- 5 years ago
So I’m having some issues with one of my managers at the arts and crafts retail store I work at. At first it was just a drama llama, but now they’re getting really serious. And it all started with her lunch.
Last Thursday I went on a fifteen minute break. Instead of going to the break room, I went to the frame shop and talked to one of my coworkers about work and about something that was bothering me at the time. After my break, Lydia (name changed) went on her lunch, discovering that her lunch, macaroni and cheese, went missing. She found the container in the trash. She asked about it on the radio, stating that she only put it in about 2 hours ago right before a shift change. Everyone who was there after the shift change denied it. I denied it and jokingly stated that if I ever ate anything that cheesy, everyone within a five mile radius of the bathroom would know, because I am severely lactose intolerant. On Friday I was told by multiple coworkers that she was accusing me of taking her food. Not just, “Oh someone stole my food.” It was straight up “Chrysoberyl took my food.” It made me very uncomfortable, but she never confronted me. I decided that if she wasn’t going to confront me, I would leave it alone. She seemed like the type to like conflict and drama so I just avoided it. So I made up a lie and told the store team leader that I was unavailable on Thursday evenings (when Lydia closes) in order to avoid being accused of anything. I also try to stay away from the break room if I am going to be alone. So for a week, I took my lunches and my fifteen minute breaks outside. I was NEVER in the breakroom by myself. Until this Thursday.
This past Thursday I had a shift from 3-10pm. I clocked in at 3 and stayed at the register the whole time. We were short and had a steady stream of customers so I never even got to go to the bathroom. Finally I get to go on my fifteen minute break (I was scheduled to go on it 30 minutes earlier but I couldn’t get a chance to step away from the register).
After about 8 minutes, Lydia calls me to come up over our headsets. I just smile, knowing I didn’t get half of my break on purpose. I already know she doesn’t really like me.
I keep working. There is a steady stream of customers. We never get to leave from the register. Sometimes Annie is called over to help from the cutting counter because we are that busy.
We finally slow down enough for me to put a couple things back. We did so well over budget that we don’t get called to the back office until about 10:25. I get my jacket from the hangers, put my walkie talkie up and walk to the front as I empty my apron pockets and hold it upside down.
Melinda (the other fabric counter person) and I wait at the front. Lydia comes on the PA and says that they’re having trouble opening her locker. Melinda and I make a joke about high school and wait.
Lydia calls me over the PA to come up there. I go to the back. She says there is something wrong with her lock and needs to cut it open. I get the bolt cutters from the top of the desk. I am the tallest and the only one that can reach them.
Lydia and Annie work together to open the lock. It’s taking a lot of pressure and Lydia couldn’t do it herself.
They open the locker and Lydia notices her wallet missing. She says, “okay, everyone, right now open your bags.” She peeks in Annie’s purse real quick. I put my stuff from my pocket on the table. She looks through it and asks if there is anything else. She doesn’t seem to be concerned with Melinda’s purse. Melinda is still up front.
Lydia calls the police. It seems as if she keeps staring at me. I feel uncomfortable. I leave my pens, slip of paper, and keys on the table. I am still holding my apron and jacket upside down. If there was anything in the pockets, it would have fallen out.
We go to the front and wait for the police officer. I send a text to my mom telling her that we are late and waiting for the police.
When he arrives, we let him in and Lydia asks if he is going to investigate and states that she is going to “Press charges hardcore.” It seemed as if she looked at me. It made me incredibly uncomfortable. He begins asking Lydia questions. He writes down her name and address. She casts a side glance at me and asks him, “Can we go somewhere else?”
They go to a different part of the store and continue talking. Melinda, Annie and I wait, speculating who could have gotten access to the back and how they broke/took a lock. Annie says that another girl’s lock is missing. I didn’t notice, so I have no idea.
Lydia and the police officer finish their conversation. It is now 10:55 and we clock out. I ask Lydia (for peace of mind, maybe she’ll leave me alone) if she wants to do a pocket check for my pants, since I transfered my pens there and I’m still holding my jacket and apron upside down. She says, “No… do I?” It almost made me fee like it was a, “Do you have something you need to tell me?” kind of tone.
As we wait for Lydia to put in the security code, Melinda volunteers to have her purse checked. She states that someone might have taken money and thrown it in another locker/bag. She asks what color it is. As we exit, we check the trash cans just in case the empty wallet is in there. No luck.
I get on the phone with FI and talk to him the entire time I drive to his apartment. Complaining that she kept staring at me. Of course, I could have just imagined it. I get to his apartment, take off shoes and socks, get a drink and get on facebook. I send a friend/coworker of mine a facebook message saying, “If you work tomorrow, be careful and leave your stuff in the car! Lydia’s wallet got stolen!!”
Since I’m exhausted, I decide to sleep over. I send my mom a text saying I am going to sleep there tonight.
Yesterday morning I get a call from my friend/coworker while she is at work. She tells me that Lydia is telling coworkers that she is going to press charges against me. She tells me Lydia’s card was used at a gas station after 11. I usually pass by that station, but I took the exit for the highway and went to FI’s apartment instead.
Now I’m worried. I’m still new at work (only got hired at the end of September) and she used to be the manager of the old store before they moved and expanded. She’s worked for the company for years. Bees, can she really press charges? I’m terrified. I didn’t take it, but do I have any evidence that I didn’t take it? It’s her word against mine. And I’m not well versed in this kind of legal stuff. I’m scared 🙁