Please don’t hit him…”

Way back in 1992 when I first got in to this business, I didn’t know much about pressmen.  The owner of the store and i had just finished the month of new owner Training the franchise offered and we were finishing the build out of the store, and now it was time to hire people. We found a designer pretty easy but the press guys were a different breed.  Must be from being around all those chemicals every day.

So anyway our first press guy we hired, more out of necessity than he was the best, was this VERY typical Irish guy named Bob. he was a little over 6ft, fairly well built and loud. He was brash, loved to drink and did I mention that he was loud?  We made it known that showing up drunk would be immediate termination, and that didn’t happen, although he did come in hungover on more than one occasion.

About 6 months into his term he went and got himself arrested over a weekend.  Drunk and disorderly.  We ended up bailing him out and made him sign a paper saying that he would pay it back $100 a paycheck unless he quits or is fired before paid off, and then the balance would come out of his last check. I am sure you all know where this is going now.

3 weeks later, we were printing coupons for the hotdog place in out strip mall. Free hot dogs!  Woo hoo!  Well, it seems our lovely press guy decided to keep several for himself.  No, you are NOT screwing with MY reputation by stealing like that.  We discovered it when the hotdog guy made an offhand comment about seeing our press guy every day for a week, with a coupon. We asked Bob about it and he confessed.  Fired on the spot. The owner was so disgusted he went to go write him a check right there so he wouldn’t have to come back to the store, handed it to him and that is when the fun began.  It was for about $100, after deducting the remaining bail money.  Well he went nuts!

Bob gets all up in the owner’s face, pointing and yelling very loudly.  To his credit the owner, who was about 65 at the time, didn’t move, just stood there.  I am a little off to the side watching in amazement, wondering what is next. the words get louder, then threats to kick his ass come out and that’s when I start thinking “Please don’t hit him, them I am going to have to try and hit you and Ii don’t want to get my  ass kicked!” I was actually still in shape at that time, but not like Bob.

His fury subsided a bit after a few more minutes and he threatened to call the cops on us for ‘stealing’ his paycheck.  Went out to the lot and called the police, who came and talked with him.  They came inside, we told them what happened, the cop said ‘You have a nice day now” and left.  We don’t know what he said to Bob, but Bob started screaming at the cop next.  A minute later 2 more cop cars arrive, then Bob seems to calm down.  They must have been out there for 30 minutes before Bob finally left, never to darken my door again. Whew!

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