Below is a picture of a Maui Bus driver. He is very conscientious and wants to make sure that riders are paying the right amount of money to ride the bus-which is a good thing. He claims that he is scammed all day long by riders and so he wanted to personally check at the amount of money I was putting into the money machine to make sure I was paying the correct amount. He says he is responsible for this bus fare and the monies collected so he has the right to double-check his riders.
However, he didn't sound like he was telling other riders that he is scammed all day long, and it appeared to me that I was the only rider he asked to personally check the amount of money being offered in payment to the County of Maui for riding the bus. If he did, then I didn't see it or even hear it. Maybe he thought I was the only one getting onto his bus who looked like somebody who wanted to cheat the County of Maui and so he only asked me.
I have caught hundreds of dishonest people in my life and not one of them did I catch being dishonest because they looked like they were somebody who was going to scam somebody.
I once caught a very good-looking woman stealing expensive meat and other items from a Lucky store I worked for. She would travel around the store with expensive meat down at the bottom of her basket and then very quickly she would place this meat into her oversized purse. She knew what she was doing and had probably stolen from this Lucky store many times before.
She was planning her exit on the left side entrance/exit door and I yanked the large filled purse right out of her hands before she had a chance to depart. I thought she would just run out of the store after getting the meat back from her, but she followed me to the store office. After calling the police out to the store, it turned out this woman had over $1400 in cash inside her purse buried below all the store's meat. It's no wonder she was willing to stay inside the store. She was a regular shopper and none of the other employees of this store would have even consider her being a thief because they didn't think she "looked" like a person who would steal.
Repeat: She had over $1400 in cash inside of her purse and wanted to steal the meat and some other items. She probably needed some of that money to post bail that day after being arrested.
It's interesting, because in my 30-years of working in the grocery business I remember all the times employees of a store would see a poor looking person coming into the store and then they would follow that person all around the store waiting for the poor looking person to steal. The employees just assumed that because somebody looked poor they were surely to steal. Sometimes a poor looking person would steal but no more than anymore else in a higher income class.
This bus driver must have thought I looked like somebody who would scam him and the County of Maui---he says he gets scammed all day long by people and so he wanted to make sure I wasn't cheating him. Was it because I am so thin and so he thought maybe I looked like a druggie who might want to scam the County of Maui? Or maybe he thought I was poor and looked homeless and therefore would want to scam him and the County of Maui? Well he didn't appear to be scrutinizing the other riders getting on the bus before me or even after me (from the vantage point I had at the back of the bus), and so I just assumed he was profiling me as somebody who would cheat him and the county of Maui because of the way I looked.
If there was such a huge problem that this bus driver is being scammed all day long by riders, then it seems to me that a simple solution to that problem would be that he would be telling this to every rider getting on the bus and giving them the same spiel he gave to me. But it appeared to me that he only directed his concern for riders scamming him and the County of Maui all day long, at me, while I was a passenger on this bus from Kihei to Kahului.
I guess the good news is that he's trying to make sure nobody is scamming him and the County of Maui. Now all he has to do is direct that same concern to every rider getting on his bus!
However, if it turned out that I was the only person he confronted during this day about him being scammed all day long, while I was riding the bus on this day, then it is very possible that at the end of the day he discovered, after counting the money, that he was once again scammed all day long by those individuals, whose honesty weren't being checked, because they didn't look like bus-scamming-riders to this bus driver (who is seen in the picture above).
So, the only way for him to know for sure that he/the County of Maui isn't being scammed all day long, by organized bus-riding scammers, is to make sure he sees exactly how much money all the other riders are paying, like he requested to see from me.
The irony here is that I am probably one rider he can count on that would never cheat him or the County of Maui.
Below are some interesting stories of me catching some individuals stealing and probably people this bus driver wouldn't have even considered as people who would steal. Most of the stories below feature dishonesty while one features a missing $250 box of bank-delivered quarters that had a different level of dishonesty.
In many of the stores I worked in, I was the display builder. In fact, I was considered one of the better display builders in the entire company. I remember being transferred to this store and after a couple of weeks, a woman shopper came up to me and said "I knew you were working in this store because I saw the displays that were being built." This woman knew me from other stores and when she saw the displays at this store she knew I was now working in this particular store. A nice compliment from a shopper I really didn't know. Anyway, back to my story.
I was high off the ground, building a display at the back of the store, when I noticed a middle-aged and professional looking woman moving around the sales floor with a shopping cart full of groceries. I glanced at the top of her cart and saw she had approximately seven (7) individual packs of cigarettes placed there. Most guys in the grocery business would have focused their eyes on her breasts and not even see the cigarettes at the top of her cart.
Now, being who I am, I just couldn't avoid asking myself this most important question for this one moment in time: Is she going to steal those cigarettes? I mean, logically speaking, why not just buy a carton of cigarettes (10 packs) instead of the seven packs? She obviously appeared to be someone who could afford to buy a carton of cigarettes. However, as I learned over the years, it is easier for someone to stick seven (7) individual packs of cigarettes inside their purse than it is to stick a long rectangular carton containing 10 packs.
This was a high volume supermarket and during this time of the day there were lots of people shopping inside this store. Minutes later, I was called to the front of the store to help assist customers in the only cash register not being used. While ringing up customers at this register, I kept one eye on the cigarette spinner that was on the sales floor where customers could grab single packs of cigarettes at their own discretion like they could with a magazine or candy bar.
I wanted to focus on that one area and mentally note anybody putting cigarettes back on the spinner. There were long lines of customers waiting at all the registers. Shazam, out of the clear blue sky, the woman whom I had spotted with the individual packs of cigarettes at the top of her cart, is now waiting in my check-out lane -- about eight customers behind and I wondered if she would have any cigarettes for me to ring up.
A short time later, she is now my customer to take care of and the moment of truth is now facing me -- or, maybe the lack of truth. After scanning all of her items, I didn't notice the seven (7) packs of cigarettes. I bagged up her merchandise and she paid for them. When I gave her the receipt and thanked her for shopping at the store, I quietly asked her what had happened to the individual packs of cigarettes she had placed at the top of her cart? She told me she had returned them back to the cigarette spinner.
Note: How interesting that she would tell me she returned the cigarettes to the cigarette spinner as an answer to my question and even more interesting is the fact I had put my focus on that cigarette spinner the entire time I was ringing up customers when arriving at the front end to assist shoppers. And what are the odds of someone, who has a smoking habit, who also needs to purchase cigarettes on this shopping trip, then deciding to just forget the entire smoking idea and put all seven packs of cigarettes back where they were originally picked up from? NOW BACK TO MY STORY:
I indicated to her that after arriving at the register to assist customers, I was constantly watching that cigarette spinner and I didn't see her or anybody else put any cigarettes back. It was at that point I told her quietly and boldly that if she didn't give me the cigarettes I would call the police to the store and have them search inside her purse. She still insisted she didn't take anything.
