NOT where I work
At the supermarket where I work there are a number of security guards that work for a separate security firm. I'm not entirely sure how their shifts work because sometimes there can be weeks gone by at a time without me seeing some of them and then suddenly they'll be doing daft hours like 14 days solid or suchlike; whilst they all seem okay I never really talk to them because I always feel like I'm guilty of some wrongdoing, even though I haven't done anything wrong. That said, given half the chance, they'll gladly try and spark up a conversation with me. One of them kept going on all summer about his 'two weeks in Vegas' that was coming up in October. He was a curious fella with a strange, light-ginger coloured hairstyle that belonged two decades previously and he always seemed to have an odd, white build up of something in the corner of his eyes. Of even more curious note was that no-one has ever seen him again since he left for Vegas.
Someone's gotta do it
Another security guard there is always talking about his children and how they run riot and how his wife doesn't do anything to try and curb their behaviour. He was once telling me how, after he'd finish that day's twelve hour shift, he would have to go home, cook his own tea then 'get to work in the spare bedroom' because there was a damp problem around the window and that the carpet and floorboards needed ripping up 'because they were rotten to buggery'. At a guess I'd say he was only in his early forties but the worry lines on his head and bald scalp with the remaining hair just hanging on for dear life seemed to betray his age. His stories about his home life always made me feel a little bit sorry for him and he said how he'd be cooking Christmas dinner again this year because his wife was going out with workmates on Christmas Eve and she'd be too rough to do anything the next day. He had a terrible sadness behind his eyes and I thought he was going cry.
It was about that time that my manager asked if I'd like to work on Christmas day. It was only from 10pm Christmas Eve until 8am Christmas day. I was offered double time-and-a-half in pay and was allowed to leave if I had got my jobs done early. These jobs entailed moving whatever seasonal goods were still on the shelves and moving them to another aisle ready for clearance. Oh, I had to shift a ton of booze from the main entrance too and replace them with TVs. I didn't really want to but I figured it was good money and that I'd be done by 3am if I worked fast. Only two other people were in - a young bloke who I'm sure had a glass eye (and if it was a glass eye then why did he put it in so that it was constantly staring to the far right? He look daft) and a security guard.
I know who ate all the pies
This security guard is known as Fat Idiot (by me only but others must think the same, I'm sure). About five foot six, shaven head, moustache and arms covered in faded shite tattoos that look like they'd certainly seen several years of service judging from the generic blue smudginess of them, the guy would either be sitting on his chair or, more usually, standing by the hot pasties and pies that were for sale near the entrance. He only stood there because he'd be waiting for them to be discounted at around 8pm...which always coincided with his break, funnily enough. When he wasn't by the hot pies he'd be talking utter bollocks to any of the female staff in there...stuff so banal I couldn't stand it if I was working where he was 'stationed'. One day I had to put a load of one litre bottles of Southern Comfort on some shelving near the entrance because it was on offer and I had to listen to him chatting to a nearby cashier. When she left for a break he turned his attention to me.
"HBO's up the spout again" he shouted over.
"Huh?" I quizzed. I didn't know what he was on about and the noise from the rest of the shop meant that we were both nearly shouting to have this 'conversation'.
"I said HBO's up the spout again" he said again.
"Oh" I replied, hoping this would appease his simple brain and make him think I actually had a clue what he was on about.
"Yeah, this place is on it's way out. How am I supposed to stop shoplifters if the security cameras aren't working?"
It was then that it clicked; by 'HBO' he was, rather unwittily, referring to his CCTV monitors.
"Yep. Nothing for me to do again" he grinned as I thought 'as usual you fat bastard'. He stood up and I was expecting him to go and stand by his pies again, even though it was a good few hours before he'd be able to gorge his swollen carcass on them - he honestly looked like an egg on legs. However, he walked over to me.
"Are you going to tag those?" he said, pointing at the bottles I was stacking up. By tagging them he meant would I be putting security tags over the bottle tops to help prevent them being stolen up by shoplifters.
"Erm...I've not been told to. I've just taken over from Emily for a bit - I don't normally do this"
"Well, let me tell you this - if you don't, they'll be gone, schwit, in half an hour..." he made a bizarre throat-slitting gesture that made no sense in this context, "...and I'll be the one having them too. I'm telling you, me at home in me La-Z-Boy in front of the box...I won't be sipping that, I'll be gulping it and believe me, that bottle won't even touch the floor until it's empty, an' then I'll start on another. Yep, I'll have the lot and this place can piss off. I'm telling you, I'll be having the lot and I'll drink it so fast it won't even touch the sides...and you just watch me."
