Tale of Two Nightmare Retail Hells
Kerry's Fitting Room Nightmares # 35: Retail Hell lying in wait

RHUer Needs Application Advice

Blogskull10 Hey, RHUers, I need some advice.

I've been working at my gas station for about 6 months without incident. Today, I got a call from my manager saying she has to fire me because my drawer came up $120 short yesterday.

Now, the absolute stupidest thing I could ever do is steal from my register. Seriously, there are like three cameras on me at all times. I really didn't take it. The problem is, all things aside, not being able to account for that money does mean I "mishandled company assets". It really doesn't matter at this point what happened to it, because I have absolutely no idea. I mean, the $20 something I could answer for. I was having a weird day with the pumps yesterday, and when I filled out my paperwork at the end of my shift I was $20 something short. It's the $100 that's the problem. I can see from her point of view how an even $100 seems suspicious.

I repeat, I didn't take it. Jesus.

But now I have to figure out what to say on applications/interviews why I was terminated. I had a job I don't put on applications because I was fired after my 30 day review, and it was a 2nd job so it was a short amount of time and there was no period of unemployment. While I had a second job until about a month ago, I still really hate having gaps. Also, being fired is enough for a potential employer to turn me down. Being fired for issues with money makes it a huge problem. Even if I do get an interview, missing money is missing money so trying to plead my case might prove fruitless.

Any idea how I should address this? I'm desperately in debt and really can't be without a job for too long.

Thanks, guys,

(former) Circle Jerkette



If they could prove you took it, they wouldn't just be firing you, they would be calling the police. Basically you are being the fall guy for the missing money. It could be a paperwork error, someone else taking from the till on a different level such as management, or you even started with a short till.

What might work is if you call the HR person that called you and explain that you did not take the money, they have no evidence that you took the money, and you would like them to allow you to resign instead of being terminated. Depending on your state or country you might also consider getting legal advice from a labor lawyer.


LadyBelle has a good point, they would call the police if they could prove it, so they obviously know that they can't. And how could they, with multiple security cameras? I think they're way out of line and I'd talk to HR again.


As for your CV. If you can leave the job off. You can always say the gap was due to trouble finding work in this recession. Covers any break really


IT sounds like a wrongful termination case to me. It may be a situation where you don't want the job back however you should still file a wrongful termination complaint or suit depending on your state. This would be a way of forcing your gas station to consider you as resigned and not terminated.
That's really fucked because I've come up in excess of $2000 grand short on tills before and my boss at the time didn't even question whether or not I had taken it he found where it was. I just hadn't recorded the money drops. Being fired over $120 with no evidence of wrongdoing is a dick move on their part.


I would kick it up to HR if possible just to see if resignation is a possibility.
Also, in most states (I know in mine at least) if you put a job down, you sometimes have the option of putting down that they are not to be contacted and by law they can't w/out your consent. Also, if you do have to put them down, they can only tell the date you started and stopped work, nothing more. Check into that. If all they can say is you started on date X and left on date Y, there's nothing to worry about.
What I've often done is instead of putting down that I was fired, I put down I left the job for "personal" reasons. When asked, I simply state that there was a personal or family situation that impeded on my ability to do the work properly, that I don't wish to go into detail, and that the issue has been resolved and I am ready and willing to return to the workforce.
Good luck!

Chicken Flinger

As mentioned before, I would contact HR again and ask them if they can consider you resigned. If they say no, then you ought to ask them if they can prove you took the money. When they say they can't, then you can play hardball and threaten them with a wrongful termination case. That might be enough to have them consider you resigned rather than terminated.

If in the end you are still considered terminated and absolutely must list the job on an application, my best advice would be to explain it away as a discrepancy between you and the manager. If they request further detail, you could tell them it is a pending legal case and you'd prefer not to discuss it further. Only say that if you have threatened the previous employer with a wrongful term. case or decided to proceed with a wrongful term. case.

You could also try some place that is not retail. I managed to get away from retail (amen.) and now work in a hospital. My job is literally to sit with patients who need 1-on-1 care, like suicide attempts or extremely confused little old people. I make more than minimum wage and my hospital company is awesome and treat their employees wonderfully. Not every area has this kind of position but it is worth checking out.

Best of luck to you in finding a new job.


Wait...they fired you over the phone???
How insanely unprofessional!
I would definitely talk to an HR person (if they have one).
If they have no proof that you took it and you do not have a history of missing $$$ from your till, they are opening themselves up to a world of legal woes.
Whatever you do, DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING that says you admit any kind of guilt.


Oh yeah--
I wouldn't bother listing the job on an application. I think it's worse to see someone with a series of jobs that lasted 2 months than someone with a gap in employment, especially in this economy.

I can also tell you, a lot of companies don't even bother to do reference checks anymore for fear of a lawsuit.
yup, people were actually suing their former employers for commenting on their past work performance to their potential employers.

Former Target Employee

I would do what everyone above me has been saying and if it doesn't work out don't worry too much. Where I live most places don't bother to call references because they can't really say anything. They can say start/end date and why you left (as in fired or quit). That's pretty much it so it's a waste of time. If nothing else, just don't list them. In this economy, no one will question the employment gap. Go volunteer if you're able while looking for new employment and you can use it as something you've been doing while between jobs. It'll show you're a hard worker.


If there are cameras on it, they should be able to determine why it was short. If you can't get the gas station to look at the footage, call the police and see what they can do.

If you didn't steal the money, and they didn't bother looking at the footage to determine who might have, something stinks, and you're being set up.


There is no "have to" fire you. It's still her choice, regardless of company policy.

Call her back, and ask to come in and talk to her. Ask her why she thinks $120 is missing, explain to her the problem that you had with the pumps, and explain to her why $20 was missing. Ask for your job back. (It's much better than nothing, and start looking for something else immediately).

If that doesn't work, take the legal route mentioned by many above.

Oh, and what do you mean by "a weird day with the pumps", exactly? It kinda sounds like your station might need a visit from the weights and measures division.

The Admiral

I agree with Lemonsqueezie 100% - just don't mention it, and you shouldn't worry about professional references because most places won't give them. I know my office doesn't - it's true about the lawsuits. I worked with a guy that smoked pot (okay), was illiterate (not so good), stole (bad), and finally got arrested for sexually abusing his children (OMFG). When someone called about him I just told them that yes, he had worked here and that I had no additional information. Anything else and I would have been infringing on his civil rights.


I agree with everyone else about calling HR. There is absolutely no reason for then to "have to" fire you. It sounds like a load of bs to me. I have worked in quite a few different retail positions and have never heard of them firing someone over the phone for something that they couldn't prove you did.
As for the job application, I know that around where I live (Long Island, NY) a lot of places have taken on the policy of simply stating whether or not you worked at that location. That's pretty much all a lot of places will say anymore due to problems with giving perspective employers "unnecessary information" (More BS to me!)
Good luck and I hope everything works out for you, hun!

Paper Bitch

First off... Do Not Lie. A lot of places will consider that grounds for termination if you out right lie (I've heard of people getting fired for having their GPA 0.1 points off). Leaving out information is different, but if they ask you out right, tell the whole truth. I wouldn't just put down "termination" as the reason for leaving, make them ask you and then tell them the whole story since there is more to it than you just getting fired.

Good luck!


I almost got fired once because my dumb manager forgot to carry a one.


$100 looks less suspicious to me, actually. That's what would happen if someone dropped a number in the hundreds place. It's also what would happen if you were to tell the register you had put $110 in there when you had actually put in $10--all it takes is hitting the one twice by accident.

Is there still video of that register that day? Maybe you could run through it and try to figure out what happened.

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