I informed the Head Clerk, Bob Schrum, who was taking care of customers in a couple of registers in front of me, that we needed to call the police out to the store to have them search inside this woman's purse. I was convinced by her response to me, without seeing her place the cigarettes inside of her purse, that she had those cigarettes concealed within that handbag. If I am wrong, I have lost my job on this day.
When I confidently made that remark to the Head Clerk, this woman opened up her purse and took out the cigarettes and gave them to me, along with the lipstick and non-food items she also wanted to steal. Had she just been honest with me, I would have rang up her cigarettes, along with the other items and let her pay for them instead of creating a big ordeal by having her arrested.
The store manager, Dale Wolfe, was just coming back from lunch and I made it known to him, from the checkstand, that we needed to call the police out again to have this woman, who was now detained inside the manager's office, arrested for stealing. This was the second woman I caught stealing on this day and the second time this manager had to make that call. The first time was the woman with the $1400 at the bottom of her purse.
What's the irony of this story?
I was the only employee in the store who observed this woman having seven (7) packs of cigarettes at the top of her shopping cart while she was pushing it around the sales floor. Believe me, I was the only one. Head Clerk Schrum was much aware of what was going on but he was too busy ringing up customers.
She was probably mentally fighting the idea that an employee at the front of the store saw her remove those cigarettes from the display spinner that was located near the checkstands. However, I was working at the back of the store, building a beautiful display, where she probably saw me there and assumed I was totally oblivious to what was going on inside this store that was outside of the display I was building.
After convincing herself that I didn't see her remove the cigarettes up front and, she, being observant enough to know I was just too busy, doing what I was doing, to be observant enough to know what she was doing while roaming around the store, she concluded there was no need to worry about me preventing her from stealing on this day. And get this tidbit: Had she placed the cigarettes in her purse before she came into my view, she would not have been caught. Keep reading below as this story gets even more exciting:
When she came to the front of the store to have her groceries rung up, she could have easily chosen any of the other 10 to 12 cash registers (I don't remember exactly how many registers there were), to wait in line for 15 minutes and that employee would not have known about the cigarettes and she would not have been arrested that day because I wasn't going to confront her while she was being rung up at another register. And, she did not want to increase the odds of her getting caught stealing by being rung up by a cashier she felt may have seen her up at the front, removing the loose packs of cigarettes from the spinner. Believe me again, she should have never considered that prospect at all.
Her calculated decision to choose my register to wait in line for 15 minutes was her fatal mistake while trying to steal on that day. She chose the only employee she absolutely knew, for a fact, was not at the front of the store when she removed the cigarettes from the spinner. According to other employees, she was another regular shopper at this particular store. A shopper the rest of the employees of this store would have never suspected of stealing because of the way she looked. And she was probably stealing regularly.
Lucky's Conman Loss Prevention Manager Bob McConnell should have alerted shopliters at this store by placing a large sign at the front of the building that read:
She had no clue that I was even aware of the fact that she had loose packs of cigarettes at the top of her cart while she was at the back of the store. It must have boggled her mind for some time...as it still boggles my mind today...I guess it would be fair to say it is really mind-boggling.
Think of this too: This story above, about a woman who got caught stealing, is, in its own right, a deterrent for others who steal from grocery stores. They will never know if that store employs a LONE SHARK who has an appetite for a careless shoplifter.
And as Dickhead District Manager Jim DeAngelis would have said: LIFE ISN'T FAIR!
It was the store featured in the picture above where this story of the shoplifter and the seven (7) packs of cigarettes took place. Why I worked hard for this guy has boggled my mind for years. Wolfe thought wearing a white shirt and a tie made him smart---but he was mostly, in my opinion, just an idiot who had friends just like him in supervision and all he did was kiss their asses. The woman next to him, her name is Marge Harding. Harding was just as rude as he was. She was a nasty, belligerent, and "rude" could have been her middle name. It would not surprise me to find out that they took bubble baths together practicing on how to be rude to others. The three employees to her left were really supper, wonderful and hard-working people.
And to think that the Maui Bus Driver seen on this page thought I might want to cheat him and the County of Maui.
I was the checker in the "10 items or less" quick-check checkstand. I happened to look towards the right entrance door to our store (there are two---one on the left side and right side of the store) and saw two young guys come into the store and grab a shopping cart. When I saw the one guy grab onto the basket, I immediately thought these two guys were going to exit the other side of the store's entrance with a basket of merchandise. This thought just came over me and I felt a tremendous anxiety shoot through my body.
My lunch period was to start in less than 10 minutes and I continued to have this very uneasy feeling within me. I kept looking behind me to see if those two guys were exiting the door on the other side -- where the door is located and facing the backs of the other checkers in the front checkstands of the store. Because of where this entrance was located it was an easy exit door for thieves to leave unnoticed.
I called a management key person and told them I needed to get out of the checkstand quickly and this person wasn't sure what was going on with me. Anxiety was just shooting all through me. Finally, my relief checker came up to my register and let me out for my lunch break. -- when I got out I moved quickly to the other side of the store and as I got there the two guys that I felt were going to exit the door with merchandise were just now exiting the store just as I thought...with a basket of merchandise.
I immediately caught the attention of another employee and asked this person to follow me and assist me. This employee did and I stopped the two guys by grabbing their basket right as they were leaving the sidewalk in front of the store. The guy pushing the basket asked me in a surprised voice "what are you doing?" I asked him for a receipt for the merchandise sitting in the basket and as soon as he gave me a suspicious look in his eyes and failed to show me a receipt, I told him that we needed to go back inside of the store to clear up a problem and I started taking the basket back inside the store.
Having the other employee with me was important because he became my extra protection at this point. The two guys came back inside of the store with me and the other employee. Management was then alerted to what these two guys were up to and the police were called out to the store. The police came to the store and arrested them.
The goods inside the basket were beer, chips, salsa and a couple of meat items. It was Monday night football, and they came into our store to steal their football party food before the start of the game. They exited the side of the store where the other checkers backs (at the front of the store's checkstands), were facing them and this showed me that they probably had used this exit many times before as their easy get-away for when they wanted to steal.
I had this anxiety come over me about these two guys who entered the store and the feeling they were going to steal as soon as one of them grabbed a grocery cart -- and they eventually tried to.
It wasn't because of how they looked or basically anything else. I had a premonition of the theft before it even happened.
Here is a great story on how I found a missing $250 box of quarters at Lucky Store #179-Northgate Blvd in Sacramento. Below is the actual grocery store cash-report-balance audit receipt for
September 15, 1987- over 30-years-ago. And the finished audit shows a $250 shortage.
