For the first time in her life, my wife walked off of a job. Just threw her hands up and said “I’ve had it. I’m out.” No, I’m not married to an impetuous teenager. The company that she worked for cared so little about her safety, that it was only a matter of time before she became a statistic.
Now there are companies out there that do care for their employees safety, and not just as lip service either but genuinely care. This is however the exception and not the rule. As a rule, your employer doesn’t care about you. They care about their bottom line. The exceptions seem to be police departments, gun stores, and shooting ranges, although more and more businesses are starting to realize that their employees are also customers, and allowing them to protect themselves, if not providing for their safety. The company that my wife used to work for is not one of those companies.
My wife used to work at a convenience store, akin to a 7-11 that sells gas. Their corporate policy was as follows; Employees are not allowed to have guns. This is actually fairly common, and I can almost understand it. It is a liability issue. They aren’t allowed to have a gun in their car while on company property. Texas state law and I both say otherwise. They aren’t allowed to have a knife. Yet they will be supplied with one to open crates, containers, etc. Again, it’s probably a liability issue, although it does seem a bit idiotic. The one that my wife and I both called b.s. on though was the “no cell phones” rule. She was told that it was a liability issue. Somehow I doubt that the company insurance really cares whether the employees have a cell phone on them. Apparently, the insurance carrier just wants the employees to be good little victims.
My wife wouldn’t budge on the cell phone issue, especially when one of the managers was constantly on her cell phone, texting her husband, her boyfriend, her baby-daddy, her pimp, her favorite john, and her dealer during her entire shift. My wife wasn’t going to be caught without at least a way to communicate to “outside” if shit hit the fan in the store. (She also carried her knife, just in case.) It wasn’t like they had bulletproof glass to hide behind either. It was pointed out that they had security cameras and microphones all over the store. My wife had to explain that cameras are not security, and she did note that it appeared that there were cameras in the restrooms also. (I may be wrong, but I seriously doubt that those are legal.)
We live in a small town with a population of around 4,000 as of the last census, and there are no entertainment venues in the town. Fun, for most of the residents here, involves getting drunk, getting high, getting laid, or cow tipping. It’s not a cultural mecca, by anyone’s definition. The only museum in the town, also happens to be the jail. So with that clientele to choose from, my wife had to deal with customers who were drunk, stoned, you name it. (None of her customers were naked, but I figured that would happen given enough time.) The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back though, was when a meth junkie came across the counter at my wife. She lunged, and tried to grab my wife’s arm. A camera was not going to protect my wife from this crazed individual. And the counter only offered limited protection, since anyone could easily walk behind it. At this point, the risk of this job skyrocketed way past acceptable to my wife, and when the other employees didn’t help, it was obvious what was important to the company. Shortly after that, when my wife was being admonished by assistant manager cellphone, she was done.
One claim to “safety” that this convenience store had was that the police station was only three blocks away. Another convenience store that isn’t as nice, closer to the police station, was robbed at the beginning of the summer, in broad daylight, at gun point. Proximity to a police station doesn’t provide safety either. I should note, that the day after my wife walked out, citing her personal safety as the reason, a few new signs appeared on the door.
Somehow I doubt these signs are going to make a large difference in the clientele at the store, or that they will stop someone with bad intentions. These signs are even less effective than cameras.
So does your company care about you? Will they provide for your safety? Will they let you provide for your own safety? Or are you just a liability to them, a nuisance that they need insurance for?