Story Title: The Tradition
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Doreen Timmons got to work four hours sooner than ordinary just the day after Thanksgiving. In spite of the bone chilling climate and fresh snow covering the parking garage, hordes of customers were at that point gathering at all six store doorways. While the majority of different representatives were rearranging into the large box store at 5:30 a.m. with the energy levels of extra turkey carcasses, there was a strange skip in Doreen’s progression. She rushed to her third floor office where she draped her jacket on the door, stashed her handbag in the base cabinet of her work area, bolted it, and afterward made a beeline for the first floor.
The pudgy blonde lady planted herself before the lift and welcomed every one of her colleagues with a radiant grin that left them both dumbfounded and angry. Nobody decided to chip away at Black Friday, and nobody who drew the morning shift was glad about the task. Nobody, that is, aside from Doreen.
With every one of her staff checked in by 5:40 a.m., Doreen gathered her group in the lounge on the top floor of the department store. Doreen, standing in front of the room in a knee-length blue skirt, off-white cashmere sweater, and black boots tasted her espresso prior to making a sound as if to speak and facing the gathering.
“I know it’s early, and I need to thank every one of you for showing up on time earlier today,” Doreen said to the thirty representatives accumulated before her. “I trust that every one of you had an exceptionally decent vacation. I realize that a large portion of you would prefer to be snoozing today or going out to do your own shopping. However, as you probably are aware, today is the greatest shopping day of the whole year. It is likewise the greatest retail burglary day of the year. Our responsibility is to ensure that this current store’s misfortunes are held inside adequate cutoff points. I can’t mention to you what the executives considers ‘adequate cutoff points,’ yet I can mention to you what I consider satisfactory: Zero. I’m notifying every one of you that our objective in misfortune counteraction this year is zero. That is the reason I’ve gotten additional individuals. Our observing hardware has been upgraded over a year ago. We have more cameras with higher resolution than any other time in history. The executives have given us the apparatus to battle burglary. I anticipate that we should not only battle, but to emerge victorious. Zero misfortunes this year.”
A hand in the back of the room shot up into the air.
“It’s Ms. The divorce is final.”
“No problem, Stefan. How can I help you?”
“How frequently should we patrol the restrooms?”
“I’ll go over rotations in a moment.”
“Ms. Timmons, over here.”
“Do we have to wear coats? It gets too hot walking around for eight hours wearing a heavy coat. We’re going to sweat ourselves to death.”
“It’s twenty-six degrees outside. There’s six inches of fresh snow on the ground. How do you explain not wearing a coat? You’ll stand out like a sore thumb. An experienced booster will spot you in a heartbeat. You in the corner–Alvin?”
“Thank you, Ms. Timmons. What do we do if the batteries on our earphones go out?”
“See Gretchen immediately. She’s responsible for keeping the equipment charged. All right, we’re running out of time, so let’s go over the rotations. Stefan and Jake, you two have shoes. Anna, ladies wear. Rebecca, juniors. Maria, Franklin and Kim, jewelry. Francine and Stephanie, lingerie. Lindsey and Janet, cosmetics and fragrances.
“Second floor, Rachel and Julian, you two get bedding. Sam and Brad, menswear. Gabriela, childrens. Smith, glassware. Kyle and Grace, electronics. Aisha and Miguel, housewares. The rest of you are on surveillance screens until further notice. Any questions?”
“What time do we switch?”
“Every two hours. I’ll make adjustments based upon traffic flow and shoplifting patterns. The store opens in five minutes. I want everyone in place thirty seconds before the stampede begins. Now get out there and nab some thieves.”
Store security unlocked the doors at precisely 6:00 a.m. The fleetest shoppers sprinted for the advertised sales, the most appealing of which were located in the electronics, jewelry, and cosmetics departments. Doreen’s team of loss prevention specialists spread themselves throughout the building. Each of the agents was in place when the first Black Friday shoppers reached the mountains of carefully arranged merchandise.
Doreen stood in the observation room–referred to as the Hawk’s Nest by store employees–looking over the shoulders of her video surveillance team. Each of the video hawks was seated in front of a bank of ten monitors. The surveillance cameras pivoted left to right and up and down, and the hawks could zoom in close enough to read the display on a cell phone.