The reason there are corrections is because while I was auditing the safe's money, Shelton is providing money to
cashiers who are requesting money at the time. So, if I have put a figure down, and Shelton takes money needed at the registers, I then have to
cross off that figure and update it with a correct figure before putting it into the adding machine. It's normally a common courtesy to
allow a person balancing the safe to do it without interference...but Shelton Campbell's attitude towards common courtesy was similar to
his attitude towards force-balancing the safe.
My job on this day was to be the closing manager and this store's bookkeeper. When I started my shift, my first responsibility is to balance the office/safe money. After counting all monies, it became known to me that the office safe was short $250.
When I brought this cash shortage to the acting manager's attention, he ran a checkstand cash/audit/receipt and determined that register #6 was low in money and so he did a $250 loan to that register, and that balanced the safe. He was being arrogant wanting me to believe that the cash shortage problem couldn't have been in the office because he was there all day and he doesn't make mistakes. He knew, at the time that he did this loan, it was a violation of company policy to force-balance a safe.
If managers force-balance the safe then they will never know where the cash shortage actually is. He could have been demoted from his management position as others have been in the past. Had I done it, the company would have terminated me.
Later, towards the end of the business day, I counted out checkstand #6 and quickly realized that this checkstand was going to be short $250. I now know that the office/safe was where this cash shortage originated. So, I needed to spend all my attention on trying to locate where that missing money was, or least try to understand why it was missing. I recounted the safe thoroughly and once again I couldn't find a problem. Now at this point, the safe is balanced because the acting manager force-balanced it by loaning #6 $250.
I spent the next hour going through the previous days business bookkeeping records trying to find possible problems with the bookkeeping for the last three (3) days. I had done the three (3) previous days bookkeeping responsibilities and that involved inventorying coin and cash on hand. I noticed we had a lot of quarters in inventory the previous day and looked at the bank delivery receipt for this day to see what was delivered to our store from the bank earlier in the day. Delivered at a time when I wasn't even there and Shelton was, while acting as the manager.
Our store was charged for three boxes of quarters on this day, which equals $750 in quarters. I added that to the inventory of quarters from the previous night and I concluded our store could not have gone through the amount of quarters that we did during this day's business, based on what we received earlier that morning, and what I had available when I was doing my investigation.
I checked the bank receipt to see which employee signed for it and realized this employee was new to office procedures so I called her at home to ask her if she could tell me how many boxes of quarters were received from the bank that morning. She told me she received two...BINGO... I then told her we got charged for three...and this third box of quarters we didn't receive and were charged for, was the reason the safe count was short $250 when I started my shift, at 2:45pm.
I left a note for the same acting manager (Shelton), that he needed to call the bank in the morning ASAP to let them know we got shorted a box of quarters from the previous day's business. When he contacted the bank in the morning, the bank said they were waiting for a call. I had to wonder why the bank didn't call us. Personally speaking, and in my opinion, if our store doesn't catch that missing box of quarters, we never see that $250 again and it becomes just another cash shortage for this store because the bank would not have called us and our employees of this store would now become suspects (again) to the cash shortage---and they had absolutely nothing to do with this cash shortage.
This store had a lot of checkstand cash shortages. If I don't find that missing box of quarters, Shelton Campbell, the acting manager, who forced-balanced the safe (a violation of company policy), would have arrogantly placed every store employee working at the registers under the cloud of suspicion for dishonesty...as they have been before when there were other cash shortages.
Shelton Campbell was never reprimanded for his violation of company policy. The supervisors liked him so why would he be reprimanded? He was later promoted to a manager's position where he had the power to write-up/reprimand other employees for their own violations of company policy-in which I was told he did many times.
Occasionally I would run into an employee who worked at the same store Campbell managed and they would tell me how manager Campbell had written them up unfairly for petty stuff. I then would proceed to tell that same employee how Shelton violated a very important company policy in regards to handling cash in the safe/office and he was never even reprimanded. Nobody even said a word to him.
The morning after the night I spent my time looking for a missing $250, I arrived at the store and asked Shelton if he had called the bank on the box of quarters we didn't receive. Without looking at me he told me yes he did, and said the bank would credit our store. He never looked at me the entire day because he knew I watched him force-balanced the safe and he should have been demoted.
He never even thanked me for the time I spent looking for the cash shortage and finding that box of quarters....he couldn't humble himself to do that because he knew he violated a very important company policy and his personal friends in supervision closed their eyes to his violation. I later learned, after I was transferred to another Lucky Store, that he told that store's assistant manager there I was an "asshole." And that assistant manager, who didn't even know me, told the rest of his crew, who didn't even know me, that I was an "asshole." I didn't learn that I was the "asshole" of the world until one employee at the store (his name was Morris), told me that "I wasn't the asshole" that they said was coming over to this store...sometimes I have to chuckle when looking back at my life's experiences.
Because I found a box of quarters that Campbell failed to receive from the bank early one morning, and got charged for, he was professional enough to tell an assistant manager, who hadn't even met me before, that I was an asshole.
I have to wonder if another bookkeeping employee would have found this box of quarters or solve the cash shortage problem because most people would have assumed the cash shortage was just another case where a dumb employee mishandled the money or a dishonest employee stole the money, instead of investigating and concluding that the bank failed to give us all of the quarters our store was charged for during that day's business. The bank used brinks/or/ Loomis-(I forget which one was being used at that time....both have been used...) to deliver the store its money needs and I can't speculate if an employee delivering the money might have been hoping this store didn't catch this $250 mistake and benefit themselves from this money...
Maui Bus- thanks for reminding me of another great story! I am sure this Maui Bus driver wouldn't have been able to figure out the cause of the cash shortage...because he can't think outside of the box...or the bus.
Yes, take it and tell her Fred Astaire Brand tap dancing shoes are on sale next week -- BUY ONE-GET TWO FREE
This true story took place at a Lucky Store in Carmichael, CA.---
store manager Arlene George...of the jungle.
Here is the story:
I had just returned back to work from being on vacation for a few weeks. I mostly rang up customers grocery orders while I worked in this store. As I was polishing off my well trained fingers in prepareing myself for a day of ringing up customers, a professional looking woman shopper came into my checkstand and I promptly rang up her groceries. When I gave her the total to her purchase, she proceeded to write me a personal check. When she handed me the check, I could quickly see that this personal check belonged to a different person. I told her that I couldn't accept a bank check personalized for some other person. She told me this person was her husband and that our store takes her checks all the time. I responded back by asking her "who takes this check all the time?"
She told me the store manager accepts her check. There was another management-employee (Marsha) working in a couple of cash-registers in front of me, and so I asked this person about this woman's check and if they knew this customer. She looked at the customer in my checkstand and told me confidently that this woman's check is OK and go ahead and accept it. So I did.
