Rocket Rage

I seem to have incurred Bonehead’s wrath. He’s at it again, banging his scepter about and crying thief.

It all started with this. It’s a warning notice. I was written up for two laughably minor charges. Here’s how it happened: Bonehead approached me with four movies he wanted to rent. I dutifully rang up his rentals, zeroed the totals (he is the damned owner, after all) and prepared to toss the receipt. My thought process went something like this: this guy owns this store, so he’s not going to have to sign this receipt. For the same reason, we’re probably not going to need to track this rental, so I probably needn’t file it. Again, this guy’s the frickin’ owner. So what do we need it for? So he stopped me, asking “Don’t you save all receipts?” I replied that yeah, we do, when they’re signed by customers. Then I asked him if he wanted it. He took it. Later, he noticed that Sirry’s name was listed ont he receipt as the clerk. She had left two hours previous. Apparently infuriated, he later had Jeff write me up for the heinous infractions.

Is he kidding me? I told Jeff when he reluctantly handed over the notice that this is what you do when you don’t like someone but have no reason to fire them. You write ’em up on some bullshit charge and then wave the reports around like a banner if you ever take ’em to court. What made it especially ludicrous is that there isn’t anyone else at the store who wouldn’t have done the same thing. I mean, NO ONE signs in on that computer unless they have to. Apparently Sirry had to. I just inherited her sign-in. But never mind. the conflict had started.

Actually, it started quite a bit earlier. I first incurred Bonehead’s wrath back in September of 2003. the incident involved a set of turntables, a misquided decision and a buyer’s credit card. I’ll tell that story another time. I made a minor mistake, but I was unjustly marked as a dishonest thief ever since.

This latest round comes on the heels of a new spike in the Bonehead’s paranoia and distrust. Bonehead is part owner of the video store where I work. He’s distant, suspicious and vindictive, and for some reason, he has it in for me. As one might have been able to guess from reading the various “Rocket Reports” in this blog, I happen to love working at this video store. The staff is a fun, savvy bunch, the customers are smart, attractive, loyal and for the most part, agreeable. They could go to Blockbuster to find more available new releases. They could go to Netflix for convenience. They could go to Amoeba for a better sell-through selection. They could go to Broadway for better theater. But time after time they come to us. They value a store with a staff that knows what it’s talking about, that treats them like human beings. God knows, we’re not perfect. More than one customer has stormed out of Rocket. We all have our down days.

But this is getting ridiculous. The bottom line is this. Our owner-in-chief is a poor manager. He doesn’t understand what it takes to run a business. Customer relations escapes him. Employee trust eludes him. His favorite tool is the calculator. He hasn’t a clue how to balance income with expense. His store is hemorrhaging money from every orifice and he hasn’t got a clue how to stanch the flow. As the receipts shrink and the inflow of cash dwindles, he’s unable to, or chooses not to look at himself. He comes to the only conclusion he can. He accuses his employees of stealing.

I’m his target this time. I don’t know what he has against me, but according to him, we’ve been a hundred dollars short three out of four Sundays in a row. The one Sunday on which we were NOT short was supposedly the one I didn’t work. Hmm… Well, he’s got me there. I suppose it would help everyone if he showed us what the hell his evidence is. So far, he has not. Not even Jeff, the manager, has been allowed access to the reports and the totals. So apparently, all of us, including myself, just have to take his word for it. In fact, he hasn’t even TALKED to me yet. He hides in the back office when he comes, makes his decrees from behind his desk and expects it to be taken as gospel.

To everyone’s infinite credit, my wonderful coworkers are gagging on and spitting up the crap he’s trying to feed us. Everyone knows it’s a complete snow job. No one’s stealing from the store. True, we’re underpaid, little appreciated and treated with contempt by this man. But we all have a bit too much character to be pilfering. I mean, come on. We might complain, but we’re not stupid. So all I can do is just say, “Fine. You think I’m stealing. Just show us some proof.”

Please. Anything.

Ah well…Watch this space as this thing unfolds. It might even get interesting.

About the author: will

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