Would You Shop In A Store Hot Enough To Turn A Snickers Bar Into A Beverage?

For at least five days, the employees at a Family Dollar store in the St. Louis area claim they have been working without proper air-conditioning and that temperatures in the store have been in the triple digits. But that hasn’t stopped some customers from coming in.

KSDK-TV says it was tipped off to the oppressive heat by a store employee but when the cameras showed up, no workers were willing to go on the record about the issue.

However, the reporter did get to chat with some of the people coming in and out of the store.

“It’s hot in there, it’s real hot, it is very hot,” said one man. (Side note: We actually recommend you watch the KSDK clip below to see how the editor chopped that quicky quote into three rapid-fire, remix-ready soundbites).

The man later came out carrying what appears to be a Snickers bar (but could also be a Milky Way; surely one of you is an expert in such matters) that he described as “melted to the max… you can drink it.”

While one shopper said that the employees should not have to work in the excessively hot conditions, another customer is glad the store was open.

He said that if it’s a choice between sweating and saving money, “I think I will deal with saving the money.”

Thanks to Ed for the tip!

Comments

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  1. Santas Little Helper says:

    I think this just gave the candy makers a new product. Snickers the drink! Now with extra chunky peanuts!

  2. StarKillerX says:

    “… While one shopper said that the employees should not have to work in the excessively hot conditions,…”

    So, we should shutdown all foundries in the US? lol!

    Seriously, while working in oppressive heat is no fun sometimes shit happens and you just have to adapt.

    It blows me away that this is actually a news story.

    • Marlin says:

      So “foundries” in the US require you to work in triple digit heat in a sealed room while wearing company outfit that conforms to strict standards during your full shift?

      • henwy says:

        Yes, and more since the protective clothing is bulky, heavy and warm to boot.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Yes, and they also require thick, heavy and hot safety gear and have workers to do a considerably amount of heavy physical labor. All told sitting behind a register or stocking a shelf in that place would probably feel like a day at club med.

        Maybe we should outlaw interior firefighting as well, you know it gets hot in those buildings when they are on fire. lol!

        • Marlin says:

          And they have cooling stations, defined breaks, temperature in work areas are measured, etc…
          I’m guessing you never worked in that environment or know the safety procedures they have set.

          I have worked in many places like that and even worked in a drug plant as well in a bunny suit at the end of my factory years. I also worked in a retail shop when I was in HS that had the AC go out and we closed due to rules not letting us open the rear doors and since it was a flat roof building it trapped the heat in.

        • who? says:

          Foundry workers get regular breaks to cool off, so it isn’t really an apt comparison.

          The general idea is right, though. Lots of jobs require workers to work in “oppressively hot” conditions. Restaurant cooks, construction workers, mailmen….

      • Overheal says:

        Yes, and they are also paid and supplied accordingly to those work conditions. Kids working at a family dollar for minimum wage should not really be too closely compared to foundry workers of all things.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Yes, it pays much better but the work is also massively harder then sitting behind a register or stocking a shelf.

          The point simply was here we have a story because it’s hot in a store and yet many other workplaces have far worse conditions, temp and otherwise, and no one bats an eye.

          • Sneeje says:

            The questions people should be asking was: how were their duties and expectations changed while they worked there. As we’ve determined, foundry workers have rules that help them adapt to their working conditions. If you are asked to work in a store that is triple-digit hot, I’d be fine with that as long as they also provided easy access to water, allowed more breaks, and restricted normally-expected physical activity.

            In general, what I object to is not the expectation to work in sub-optimal conditions, but that management usually expects employees to do so without doing anything to make that expectation easier for them. Owners and managers are supposed to support their employees, not just make demands of them.

            • Slader says:

              “Owners and managers are supposed to support their employees, not just make demands of them.” Since when? Who dictated that? Owners are supposed to follow the law, managers work for the owners and take directions from them, while again following the laws. That is as far as “supposed to” goes.

        • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

          Exactly. You go into foundry work knowing what you’re in for. They don’t get paid what foundry workers get paid, probably have no health benefits, and have no way to cool off. There’s a huge f-in difference. Thanks for playing though.

          • Slader says:

            They also do not have the dangers that foundry workers face, the experience that foundry workers have and as for the other two you are making a supposition that has not been proven. Thank you for playing though. Unfortunately, you lose.

