advice needed (gun related at end, and kinda long)


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thefitzvh
December 29, 2003, 07:48 PM
Hi everyone...

I know this isn't completely on topic, but I trust the opinions of you all more than I trust others, and I'd like some completely informal advice.

I had an incident at my job yesterday that's blowing up in my face. I work at a computer retailer (I'm not gonna name which one), and yesterday I was helping a customer to her car with a computer, as she was asthmatic (spelling?) and couldn't manage by herself. Her handicapped parking placard was displayed, but it was partially obscured.

Then some random dude screeches to a halt in front of us, and the guy gets out and starts yelling at her because she's parked there. I calmly pointed out that she had a placard, and was told to shut the :cuss: up.

He continued to yell, and the woman began to have what looked like an asthma attack (I would too, the dude was in her face and she's a small, frail old lady) So I stepped in between them, and told him: "Hey, sir. You really need to chill out now"

Then he continued to cuss at me, culminating in his threat to retrieve his gun and shoot me with it. At this point I responded by telling him to get the :cuss: out of there, and that I was calling the police. I also told him that he was a :cuss: bully... Basically I broke my companies policy by cussing at a customer.

Anyways, I felt it was justified, and once I told him off, he left. Later, however, he called my managers a number of times, and then today I was told that I would be written up for it. I asked to have the guy's name so I could press charges or at least get a police report to document the issue, and I was told that I "Didn't need to know his name"

Is it just me, or is this B.S? I mean, what should I do? I've already decided not to sign the write up, because at my company it's an admission of wrongdoing. However, I've been informed that if I don't sign it I can face termination. I also think it's not right that they not provide me the guys name so I can talk to the police about it, as he threatened me. Maybe I'm overreacting, but it seems like I'm getting raked over the coals for defending this lady. What would y'all do?

Gun related: in california, just what kind of threat has to be made before the San Diego county sheriff will consider it "good cause" for CCW?

Don't REALLY care about that, but I'd like to keep the thread on topic.

Thanks guys. I welcome your advice... even if you think i'm wrong. Maybe i was. Its a confusing situation and that's why I'm asking you all. I respect what you guys have to say...


Thanks in advance.

James

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rock jock
December 29, 2003, 08:00 PM
Did you tell your employer that you were verbally threatened with possible deadly force? Let him know that you felt your life was in danger as well as that of the customer you were helping and that you were responding to the perceived threat. If he will not relent, contact an attorney and threaten to sue. Also, contact the local police and file a report ASAP. This will bolster your case.

The caveat to all this is make sure you are relating the facts of the case exactly as they happened. If you twist the story to make yourself out to be the good guy, but in fact helped provoke the situation, you will most likely be fired AND have wasted money on a lawyer.

thefitzvh
December 29, 2003, 08:17 PM
I told my boss that he threatened me, and my actions were a response to that threat. I didn't escalate the situation, and as soon as I told him off, he left. I'll definately get in touch with the police soon, after I hear some more responses on this thread.

Lesson learned: i guess I should have grabbed the lady, pulled her quickly inside, and called the police. But he may have followed us, I don't know.

But my boss won't give me the guys name, and he knows that my life was threatened.

Thanks


James

grampster
December 29, 2003, 09:23 PM
If what you are telling here is accurate...not embelished in any way, you need to make a police report right away. You need to report it as a verbal threat to use a firearm against you, as well as an assault on the lady. You need to include in the police report that your employer has the name of the person who verbally assaulted you and the lady, but refuses to divulge it. You need to provide the name and address etc of the lady so that she can back up your story and perhaps make a complaint of her own. If this person touched you or the lady in any fashion while this was occuring, it is an actual assault. You need to inform your employer BEFORE they ask you to sign a disciplinary report that you have reported this to the police AND have told the police that your employer has the name of the party involved while refusing to divulge it so that you may give that information to the police. If the employer has that info and refuses to divulge it, the employer could be charged with interfering in a police investigation by witholding evidence.

You should be in total cover your butt mode and be on the offensive. The loudmouth certainly is not worried about your well being, why should you worry about his. He needs some discipline, not you. Your employer sounds like a major richard cranium, and you should really be asking yourself why you are working for people like that.

grampster

Jim March
December 29, 2003, 10:18 PM
WHAT GRAMPSTER SAID!

It's police report time. Bigtime. Cover your butt. Tell the police your bosses KNOW who this guy is and are aiding and abbeting his continued stalking (which is EXACTLY what's going on here). The stalking post-threat is why you're now coming forward. Complain about both the death threat and the stalking.

The cops can then extract the guy's name out of the company, and check the guy for record/warrant. You can also file a restraining order against the guy.

The ultimate would be to find that old lady...

thefitzvh
December 29, 2003, 10:25 PM
I have the old lady's info.


