It was supposed to just be a side project… but despite his best efforts, it sometimes becomes difficult for Dr. Banner to control the Hulk…
As I was living in my parent’s house preparing for the next wave of the force placed insurance shitstorm I launched against the bank, I took a part time job at a local discount chain. I was hired on as a store security guard a few short weeks after retail’s Black Friday. The month of December is one of the toughest months to work retail, but when you’ve seen behind as many curtains as I have, it was a breeze. The majority of the time, I was performing my job duties well above any of my regional peers while also performing about a dozen other peoples’ jobs. Oh the many nights I spent working with the elderly and wise Maria…
The security videos of those nights are amazing. The rhythm we shared as I effortlessly performed her chores for her while both being careful not to be caught by management. You see…Maria was an old Mexican housekeeper. She was the only person who actually did any real work for people other than herself. There was quite a bit to be done, so obviously, I assisted in every way I could, up to sneaking out during the cold windy night shifts to pull her car up to the closest possible space about an hour before we closed. That woman was the only person at that shithole that actually understood what life was supposed to be like.
…And then a whistleblower did as a whistleblower does when a bunch of condescending close minded idiots attempt to bully you into not turning in the 2 shoplifters you’ve already documented. My hours were cut, and the retaliation machine began once again on the anniversary of my rampage against the financial institutions. I present to you, my dear readers (with only last names removed because I am the only innocent party in the tale)…
The death of retail…
The events of this weekend (As transcribed on 3/19/12):
Saturday: In order to make up for lost Store Protection Specialist hours Alain, who was already scheduled 2 and a half hours into my shift, was now staying until 9PM. I arrived to work at my scheduled time of 5PM. As I was conducting my initial shortage walk, I ran into Alain (on duty) and his girlfriend Jennifer (off duty) near the breakroom door. At this point, Alain made a point to inform me he was on lunch, and I nodded.
A short time later as I finished writing about the shortage walk in the SPS book, which is always located under Register 6 and was near the front door, Alain and Jen approached me from behind, at which point Alain yelled "Code 50, bro" I turned around and as I performed the standard store Code 50 check on an associate not carrying anything, I said in a friendly and casual voice, "also, you didn't walk the Shortage
Alain's immediate response was, "Yes I did, bro..." and as he pointed toward the women's shoe aisle (the wrong direction), I calmly and pointedly interjected, "Or you could just lie to me." I walked away, so as to continue performing my job duties, rather than to stand and have an unproductive conversation.
When Alain returned from lunch, he became very confrontational and aggressive toward me in the Customer Service area. Maria was the Front End Supservisor at the time and was present when he attempted to berate me, at one point even stating clearly, "Bro, I know the SPS rules like the back of my hand, and I'm not required to walk the Shortage Highway when I'm on lunch."
I calmly educated Alain on the actual policy that all associates (ESPECIALLY SPS, as pointed out to me by District Manager Laura during my last rating conversation in which she forgot to give me a TRUE Card for pointing out that she did not have her badge on) are REQUIRED to walk the Shortage Highway when leaving the break room at lunch. Alain maintained an aggressive stance and continued attempting to argue, at which time I informed him that this conversation will not continue.
At this point sensing that bothering with the rest of the conversation was a waste of time, as Alain has already proven himself to be a dishonest person, I walked to the warehouse, found Manager on Duty Joe, and vented to him about Alain's behavior, especially as it happened during a peak hour at the front of the store in front of customers and associates. I then walked the Shortage Highway once again in order to cool off, and at Joe's suggestion, followed that up with a short break.
With our remaining 4 hours working together, I attempted to maintain a functional work environment as Alain roamed the store breaking several standard Human Resource policies about workplace gossip and rumors. I overheard him speaking about the incident to several associates throughout the night, including Dana in the Fitting Room for at least a 15 minutes conversation. It should be ironically noted here also that Alain has a reputation amongst the store FES's for never being at the front of the store when he's needed.
As I left for lunch at approximately 7:30, Alain was allegedly finishing a hard tag audit on Men's Shoes in order to assist with last month's Store Inspection Report top risk areas of:
Girls 7-16 *
As I was removing my security vest and radio in Customer Service, I followed store policy and informed FES Maria that I was going to lunch and asked her to perform the standard Code 50 (a search of the employee's person performed on every associate by an SPS or MOD prior to leaving the building for any reason). Perhaps sensing this as his big opportunity to finally put me in my place, Alain casually asked from Register 5 (where no SPS associate ever has any reason to be standing) instead of his assigned post, Alain yelled, quite condescending "Bro, Code 50" to which I responded, "It was already done," which he would have seen had he been performing his actual job duties. Alain again became aggressive and was becoming once again confrontational, so I sharply interrupted with "THANK YOU!!!" as I left the building.
MOD Lori was on hand to witness the remainder of the night.
Sunday: I arrived to work at 5:56PM, and went to the breakroom to put on my vest/badge before clocking in. At 6PM, Alain should already have logged out and stopped performing job duties, however he continues performing them until approximately 6:20PM, at which time MOD Joe calls me on the radio to ask where I am (Alain had apparently accompanied him to the cash office while either logged out of the system or staying beyond his scheduled hours and into my shift once again). I told Joe I'm up front where I'm supposed to be, and he and Alain shortly appear from Women's Shoes (once again not the Shortage Highway, but at least this time it's not during break).
At this time, despite Joe already telling me on the radio to Code 50 Alain, SPS Alain repeats the order condescendingly as if now that Joe is here I'm supposed to suddenly believe any of the above information is in any way legally or morally acceptable workplace behavior, with several incidents described above clearly in violation of company policy. I assume from his behavior that Alain is somehow under the impression that just because he "trained" me that he is above mutual teamwork and respect.
As security video will show, after I put my hand up and told Alain I can see him fine from where he is and not to continue walking toward me, I gave him a thumbs up and verbally acknowledged he was clear to leave. I am certain he received my message as I was looking him straight in the eyes when I did it. I then went back to performing my job duties. At this point, Alain reached a new level of aggressive behavior and began frantically flipping through the pages of a book he brought to read (which was left at a register instead of in the break room where every other associate stores their personal belongings per company policy) yelling frantically, repeatedly, and tauntingly "Bro, look at me. Bro, Code 50. Bro, look at me. Bro, Code 50."
Maria once again witnessed as I continued looking down at my paper and calmly stated multiple times, "you're off the clock. you need to leave the store now." Alain continued to verbally berate me and taunt me as I walked around him to continue performing my job. As he attempted to block my path, he very aggressively barked, "why won't you Code 50 me, bro?!?!" in an obvious attempt to make a scene and get me in trouble, to which I offered, "why don't you fuck off already?"
At this point, Alain regressed to the state of a child and (again, in front of Maria) cried loudly as I entered the Customer Service area, "JOOOOOOEEEEEEEE!!! Brian's refusing to Code 50 me!!!!! He told me to fuck off!!!" I attempted to leave the area once again in order to cool off from Alain's repeated harassment and attempts to disparage the company’s name in front of customers. Alain, however, chose instead to maintain an aggressive stance, trapping me in the customer service area. It is at this point, I stood immediately in front of Alain and maintained that he immediately leave the store, at which point Joe escorted Alain out, while I informed Alain that he needs to learn to treat people with a little respect.