Can’t Protect Them From This

| Working | August 10, 2016

(I’m heading in for my night shift at a large retail chain. I notice that on the top shelf of an aisle, to my horror, are large, fully assembled grills with side burners, shelves and all, even some heavy metallic price signs sitting on at the base of them. I go to check them and see that not only are they within some customers’ reach, but they aren’t secured to anything and the wheels aren’t even locked as they roll at my touch. I rush to the night manager’s office and find a co-manager and a support manager. The chain of command goes, from bottom to top: customer service manager, support, assistant, co-manager and then store manager.)

Me: “Hey, did you see that the day crew has large grills on the top of the water aisle and they’re not secured to anything and the wheels aren’t even locked?”

Support: “WHAT?!”

Me: “Yeah, can we please fix that immediately before someone gets seriously hurt?”

Co-Manager: “Yeah, we’ll look at it.”

(I go back to work, confident that it’s being fixed. About 15 minutes later, the support walks by and I flag her down.)

Me: “Is the grill situation fixed?”

Support: “Well, [Co-Manager] looked at them and said that the wheels were probably locked before walking away.”

Me: “Hang on. First off, I already told the both of you that they weren’t. Second, he didn’t even check?! Do you think that’s okay?”

Support: “Well…” *chuckles nervously and walks away*

(I’m currently in disbelief at the situation, so I go looking for any other manager that might help. I find Day Co-Manager and explain the situation to him and even point to the grills since they’re visible from where we’re standing.)

Day Co-Manager: “Oh, those. Yeah, well I believe that you protect what you create and I didn’t create that, so I’m not going to protect it.”

Me: “Wh… What does that even have to do with anything? This affects all of us, whether you created it or not, so can you just either get them taken down or at least get some supplies to secure them to the shelf? If one of those grills fall, which they could easily do, someone could get hurt or even killed!”

Day Co-Manager: “Yeah, it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye! Haha!”

(At this point I’m utterly disgusted and start to wonder if maybe I’m crazy, being the only one to see what a hazard this is until I walk by the CSM.)

Customer Service Manager: “Hey, you look upset. What’s up?”

(I once again explain the situation. She goes to take a look, her jaw drops, and she just tells me to wait right where I am and rushes off to the back room. In less than five minutes, she’s back with supplies and a ladder to strongly secure the grills and the metal signs to the shelf. She hands me some of the supplies and I go to get a second ladder to help out. When we’re about half-way done, the same Day Co-Manager I spoke with earlier comes around the corner.)

Day Co-Manager: “Wow! This is what I like to see, you know? Night crew taking responsibility for safety! I always talk about not cutting corners when it comes to safety and this is exactly the kind of thing we all should be doing for this store!”

Me: “Yeah, but you didn’t create it, so why would you protect it, right?”

Day Co-Manager: “W… Well… You mean you’ve never heard that saying before?”

Me: “Nope, can’t say I have.”

(I went back to securing the grills and Day Co-Manager walked away without another word.)

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