After this woman left the store, I had an opportunity to get out of the checkstand and went to the manager's office to call the bank for a checking account verification. When I gave the bank employee the account number, the bank employee told me that this account was closed. I chuckled a little, left the office and went back to Marsha and told her this woman is writing checks on an account that had been closed. It eventually turned out it wasn't just our store that accepted this woman's bad checks for a period of time. She was writing bad checks quite frequently at a number of other Lucky Stores in the area. I guess it would be fair to say she was on a real "lucky" streak.
How was she able to do this? Maui Bus driver, I wasn't there to witness her great act of deceit because I was on vacation at the time, however, this is what I was told by Marsha, who gave me the approval to accept her check after she was given the approval to accept this woman's check by Store Manager Arlene: She was a very nice looking and professionally dressed woman. When she went to a Lucky Store to establish herself as a customer, she would hand the clerk this check with her husbands name on it (supposedly her husband and with a different last name than hers). When the clerk questioned the woman and the check, the clerk would call the manager for a check approval.
Now with the store manager at center stage, they would question the validity of this check, which is all it would take for this woman to go on a tirade, make a scene, claim that she shops regularly at all the Lucky stores and then sternly tell the manager she was going to contact the main office of the company to complain about this manager and the store. This woman wanted everybody to know, who was within earshot, that she meant "business," in her scheme to try and bankrupt this business. She surely deserved an Academy Award/Oscar for her gutsy supermarket performance on this day.
You would have thought that the store manager, Arlene, being paid a large salary to protect Lucky Stores assets, would have made a simple trip to the office, while whistling the tune "Mr. Bluebird On My Shoulder," to call the bank and find out if this check was indeed a good check and verify there were funds in the account to cover it. NO, that didn't happen in our store and "by George," it didn't even happen in a half dozen other Lucky Stores where this woman made over-paid managers look like fools, there, in those stores too.
She scammed Lucky Stores out of thousands of dollars because the people they promoted to manage its stores didn't appear to have a brain in their heads. They all thought that this nicely dressed woman, who threatened to complain to Lucky Stores main office, if they didn't accept her check, was good for the amount of money she wrote on each personal check. The fear of having some customer make a phone call to the main office to complain about them personally superseded them using common sense in dealing with a well-polished, professional looking woman, paying with a personal check in the name of some other person.
There probably isn't a supermarket anywhere in the world that would have accepted a personal check from me while printed in the name of some other person. Nope-I don't think that would have ever happened. I know this Maui bus driver wouldn't have accepted a check like that from me.
I don't even know if this nice looking woman ever had to answer to anybody about the way she easily loaded up carts with Lucky Store merchandise and tapped-danced her way out of the store with a big smile on her face after handing the manager of the store a bogus check. In other words, I don't even think she was ever caught and all of these store's losses probably came to be just another write-off loss due to theft where eventually Lucky Stores honest customers had to pay for it all in the form of higher prices.
Sometimes I wonder if I had not made that trip to the management office and called the bank that day, would this woman still be writing worthless checks and tap-dancing out of Lucky Stores today, 25 years later? Anything is possible -- LOL
Oh-one additional remark about Arlene George, Lucky Store Manager. I came into the store one morning and saw her by the office. She told me Lucky supervision made a visit and had done a store check. Before leaving, these supervisors told Arlene everything in the store looked good. I told Arlene "that is great." So afterwards, I went around the store with empty grocery carts and proceeded to put outdated merchandise, which were still on the shelves, inside the carts. Mayonnaise; lunchmeat; peanut butter; salad dressing-- just to name a few. In fact, I believe I even found a box of cereal that was over a year past its expiration date.
I filled up two entire grocery carts with outdated merchandise and pushed them both up to the managers office and left a note on one of them that read "We don't look that good." I probably could have easily filled up two additional grocery carts with out-dated merchandise. No, probably even a lot more than that. I am sure that some of the products the bad-check-woman left with, in the story above, were outdated and it wouldn't surprise me to find out that she came back to the store to exchange the outdated item for a fresher one...or even ask for a refund....sorry, but every time I think about this store I just can't stop laughing.
OH---Arlene George was the store manager who graciously OK'd this woman's check featured in the story above.
To hear a short audio with Arlene (from 25 years ago) click on the image below:
In the above audio, you will hear Arlene George tell me that a Lucky Vice President named Terry Privott told her that theft wasn't a problem at Lucky and then she claims Lucky Loss & Prevention Manager Bob McConnel telling her that theft was bad in all the stores. Now Bob McConnel was the same guy involved in the shoplifting case / Demetri Pappadopoulos -- it appears to me that Bob McConnel didn't care too much about Lucky Stores losses after the way he used his influence in this case...you can read about that story below this one.
Lucky Stores and Local Thieves were synonymous in most of the Lucky Stores I worked in. This is the same Lucky Store where I caught the son of one of Sacramento's most prominent families-- at the time. The Pappadoupolos'
What's ironic is that this woman manager went to great lengths in trying to have me terminated with all sorts of bogus write-ups but was never successful. It was easier for a manager like this to spend a lot time trying to terminate me than it was for them to spend their time earning their money being an efficient store manager. What most mismanagers don't know is that it is very difficult to terminate an employee who is honest, hard-working and adheres to company policy -- all they can do is try to do it by lying and fabricating stories!
Below is a display built in the Lucky Store where this woman did some of her best bad-check-writing while doing her shopping:
Attention Maui Bus:
Thank-you again for reminding me of another great story.
Instructions: For best barbeque flavor, do not leave uncooked steak inside tight Levi pants for longer than 15 minutes.
Here is another exciting story about a shoplifter I caught which eventually ensnared the top security man for Lucky Stores. It took place in June of 1991 and here are the details:
While I was on my lunch break, I was looking out of the security window at the back of the store, above the meat department, and noticed a fit-looking young guy walking down an aisle holding a package of meat. He left that section of the store and went over to another aisle. I quickly moved along the cat-walk and followed him over to that aisle where I was able to see him stick that package of meat underneath his clean white T-shirt and down his pants. He then made contact with another guy there who appeared to be his friend.
Immediately, I climbed down from the cat-walk, then moved quickly to the sales floor, got the attention of another employee (John Stevenson), and told him about the young man I observed sticking a package of meat down his pants. I needed John to come with me when I confronted this guy.
Now, having John as a back-up employee and a witness to me stopping this young guy, I came face to face with him in the middle of the sales floor, close to the registers/checkstands.
