Our night manager was a brass-balled desperado with a piquant recipe for revenge. The guy actually killed the lights and closed the store significantly early on a regular basis, leaving the crew free for unencumbered screwing around. He was an ambitious man who once respected the job and smiled at every customer. Once the lowly "team member" was promoted, corporate screwed him out of his raise for the promotion for the remainder of his tenure and did not give him back pay for his time in management. He was paid the same as a cashier and was full of acrimony like the rest of us; I was happy to work for him. He even covered my ass when I cussed out a customer.
"That means take your bitch ass home," I shouted into the headset while working drive-thru. After repeated requests to silence his new age putrescence so I could take his order, some little punk kept the music blaring. I then refused him service and was ignored. Every night, my blood ran cold as I tolerated belittling and abusiveness from all directions from imps with inferior intelligence.
My aloofness imploded and I shouted at Johnny Punk Bastard. Suddenly, I was heard and finally got a response. The driver speedily pulled up alongside a customer at the drive-thru window and fired a barrage of obscene threats at me. He came back looking for me the following night to shout at my boss. The night manager told the clown that he didn't know my name and that for all he knew, I no longer worked there.
Management bombarded an industrious night stocker with empty promises of pay increases and promotions. Continuously shafted, the hopeful stocker remained at $6.40 and without the possibility of advancement. Cartons of cigarettes went missing, property was destroyed and a paint bucket was emptied on a back room floor. In a moment of bad temper, the stocker spontaneously quit during a phone conversation with his department manager.
Whether or not our actions are right, people are products of their environment. Casual observers seldom consider the human side of the service industry. Garbage in, garbage out; it's a matter of cause and effect. From Watts to McDonald's, we all have the need to purge our psyches of indignity and find the peace that only justice can bring. Why steal an avocado from the back room? Perhaps it's the right thing to do.