Cycling Straight Into Child Abuse

, , , , , , | Related | March 30, 2018

(This is before cell phones are commonplace. I’m a volunteer for a bike race that a cycling club puts on every year. The ride is a one- or two-day race that covers 202 miles and has 10,000 riders. I’m the lead coordinator for the chase cars, and usually the highest level person for whatever zone I’m in. Each zone has a stop, usually at a park, where people can rest, get food and drinks, and use restroom facilities. It’s getting late on the first day, about nine pm, right around sunset. I’m radioed asking if I am near one of the stops that is about 50 miles from the starting line. I let them know I am and they tell me there is a situation, so I head over.)

Me: *to the head stop volunteer* “Hey, what’s up?”

Volunteer: “We were starting to shut down the stop for the night, when we noticed her.”

(I look over to where there are a few volunteers with a child that looks to be no more than seven. They have a blanket wrapped around her and have given her some hot chocolate to drink.)

Me: “Hi, hun. How are you? Where are your parents?”

Child: “My mommy is at home, but this was my weekend to see my daddy. He said we were going to have a fun bike ride. Then, he got mad because everyone was passing us and he said that I was slowing him down. Then, I started to cry, because he was yelling and this wasn’t a fun bike ride, so he said he knew somewhere that I could play and have all the donuts I wanted. It was really fun here, but now it’s dark and I want to go home.”

(She looks like she’s about to start crying.)

Me: “Well, we want to get you home. Do you know your mom’s phone number so we can have her pick you up?”

(She shakes her head no.)

Me: “No worries. How about this: was your daddy wearing a big piece of paper with a number on it?”

(She nods.)

Me: “Now think really hard. Do you remember the number?”

Child: *smiling* “Yes! He was really proud of it because of how low it was. It was 465!”

Me: “Great! Do you want to listen to music in my car while I call your mom to have her pick you up?”

(She went and sat in the car and quickly fell asleep. Meanwhile, I coordinated with different people to get the police there, along with pulling the guy’s registration sheet. One of the things listed was who to contact in an emergency. It took about two hours, but we were finally able to contact the girl’s mother and get her home safely. The father had a bunch of people eager to talk to him after he crossed the finish line. He was arrested for child endangerment. I hope he enjoyed his bike ride, since it was the last one he ever did with our organization.)

It’s Time To Hang Your Hat

, , , , , , , | Working | March 16, 2018

(I worked in a mall throughout high school. After I went to college I was hired back for the following summer. Another employee I used to work with the previous year came back as well and started again a week before I did. Since most of the rest of the staff are high school kids, the two of us are the only ones working weekday mornings — high schools don’t get out for another month.)

Coworker #1: “You’ll like most of the new kids working here. They are all pretty cool, except for this one guy, who is a complete moron. I’m pretty sure he is stealing from the store, as well.”

(As if on cue, this particular new coworker walks in.)

Coworker #1: “[Coworker #2], what are you doing here? Don’t you have school?”

Coworker #2: “School is for p***ies; I don’t need school.”

(I stand there kind of in shock while he demands my coworker give him a free sandwich, before eventually leaving as my coworker declines. Before I have a chance to work a shift with this kid, he is fired for trying to walk out with an entire case of energy drinks while the owner is in the store. We think this will be the end of having to deal with him, but he is immediately hired at a hat store directly across from ours. He regularly comes in, trying to get people to give him free food. After about two weeks of him working at the other store, their manager comes in to chat with us.)

Hat Store Manager: “Hey, guys. I have a question about [Coworker #2]. He used to work here, right?”

Me: “Yeah, the owner fired him for stealing a few weeks ago.”

Hat Store Manager: “That’s what I figured. He told me he quit because you didn’t give him enough hours, but our entire inventory has been off since he started. Guess I should have checked over here before I hired him.”

(It turns out that in the short time he had been at the hat store, he had taken home a few dozen hats. His classmates told us he was trying to sell them at school, but no one would buy them because of how obvious it was they were stolen.)

Weapons Of Mass Communication

, , , , , , | Right | March 15, 2018

(I work at a popular toy store in my town, and the new collection of Star Wars toys just came out. The store is very busy today and we have run out of stock for a few items. Due to their pretty high price, we didn’t expect them to sell as quickly. Most people who want them are understanding, but there’s one customer who has become a regular, and a very unpopular one, at that. She always targets the new employees, it seems, never attacking the same employee twice. Sadly, I end up on that shift.)

Customer: “Do you have any more of the [out of stock toy]?”

Me: “I’m sorry. We ran out about an hour ago. We have another store in [City about four minutes away], or we will be getting a new shipment in tonight and you could pick it up tomorrow.”

Customer: “How dare you refuse me service?! It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?!”

Me: “No, ma’am, I would not discriminate. The item is out of stock at this store. Again, you can—”

Customer: “You racist b****! How dare you?! I am going to get you fired!”

Me: “I do not see how I am—”

Customer: “Don’t you back talk me! Respect your elders, you racist b****!”

(I’m in a bit of a panic, not really sure what I am supposed to do or say. I reach for my walkie-talkie. I quickly realize that was a bad idea.)

