“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” ~Aristotle


Have you ever worked that one job that you’ll never forget?

Back during my college years, I worked in loss prevention at a large department store.  It was the greatest job ever – minus my crappy salary.  At any rate, I loved what I did… watching shoppers on camera, looking for suspicious behavior, and then busting them when they stole something.

I’ve always said that if I could make great money doing that, I’d do it forever.  I was really good at it.  I knew exactly what to look for, and sometimes I would get 50 to 60 busts per month.  And there was nothing better than seeing the looks on the faces of these crooks after they found out that, regardless of whether they apologized and offered to pay for what they stole, they were still being arrested.

The vast majority of people who stole stuff from the store had the money to pay for the items they stole in their pocket while they were stealing them.  I think they did it for the adrenaline rush.  I know it wasn’t out of need that they stole because it wasn’t stuff that a person needs.  Often, it was cheap costume jewelry or even bras and panties that were taken.

Prior to starting this job, I assumed (incorrectly) that it would be mostly teenagers who would steal.  Of course, there were a fair number of them who did steal, but it wasn’t only them.  I’ve seen people of every gender, every class, and every age steal.

One time, I watched a lady in her 70s steal bras and granny panties and shove them underneath her in her wheelchair.

Another time, I watched as a mom stole a pair of pants while her teenage daughter was trying something on in the fitting room.  Mom was going to pay for daughter’s clothes, by the way.

There was one day that I watched a group of teenage boys steal giant, fake diamond earrings.  That’ll make you look cool, no doubt.

As you may have imagined, when you’re watching cameras all day, you see some pretty crazy stuff that isn’t just shoplifting.

One day, I watched as a lady followed a man into his fitting room.  I notified one of the sales clerks, and sure enough… She heard some not-just-trying-on-clothes sounds coming from that room.

Sick, right?  It gets worse.

People have gone into fitting rooms, peed on the floor (and whatever clothing may have been on said floor), and then go on about their shopping business.  Umm, in case you don’t know, most big department stores have big restrooms on several floors.  It couldn’t wait, Lady?  Really?

I’ve got to say, though, none of these compare to the worst/craziest thing I’ve seen while at my L.P. job.  Okay, not even close…

There was a time that I was keeping a close eye on the store’s cleaning lady and her son.  We suspected them of stealing because after they would empty the trash from all the registers, they would then take their cleaning cart and all the trash they collected to the little closet where all the supplies were kept, rather than throwing it outside in the dumpster.

We ended up putting hidden cameras in the storage closet to see what they did with the stuff they brought in there after each shift.  Eventually, we discovered that while “emptying the trash,” the lady would accidently knock some earrings or other jewelry into the trash can, and then she later dig it out of the trash bag once she took it all into the closet.

At first, we couldn’t get a good dollar amount on what she was stealing because she’d take the jewelry off of the little cards they came on, and she’d throw them out with the trash and would only pocket the loose the loose jewelry.  Because of this, we decided to wait on busting her and continue watching them for a while to see if it escalated to more than just jewelry they were taking.

On one particular day, I was sitting in the camera room at my desk, studying for an upcoming exam while on my lunch break.  I saw something on the camera out of the corner of my eye, and just happened to look up at the cameras.  The boy was in the closet sitting on some boxes, reading a magazine.  I didn’t think anything else of it, and I continued to study.

The next time I happened to look up at the cameras, he was doing more than just reading that magazine.  Yeah.  Uh, he was really liking that magazine, if you know what I mean!  And every few seconds, he’d reach up to his cleaning cart and pump some hand sanitizer into his hand.  [Do you see what I did there?!]

I sat staring, stunned, unable to believe what I was actually seeing.  What do I do?!  Do I stop him?  Call management to interrupt him?  Let him finish and then do something?  What the heck, man???  Stop it!  It’s gross!

Unable to process this and make an educated decision, I called my boss, who worked in a different store than I did.  After laughing hysterically for five uninterrupted minutes, he finally caught his breath enough to tell me to have management page him on the intercom system, pretending to have something for him to come clean up.

So I did.  And when he heard his name on the intercom, while right in the middle of his business, you should have seen it.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  It was hilarious.  He jumped up off that box so fast!  He wiped his hands off on his jeans [barf!], unlocked the closet door, and went to find the manager who paged him.

Unbelievably, when he finished cleaning whatever it was that he cleaned that didn’t really need to be cleaned, he went back into the closet and finished his business!!  SICKO!!!

Needless to say, my boss and even his boss ended up coming to my store to question this kid, like we would do in the case of a shoplifter.  The “interrogation” went as follows (and, no, I’m not making any of this up):

Boss: “Do you know why we called you in here today?”

Sicko Kid: “Um, because my mom and I have been stealing every day?”

Boss [playing it cool like he has no idea what the kid is talking about]: “And what have you been stealing?”

Sicko Kid: “Jewelry, clothes, sometimes shoes.”

[Holy crap!]

Boss: “And how long has this been going on?”

Sicko Kid: “For about a year.”

[Wow!]

Boss: “Um, okay… And how long have you been masturbating in the closet for?”

[Sicko Kid about lost his damn mind, people!!!  He started choking, unable to speak.  He was shocked and couldn’t believe that he was busted and that we actually knew about his little dirty deed!]

Sicko Kid: “Uh, just a few weeks. My girlfriend broke up with me.”

Boss: “Your girlfriend broke up with you, so you decided to masturbate at work?!”

Sicko Kid: “Um, yeah. But I promise I won’t do it again. Or steal. I won’t steal again, either. And if you could not tell anyone about this, that would be good.”

[Bahahahaha! Did he really just ask us that?!]

As you can probably guess, we ended up firing him on the spot.  Probably more so for his disgusting indecency than for his shoplifting!  And yes… we told everyone we could think to tell.

Believe it or not, you haven’t heard the best of it yet!  Remember I told you that he was looking at a magazine while choking his chicken burping his worm changing his oil cleaning his pipes fisting his mister greasing his pipe jerkin’ his gherkin milking his bull playing pocket pool scratching his itch tenderizing his meat waxing his willy wiggling his worm yanking his crank masturbating in the closet?  Well here’s what he was looking at:

Yep… a pregnant Brooke Shields.  Pregnant.  Pregnant.  Pregnant.

Next time, try Playboy.  At home.

Needless to say, this is probably the craziest thing I’ve ever seen at work.

What about you?  Have you ever seen anything you wish you hadn’t while just trying to earn a paycheck?

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