In Memorium: The Chicken Dinner

Looking back, it occurs to me that the year 2012 marks the 20th in which  I first darkened the door at QVC.  The cable shopping network had just opened a call center here in San Antonio, and my arrival there marked the beginning of a 5 1/2 year occupation where I would hone my skills of dealing with the irrational shopping habits of people who just couldn’t do without cubic zirconium, Susan Graver prints, the odors of Tova Borgnine, and the irritating behavior of Richard Simmons and Joan Rivers.  In addition, I met Wifey there too.  Obviously all wasn’t that bad.


In my time at QVC, one particular incident which took place late one night has come to mind recently.  It all started with a stop at the grocery store one night just prior to going to work  a third shift stint on the phones.  Like most grocery stores nowadays, this one had an area where they had already prepared various dishes  in a cafeteria-like manner.  That night I ordered a fried chicken dinner to go.  I subsequently took my vittles ensconced in Styrofoam to work, deposited them the refrigerator in the break room, and went on upstairs to take calls for the night.


Four hours later when my lunch break arrived, I went back downstairs to the break room, went to the refrigerator, and found that my chicken dinner was gone.  After looking all over the area for it, my suspicions were confirmed.


Some weasely rat bastard had hijacked my lunch.


The problem here was that at the time, the third shift at QVC was on a skeleton crew.  There weren’t too many people there, so it would be easy to narrow down the culprit who had perpetrated the crime in question.


I went back upstairs and approached Betty, the manager on duty.  “Someone took my lunch from the refrigerator in the break room.”


“Really?”  Betty didn’t even bother to feign shock.  Instead, she picked up the phone and called security.  “Hi, this is Betty upstairs.  Is our friend who takes things here tonight?”


Uuummmm, what?  Just on the surface, the whole premise of QVC management being aware of a kleptomaniac in our midst that was given carte blanche to their devices was a pretty irritating one to say the least.


“Oh, they are?  Thanks.”  She then hung up the phone and just stared at me.  “Yes, we are aware of it.”


“So what’s going to be done about it?”  That seemed like a pretty good question on my part, however the look on Betty’s face would have been the same if I had just looked her in the eye and expelled gas through my anus in the most audible of manners.


“The matter will be dealt with.”  Betty responded.


“Do I get to find out who did it?”




“Will there be any restitution ?”




“Okay, I’ll tell you what Betty.  The way I see it, I have three different options at this point.  Option one is that I just accept your answer and do nothing but take your word for it.  Doing so will allow me to firm up my growing suspicions  that you are an incompetent twit who has been the beneficiary of a whole lot of dumb luck. The saving grace here is that I predict you’ll be gone within another year as a result of your incompetence.”


Before letting her respond, I continued.


“Option number two is that I push this matter with you, upper management, security (they were provided by an outside party), and potentially local law enforcement.  I will assert that not only did my $6 chicken dinner get stolen from your break room, but that the powers that be around here were complicit in the crime for harboring the thief and refusing to extend some level or restitution and justice back my way.”


Betty let loose some mono-syllabic utterance to retort, but I stopped her with option three.


“Overall Betty, I think the best thing I can do right now is to subscribe to the old adage that revenge, unlike my missing and stolen chicken dinner, is a dish best served cold.  In twenty years, technology will be such that I will be able to exploit means of mass communication to tell the entire world about the short sighted decisions you’ve made by letting my recently deceased, batter dipped, deep fried meal walk free by means other than what I originally intended.  Just to drive it home, I won’t even change your name when I tell the story.”


At that, I turned around and walked away without even letting her respond.


Within a year, she had been relieved of her job for reasons I had already predicted.


As for my chicken dinner, I never saw it again or found out “who done it”.


If you’re wondering which option I chose in order to address the matter, you may want to go back and read this post again.


Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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