We present the Retail Balls Award to Martsigras' Mam for grabbing a bad manager by his shriveled cherries and telling them in no uncertain terms that their behavior will not fly.
My mam works in a supermarket on the tills, and has done so for about fourteen years. She started about three months after the shop opened so she is one of the longest serving staff members there. My mam also gets on really well with everyone, staff and customers, and everyone knows my mam is not one for bullshit.
About four years ago a new manager started in the supermarket, we'll call him MD for Massive Dickhead. MD came from an inner city job where I guess you had to fight to make a name for yourself. The supermarket my mam works in is in a small town so they were unprepared for his shenanigans.
On one fateful morning my mam was one of two checkout staff on duty. My mam was counting tills, getting them ready for when the other staff came in. The other girl was serving customers. While counting one particular till, my mam noticed a small queue forming on the one active till. My mam went over to a different, ready till and asked for the next customer. After serving that customer the girl on the other till tells my mam she can handle the rest and to go back counting the tills.
MD: "Can you show my how to count tills please?"
Mam: "Of course."
So she starts counting this till from scratch. The till is down €40. My mam is a little flustered at this as her tills are only ever off by a couple of cents, if ever. My mam said;
Mam: "I must have miss counted, I'll try again".
Again the till is €40 down. At this point my mam is close to tears and says;
Mam: "I don't understand... this till should not be off!"
MD: "I noticed the cash drawer was open and no-one was here. Because of this, someone has obviously taken money and then ran, unless the culprit is still here. (very pointedly) Go home. You are suspended until an investigation can be made. Come in tomorrow morning for a meeting."
My mam left the shop in floods of tears. She offered to pay out of her own pocket but was told again to just leave. That night a friend of my mam's who also works at the shop as a supervisor called and said;
Friend: "Martsigras's Mam... I have something to tell you about what happened today but you need to swear you will keep it under your hat! We were all told to not contact you about anything or we would be suspended. MD took the money out of the till. He is doing this to make an example of you."
My mam thanked her for calling and at least she knew what the score was for the meeting the next day.
During the meeting MD berates my mam relentlessly about stealing and basically makes a show of her. In the end he told her that it was him who took the money from the till, and that it was a lesson. He also told her she was suspended for a week.
This was a Friday, and that night my parents went out for a drink to try and take my mam's mind off what happened. While out, a friend of my parents', a lawyer, noticed my mam was not herself and asked what was wrong. My mam first said it was nothing and then said;
Mam: "James... Can I get your opinion on something from a legal point of view please?"
James: "Of course! What happened?"
My mam told him the tale and he said;
James: "... wow. You know you can nail him and the whole shop to the wall for what he did to you?"
Mam: "I don't want money, I just want an apology."
James told my mam he would call over to the house the following day with his laptop and he would write up a legal letter that she can give in to the shop.
The letter was written up the following day and on Monday morning my mam walked into the shop, asked for the head supervisor and said, "Please make sure (head of chain) gets this," and walked back out.
That night the head of the chain phoned my mam and started falling over himself with apologies about what happened. He also said the suspension was lifted. My mam cut him off and said;
Head: "Of course, of course!!"
The following day my mam received a letter of apology signed from MD and my mam called up the head again;
Mam: "Maybe I didn't make myself clear. I want a face-to-face apology. I will not accept a letter that, frankly, anyone could have written. I want him to apologize to me and I want him to look me in the eye when he does it!"
The following day my mam got her apology and a few weeks later MD was no longer at the supermarket. The head never forgot about this and has since made my mam's life at that shop a whole lot more bearable.
Woe betide any manager who tries that shit with her again!
Now, before anyone says anything, she did leave the till open, and she put her hand up and said she fucked up. She also said she would put €40 of her own money into the register to replace the missing money.
Had he said, there and then, "I took the money, if this happens again I will take this further," then THAT would have been a justified punishment.
It was half past 7 in the morning, the shop had only just opened and there were only a couple of stragglers in the shop, also there were security cameras all over the place. The actual culprit could have been identified in an instant. MD ignored my mam's pleas to check the footage.
In my mams 11/12 years in the shop (to that point) this was the first time she fucked up, this should have been a first warning. It most certainly should not have been 24 hours in purgatory and a week suspension.