Sunday, April 19, 2015

One of the Worst

I won't say she's the worst person I've ever met, but she definitely falls into my Top Three.

It was through my brief stint working in retail several years ago that we met.  Hired as a manager for the store, I naturally assumed she knew what she was doing.  If thievery and stirring up trouble were prerequisites for the job, it's no surprise the Powers That Be saw something special in her.

At first, I simply found her annoying:  she wouldn't stop talking.  I'm not much for chit chat, but her stories of her alleged past as a salon owner, security officer, and being the ex-wife of an NFL player she refused to name intrigued me.  I'm pretty good at spotting BS; little did I know the S would get even deeper.

Her sneaky S snuck up on us initially in the form of bullying.  A colleague with some serious personal issues was having difficulty doing her job effectively.  Rather than reach out, contact HR, cut her a little slack (you know, the things  managers are supposed to do) our subject opted to report this woman as 'completely incompetent' and drove her point home by keying the woman's car.

I S you not.

She mocked a wheel-chair bound customer behind said customer's back. She flirted with every man who entered the shop, except the gay ones.  She didn't like homosexuals, and made no secret of it.  She told a Muslim woman to 'take the curtain' off her head.   She forced junior associates to buy her sodas and never paid them back. She parked in front of a neighboring store and threatened legal action when they asked her to stop.   She was a horrible speller, and her grammar was no picnic, either. 

You can't make this S up, Gentle Reader.

Then merchandise went missing.  Small things at first - earrings, stuff like that. And the gossip!  She went out of her way to tell any and all about insults from other employees (supposedly) hurled against each of us. Needless to say, morale hit bottom.   Some of us were asked by the Powers That Be to keep an eye on her and report back any suspicious or unprofessional behavior.  That's not my style, but I did as I was told.  My only offering was a report of her spending three hours on the phone with her cable company when she should have been on the sales floor.  We were the only two employees working at the time, so she easily figure out that I was the rat.  She accused me of being a lying, racist, anti-Christan goody-two-shoes, and promised to make my life miserable. That night I went home, typed up my letter of resignation, and plotted all the different places I could park my car within a two-mile radius of the store.  I didn't resign immediately, but I kept the letter in my purse, just in case.  After all that, the worst she did was ignore me - a welcome respite from her constant chatter, to be honest.

We then began receiving surprise visits from the Head of Security for this particular store.  Big chain stores have those, you know, and they've got all this groovy equipment to not only track inventory but to track transactions as well.  I'd heard things about questionable sales and returns while under our subject's watch, but didn't think much about it until the day she broke her vow of silence against me.

"WHAT DID YOU TELL THEM THIS TIME, BETH?"  Typed in all caps because she yelled at me as the Security Head and another manager escorted her to the back room.  

They were in there for hours, and no one wanted to leave at the end of her shift. Too caught up in the drama, we made excuses to stick around.  

Finally, she emerged from the back, purse in hand, and yelling (again).  "I WILL OWN THIS COMPANY!  I'M CALLING MY LAWYER WHEN I GET HOME!  YOU ALL ARE TRYING TO CRUCIFY ME!  JUST BECAUSE I'M A WOMAN!" (that one didn't make any sense; the store was predominately female.) And with that, she left.

My shift was long over, so I went to the back to gather my things.  The Security Head asked me how to get to the nearest police department.  I told him, and he ran out the back door, violating store policy. No one was to enter or exit the back door. I'd learned my lesson about being a tattle-tale, though,  and I figured as Security Head he could come and go as he pleased.

We never heard nor saw from her again.  

I left the store a couple of months after the incident - nothing to do with her and everything to do with me not being cut out for retail.  God bless those who are.  It's a tough, thankless gig, and I admire anyone who can stick it out for longer than a few months.

Although it's been years since the incident, she still crosses my mind.  Curious, I did a little detective work recently and discovered that she had been punished accordingly for her misdeeds against the store. It's all a matter of public record.  Thank you, Internet, for showing me yet again that karma is real.

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