When I confronted this young man, the first thing I did was direct his attention to the security window high up on the wall at the back of the store, and asked him "Do you believe in that security window?" This guy told me "no," while he didn't appear he wanted to know where I was going with that question. Getting right to the point, I told him I wanted the package of meat he stuck underneath his pants. He told me he didn't stick any meat underneath his pants. I asked him again to give me the package of meat and once again he clearly made it known to me he didn't have anything.
His determination to try and outbluff me with yet another denial of having a package of meat stuck inside his pants showed me he was a terribly, inexperienced, poker player. He thought his act of innocence, given with a "cool" look covering his entire face, was his ace in the hole. What he naively failed to realize was that this game was ultimately over when I laid out my only card to him by proclaiming, confidently, that I knew for a fact that he had one concealed "hot" steak that was tightly stuffed inside of his pants. I finally told him that I was going to call the police to the store and have them search him if he didn't give me the steak.
His continuous denials convinced me that I was wasting my time so I turned around and headed to the office to call the police. When he realized I was serious about calling the police, he immediately took the meat out from underneath his pants to give to me, but I informed him that it was too late. John grabbed him by the arm and was leading him to the office when he created a scuffle in an effort to escape from the store. Not only was he an ISS (incompetent steak stealer), but he was also a SAUG (sloppy and unskillful guy), in his ability to escape because he ran straight into a wine display, knocking it over and breaking many bottles of wine.
The police were summoned to the store to make an arrest. When the arresting police officer (Officer DePaola), saw the last name of this person, he nonchalantly told me that nothing will probably happen to him because he belonged to a prominent Sacramento family and his parents had friends inside the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.
Ah, the true sound of justice was now ringing inside my ears from a few words spoken to me by an "enforcer of the law," who took it upon himself to judicially tell me that the punishment and consequences for shoplifting and the destruction of private property suddenly became mitigated away by the influence and prominence of a wealthy family living within the community harboring convenient ties to the police.
It probably doesn't happen very often when an insignificant stolen steak, pulled out of a POT (pants of a thief), will amazingly turn an arresting police officer into an active presiding judge while he's looking at the facts of a criminal case when connected to the affluent of this world. In addition to that, I am also sure he occasionally sees that the road to justice is paved differently for the wealthy because in many cases they provide themselves built-in escape routes, and detours, to elude responsibility so they never have to be accountable to anybody. Escape routes and detours that this police officer knows aren't afforded to the AARP (average accountable responsible person).
A police report was written/filed against this young man, after which he was released to his mother who drove up to the front of the store in an expensive, fancy car, that speedily whisked her son away to a secure wealthy zip code, hidden behind iron gates, to where she could protect him from the perils of having to take personal responsibility for one's own actions and try to forget about the inconsiderate grocery store employee who had the audacity to ruin her son's day on such a beautiful sunny afternoon by not letting him steal a steak. Some days it must be a real bummer to be absurdly wealthy, arrogantly entitled and acutely narcissistic.
A copy of that police report was given to us and filed away at the store. Note: Had he given me the steak, when I first asked him for it, I would have just kicked him out of the store. Could it be I was being too unreasonable to expect him to give me back the steak that he wanted to steal or should I have just enabled him, like his parents were doing, and picked out a good barbecue sauce for him to steal too, so he could enjoy his stolen steak even more, later that evening?
Some time later, I was informed by the store manager (Arlene "by" George), that the parents of this young man had hired a private investigator (PI), and this PI, along with Lucky's top security man, Bob McConnell (BM) were going to come out to our store and interview the employees involved in catching this young man stealing. So the other employee (John), and I, was put on notice that we would be questioned about this incident some day in the future.
When the PI and BM, came to the store to interview me and the other employee John, I thought to myself that this interview was absurd, especially by the questions I was being asked and the remarks being made by the PI. I must say I was really impressed by the PI being able to actually keep a straight face when he told me that one of the reasons he was asked to come to the store to talk to me was that this young man's parents wanted to find out if their son had been lying about stealing this steak. What? Really? This was totally ridiculous...so ridiculous that I thought the PI was going to drop to his knees and burst out laughing.
After this interview was over, I met BM, inside of the men's room. While there, I told BM that we had a strong shoplifting case against this young man and BM quickly told me, while sporting a straight face too, that the District Attorney had already dismissed the case. When he made that remark to me I suddenly realized there was really no reason for this interview and determined it was all just a sham, especially given the fact that he said the DA had already dismissed the case. I would bet that the odds are extremely high that most people in this world never have to worry about lying to somebody while actively peeing in a public restroom. Think about that for a moment: When was the last time you had to lie to somebody while actively peeing in a public restroom?
Soon after the private investigator and Lucky's top security man left the store, I went to the manager's office and discovered that the copy of the police/shoplifting report on this young man was now missing.
However, what the private investigator (hired by this young man's wealthy family), and Lucky's top security man (Bob McConnell), didn't know was that I had made a copy of that shoplifting report a day before they arrived at the store to interview me.
A number of days later I contacted the District Attorney and discussed this strange shoplifting case with him to find out if this young man's shoplifting charge had really been dismissed. The District Attorney told me he had never even seen the case and he could find nothing around at all concerning this petty theft. It turned out that this young man was already on probation for a gun possession violation. In addition to the steak he tried to steal, which was no longer saleable because he put it underneath his pants, he broke many bottles of wine...so BM wanted me to believe that the DA had dismissed this case.
I then contacted BM to refresh his memory of this shoplifting case and him coming out to my store...and as expected, he committed himself to stating that the District Attorney had dismissed this case...Maui Bus driver, listen to BM here . I have to chuckle thinking that maybe BM was once again actively peeing inside of a restroom, while talking to me over the phone, relaxedly planting more lies into my ears. Anything is possible. And I do have the audio of the DA telling me he never saw the case.
Below is the shoplifter/police report-the copy I made and the one they didn't know I had:
If the DA had really dismissed this case, then why would the top security man for Lucky Stores want to waste costly employee labor by allowing this private investigator to come to my store and talk about bullshit stuff -- like the parents wanting to find out if their son was lying?
But really, in my opinion, their only purpose was to come to the store and get the shoplifter/police report -- and that was it. Too bad they didn't get the copy I made, especially if it cost the Pappadopoulos' a lot of money to get the copy that Bob McConnell obtained for them.
Lucky's top security man, McConnell, could have sought restitution from the Pappadopoulos family for the stolen meat and broken wine but evidently that wasn't part of his thinking when it came to rich parents willing to do anything to get their son off of a shoplifting charge.
I caught this young guy stealing, while I was on my lunch break and off the clock, so that another typical Lucky Asshole, who was on the clock, could eventually use an unethical business practice to undue my efforts while he was masquerading around Northen California as a top-notch security man for a supermarket chain. The only thing top-notch about this goofball was his ability to lie while peeing in a public restroom. What a phucking clown! I sleep well at night because my debt in life is only connected to a credit card, which is paid off full at the end of each month!
