Finally Manager was gone and Assistant Manager was promoted, we shall rename her L. L’s first order of business was to go to the regional manager and explain that the rule against employees under 18 being promoted was unfair and I could sue them as they were discriminating against my age since being a legal adult and speaking Spanish weren’t legitimate business requirements and I had demonstrated that I was capable of doing the job.

I was immediately promoted and finally had that raise. L was not happy with Ana since she refused to do any work “below her station” and while she did not demote her officially, she decided that Ana needed to learn the basics of the job. Ana had been resisting this, so L decided to teach her by forcing her to do the job of a Floor person. This meant that now Ana reported to me, did returns and kept the floor clean. She was not happy.

One busy day, Oxana was maintaining the floor at the back of the store and I had pulled Ana up to the front to clean the racks in front of the windows so the store looked more inviting. Two girls from school were flitting around the shelves giggling and trying on tons of clothes, but I was so busy with the checkout line I wasn’t paying very close attention. I asked Ana to keep an eye on them since I’d heard rumors about how they used a five finger discount to afford their make up and clothing.

While I was still checking customers out, they sauntered out of the store without buying anything, unseen by me. Oxana ran over to the register and whispered, “The sweaters those girls were wearing look like the ones on rack 5.” I looked out the front window and my heart sank. “Watch the store.” I muttered to Ana as I ran outside and flagged them down.

“Hey! Those aren’t the sweaters you were wearing when you came into Discount Store.” I said, breathing heavy after running across the parking lot.

“Uh yeah they are.” One girl said, chewing her gum loudly.

“No, those are from the store.” I said in a flat tone. “I can see the tags. If you disagree, maybe we could discuss it further on Monday. You guys have <teacher> for homeroom, right?” They handed over the jackets and sauntered away. I should probably have called the cops, but in total they stole less than $8.

I went back into the store and thanked Oxana then asked Ana why she hadn’t said anything. “Oh,” she murmured, eyes wide, “I thought you would notice since you are the Key Holder and it’s YOUR job.” Clearly Ana was not a fan of mine, but I didn’t really care since I had the job I’d wanted….right?