So last night, about midnight, I was on my way over to j_b's to hang out, watch movies and drink a bit. While I was on my way over, I realized that I had forgotten to take a copy of my work schedule for the coming week (today through next Friday) when I left work earlier in the evening.
So I started thinking... Work is right on the way to his house. I can pop in on the way, grab the sheet of paper, and be on my way in about 30 seconds. This is a hell of a lot better than just showing up when the store opens at 8. If it turns out I don't open the store, then I won't have to get up and dressed for work at the crack of dawn. And I won't have to be embarassed about being too stupid to remember to pick up my schedule in front of my co-workers.
So I got into the store no problem, went to the back, punched in my alarm disarm code on the alarm panel, turned to the rack on the wall where we keep the schedules, and had just torn a copy of (what turned out to be the current week's instead of next week's :P) schedule off the stapled bunch when the phone rang.
That was weird. Who the hell would be calling my store at 12:30am on Halloween? But, I thought, if someone's calling they must have a good reason... so I picked it up and gave my name as usual.
"This is Radio Shack security. I'm glad this is you Ben, as it's your code that was punched in to disarm the alarm. What the hell are you doing in your store at 12:30am?"
So I explained that I had come in to get a copy of my schedule. That I was afraid I might be opening tomorrow, and had forgotten to take one with me when I closed earlier in the evening. The guy said:
"Sure, right. So, is there any reason I shouldn't call your District Manger up? You're not ever supposed to re-enter the store after closing."
I explained to him that I had no idea this was a bad thing, that I had never been told that I wasn't supposed to come back in. I had no idea this was forbidden.
"Okay. Hang on the line..." About 30 seconds later he came back on and said, "Alright, be sure to re-arm the alarm on your way out. Be absolutely sure. Also, this is going to auto-generate a report to your District Manager. Contact him in the morning so the report doesn't take him by surprise." I didn't find out until this morning, when I went in to the store to call the DM, that the security operator had called my manager's cell phone at 12:30am to find out if I was supposed to be there. This, of course, waking her up post midnight when she was the one who had to open the store this morning at 8.
So I went in this morning and send the DM an email, saying that I had no idea that I was doing a bad thing last night, that I just wanted a copy of my schedule, and that I didn't realize that this was going to blow up in my face.
Then, thinking that I'd better tell them about the email just in case they got busy and didn't see it for a while, I give the district office a call. I get the DM himself. I explain what happened, tell him I sent him an email about it, and let him know that I didn't realize this was a bad thing to do.
He says, "You know how this looks to us, right?"
Uh... I thought it was going to look like I had stopped into get a copy of my schedule that I needed for the next day...
But I didn't say that, as the DM is not the nicest guy on the planet, and I doubt he would have taken that well. So instead I told him that I realize now what it looks like, but that at the time I just didn't realize it would be any kind of a problem.
So he tells me to put my manger on. I put her on, and I go out from the back room and help customers while they're talking. And after about ten minutes she comes out...
First, I got a three-day suspension pending the DM's review of my action. Meaning, I could still be fired. Also, assuming I'm not fired already, she gets to write me up and put a note in my permanant record. Which, if you get three of them, you're basically automatically fired.
She gets to re-count the cash drawer to make sure I didn't take any money from it. (That's a laugh - like the $200 left in there after the nightly deposit would buy anything I want.) And, she gets to re-inventory probably a significant portion of the store to make sure I didn't take any merchandise. This sucks particularly badly for her because we're coming up on Christmas and not only are we busy as heck with customers, but we're being force-fed a shitload of new merchandise. Going through the store is going to be a major drain on her and a hardship on everyone at the store because the manager is going to be out of action half the time for... I don't even know. A week, probably.
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.
The presumption on the part of the District seems to be that everyone who works for Radio Shack is some dumb 17 year old kid, who is stupid enough to walk in to their store after midnight, punch in their personal code that they know damn well is linked to their name and telephone number, and then walk out with a whole shitload of stuff. The idea that maybe someone is a reasonable adult who is actually trying to do their job doesn't seem to have so much as hazily floated across the back of their minds.
Never mind that I operate under the assumption that the video cameras in the ceiling are taping the place 24/7. I firmly believe that if I ever were to take anything I WOULD be caught on tape. And I've heard stories about the Loss Prevention guy for the district - and he's supposed to be very, very smart. Not to mention, if I were to steal anything, it would be worth maybe $500 tops, which is not an amount that comes even close to tempting me. If someone waves $100,000 in front of my face and has a seemingly airtight plan to make off with it and not get caught, I'll be tempted. Not do it, mind you - but I'd be tempted. But $500 bucks is three and a half orders of freaking magnitude too small to even get me thinking about stealing.
God damnit. All I was trying to do was be responsible and do the right thing. Yeah, I know - I should have picked up my schedule before I left. I agree, I should have. That was a mistake, I admit, no question about it - mea culpa. I was trying to correct that mistake, and for doing that I'm now being punished. And not being punished for actually doing something wrong, either. Punished purely because someone, somewhere might think that I might be a thief. (Do I need to state the bleedingly obvious and say that I'm not a fucking thief, and that even if I was there is nothing of sufficient cash value in any Radio Shack anywhere to tempt me??)
The presumption of guilt bugs the shit out of me. Like I MUST be some dumb-ass moron who is stupid enough to punch his own damn security code into the alarm panel when he's about to steal from his employer. Hello! I can be pretty naive, but I'm not plain stupid...
I don't want anyone, anywhere, to have any lingering doubt AT ALL that I was attempting anything even a teeny bit shady. I'm going to try and see about getting the security tapes pulled. And correlating the time logs on the call from the security person with the time I was in the store. (Which was about a minute and a half, most of which was on the phone with security. I wouldn't have even had time to steal a fucking paperclip...) I'd offer to help with the inventory so it could be done faster, but they're not going to let me do that of course. :P
Whatever I can do to show my innocence, I will. I just hope that my guilt or innocent actually matters. Because given corporate america, it's possible it may not... :P