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Day 44: The Tipsy of the Iceberg

I watched alcohol exchange hands between employees in the restaurant today.

No, there were no shot glasses involved. Nobody was drinking out of a bottle. Nobody was drinking it period. It all began when a coworker informed us that he had a bottle of alcohol in his backpack.

“You carry alcohol around with you in your backpack?” a driver asked. “Sounds like you’ve got a problem, buddy.” The driver ended on a chuckle.

“I don’t have a problem,” the coworker said. He didn’t laugh. He explained that he was selling it.

He got it out. He held it up. Vana White, all the way.

“This is the $17 bottle of the stuff. I’m selling it for $3.”

Or maybe it was $2? I don’t remember. I remember thinking, “Sounds stolen.” I left right after that with a delivery in hand.

“But RI,” you may ask, “I thought you said that you saw it exchange hands?”

I did. Right after that delivery, I walked into the back of the restaurant just as the coworker handed the bottle to another coworker. I felt icky.

I love getting out of debt. I love the good tip nights. When I don’t make good tips, I at the very least witness a great story. I love sharing it all with you.

Now there are things I don’t love so much. Plural. Before it was just one. Theft. Now it’s theft and alcohol in the workplace.

I hope I’ve seen the story. I hope I’ve seen all there is to see. I’m still trying to process what I’ve noticed on the theft, but now there’s this. As I pondered it in the back of the store, I played out my conversation. Would I explain it in confidence to a shift manager or the unofficial leader of the store among us peers? Would I clarify that I am not a snitch, but that I’m not a liar? That if asked, I would tell the truth about the theft? And the alcohol?

Or would I stick to my own feelings in my explanation?

It makes me feel uncomfortable what I’ve seen, I say in my mind. I would hate to have to leave the company because of what I’ve seen. Like I said, I’m not a snitch, I say, but what happens when they ask me why I’m leaving? I tell them the truth. Then I’m out of a job, the team is out a driver and management is stuck with the revelation. Everyone loses.

I don’t know what my coworker(s) would say to that. How would you respond if a valued teammate told you that? 

Like I said, I hope the story is finished. I’ll continue to think such intense thoughts with prayer and thanksgiving. But, I am afraid it’s just the tip of the iceberg.



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