I got my boss fired once

Sometimes I like telling stupid little stories. I’ve forgotten most of the stuff that has happened to me in my life. Sometimes I randomly remember an event and then, in my efforts to preserve the memory, I write about it.

In my late teens, I was doing voluntary work for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). I was in college at the time so I already had a pretty full schedule (lol jk). Every Saturday, I would do several hours of retail work in my local branch of the BHF charity shop. It was monotonous stuff: putting sizing labels on hangers, steam-cleaning new donations of clothes, working the till, tidying up and restocking. I don’t have particularly fond memories of the job; the best part was the infrequent arrival of a beautiful girl who sometimes worked the same hours as me. Then again, it’s not the kind of work you do for intrinsic fun. I was happy pitching in my little share of community effort.

The only real problem I had was with the manager of the place. Unlike me, he worked there full-time and was paid a reasonable salary for his efforts. He utterly abused the privilege. It was always abundantly clear that his motivation for working there was not altruistic. It was just a job to him. There is nothing inherently wrong with impure intentions but when you’re an intentionally shit employee extracting money from a fucking charity, you need to take a look at yourself.

This guy took three hour lunch breaks. After “lunch”, he would often announce that he was leaving and then not return for hours at a time. He would return clutching bags of personal shopping. He skived off in order to piss away the money he was earning for doing the very job he was skiving off. Worse, he didn’t care what the situation was like when he left. He would happily leave a solitary teenager to run the entire store in his absence, despite none of us having the training to do so properly. It was an unfair amount of responsibility to give to a bunch of unpaid part-time teens. I used to dread it happening to me, which was pretty much every other week. We would get phone calls about all sorts of shit that we were entirely unqualified to deal with. I whine about it but I feel I handled the impromptu promotion to store manager rather well. Nonetheless, it was a situation that should never have been allowed to arise.

Being incompetent is one thing but being incompetent and taking money from a charity to facilitate further incompetence is a pisstake. Incompetent might not even be the right word (though the guy was hardly a stellar manager even when he graced us with his presence); sheer, wilful laziness comes closer to the truth. There are people out there who would’ve relished the opportunity to do the job properly and it seemed right that they got the opportunity.

During my time there, I heard rumblings. Our dear manager had a propensity for groping volunteers in the back room. Given that the manager is unnamed, I see no harm in relaying unsubstantiated claims. For reasons I don’t particularly want to enter into, I believe it was almost certainly true (no, he never tried it with me). He was a strange guy. I had no problem seeing how the rumours could be true even when they were just rumours.

Anyway, we eventually raised the matter with head office. They investigated, made us sign sworn affidavits and then fired the guy. Good riddance.


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