Thursday, September 28, 2023

Discount Depression

Dollar General is not a place I normally shop. I'm only in one on rare occasions when I'm on the road and in a small town where there's literally no other alternative.

I can remember maybe one or two that were reasonably clean and orderly, but they always struck me as absolutely soul-crushing places to shop.

I'd thought that was just me being hopelessly bougie, but apparently not...
"Sometimes the problems compound each other, OSHA records suggest. Pest control couldn’t service a receiving room in Minnesota; it was too cluttered. Stolen HVAC systems in Arizona went unreplaced for weeks because management “had not received the OK” to get new ones. When an Iowa store’s water pipes burst on Christmas Eve, a plumber refused to fix them, because of asbestos. Asbestos was also a worry at another Iowa store, where workers experienced respiratory problems. But state officials said the latter store’s likelier culprits were mold or “stains on the wall that were bat feces.”

Along with bats and birds, workers say, the stores are home to spiders, ants, mice, rats and squirrels. Employees have been cut on the arm, leg, torso or neck by rusted or faulty metal moving palettes, or “rolltainers.” Broken heat or air conditioning has forced workers to don five layers or line their pants with ice packs. In Georgia, former employee Shantay Millsap says she broke out in hives from the constant heat and caked dust; the company responded by cutting her hours. In South Carolina, employee Tiffany Gettle says the 109F heat in her store has made produce wilt and colleagues vomit, but a manager dismissed it by saying, “The more you complain, the worse it makes it.” (In its statement, Dollar General said it has “various cleaning protocols,” works with pest control firms and will sometimes take other steps to “ensure a healthy and safe environment.”)
The article details some eye-popping stuff. The store in Apache, OK (pop. 1,400) where the birds had gotten into the ceiling and were nesting in there and crapping all over the merchandise, and... Well, go read it for yourself.