Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 94

The Time Mookie Witnessed Theft And Violence At Walmart

With all of the "Black Friday" sales coming this week, I'm sure everyone will have to hear about all of the shopping horror stories that went down. You know what I'm talking about - the ones where people rush the doors and punch out fellow shoppers in order to get the already obsolete TV that is "on sale" for $99. While pondering the stupidity that is Black Friday, I was reminded of the following story from my Walmart days. I must admit that while this story did not happen on "Black Friday" - it did happen at Walmart - where one could argue that every day is "Black Friday" to some people. I know I want to punch everyone whenever I go there...

I was manning the Sporting Goods counter one evening when the store received some "bad" news. Apparently one of the stores in the town over called our management, and let them know some unsavory characters were in their store trying to return some merchandise that they knew to be stolen. How they knew this, I do not know. However they said that these people were going Walmart to Walmart trying to return this stuff and get money for it. Up until this this point, two other stores had denied the returns - and the people trying to return the merchandise raised all kinds of hell afterwards. The management at each store called the cops to respond to the hell-raising, but the riff-raff always took off before they got there. The store that called our store had a hunch that maybe our store was the next destination of these hooligans, and wanted to let us know. Awesome.

The managers went around to all the employees and let us know this information as soon as they got it. They told us not to do "anything" to anyone, however if someone called out "Security 999" to a certain part of the store over the P.A. - that we were to stop what we were doing and RUN to that location immediately to help. What this "help" was supposed to consist of - they never said, but the managers said that these people had the capability to be dangerous so we had to be careful. Upon hearing this, my first thought was that I was not getting my ass kicked/shot over a $5 an hour job. I mean really. Then again, its not every day that some crazy shit goes down at work - so if I had to start throwing fists - I was ready.

I should add that I felt safe where I was working because I knew I had 20 rifles and shotguns locked up in the case right behind me. If anything ever got really wild - I knew I could load up one of those bad boys and unleash hell and fury if it came down to it. What can I say...my imagination is vivid.

An hour or so went by, and as I was organizing the aisles I suddenly overheard a call on the overhead P.A. - "SECURITY 999 TO THE FRONT DOORS."

The Sporting Goods department was at the far opposite corner of the store from the front doors, so I was on the dead run to make up for my disadvantaged location. As I passed the front registers and rounded the corner to the front door, I could see people running out the door and clusters of people amidst the chaos. I saw two people taking swings (and missing) at Walmart employees, and about 15 feet away from me I saw our maintenance guy "Cory(*)" grabbing a big black chick - one of the alleged riff-raff - by the arm who was trying to make a run for it. It was then that I heard the chick say to Cory: "Let go of me or I'll motha-f*ckin shoot you!" Needless to say, it was apparent Cory felt the same way I did about getting shot over a $5/hour job - because his immediate response was to let the chick go and raised his hands in the air like "No I'm good."

With all the troublemakers having exited the building, we all looked out the front doors to see what they were doing. We quickly saw that they were surrounded by police cars (flashing lights galore), and everyone that appeared to be in "custody" were under the powerful spotlight being emitted by the police helicopter hovering over the store. It seems the managers tipped the cops off to the possible arrival of the troublemakers, and they were more than ready to swoop in at a moments notice.

I found out later that when the trouble makers entered the store, that it was meant to be a two-ended ripoff operation. Part of the group went to the Return Desk to try to return whatever merchandise they were trying to return, and the other half of the posse went to the Electronics department and attempted to rip off some stuff at the same time. Apparently the hell-raising at the Return Desk was meant to be some sort of diversion and draw everyone's attention there while the posse stole from Electronics. Sadly for them it didn't work because the people they had trying to rip off Electronics were fat and slow, and Electronics was not near the front of the store. It was a lot farther to run than I think they thought it would be.  I tell you....criminals are stupid sometimes.

And while I didn't get to throw any fists or load up a shotgun over the deal, I did get an adventurous story out of it. Its not every day you get to hear someone tell another person they are going to "motha-f*ckin" shoot somebody.

Well, I don't anyway.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent.

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