Customer: “DON’T YOU DARE!” *the customer suddenly lunges at me* “DON’T YOU DARE ASSAULT ME WITH YOUR WEAPONS!”

(Luckily, an off duty cop was there to pick up a toy for his son. He pulled the woman off of me and arrested her right there. I was actually the first person attacked by her. I found out later she usually just screamed at the employee to the point of tears. Everyone still jokes about how I was taken down over a child’s toy, and how I ended up with a sprained wrist.)

Den Of Thieves

, , , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

Where I work, you have to be 18 or older to work as a sandwich maker. Underage workers mainly work cashier and drive-thru, along with packing together the meals, just not making the sandwiches. As I’m underage, I always work at a cash register.

I have been working there for about seven or eight months when I’m called into the back room. One of the lesser managers just says, “Sorry, so sorry,” as I am heading back. I don’t think anything of it until I start talking to my head manager. Apparently, my register was short $5, and even though my head manager keeps saying that I probably gave back the wrong amount of change, I can tell she thinks I took it. I get written up and have to pay the $5. I don’t know if this is legal or not; I am 17 and this is my first job.

Anyway, I just accept it and move on. But then, one day I come in, and I get called back again. This time, there is $10 missing. My head manager closes the door behind us this time and asks the lesser manager if I used my register last night. I was working drive-thru, and, since he was a manager, I thought nothing of it when he took one of my guests for me. We actually did this a lot with many managers. I said he did. Apparently, he is known to come up short on registers a few days before payday — just enough to cover the cost for a pack of cigs. The head manager tells me she isn’t going to write me up this time, as I have usually been on-the-dot perfect on my registers for the nine or ten months I have been there. But, apparently, there is this major count thing going on on Monday, and if I don’t get the $10 in soon, it will come up short, and people will get fired. I am told that if I pay the $10, they will get the lesser manager to give me $5. It isn’t worth it to me, so I just give the $10.

I sort of put that in the back of my mind, and within the next week or two, they fire the lesser manager. I never get my $5.

I end up quitting right before my senior year, to give me more time for extracurricular activities.

The real kicker is that I go back a few years later when I am halfway done with college. Only one manager from my first time working there is still there. She tells me the old head manager has been fired. Apparently, she was stealing from the company for years. She got away with about $5000 before they caught her.

Schooling Them On How To Deal With School Workers

, , , , , | Working | March 13, 2018

(I work at a popular sushi restaurant as a cashier and hostess, and I am also responsible for takeout orders. We are so busy, we quite literally have no open seats this night. I am between takeout orders, trying to solve a glitch in the system, when the owner comes up and asks me to not stand around and to instead fill up people’s waters. The owner just recently bought the place and does not yet know how to do anything, especially not my job — this is important — and is also incredibly socially inept, to the point that the staff and regulars know to avoid him. I tell him that I am not allowed to serve, by the terms of my work permit, due to my age.)

Owner: “It’s only alcohol you cannot serve.”

Me: “Sorry. The school, who issued my permit, told me I was not allowed to serve people at all. I don’t really want any legal problems. I’m not 16, yet.”

Owner: *glaring* “Let’s have a chat outside.”

(I follow him out and away from the entrance.)

Owner: “I need you to tone down the attitude.”

Me: *genuinely confused* “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to come across as sassy—”

Owner: “You are.”

Me: “Can you give me an example, so I know what to improve on? I’m not sure what you are referring to.”

Owner: “You’re just a 15-year-old little girl; you shouldn’t even be here. I wouldn’t have hired you if I knew you were 15.”

Me: “Here’s my work permit, if you want to see it.”

Owner: “It’s busy right now; I don’t have time for that! I just need you to tone down the attitude. And don’t go crying to the manager every time you don’t want to do something. Go fill people’s water.”

(He is referring to the time he asked me to clean the fingerprints off our glass doors. I went to the manager — currently out of town — to ask what I was supposed to use, and she told me it was actually my coworker’s job, done at the end of the night, and that I shouldn’t worry about it.)

Me: “I was told by my school, when they gave me the permit, that I cannot do that.”

Owner: *visibly angry* “Who do you work for, me or your school?! Don’t talk back to me; do you understand?!”

Me: *walking away* “Yes. I won’t, because I quit. I don’t need this.”

(Since I’m 15, I can’t drive, so I grab my stuff and wait outside for my ride. My shift would have ended 30 minutes after this conversation.)

Owner: *visibly panicking* “Come inside and finish your shift. Act like an adult!”

Me: “I mean, you just called me a little girl, so why would I? I. Quit. You want to call me sassy? I can be sassy; nothing’s stopping me, now.”

Owner: “You really want to start this now?”

Me: “Yes.”

Owner: “Don’t cause a scene for the customers; it’s bad for business.”

(The owner went back inside, but came back three more times to offer me my job back, because the restaurant was absolutely packed, he had no idea how to run it, and no one else could spare the time to do the jobs I left behind. I felt bad for leaving my coworkers hanging on such a busy night, but they usually just avoided him and did their own jobs, anyway, so hopefully I only screwed him over.)

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