De' fliengde Vuogtlänn'r

Observations, rants, etc. from a guy who really gets around.


America's Funniest Work Videos

Some days, I love my job. Like Saturday. We have these carts that vendors rent. They have lockable drawers in them. And zip-up tarps that cover them.

There's a vacant one, and I keep finding it unlocked. We've suspected what's been happening, but haven't been able to prove it.

Until Saturday.

I've had the key for that cart for a week or so. Every day, I check, and most mornings, it's unlocked. I lock it. Next day, it's unlocked again.

Then came Saturday morning.

Around 9:30, I went past it to the front door of the Mall Office to get a key to our scissor lift so I could move it. On the way, I checked and it was unlocked. I locked it. Checked all the other drawers. All locked.

Went and got the key, went out the rear door, moved the scissor lift, returned thru the back door and exited thru the front door right around 10. Spotted the biggest PITA in the mall removing the tarp from her cart. Went over to the door leading back into the secret corridor and watched her go over to the other cart, unlock and open a drawer, put her tarp in, and close and lock the drawer. (BIG no-no; you rent one cart, you get the use of *one* cart.) I tip-toe over while she's not looking, unlock and open the drawer, remove the tarp, close and re-lock the drawer and sneak away. Leave the tarp in the Security office.

I leave work at 4:30, come back at 8:45 to wait for the mall to close (I had already briefed key Security people on what was up). I go into the Monitor room where they can watch *everything* that's happening in the mall. 9:00 comes. We watch PITA saunter over, unlock the drawer and open it and.... stand there with a horrified look on her face. "Oh, crap! What do I do now???"

She finally walks around to a different drawer, unlocks and opens it, and removes a different (and different-colored) tarp. She starts back toward her cart, then turns back, replaces the tarp, and locks the drawer. Then she goes back to her cart. A minute later, the phone rings. The Security guy answers. I only hear his part of the convo.

"Yes, ma'am. Well, he's gone for the day. Uh-huh. Well, I might be able to call him at home. It'll take him a bit to get here. OK."

We're laughing our butts off now. About 7 minutes later, the phone rings again.

"Yes, ma'am. He's on his way. He'll be here soon."

I go out and grab one of the other Security guys who's in on the whole thing. We go over to PITA's cart. She starts explaining (in very broken English) that her tarp is gone.

Me: "Where was it the last time you saw it?"

Her: "In that drawer."

Me: "Why was it in the locked drawer of a cart you're not renting?"

Her: "My key fit that. I never do that again. I need tarp."

Me: (Big explanation of the no-no factor.) "I'll see if I can find one for you."

15 minutes later, I return with her tarp.

Her: "Thank you. I never do that again."

Cart rental: $1,000/month
Handyman pay: $9.50/hr
The look on her face when the trap was sprung: Priceless


Sunday evening.

Mall closes at 6. At 5:55, I'm in the Monitor Room. We watch while PITA closes up. Does she pull her tarp out of her own cart and cover the cart? Nooooo!! She walks over to a third cart, unlocks a drawer, pulls out her tarp and drags it over to her cart.

Gotcha. On video tape.

This evening, one of the Security guys is supposed to be sitting at that other cart at closing time (9:00pm) to see what she does.

I can hardly wait to get to work Wednesday morning. :-)

Update, Wednesday, 22 Aug:

Made it back to the Monitor Room just in time this morning. PITA wasn't there, but her alternate was. Sure enough, she took the tarp off, walked over to that third cart, and locked it up in the same drawer it was in Sunday evening. All on videotape. (And I had checked earlier to make sure it actually was locked.)

Methinks TPTB will be having a little chit-chat with those two women.

Update, Thursday, 23 Aug:

This morning, I staked out the third cart. The guy in the Monitor Room gave me a heads-up when she headed my way, and I hid on the far side of the cart where she could see me without really trying. After she got the drawer unlocked and opened, I stepped around the side of the cart and nonchalantly asked "What are you doing?". She was a bit spooked, but had enough presence of mind to tell me that that particular cart was leased by a friend of hers who let her keep her tarp (among other things) in it.

I went back and reported that to the office and they'll take it from there.

Now, where do I go from here for fun? :-)


At 10:58, Blogger jameswhofheins said...

Hilarious! But what's a PITA???


At 19:12, Blogger Jahn said...

PITA = Pain In The A$$

At 17:46, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Jahn, can they cancel her contract for her cart and have her leave the mall alltogether or will they file charges of some kind on her? What a shame that people take advantage of things like that....

At 20:28, Blogger Jahn said...

They can fine her. In an extreme case, I'd guess that they could cancel her contract.

At 16:44, Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Jahn, I always say "Store what you eat, eat what you store." Same thing. If you are going to store wheat, learn how to use it and eat it.


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