Then some time later, the same parents to an ISSS (incompetent steak stealing son), who hired a private investigator to find out if their son was lying about stealing a steak, decided that there was nothing better to do than burn down their expensive home for the insurance money.
I wonder if their ISSSD (incompetent steak stealing son Demetri) hired a private investigator to find out if his parents were lying about the arson? Naw, he left his parents standing in a large pile of ashes, while also leaving them standing convicted of insurance fraud and arson, to go on to much bigger things as seen below:
In my opinion, Lucky Stores should have been responsible to this woman who was raped!
It suddenly dawned on me that when people, like the Pappadopoulos', have more arrogance inside their heads than brains and believe they have been blessed with a life-time of entitlement with absolutely no boundaries to contain their recklessness, nothing they do benefits anybody else other themselves while leaving scores of victims in their wake.
Maybe what should have happened back then was for those convenient Pappadopoulos "ties" in the Sheriff's Department to come forward and share their good feelings about this family of cons & misfits. Them doing so would have actually shown that they were no better than the Pappadopoulos' by the perceived detours and escape routes they provided them while this Greek family traveled on the road to injustice.
One final note about this shoplifter Demitri Pappadopolous: Of the dozens of shoplifters I caught while working in this store, Demetri is the only person where the police were called to make an arrest. I remember the day looking out of the security window and seeing a woman putting merchandise in her purse. As I went from window to window watching her roam around the store, I spotted another woman in an aisle putting merchandise into her purse. I immediately went down to the sales floor and stopped both women and took them to Manager Arlene George, who was daydreaming in her office, to explain to her that both women were trying to steal from Lucky -- in which she couldn't care less. Neither shoplifter knew each other and this was the first time I had ever caught two shoplifters stealing at the same time. Must have been my "lucky" day.
In conclusion, had I taken my lunch break, on June 20, 1991, like every other employee, and not find myself looking through my dad's security window trying to spot a shoplifter, I would have never encountered this Demetri guy and this story would have never been connected to my life. Maybe in the big scheme of things my current website was actually part of my fate in 1991 before the story of this shoplifter came about and this shoplifter story only came about to help provide me interesting content for my future website.
There is a true story to the bottle seen above with the word #3 SAUG WINE. In fact, it is the same bottle seen in #1. I will explain the story below:
I was working in the produce department at a Lucky store (located on Marconi Ave., Sacramento), and a woman shopper came in and asked me if we had a lot of rosemary available for her to purchase. I went to our refrigerator to see exactly how much our store had. I told her that we had 5 units of the herb available. She told me she needed a lot more than that. I then told her I could put in a special order for her to get as much as she needed from our warehouse.
She told me that she really couldn’t wait for a special order because she was making her annual Christmas vinegar wine and she needed this rosemary ASAP. So then I told her that in front of my house (#2), there was a huge rosemary plant and she was welcomed to go by and pick as much as she wanted. She thanked me for the offer and told me she would consider it. I told her my home was probably around seven miles away and gave her the address. I also told her I would call my wife and let her know that if she saw a woman picking rosemary from our bush out in front of the house, it’s OK because I told her to take as much as she needed.
Time had gone by and I had forgotten about this woman and her need for the rosemary. I didn’t know if anybody had stopped by my house to pick some rosemary because there was just so much I wouldn’t know the difference if any was missing.
Then one evening while I was working the produce department, this same woman, along with her family, came into the store and wanted to surprise me (#1) with two bottles of her special Christmashome-made vinegar wine. And you could see the rosemary, picked from the large plant in front of my home, inside each bottle. I was just so amazed by her generosity. I told her I didn’t know whether anybody had stopped by my house to get some rosemary and so I had forgotten all about her. While I experienced a lot of heartache while working at this chain of stores, there were moments like this that really uplifted me.
First I want to share a little history: I was working at a Gemco store in South Sacramento. Gemco was a division of Lucky Stores. They were large membership stores that operated in California and were bought by Target Inc. and converted into Target stores after Lucky Stores top management wanted to avoid losing their jobs when a corporate raider, by the name of Asher Edleman, acquired 3% of Lucky shares because he knew its share value was undervalued from Gemco's continuous drain on Lucky's profits and he was planning on selling the Gemco division if he was successful in his pursuit of a takeover of Lucky Stores -- and yes Lucky's top management would have lost their jobs.
Gemco was so mismanaged...but it could have been a very successful chain of stores similar to the Costco's of today. Gemco sales were actually good but unfortunately though, Lucky Stores management was not. Click on the image below to read the story about Edleman, as he may have been the greedy guy who helped inspire the character Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street. "Greed is good."
Here is my story:
I had just recently been transferred from a Lucky Store to this Gemco store. The difference between the stores was in the square footage, the prices and the membership required to enter a Gemco store. Gemco's prices were definitely less expensive and the store much, much larger. And regarding the membership required to shop at this store, a person could have just flashed a get-out-of-jail card from a game of Monopoly and that would have probably sufficed with any Gemco employee standing at the front whose sole job was to enforce the entrance requirement.
My responsibility at Gemco was mostly building merchandise displays and I was generally referred to as the display builder. In fact, one manager told me I was a "display building machine." I was also used to do the night-work at closing time. The night worker had the responsibility of filling the dairy department, filling the beverage section and other responsibilities. I worked all shifts during the week. Sometime I would work an early shift and other times I would work a closing shift.
One evening, at approximately 8:45 pm, I was in the process of helping to assist in the 9 pm closing of the store.
At this time of the evening there were always a lot of customers still needing to be checked-out at the cash register and it was a very fast-paced/hectic working shift at this time of the day. I was trying to finish my night-work while at the same time assist in the store closing by roaming around the aisles and looking for unattended baskets and perishables left on shelves, etc.
I glanced over to the liquor department and spotted a woman customer, standing next to her parked cart, over at a place where our store also kept the cartons of cigarettes on nearby shelves. A red flag went up when I noticed her cart was completely filled with groceries and at the top she had many cartons of cigarettes placed there.
Even though I was busy with my own store closing duties, I wanted to make sure this shopper purchased those cigarettes and I even mentioned this woman, with the cigarettes, to the Head Clerk, Terry Rector, who in my opinion, was just twiddling his thumbs near the manager's office. It appeared to me that his thumbs and fingers were all tangled together so I told him I would kindly keep an eye on her as I didn't want to be responsible for Rector also tripping over his feet by getting him to move his tangled-up legs.
However, a short time later I am totally dumbfounded by the fact that she is gone and I didn't see her go to the front checkstands to purchase her cart of groceries. I immediately scoured the aisles looking to see where this woman left that filled-up cart. Sure enough, I found the full cart of groceries where she had left it on the other side of the store -- the very last aisle.
