Tossing Salt Presents:
Real Life Stories From C-Store Hell:
Oops! Come Back!
September 5, 2021
I was listening to some videos on YouTube about disgruntled employees telling their stories on Reddit about being fired from jobs and how they got revenge. It sparked a memory in my feeble little mind of something that happened roughly about twenty-three or so years ago involving a friend of mine and her regional supervisor. Should I share this story? Damn straight I should. I don’t remember all the details, but I remember enough that the supervisor was a dumb-ass and messed up big time so I’ll do the best I can. The names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent and keep me from getting sued by a butt-hurt former supervisor of a c-store chain with hurt feelings. Let’s do this.
So my friend was working her shift at the convenience store. Just another day in paradise, right? And without any notice or warning, the district manager shows up. Surprise visits are not a big deal usually, but this guy lived in another state, and since there were only five stores in North Carolina under his care, it was rare to ever hear from him, much less see him in person. We’ll call him TJ. And my friend, we’ll call Tots.
So TJ shows up from out of nowhere and immediately starts criticizing the store and the way things look. It’s an older store and in a rough area so things are not going to be all brand new and spiffy, but apparently this is what TJ was wanting and expecting. He came in and immediately starting complaining and fussing. And he noticed that Tots was wearing shorts, as she always did and had previously for every day of the past three years she’d been working for the company. And he started complaining about that as well. He was just in a bad mood to start and looking for someone to take it out on and Tots was at the wrong place/wrong time and he was just unloading on her from the very start.
Now let me tell you briefly about my friend. She has a heart of gold but doesn’t suffer fools lightly. And she tends to speak her mind without any regard for who the person might be. If you’re an idiot, she’s going to tell you that you’re an idiot. It’s refreshing to those of us who know and love her, but apparently, TJ didn’t appreciate it very much. He was rude and insulting and acting like a spoiled brat idiot and she called him out right there on the spot. As you can imagine, TJ just flustered and told her that if she didn’t like it, she could just leave. She’s fired!
So Tots grabbed her jacket and cigs, threw the keys on the counter, and walked out. Then TJ realized his mistake. He’s in a store that he’s the supervisor of, but doesn’t know anything about. He doesn’t know how to work that old-fashioned register, being used to the fancy modern ones that his stores in Tennesee had, don’t know the alarm codes, isn’t sure of or used to the gas pumps that this store has, and now has no cashier or employee to work. He’s all alone. So he gets the keys and locks the doors, closing the store in the middle of prime business hours, and tries to call the manager. Guess who was out of town and not answering her phone?
Yeah, he was fucked!
Finally, he managed to get up with another employee who came down and helped him shut down the store for the night, but he really screwed up. Tots was a dependable and good employee that worked hard, always showed up, and the customers and her fellow co-workers, one of who happened to be her sister, all liked her a great deal. And he fired her for no real reason except for his own being a bitch that was having a bad day and didn’t like being called out on it. This pissed a lot of people off and any goodwill between TJ and the people in the NC stores was immediately destroyed and never fully recovered.
Tots filed for and got unemployment before finding another job that paid much better and she still works to this day. TJ stayed as the District Manager for a year or so longer, but was eventually released when the company decided to close all of their stores in NC and TN and restructure, eventually declaring bankruptcy. It was a crazy time for sure.
And I still smile when I picture TJ in my mind standing alone in that store, keys in hand trying to figure out what the hell just happened and what he was going to do next. He was not a happy camper to be sure and while Tots was pissed then, we laugh about it now. At least when Ray fired the entire staff of the Wilmington store, he had a backup on hand ready to take things over and keep things moving along smoothly. TJ wasn’t that smart and didn’t think ahead. Oh well, shit happens. And maybe he learned from that experience, but I doubt it. Who knows.
And there you go. More of a “you should have been there” story than my usual stores from the days working at the c-stores, but I remember when this happened and how pissed I was when I heard about it and it’s a time I’ll never forget.
Thanks for reading. Thoughts, comments, and any questions are welcome and appreciated. Until the next time, take care of yourself and stay safe. I’ll see you on the flip side.