’ve not tried personally, because this write up is how I’ve been doing it.

Regina Blitz is massssiiiive sheet wise. I love the stuff and use it to make these wipes and also face wipes. Make a pile of RB, cutting each piece in half and stacking it in your plastic tub. Add ONE CAPFUL of Zoflora to roughly half a pint of water. Add it slowly so the wipes are at optimum saturation – you might use a bit less or a bit more depending on how big your pile is. RB is perfect for this because it’s very very strong, and the pieces are much larger than typical kitchen paper.

If you use a full roll of RB, you will get an absolute shitload of wipes because it will go really far. Keep the lid on your tub to make sure they don’t dry out obviously.

That’s yer lot. You can use this method to create any type of wipe – face or baby wipes using appropriate ingredients, multi surface cleaner wipes etc. A splash of neat Flash in the water instead of Zoflora works. DO NOT MIX THEM. You don’t want to accidentally melt your lungs out creating chemical fumes. Yes folks will say that they have been doing it for a while with no issue – but the fact is that chemical toxicity can build over time, and before you know it, you’re wheezing like a forty-year-chain-smoker after attempting to run to the offy before closing time for a packet of cigs.

EASHO – My new favourite household supply website 🛒

I shall preface this with the fact that I haven’t been asked to write this, and probably won’t get promotion for it because as we all know, I’m a foul mouthed gobshite, and as such, it’s unlikely such lovely brands will want be associated with me, but I will still love them regardless.

I definitely tend to buy things in bulk from online vendors when I can, because it means I don’t have to brave the wilds of meat-space shopping, plus it means I save money in the process. Easho are a company that sell things in bulk to the public at wholesale prices, without the need for a special card, or to provide proof of business dealings etc. You can log on, create an account and shop to your heart’s content – it’s fucking fantastic.


….if you as a vendor stock Zoflora at prices that aren’t extortionate to take advantage of folks like me and our lack of impulse control whilst buying it, then you will have a loyal following forever. Easho do in fact stock it at a really fucking good price, so I was totally sold. I contacted them via twitter recently to ask if they could get their hands on Method, and not soon after they did exactly that. Not ONLY that, but they stocked it at the equivalent of £1.87 for a bottle of 828ml Anti-bac all purpose cleaner, in batches of four. That currently costs £3 per bottle via Ocado, and a whopping £6.54 for the same via Amazon.

As you can imagine, the moment folks found out it was being sold at such a low price, it sold out pretty fucking quickly. I got myself a batch of anti bac, and a batch of all purpose cleaner. Not gonna lie, I was absurdly excited over buying bloody household cleaning items —what the galloping shitfuck is wrong with me?

(Don’t try and answer that, the list is loooooooong).

My order was dispatched within two days. You get free delivery for orders over £55, but your first order is free at checkout if you apply the discount code of ‘FREEDEL.’ Nice sweetener there.

A big thing for me when I order online, is how well something is packaged, and what it’s packaged with. It arrived in a box marked ‘fragile’, and ‘this way up’, although that’s not evident from this photo.

It’s a box mate.

Opening the box I was greeted with this:


I am big fan of recycled packaging.

Andrea knows how to pack the shit out of things.

SCORE! Got some freebies too, one of which I bastardised by throwing in my coffee shortly after.

Trigger spray bottles are notorious for firing off in transit. To prevent this, each bottle was topped with bubble wrap, and rice based packing peanuts were pushed under the triggers for further protection, not pictured here because I was too excited and unwrapped them really quickly. Sorry.

The Zoflora in the featured photo is from an assorted box; linen fresh, twilight garden, tropical twist, and paradise peach were the scents I received. They came boxed, it’s just I’m a filthy heathen and mercilessly stripped them off.

Zoflora in this household is NAKED.

I’ve had a few bad experiences recently with online shops – both online pound shops that do offer good bargains, BUT fail hard when it comes to packing and customer service. Dented boxes turning up way beyond promised delivery windows which shows a poor taste in couriers, and time management, along with such bad packing that items were crushed, burst, and destroyed. Getting responses from customer service for refunds and general enquiries took far too long.

For people who aren’t able to just nip out to a pound shop, these things would be helpful, IF they were properly managed.

Every enquiry I’ve ever made with Easho has been answered in quick time, and has been polite and extremely helpful. They are bloody marvellous, and now my entire flat smells of rhubarb and pink grapefruit, to the point where I’m seriously considering buying some custard to lick off the walls.


Kitchen Experiments: Carpet Freshener 💯

If you are old enough to remember The shake and vac song from days gone by (haha now you have it stuck in your head), you’ll also remember how noxious some of them were scent wise, and also what it was like to get stuck in a sneezing fit because you were a massive tit and accidentally inhaled some when you were throwing it all over the shop.

I haven’t bought any for YEARS.

I bulk buy bicarbonate of soda from Amazon (yes I know but principles cost money and I’m sadly not rich), because I use it all over my flat for a multitude of purposes. One of them is carpet freshener. Here’s my current gubbins for it:

A screen-cap from the very enthusiastic lady in the old advert.

Stuff and things:

  • Some manner of large receptacle for shoving the powder in – I use a 900ml glass jar that used to have black olives in it before I scoffed them all like a pig. 🐷
  • Bicarbonate of soda or baking powder.
  • Wooden spatula for mixing.
  • Essential oils or non flammable fragrance.

I have a lot of carpet to cover, so I will probably use a fair amount of essential oil. If you only need a small amount of carpet freshener, just use a capful of the stuff. The idea is that you slowly add and combine the bicarb with your chosen scent until it’s powdery enough to sprinkle. You don’t want hulking big lumps of it, unless you want to spend time on your hands and knees mashing it into yer carpet. If you WANT to do that, go right ahead but you’ll probably look a bit daft.

Once you’ve made it, all you need to do is cover your carpet space with it, leave for half an hour, and do your usual vacuuming routine. You can also use this for fabric sofas, cushions, pillows, and mattresses.

You can use essential oils or whatever fragrance you like, as long as it’s not a flammable fragrance. If you use this on fire retardant upholstery or carpets, with a flammable fragrance, you’re at risk of damaging that layer of protection, and also potentially setting fire to yourself if something gets too hot and burst into flames. 😱🔥

That’s yer lot. You can make this up each time you want to use it, or you can make it up in bulk for storage. It works nicely either way, just make sure it’s stored in an airtight, cool, and dry environment.