1562 Good Morning, Voice.

When I worked for a little comic shop the owner bought a little, fake, security camera to stick in a corner so people would think they were being watched. There were also some of those mirrors that you see in some places. The round ones that warp your perspective, but are supposed to help you see around corners. Most people weren’t fooled by the camera, but the mirror always got people looking at it to see if we were watching. Only the best shoplifters can do their business without looking like they’re up to no good. Most people start getting twitchy when they steal stuff. I worked in enough shops to be able to spot shoplifters pretty well. I’m also tall, so I could peer over fixtures at them when they thought they weren’t being observed. We weren’t allowed to catch shoplifters. Most places tell you to just be present until they leave on their own, even if they steal right in front of you. They don’t want to deal with the legal issues that arise when you accuse someone of theft. If you can’t absolutely prove it, which is harder to do in court than you might think, they would just as soon take the hit and get the tax break at the end of the fiscal year. And fair enough really. I’ve never worked for a company that felt like it had my best interests at heart. I’m certainly not going to risk my life over Jay Z’s Blueprint album for a store that isn’t going to back me. No, I always felt like the associates were the ones most suspected of being thieves. Which is statistically true, but doesn’t help with morale. I know a lot of people I work with stole a lot of stuff. Less than 50% got caught.
I know I’ve told this story before, but there was a receiving manager that really hated me at one point. I’m not even sure why. I suspect it was because I didn’t take much of anything seriously. I mean, we sold trinkets to assholes. Who cares if things are perfect? The animals just shat all over our work anyway. In any event, she really annoyed the manager too, so he set out to get her on a fireable offense, so she could never work for the company again. He got her for eating a handful of Skittles from a package that someone had opened on the floor. It had to be thrown away, but the rules state that all of the remaining item has to be disposed of, or it’s legally considered theft. so she got canned for probably 15 skittles candies. The absolutely smallest amount of anything I ever knew of someone getting fired over. I was fine with the whole thing. I didn’t like how she ran things, or acted to the rest of the crew, but a friend of mine talked to her about it afterward and her response was so good I had to forgive her just a little. She said “I just wanted to taste the rainbow…” Fucking legend. I salute you, you dumb bitch, wherever you are. Your story makes me laugh to this very day.
As much as I feel like minor theft isn’t that big a deal in the scheme of things, I understand why companies have rules. I also always felt a little betrayed when someone I knew stole something big, or while I was in the store, because it felt like since it was on my watch they had outsmarted me in some way. Really though, I just trusted people that I worked with and was, at the very least, friendly with. As jaded as I am it’s really easy to trick me if I consider you a friend, because the idea of needing to watch you doesn’t even occur to me. Even now I’m still essentially the same way. If I trust you the suspicious part of my brain just shuts off. In spite of several experiences that prove otherwise, I don’t suspect the people closest to me. I guess that’s just a trade off I have to make so I don’t feel like a monster all the time.
I actually liked working retail sometimes. When people were nice I’d go the extra mile for them, but they were almost never nice. They treated me like a servant. I’ve tried to remember that when I’m shopping myself now. Every person that serves me is just this tiny cog in a machine they can’t even see the scope of. Not everyone in a store is going to have encyclopedic knowledge of the premises. They probably just came in to put some junk on the shelves and get a paycheck like everyone else. If they can help me when I need it that’s great, if not, well they’re just drones trying to keep the hive working as best they can. Chances are there’s a group of people, sitting in an office someplace, trying to control the store without ever having to leave that room, so communication is probably never going to be very good. That’s just the reality of the modern brick and mortar store.
You guys might not believe this, but a long time ago Wal Mart used to be run fairly well. It’s going back far enough that I was a teenager, but it’s true. Sam Walton took a very active part in his operations. My mother once wrote him a letter about our local store being in poor shape, and he showed up, unannounced, one day. Flew in on his own jet to our little airport and wandered into the store to raise hell. He figured if someone was angry enough to actually write him a letter than it was worth his time to get off his ass and see what was going on. His empire didn’t happen by accident. He led the hell out of that operation till he died. His kids tried to keep that going too, but when they died in that plane crash everything got handed over to lesser people, and things spiraled into the shitpit we have now.
It’s hard to run a successful business by committee. One person with a clear vision, and absolute power, works better in most cases.
I firmly believe that if Sam Walton had been alive at the start of the economic downturn it wouldn’t have lasted so long. A lot of that sort of thing comes down to how people feel. When the shelves went unstocked for months it made shoppers uneasy. If they had kept running full tilt, making it look like things were fine, I suspect people would have reacted differently. I think he would have kept shelves stocked, so people could buy the things that made them feel safe, instead of presenting them with a wasteland. That’s just my theory though.