I pictured him living on his own, sitting in a really dark lounge all alone and smoking cigarette after cigarette whilst getting smashed off his tits on cheap lager and watching VHS tapes of a dubious, German and many-times-pirated nature on a TV that was using an old beer crate for a makeshift stand. From then on I realised that nothing he said made any sense. I caught him talking to some other far younger staff members one evening whilst they were all having a fag break outside. A young and attractive girl from the checkouts walked past on her way home. My friend Toy Nigel (he works in the toy department) made a comment about her, nothing nasty, just usual laddish stuff you'd expect from someone with an IQ that can be challenged by your average analogue microwave oven.
"Oi. Leave it and back off" said Fat Idiot, somewhat sinisterly.
"What?!" Toy Nigel was taken aback by this somewhat.
"Leave it...and just back off" he repeated with added threat.
"Why?!" Toy Nigel didn't seemed threatened, more amused and bemused, "are you and her..."
"No. I'm not saying anything, but you don't touch that one. She's not for you."
It later turned out that Fat Idiot had been pretending to be seeing her 'secretly' outside of work. His stories about where they would go out to were always in towns miles away from where any of us would think of going and his tales would almost invariably end up with him 'stopping in a motel for the night'. I think he had watched too many America dramas from the seventies. The icing on the cake was when he was recounting one of his many sojourns with her one weekend up in Manchester - even though she was on holiday in Benidorm at the time.
Christmas 2012 had finally arrived and Fat Idiot was the security guard on duty. Jesus, my heart sank. I don't know where Fat Idiot was but seeing as there were no pies he'd probably gone for a sleep in the canteen or something. When it came to around 2am he appeared. He was jangling some keys in front of my face with a rotten, toothy grin to accompany it.
"Found the fuckers! Three hours it's took but they can't hide owt from me!" he beamed.
"What are they for?" I enquired, not all too interested.
Look at them go there - great fun!
"Formula 1, that's what! We're going for a spin, you in?"
He'd found the keys for the electric mobility scooters in a draw behind customer services and he wanted to know if I wanted to join him and Daft Glass Eye for a race around the shop.
"Not really - I want to get done and get home. Anyway, what about the cameras?"
"All sorted, look" he marched me to his monitors, "I've pointed them all to the walls and the windows!" He looked so pleased with himself.
"Nah, I'm alright thanks" I said, hoping this would be enough for him.
"Fair enough. You've got to be in it to win it!" he chortled nonsensically and bounded off like some sort of jolly imbecilic neo-Nazi Santa Claus that had spent a considerable time in the merchant navy.
About ten minutes later I heard a crash from one of the aisles, followed by silence for about 30 seconds, followed by shouts. Fat Idiot came round the corner faster than I'd ever seen him move before.
"Come and help! Come and help!" he said with a pitch that defined a desperate man. I followed him to the aisle where I saw what was distressing him. He'd somehow managed to crash his mobility scooter into a display, knocking off a 42" Samsung television leaving it with the screen resting and smashed on the basket on the front of the scooter.
"Right, you're gonna have to help me out here. Tell 'em you did it!" he pleaded.
"Bugger off! I'm having nothing to do with it!" I said.
"But you've gotta! I'll lose me job if they know it were me!" he begged.
"Yeah, and so will I!" I replied. This went on for ages until I ended it, "Listen, this has got nothing to do with me. I'm not involved. This was your fault and you're the security guard."
I've never seen so much panic in someone in all my life and I wish I could say I feel ashamed that I still can't stop laughing about his idiocy. I left him at that and didn't see him at all again that night. Oh, and I finished work at about 4.45am.
Viva Las Vegas...or Asesinado en Las Vegas?
Not a thing was said when I returned back to work a couple of days later. I can only presume he owned up to it - I didn't want to ask any questions about the evening because it would've implied I knew about the little incident. It's been over two weeks since this happened and I've not seen Fat Idiot once. He's either been sacked or he's on a weird shift pattern. I don't care.
Or maybe he's with his mate in Vegas.