James

P95Carry
December 29, 2003, 10:26 PM
Going by the content of your write-up, which I find totally clear and rational ..... I think you are being made a scapegoat and treated VERY shabbily.

As I see your description .. I'd reckon there are many here - myself included - who very likely would have followed your course of events, almost to the letter.

You were it seems pretty much being the ''good samariton'' in the first place. You then endevor to accurize facts by pointing out the lady's placard .. and then you are under direct threat.

Definitely a report .... and all detail possible ..... and as for bosses keeping this cretin's name from you - well .. makes me wonder if there is more to this than meets the eye.

Is ''cretin'' the DA's son or something???

thefitzvh
December 29, 2003, 10:29 PM
Thanks guys.

I'll be going to the police sometime tomorrow.

Jim: a restraining order? Would that help?

I called the lady, and she's calling corporate about it. She'll also talk to the police if need be.

James

Ryder
December 29, 2003, 10:42 PM
Then some random dude screeches to a halt in front of us... I broke my companies policy by cussing at a customer.


So is he a random dude or a customer? If he wasn't a customer then you didn't break your companies policy.

thefitzvh
December 29, 2003, 10:44 PM
You'll have to excuse me. I'm a Californian, therefore my mastery of the english language is somewhat limited. ;)

He was a "potential customer"

Jim March
December 30, 2003, 12:03 AM
Well among other things, a restraining order based on threats of violence is a "partial CCW permit" in California.

No, I'm not kidding.

Basically, if you have an RO based on the circumstances which you describe, if you are caught packing without a full-tilt CCW permit the RO becomes an "affirmative defense" to the charge of packing.

Which means it's a "potential excuse" that you MUST be allowed to present to the jury as part of your defense.

Knowing this, the odds that a DA would actually prosecute you under these circumstances is...well, it's reduced...by how much will depend on the local political climate. In Kern County you'd be untouchable, in San Francisco they'd still try their damnest BUT the jury is still liable to go tell 'em to do something improbable.

Now, to do this, you must have a CLEAN criminal background plus the gun you carry must be registered to you (if you bought it through an FFL you're good, otherwise use the Cal-DOJ voluntary registration form).

I am NOT ADVISING YOU TO PACK ILLEGALLY. OK? I am also not a lawyer. I do however know a thing or two about California CCW :). Still, even with an RO you have to do your own risk evaluation.

OK?

------------

The RO would have three other effects:

1) It would put your company firmly on notice that you ain't backing down here. And if they still tried to use this "incident in your record" as part of a "pattern" with which to fire you, any employment discrimination lawyer would have a field day. By getting the RO, you are documenting the stalking to the strongest degree possible; your employers would have to be insane to support a stalker.

2) It also puts Mr. Loony on notice. Bigtime. And strips him of his legal gun rights.

3) In many counties (although NOT all) the RO would be of great assistance in getting a full-tilt CCW permit.

-------------

So can you get an RO?

Hell yes. With a witnessed death threat under those circumstances, plus stalking? Bet your tushie.

The paperwork is ridiculously simple, and the initial 30-day portion of the RO is automatic. Any paralegal, process server, off-duty cop or volunteer at a battered women's shelter will know exactly how to score and fill out the forms. Failing that, go to your county courthouse and ask the clerk of the superior court where the temporary restraining order forms are, and what forms you'll need for the whole process. They are free for the taking. Anybody with half a brain can figure them out.

You MUST also do the police report ASAP in order to get the clown's address for serving the papers. You can hire the sheriff's office to serve the papers for a modest fee and I *highly* recommend that instead of having a friend do it. This dude is dangerous. A private process server will be more expensive than the sheriff's office.

Drop me EMail in private with the name of the city and county you reside in, and I'll probably have some clue as to the CCW-friendliness of the local police scene while keeping that confidential: jmarch@prodigy.net

In case you weren't aware: I'm the California Field Rep for the Citizen's Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and their registered lobbyist in Sacramento.

Final point: you did the RIGHT THING helping out that lady. Never regret that. Also, if the loony in question was ignoring the fact that she had a handicap thingie, then he's truly nuts...whacked out, probably off his meds, definately dangerous.

garrettwc
December 30, 2003, 12:35 AM
grampster and the others have given you some sound advice. Follow it to the letter and do so immediately. That is step 1.

Step 2 is to start looking for a better job, because the place your are working at is run by an idiot.

He was a "potential customer"

Is your store the only one on the property, or is it like the one in my town where it is one of several stores in a large strip center? If so it would be hard to prove he was a potential customer of your specific company as opposed to any one in the center. I know he called your boss, but since you were likely in uniform it would be easy for him to single you out.

Lawyer up. Cover your butt.