The only thing missing from this cart were the cartons of cigarettes. I couldn't believe how quick she was in being able to steal those cigarettes and removing them from the grocery department and out of the store after taking my eyes off of her for just a short period of time.
I knew right then this woman was a professional merchandise booster. A booster is somebody who comes into a retail business, such as Gemco, with a large purse/bag and will steal a large number of a certain kind of a product. In this instance it was cartons of cigarettes...and then they leave the store as quickly as they can. From there they can sell the stolen items to others at a cheaper price.
I met with Rector, who appeared to be glued to the same wall, next to the office, with his thumbs and fingers still tangled together, and told him that this woman got away and he sarcastically asked me why I let her get away? You couldn't get into Lucky/Gemco management unless you were highly skillful at being sarcastic-- but there were exceptions to that rule. Rector should have been the one to keep an eye on this woman, as he was the manager-in-charge during the evening.
The next night, at around the same time at this Gemco store, lo and behold, I see this same woman, again, with a full cart of groceries and cartons of cigarettes piled at the top pushing it around the sales floor. I was totally amazed to witness how brazen this woman was. She had a great set-up in place to easily steal by taking advantage of the craziness going on at a time when this store was in the process of closing for the day and trying to get all remaining customers rung up and out the door, and thereby, nobody was really watching out for shoplifters or shoppers exhibiting suspicious behaviors, etc.
The good news was that this time I would not let her get away like she did the previous night and so I decided that I was going to stand around in a Gemco clothing department, which was in front of the grocery checkout lanes, where I could get a good view from a distance of the grocery aisles, without being seen, and watch the movement of this woman shoplifter.
She was totally unaware of the fact that somebody was on to her shoplifting routine nor was she even aware of the fact that somebody had seen her in the store the previous night and came upon her abandoned cart, filled up with groceries and lacking the many cartons of cigarettes she had placed there.
I could now see her on that last aisle, the same aisle where she had left the cart the previous night, peering around the corner while looking to see if it was clear for her to quickly exit the grocery department and then hightail it out of the store. Time is of the essence with this kind of a shoplifter...get in, get the goods, and get out of the store quickly with absolutely no time set aside for any tap-dancing.
Wow, I am completely aware of her MO, "modus operandi or aka method of operation" in stealing large quantities of cigarettes. She was savvy, and a good booster, with a planned routine that she knew well, and from that moment on I couldn't argue the fact that she had done this many times before at this same Gemco.
Getting a distant glimpse of that large purse/carry bag hanging over her shoulder, it was bulging and I had to wonder if it was weighing her down as she was somewhat of a petite woman with long stringy hair -- as I remember.
Now she is in the walking lane that leads to the front door, which will also lead her out of the Gemco store and to, once again, a safe stress-free get-away. There are security guards placed at the exit doors but they have no clue on how easy this particular shoplifter is going to steal large amounts of cigarettes. I mean, she committed this same kind of theft the previous night and had to have walked right past these same security guards who were standing at the exit doors, while probably saying good-night to them all and sporting a big smile as she left.
I contacted one of the security guards at the front of the store to let them know that I was going to stop this woman approaching the exit door because she has cartons of cigarettes in her large purse/bag that I know for sure haven't been paid for. I immediately bring this woman's brisk walk to a stop and boldly inform her that I need to have her come back to the grocery department so she can help me locate some cartons of cigarettes. She impressses me with her look-of-surprise facial expression and even tries to convey to me that she doesn't understand what I am saying...so I just tell her that I need her to come back to the grocery department.
That large purse/bag over her shoulder was just packed and she knows after being stopped by me that this won't be the usual easy exit the store and drive away with the goods, like she is used to. In fact, she knows her jig is up.
She doesn't resist going back to the grocery department with the security guard and me. However, as we are headed back to the grocery department, she immediately starts screaming while removing cartons of cigarettes out of her purse and throwing them wildly in all directions into the clothing department -- in an attempt to get rid of the evidence and make it appear she is being accosted. It must have been an incredible show for the other shoppers still around to witness her doing this. It's unfortunate I couldn't have planned for this event a little better and have comfy theater seats for all of them to sit in, to appreciate the beauty of this woman's drama. Looking back, without her adding the award winning performance to close out her late night shoplifting act, this story being told today would have been disappointing and somewhat boring. So a big thank you goes out to this woman for assisting me with the world-wide-web finale.
Now, at this time she is subdued by the security guard and another employee, who brought her back to the grocery department where she was delivered to the closing night manager-- and I don't remember if Head-Clerk Rector was there that night as the closing manager -- twiddling his thumbs while glued to the wall next to the office.
The police were called out to the store to make an arrest. While she was being interrogated by the local police, she mentioned that she was the Goddaughter of a Lucky/Gemco supervisor named Al Damon. From the police questioning it was revealed that she had a drug problem and stealing large quantities of cigarettes helped her buy the drugs she needed by selling the hot goods to the locals looking to save even more money than what Gemco wanted them to save.
On back-to-back nights, this woman is stealing large quantities of carton cigarettes. How many other nights before the night I first spotted her in the liquor/cigarette department was she also stealing? It's just mind-boggling putting this entire scenario into that perspective.
A week or so later, Supervisor Al Damon came into the store and wanted to talk to me. He didn't say anything about his Goddaughter being caught boosting cigarettes but wanted to make me feel uncomfortable by asking me "Who hired you?" I believe my response to him was that Lucky's personnel department that used to hire people out of Lucky's "C" street office in Sacramento had hired me. Maybe I should have asked him the same question "Who hired you?"
Damon never thanked me for bringing to an end his Goddaughter's penchant for stealing large quantities of carton cigarettes on a daily basis. Thefts like this were not uncommon at Gemco because it was a shoplifter's paradise. Security guards at the exit doors didn't appear to care about what was leaving Gemco in large purses/bags and this kind of uncontrolled theft and mismanagement was taking a hit on Gemco's/Lucky profits and drawing the attention of Anser Ederman who was eagerly looking for another corporation with an undervalued stock to buy, gain control of it and divest the losers to increase the value of the stock and increase the value of his stake.
Edleman couldn't have put his sights on a better company than Lucky Stores Inc., with an undervalued stock, and this devaluation was assisted by the many God-daughters of this world and other shoplifters, who didn't care one iota about Lucky's stock price and how far down they could take it.
I can't conclude this page, with the above theft story at a Gemco store, without sharing this story that took place at the same Gemco. It's about a African American grocery store manager, named Homer Herod, whom I caught cheating me on a personal evaluation that he sent to Lucky's main office in San Leandro, CA. I am quite certain that had a store manager done this to him he would have never been promoted to a store manager. And really, I was more qualified to give him an evaluation than Herod being qualified to give me one. I will probably be called a racist for sharing this story about Herod and will probably see Al Shaprton and Jesse Jackson hanging around my neighbor demanding reparations...and all of them payable to them.