        • Jawaka says:

          As the OP of this thread said, sometimes shit happens.

          The AC broke. It wasn’t designed that these would be the working conditions. I’m sure that they’ll be just fine until the AC is fixed. As least they aren’t asphalting a driveway or tarring a roof in the 100 degree weather.

      • anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

        Uh, yes… Working in the steel mill over a pot of molten zinc that was 865 degrees F, I had to wear protective footwear, flame retardant pants, long sleeved cotton shirt, covered by a flame retardant jacket, hard hat and a face shield. During the period from mid spring to mid fall the temperature in the building was always 100+. This outfit was not voluntary, it was required.

      • dangermike says:

        Do you know what a foundry is?

      • Doughboy says:

        Actually my Dad worked as a scheduler at a foundry and he was required to do everything to schedule work around heat. If it was going to be a hot day workers would be scheduled early (like 3/4 am) to work in lower temps and out the door by 11/12 that day. If things were really hot, they did shorter shifts and worked the weekend. They even went as far as trying to get their bigger orders done in the winter time by planning ahead. Yes it’s unpleasant work but some places did what they could.

        And as far as the story, I would imagine the company wants the a/c working for the sake of the customers and vendors product versus employees benefit.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Yeah, every construction worker in Phoenix, Dallas and San Antonio is getting a good laugh out of that line.

    • A.Mercer says:

      My brother working in a foundry and he said it was unbelievably hot but the workers who had to work close to the hottest areas were given special outfits that were cooled. On top of that all workers had a cool area to go to and there were mandatory breaks that had to be taken in the cool areas.

      • StarKillerX says:

        The cooled suits are often simply vests with slots for ice packs and even then it’s been my experience that most smaller places don’t even have them (although this might have changed over the last few years)

        Also the “cool” are is often just an area away from the foundry, so for example if the temp out is 100 degrees and it’s 140 in the foundry the cool area is 100 degrees (it’s cooler, but not what I would call cool. lol!)

      • raydeebug says:

        Yup. Costume-wearing mascotts at theme parks and the like also have mandatory break areas and are only allowed out and about for very short stretches.

    • dolemite says:

      Although, I can pretty much guarantee a steel worker makes 2-3x more than the minimum wage a dollar store employee makes.

      • SabreDC says:

        Not to mention the whole “they chose to work in a steel foundry” thing…

      • anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

        Truthfully, if I only made 2-3x minimum, I would have worked someplace else. I gladly took the job because it allowed me to provide well for my family and to buy plenty of toys to help keep the economy going. I actually miss the mill, heat and all.

    • Jawaka says:

      I agree. This story really makes us look like a bunch a spoiled whiners.

    • smo0 says:

      As someone who is really sensitive to heat – that would be seriously bad news.

    • David in Brasil says:

      Yep. I’m old and from E. Texas. There were no air conditioners in stores in the early 60s. It just got hot. What a buncha whiners…

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Seriously, while working in oppressive heat is no fun sometimes shit happens and you just have to adapt.

      You’d make an excellent Egyptian slave driver.
      Mr. Burns called and he wants his whip back.
      Call me when your first employee drops dead from heat stroke.
      Etc.

      People who work in foundries know what they are signing up for, they have to be physically and mentally prepared for that environment, they are also 99% likely to be part of a union. The average cashier jockey at your local Stop ‘n Shop is not the same as the afore mentioned person. Also – are you fucking serious??

  3. highfructosepornsyrup says:

    I bet a snickers drink would be pretty tasty

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i’ve had their ice cream, melted. it was fantastic. makes me want to make a snickers milkshake

  4. Hi_Hello says:

    do they sell fans? they should use it and put it on sale for 99 cents.

  5. MCerberus says:

    *facepalm* No good story seems to ever leave my city.
    But then that could be karma for how much we make excuses for Monsanto.

  6. henwy says:

    Is there actually a right to air conditioning? I can see being forced to provide breaks and shade/water during those times for people working outdoors but if you’re inside, you’re already out of the sun. Maybe they should prop open the doors to allow a breeze.

    • Marlin says:

      They can’t open doors as that would be against the rules. They may be allowed to open the front but not the rear. So very little would happen in terms of lowering temps.