… does Ed’s response mean he is going to make a hobbit of coming here?

If Ed makes a Hobbit out of coming here, it might be bad for his elf respect.

Walmart is actually a little better now, from a drone’s perspective. Every 2 hours you get a 15 minute break, every 4 an hour break. So an 8 hour day has 15 minutes before and after lunch, then an hour for lunch. They bumped min. hiring pay to $10, which is about $1.50 more an hour than most retailers in our area. That’s doing wonders in pulling in a better hiring pool. They also work pretty hard at the customer service areas, like requiring a 10 foot rule on customer greetings. Still tow the line on number of workers present though, always keeping a minimum.

What always gets me, though, is the 36 checkout counters with three people running them and one of them is assisting people at the self checkouts.

…which is why I always avoid the self checkout when possible. Plus, staffed checkouts are faster and more convenient than screwing with the piece of shit automated crap.

So I consider it in my best interest to contribute to the workload metrics of the staffed checkouts so some fucking golden parachute vulture hopefully does not trim the staff down even more.

Oh yeah. Hell yeah. That instantly gets points for the rule of cool of a Geek Den.
Now.. I hope that is
A) A girl.
B) An RP GM/Storyteller. pathfinder, exalted. something~
C) Gonna have great chemestry with mr manager, and teach him some manager-fu

“Good morning, Dr. Meachum!”
“Good morning, Voice.”
“Hope you slept well.”
“Cause it’s time to die!”

Love that movie.


When I worked at Subway, half my coworkers put double meat/cheese on their daily free 6 inch without charging themselves for it. They were supposed to charge themselves for extras like double meat/cheese.

It seems that a LOT of people have been able to convince themselves that pilfering in the workplace isn’t stealing. I don’t know WHAT they think they’re doing, since the standard thieving justifications are usually involved (“they’ll never miss it,” “they can afford it,” “they owe it to me since I work so much harder than everyone else,” etc.). But it’s not stealing.

Was supposed to clean out the shop at my office. The other guys were going to toss some things out of a toolbox. I said,” Hey, don’t throw those away, those are (whatever they were).” One of them gets mad and says,” If you wanted them you shouldda got em outta here so we didn’t have to mess with them.” Still can’t believe I got griped out for not stealing stuff. Did pull some stuff out of the dumpster, and (after asking the boss) sold it for about $400.

I didn’t do the double meat/cheese thing, but I didn’t say anything about the ones I knew who did.

The management and owner of that particular store were some of the biggest assholes you’d ever meet and though I still love Subway, I will not eat at any location owned by my evil ex-boss.

Have you heard the story about what it takes to be in charge?

I’ve had far better bosses than the one at Subway. When I was hired there, I was promised a raise as soon as they trained me, so they just never bothered to train me. I’m not talking about some run of the mill “the boss is not your friend” situation here.

I fully agree Sam Walton was an awesome guy, and it’s sad what’s happened to his vision since his passing.

For shoplifters, I’ve always felt that word gets out. If upper management has your back, if employees are encouraged to keep an eye out and their efforts are followed up on, shoplifters know they’re going to be watched, and go somewhere else.
If management doesn’t bother to follow up, employees don’t bother to watch, so shoplifters know they can walk out with minimal effort.

And if employees feel they’re the ones being accused, they won’t bother to report other employees. The company ‘deserves’ it.

Hey, I used to work for Fred Meyer. Want to know what one of their policies was about employees ‘grazing’ on the job? (For those not in the know it’s basically snacking from the displays without buying anything.) I shit you not, they had posters up that said this:

Is your Job worth a peanut?

Made me think man. Made me think long and hard about what they thought of us and why I was working there in the first place. Probably not what they intended, but still.

Retail is all right if you got a good boss and good coworkers, but you’re absolutely right, most people that come in treat you like servants. You’re lucky if they’re semi-polite and ignore you most of the time.

Only one of Sam Walton’s kids died in that plane crash. The eldest son was active in leading the company until about a year ago.

My understanding is that the loss of the sibling changed the family dynamic in such a way that it was detrimental to the company. At least that’s how I heard it.

When I worked at a mom-and-pop electronics shop 30-odd years ago, our neighbor up the street was a bicycle shop. One of the owners was in a wheelchair — a riding injury, perhaps — and he frequently worked in the shop alone. He built a video surveillance system with three cameras (my boss sold him the stuff at cost) and a PA system. It was cool to walk in there and be greeted by that disembodied voice.

Yes, I’ve known store employees who stole — my Radio Shark manager got his first store when the previous manager headed for Mexico with the proceeds of a special ‘sale’. One of our employees was a thief, too, but he was a ‘floater’ and go caught at another store.

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