I built the store's displays early in the morning and had to be very organized in order to build most of them before the store opened. Herod would also come into the store early and walk the store to see how the night crew was doing and learn of any problems. He would slowly walk the aisles saying hello to everybody on the night-crew. However, when he arrived to where I was, he would just ignore me and walked right by. So right then I knew he had strange feelings about me and it was something I needed to remember. Still, I made the effort to smile and say hello to him, as he moved further away from me, to make it known to him that I too was in the store.
It did bother me to a certain degree because I built his displays and building displays was one of the most difficult jobs in the store because it required a tremendous amount of energy, a creative mind and you really had to be organized. So Herod could have shown me some of the same respect he showed others by at least greeting me in the morning. But this was a typical characteristic trait with store managers -- be respectable to some and be an ass to others.
As weeks went by and I was doing my display building early in the morning, Herod called me to the office and informed me he wanted to give me a personal evaluation that Lucky Stores wanted all store managers to do with each employee. This personal evaluation was something new and I had only been in Herod's store for a couple of months.
I was sitting in front of Herod and he had this 3 or 4 page form on his desk. The evaluation went over many aspects of employees work behavior, etc. Such as how I took care of customers; how I did my job; how I got a long with other employees; etc.
Everything he said to me created the impression that I was excellent at everything I did. He told me nobody built better displays than me and commented that I always put prices on every display I built and was very courteous to customers. He asked me about my future goals with the company and told him it would be nice to become a store manager because I felt I had the experience and talents to be one.
Then the evaluation was over and I must say I was satisfied with Herod's remarks to me. He asked me to sign the back of the evaluation, in which I did, and he told me this evaluation would be sent to the main office and kept in my employee file. I had a lot of work left to get completed, so I didn't bother to review the evaluation and so I left his office and went back to doing my displays.
As my shift was nearly completed and Herod had left for the day, I went back into the office and took out my evaluation that was in the store's mailbag ready to be delivered to the main office. After reviewing it I must say I was very disturbed that Herod had not put the glowing remarks that he personally told me into that evaluation. It was mediocre at best.
I was distraught that he would use that kind of deceit with me. At that moment I formed an opinion in my mind that he was more dishonest than Al Damon's cigarette stealing Goddaughter because his kind of dishonesty had the potential to steal away the careers of those he betrayed in his 30-minute spiel while doing the evaluation. Employee's future promotions were tied to those evaluations.
Just mind-boggling realizing this kind of manager deceit and the only exit door needed for dishonest Homer to make his daring escape was an inter-department envelope placed inside of a store company mailbag that didn't require blind security guards to be anywhere nearby.
Later I contacted Matt Van Airsdale, the assistant manager (the two of us were friends and had worked together in a number of other Lucky stores), and asked him to review that evaluation that Homer gave to me, that was in the mailbag, before it left the store.
The next day I saw Van Airsdale at the store and asked him if he took a look at the evaluation. He said he did. I then told Matt that this isn't what Herod told me when he gave me that evaluation and it was just mediocre at best. Matt kind of agreed, as he knew I was an excellent employee.
Then the next time I saw Herod I told him I wanted to talk to him privately in his office. He agreed to this talk and when inside his office I told him that I looked at my evaluation before it was sent to the main office, and that what he stated on that evaluation isn't what he told me and that it was troubling for me to see his deceit.
He got angry with me for going through that mailbag and I told him I wanted to see what was being sent to the main office in reference to his evaluation of me. I also told him I had Matt review that evaluation before it left the store. He got really angry when he found out that Matt had also gone through that mailbag and took a look at my evaluation. The only thing that Herod should have been angry about was the fact he was caught being so deceitful.
I left Herod's office, as I couldn't stand to be around him. Later I told Matt that Herod was angry that he too had gone through the store's mailbag, to look at my evaluation. Then Matt told me he could go through that mailbag any time he wanted to. This was one of the reasons I liked Matt because he wasn't afraid to stand up to others in management. Matt was one of only a few managers of this entire company who appreciated me and never cheated me.
Then one morning I was building this massive Thanksgiving/holiday display at the front of the store and Herod came up to me and told me, with the sound of sincerity in his voice, that he was going to get back that evaluation and make it right with me.
I also remember before I was transferred to another store, I built this huge-massive 24-pack Coca Cola display, at the side of the checkstands in front of the store. The same location where I built the massive Thanksgiving/holiday display. When I was done with building that display, the cashiers were able to see on the back of the display, which was facing them, that I had used the red color of the regular 24-pack case and used the white color of the diet 24-pack case and embedded the word GEMCO. Plus, these letters were formed on the opposite side and had to be reversed to make the side of the display facing the cashiers readable.
I had to point out the word GEMCO embedded on the back to Herod because he was just too blind to spot anything in front of his nose. Or maybe he acknowledged it but didn't want me to know he did.
A number of years later I was walking through the Sacramento Arden Fair Shopping Mall and saw Herod, as he was there too. From a short distance he smiled at me and looked like he wanted to stop and chat. I realized I didn't have anything to say to him and just ignored him and went on my way-- the same way that he would ignore me when he came strolling into the store early in the morning while I was busting my ass building displays for him.
One additional note about Lucky upper-management: Norm Millert was a District Manager of Lucky Stores and he was probably the most competent, fair and uplifting man to be around -- he was a rarity at Lucky Stores.
There was one good thing that came out of my short stay at this Gemco store. I was taking care of customers at a register and had to call the office to get some additional singles (dollar bills) as I was running low. I was brought a bundle of one dollar bills (100) and as I took off the paper wrapper, I noticed there was something unusual about these bills. Closely examining the bills I realized every one of these bills were SILVER CERTIFICATES. The bank obviously made a mistake by providing our store this bundle of silver certificates and I so happened to be the LUCKY employee to catch this. I would have purchased every one of these dollars but only had enough cash in my wallet to buy around 38 of them. Had the stores at this time (1985), had ATM machines, I could have obtained the money I needed to purchase the rest of them.
minted during the depression-a hard time for many people
There were some Gemco (Lucky) shoppers who received these collector dollars in their change and you should have seen the surprised look on their face when I told them. Over the years I have given these special dollars to individuals, whom I really like, as a small gift -- you can't take it with you.
Wow, I would have never considered that taking a quiet bus ride in paradise, for 10 miles, would be
all it would take for me to use this experience as an excuse to expose other dishonest and/or
rude people to create another exciting animated page on my website that should have
ended up on the Corrupt New York Times best individual animated website page.
To view the area this video was captured on the Island of Maui, place the following Google Earth location coordinates