    • corridor7f says:

      People feel there is.

      If there was an elderly or frail employee working there, I could understand him/her not coming in.. but if you’re healthy and take it slow/stay hydrated, you’ll be fine.

      The more people blast their a/c constantly, the less energy will be left for the rest of us.. I sometimes prefer no a/c – I have to wear a sweater to keep from freezing and then when I leave the building, it’s like walking into an oven.

    • RandomHookup says:

      No, but even in the Army, you take appropriate precautions in the heat.

      With a flabby store clerk who isn’t acclimated, you have to be responsible. Heat stroke/exhaustion claims would be part of a workers comp claim. There isn’t a huge fitness requirement for retail clerks, so you do have to deal with the consequences.

  7. bsteimel says:

    Getting your air conditioner fixed in the middle of a heat wave
    Yeah your going to have to wait at the back of a long line.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      I didn’t really find that to be the case. My AC went out when it was 106 outside last year. I got three quotes and they all competed for business. I was without over the weekend because I couldn’t make up my mind which $8k system to install. I did put in 3 window units and a portable. We could keep the temperature in the living room to 85 and the bedrooms to 73. Those portable AC units were among the best $350 I ever spent, as the installed system ended up being $1k less than the originally quoted price (as the AC vendors were competing aggressively for my business).

  8. Blueskylaw says:

    Good thing we’re not building the trans-continental railroad these days.

    This conversation actually occured (going from memory):

    New York executive receives report that laying of track has stalled in the middle of the wasteland. He telegraphs the gang boss as to what’s going on. The gang boss telegraphs that it’s 130 degrees in the shade. The executive telegraphs back: What are you doing in the shade?

    • raydeebug says:

      yeah… in those sorts of locations, the only time to get any work done is during the early early morning, and during the late evening–and into the night, if there’s sufficient lighting available. The sun really can feel like a hammer.

    • StarKillerX says:

      LMAO!

    • Nobby says:

      A good exec would have reminded the gang boss that he and his workers weren’t dead yet and were therefore expected to press on.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        They used barrels of whiskey as incentives, especially when they were boring through the mountains. Gang Boss: Hey guys, there’s 50 barrels of whiskey on the other side of that mountain. Mountain gets bored through in record time.

    • who? says:

      LOL.

      Of course, during the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the execs wouldn’t have cared much if a few (insert derogatory name referring to Chinese immigrant laborers here) died from the heat.

      Worker safety rules are *so* 20th century….

    • nybiker says:

      Maybe the quote was “Come on, boys! The way you’re lollygaggin’ around here with them picks and them shovels, you’d think it was a hundert an’ twenty degree. Can’t be more than a hundert an’ fourteen.”

  9. Nobby says:

    These people are so entitled and that’s what’s wrong with America. Now you and me…why, we’d have no problem working in those conditions. These people need to shut up if they want to keep their jobs. Actually, they should be drug tested every time they complain.

    • StarKillerX says:

      This actually makes me wonder how slow a news day it was that they actually sent a camera crew out on a “the store I work at is hot” story?

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        It’s never a slow news day in St. Louis, but they choose to ignore stories that don’t fit the agenda (such as certain criminal activity) and instead waste time on this crap.

      • The Colonel says:

        In Des Moines if the temps get over 80 degrees it’s the lead story.

  10. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I wonder if the portable units are vented properly or if they are just adding more heat?

    Most places close when the AC is down this time of year.

  11. becina says:

    Off topic, I think a drinkable Snickers sounds awesome. I would totally drink a Snickers milkshake.

    • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

      //”melted to the max… you can drink it.”//

      Even the peanuts melted? Wow, what temperature did it have to be to liquefy them?

    • StarKillerX says:

      You stop that!

      I’m trying to behave and loose some weight and talk of a Snickers milkshake really isn’t help me. lol!

      Although honestly I prefer milkyways, back when they first came out with Snickers ice cream bars they also have a Milkyway one and it’s a good thing they stopped making them or I’d weight 1000 lbs. lol!

    • The Colonel says:

      It’s probably cheaper than Starbuck’s “drinking chocolate.”

      • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

        If this were a Twix, we never would have had this article, because as we all know, Twix is the only candy bar with the cookie crunch.