Oh and you did the right thing. Don't ever let your sense of right and wrong be confused by "politically correct" company policies.

NorthernExtreme
December 30, 2003, 12:47 AM
Your boss is out of order as long as you weren't(if what you told us is correct you weren't). He's looking for you to sign so he has something to hang you with. Check your employment paperwork and company policy to see if he has grounds to terminate you for not signing (demand to see the company policy in writing). If he is correct (I doubt it) sign your name then directly under your name write "Under Duress" followed by your initials. This will clearly identify your position (unwilling, threatened, or not in agreement) and will not look good for him if he chooses to terminate you and the case goes to arbitration or court. At the same time you fulfill your obligation to sign (if there is an obligation). The fact that your boss wouldn't give you his name won't help in the company case to terminate you.

Fill out a report TODAY. The threat was assault. If he touched you (unwontedly) it is assault and battery. If you fill out a RO the police will get the name, don't worry about it.

I'm not one to agree in suing a company for millions, but If they do terminate you or threaten to. I suggest you sue for an amount to cover legal fees, 1 years pay, and the immediate termination of your boss. If they don't agree, sue for everything you can get. Your boss will soon find out just how you feel when the company turns on him in an effort to cover their ?ss.

Good luck, and hope things turn out well for all involved.

Standing Wolf
December 30, 2003, 12:53 AM
Is it just me, or is this B.S?

It's Barbra Streisand, all right, and frankly, I'd say you need to find another place to work.

In confrontations of that sort, it's a good idea to write down the loud mouth's vehicle license plate number. I've done it a couple times. Purely coincidentally, I'm sure, the loud mouths have made themselves extremely scarce extremely fast.

chaim
December 30, 2003, 05:45 AM
You've learned an important lesson. If you work in a low to mid level position in most companies you are replacable, expendable, and most companies can care less.

As someone who did some time in retail management (major department store) I can tell you that managers are trained to do whatever they reasonably can to keep a customer happy. The good ones will understand the word "reasonable" and not give away the store and they'll help the customer feel good while also backing their people (assuming the employees were going "by the book"). The bad ones, well...Out of fear of upsetting and losing a customer (and all his/her friends) many managers will go overboard. They (some bad managers) are also worried about lawsuits or complaints that go higher than them (since this reflects poorly on them).

Of course your boss wouldn't give the name of the customer. The last thing he wants is you to charge him. It will make the customer angry at the store and he probably won't buy another $40 computer game or $20 printer cartridge from you again (and his friends probably won't either).

When I was a bank teller, I was working the drive-thru during the extended evening hours by myself one day. To make this short, I'll just say that there was a guy who for various reasons had his account frozen (it was there, there was money in it, but we couldn't give him any of his money- could have been a court order, legal stuff, could have been default on a loan, could have been for all kinds of things). There was also a note that as a result of the freeze he already threatened one of our managers. This guy told me if I didn't give him his money he'd kill me, then he proceeded to park just outside my window and watch me. My manager (I called him after calling security) told me I was not allowed to call the police because it would get the guy even angrier and he probably has friends (who the manager didn't want to lose as customers/potential customers).

Is it logical- no. Is it fair- no. But it is the way this kind of thing can work sometimes.

As for the write up...Same principle. Some managers will do anything to keep any customer (no matter how irrational) happy. I've seen people fired because that was the only thing that would make a customer happy (needless to say, morale was less than zero at this place and most remaining employees didn't stick around long). If it is only a write up, and if he is this kind of manager, I'm guessing he likes you.

I will repeat the advice you already have. File a police report, tell the cops your boss won't give you the guy's name even though he has it. Document everything though since this will more than likely result in your termination. Speak to a labor lawyer about a lawsuit when (or better, before) this happens.

thefitzvh
December 30, 2003, 01:13 PM
well, I went to the cops, and they decided not to even take a report. I'm kinda pissed because now there's NO repercussions for that guy.

The boss man is gonna write me up today, and I am going to promptly refuse to sign, after which I will most likely be terminated.

(assuming he actually WAS a gunowner) ???????s like that make us look bad.... damnit.

Anyways, does anyone here know of a good GUN RELATED job I can get in the SD area? any local shops hiring? I suppose I don't really NEED to have a job, since the AF is paying me to go to school, but it's nice to have a little bit extra.

James

bfason
December 30, 2003, 01:51 PM
Someone threatened you with gun violence in front of a witness and the police don't want to investigate it even though some thrid party has the perp's name and contact info?

If the municipal police refuse to even take your complaint, then try the sheriff's office. You might want to type up an affidavit describing the facts of the case. (If you're not sure about the form to use, drop me an email.) Be sure to get the names of the officers you are dealing with. If the SO doesn't take the case, start contacting your elected represenatives. Document everything.

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