Dateline: Autumn 2000
At the time, FA found himself working as uniformed security for a local Target store. The loss prevention department had been knocked around in the previous months due to poor choices by individuals, poor candidates amongst the management, and a general sense of "holy-crap-keep-it-all-together". The LP dept. was managing with an on-loan manager from another store, the diligence of one a particularly motivated employee (NOT me this time), and frequent visits from the district manager to keep things running smoothly-ish.
To alleviate this off-and-on scenario, the company decided to do something it otherwise prefers to avoid doing, promoting from outside the company.
You see, this particularly motivated employee - we'll call her Meg - had established quite a rapport with the district manager and the on-loan manager for her initiative, willingness to take on responsibilities above and beyond her position, and overall conviction to the job at hand; she was promoting herself marvelously, and I have taken many notes from her. Was this in third person? Oh well.
So the fellow who was hired - fresh out of college with a degree or some such - arrived on scene, and he was going to change things.
So when he started asserting himself around the department (only 5 ppl in total), he and Meg had friction. For one, he had only just showed up (he was supposed to be training and not making changes to corporately established policies) and for two he didn't like how Meg knew the job better, had a better rapport with her/his superiors, and was generally in a position to tell him "No". This did not sit well with Ed (that was his name BTW, the names are only changed to protect the innocent Xp), who wanted to establish his kingdom.
So, what did he do? Did he take Meg aside and bring her into his ongoing agenda? Did he take the time to understand what the IN PLACE policies were before transitioning them? Did he even realize that - paperwork aside - he was the 'new guy' (even compared to FA!)?
Of course he didn't. What he DID do was take FA and the other uniformed security person (the other person was the under-cover officer who technically only answered to district) aside and inform them that what Meg was doing (playing by the book) was 'not going to be tolerated'. More specifically, he referenced the 'classic' story of the 'Squeaky wheel', and assured us - in case we were thinking of towing the line she was leading - that she would not be getting ANY grease.
That wasn't bright, but the next one was what did it.
THEN he had the gall to suggest that he suspected that there might be a romantic/sexual relationship between Meg and the on-loan manager, which might have potentiated Meg's resistance to Ed's agenda. Whatever the case, he basically summarized by saying that Meg was gonna get axed for her resistance and that FA and Jenny (the other person, not her real name) would be better off playing ball; that's all a paraphrase BTW.
Jenny was a flake; oh she and Meg were good friends, but she had no backbone unless drugs were involved. She heard this all and STFU about it.
And so did FA,... but luckily, his burgeoning plans didn't involve speaking.
Little did anyone in the LP department know, but FA grew up around computers. Oh, he'd get owned in a heartbeat by a decent networking admin or anyone along THOSE lines, but he could run CIRCLES around newbs, and since the windows programs du juor were more heavily DOS based, he knew a whole heap-load of tricks.
One of those tricks was to simply rename files. It would be many months before FA felt confident enough to - by floppy - transfer an entire NES emulator onto the computer and play through a whole heap of old-school NES games while he was supposed to be tending to the store security* (its self, more illusion than actual security), but when Ed approached FA and Jenny in this manner, he got himself an idea.
He started a document file, which he named "Skull-Fuck" after a reference from a movie he had recently watched (the one about Meg Ryan being a stalker). In it, he began to detail all the encounters with Ed that pertained - expressly or implicitly - to improprietous comments about Meg, intimidation tactics against FA and Jenny, and generally anything he felt was a 'no-no'.
After the initial exchange with Ed, there were a few less-significant other incidents, all which were dutifully logged, saved, and then renamed to "Readme.Bat".
FA had learned that non-savvy ppl will see a readme file and ignore it. What they DON'T know is that a .bat file is like a command file; readme's tend to come in .doc or .txt format (at the time). A savvy person would see that and go "Hmmm" and then enter 'readme' into the command line, because a .bat file will engage when you enter it as a command. That savvy person would then get an error, because the .bat file in question was NOT a .bat file,... but these were complete newbs. The slightest comprehension of computers (I didn't even hide the file, it was right there in C:\) could have unraveled the idea with the quickness.
So anyway, after about a week and a half of Ed having his little "Meg's a whore, Meg's gonna get shit-canned, DO AS I SAY" pep-talks, FA felt he had enough to fuck Ed's skull (hence the name). He brought Meg into the LP office, disclosed the past couple weeks of talks (not surprisingly, Jenny had not said anything), and showed her the log file he had been keeping.
Consequently, they printed out a copy of the log file and marched up to Tina's office (the HR manager, and also - conveniently - a good friend of Meg's AND the District Manager's).
There Meg disclosed what FA had revealed to her, both verbally and by way of the log file, which FA corroborated (being the sole witness ATM). Tina looked at the log file and she was pissed. She immediately looked at FA and said: "You know, if I were to have learned that you were doing something like this (keeping a log, etc.) you'd be fired on the spot. However, this is confidential, and this is something I can't not move on."
The following day, after some verification with Jenny, Ed was fired from the company and placed on the 'If they show up, call the police' list.
Meg continues to work for Target to this day, now running the Loss Prevention department of one of their Distribution Centers. Though his actual role was minimal, she did make a point to acknowledge that without FA's shenanigens, things might have gone VERY different for herself and those who are dependent on her.
* - Fun fact, later on another on-loan manager suggested to FA that she thought that someone was sneaking their nintendo into the office and playing when they were supposed to be working. FA - quite rightly - stated that this was impossible, given that the monitor didn't have any RCA hookups. He of course didn't offer that there were programs available that allow one to,... newbs. FA got paid to play through Ultima I AND Quest For the Avatar over a few months! FA still isn't sure where she got the idea that NES games were being played (that was a rather specific assertion) but in her newbishness he was easily able to deflect and obfuscate. Xp
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