  12. Rick Sphinx says:

    I leave if that hot. When I worked at one of the large home improvment box stores; they kept claiming the AC was broken. Employee’s and Customers were complaining, many customers left, can’t enjoy looking at things when all they want to do is get back in their AC cars. True manuy people work in non-AC places, but if you are an employee, having customer contact especially, the place should be AC’d. Customers don’t want someone helping them, who’s dripping in sweat!

  13. Sinistrahd says:

    I know that the Target store in Peru, Illinois is, as their current store exec put it, “a test store. [They] are seeing just how high the temperature can get in [the store] before [their] profits suffer from it, so that [they] can decide when to turn the A/C on.” I have a relative who works there and heard that speech during one of their morning “team member huddles” (morning meetings). So far she says she hasn’t seen the A/C get turned on this year. There are definitely old and infirm employees there, so I don’t know how that will work out for them in the long run. Hopefully they did turn the air on this past week, though.

  14. vliam says:

    He said that if it’s a choice between sweating and saving money, “I think I will deal with saving the money.”

    And that’s all the company really cares about; Making a buck.

    If you’d stop shopping there, I bet they’d get that AC fixed pretty damn quick.

  15. The Dord says:

    The Long John Silvers in Westland, Michgian was a freaking furnace last week. I don’t know how people can stand cooking with hot oil in temps like that!

    I couldn’t eat inside it was so hot, I had to go into my car. :/

    • Kuri says:

      I’d be on my way to another restaurant, and emailing the company as soon as I got home.

  16. PurplePenquin says:

    Sounds like these workers need a union.

  17. SlayerKeith says:

    A friend’s son worked as a landscaper until recently. In 100+ degree heat, the boss decided not to provide the employees with water. Naturally, my friend’s son passed out. They called an ambulance and took him to the hospital. He got fired once he was released from the hospital because his boss said “Now I’ll have to pay an ambulance bill and you’ve cost me money!” Maybe providing water would’ve been a cheaper way to go.

    • mianne prays her parents outlive the TSA says:

      Ah, the joys of “At-Will” employment. True, while beneficial to workers, unions have been rightfully accused of being corrupt–mismanaging dues, and harassing business owners among other things. But I believe the pendulum has swung too far against them, and we’re really back to living in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”

      Granted, egregiously tragic health and safety violations (e.g. Triangle Shirtwaist Co., Radium Girls) are extremely rare in the U.S., similar incidents are not too uncommon in the factories which have been moved overseas.

      But the net effect even if comparatively a FWP, is that business owners can freeze or cut pay, reduce benefits, and make working conditions less hospitable simply by saying, “Don’t like it? There’s the door, I’ve got at least 20 people in line outside willing to take your job.”

    • Can't we all just get along? says:

      The owner of the store where I work is apparently pretty bitter that we get water at ALL, and, as stupid as it is, you have to hide any drink you get that isn’t water behind the nearest trash bin. Everyone else either tries to ignore if you have a soda or a Powerade or something like that, but if the owner’s in the store, prepare to be mighty thirsty so as not to incur his wrath. All of the veterans who work there think he’s a spoiled child who just wants to have his way – I once saw one of the vets buying soda for everyone and instructing them on how to hide it, a day after one girl got hers confiscated. Yes, our air conditioning barely works as well.

  18. MNGirl says:

    I use to work in a factory on a line, and it was normal for it to get about 115 degrees inside.

    Where I work now, I build walk in coolers. I have to wear jeans, tennies, safety glasses, gloves, and special sleeves that go from my wrist to my shoulder since we use thin metal. We work 10 hour days, 6 days a week. This is in a big shop, think pole barn. No ac, no fans, no windows or open doors. Minnesota has been breaking heat records all week with the heat index reaching something like 110.

    So if I can work in this heat, moving around all day, heaving lifting, ect. then I think these employees will be okay.

    • Kuri says:

      I hate to be snarky, but, you can handle those conditions. There’s no saying if a cashier or a stock person can handle the same conditions you can.

      • MNGirl says:

        I’m no more special then a cashier, infact, I have worked retail my whole adult life before I went into my last 2 jobs. I am a 5’6″, 130 pound little female. I hate the heat.