Where Costco puts me in charge of security, and I fail utterly

Hello readers, how are you doing today?  I’m doing quite well today, having finally returned to the deli after a week long absence.

About a week and a half ago I hurt my back at work and I had to switch departments. I know what you’re thinking, working at Costco Wholesale, I must have hurt my back climbing scaffolding to retrieve a 50 pound bag of rice , or while heaving a gigantic sack of flour over my shoulder. You would assume that an ambulance had to be called, and that all of my coworkers watched in concern as I was wheeled out by handsome paramedics.


Firemen often come to the scene of an accident, even if it’s not a fire. Just in case you’re wondering.

That is not how it happened at all. What happened is that I got on all fours to reach under a table for some trash, and I felt pain in my hips. That’s it. There was no dramatic cracking noise; I didn’t roll around on the floor in pain. I got back up, rubbed my back, and then went home.

That was when the pain started. That night as I went to bed I felt so bad that I knew there was no way I could heave 50 pound boxes of chicken around the next day. I called in sick, and went in to report my injury. Filling out the incident report really makes you realize how stupid your injury sounds.

“How did the injury occur?”

Was cleaning up trash.

“What specific activity was taking place when this injury occurred?”

Was reaching for something.

There are a lot of very official sounding questions. This is fine if you do something exciting like set yourself on fire, or drop a sofa on your foot, then you have real answers to put on the sheet. Then they need to know really specific details. I don’t know how I hurt my back. I wasn’t doing anything weird, all I know is that it hurt enough for me to go report it.

After I reported my injury Costco sent me to Texas Med Clinic. Nothing exciting happened there except that I sat across from a man who was dressed up as a woman. That is, I’m pretty sure it was a man. I kept glancing over at him to figure it out, until finally he was just staring at me like this.

ru paul

And he was thinking, “I am fierce and beautiful, you hater.”  And I was like, “No no! You go girl, I’m not a hater!”

I even smiled at him, uh her, and all I got back was a stone cold stare. I will never be invited to be a guest judge on Ru Paul’s Drag Race. After that I saw the doctor and found out that I would have to work in a less physically demanding department for a week.

Member Service. Physically, it’s the easiest job at Costco. During the day all you have to do is stand at the front door and check member cards as people walk in the door. All you have to do at the back door is check receipts for mistakes. Then at night if you are the designated person, you go sit in your car for 3 hours after the store closes as “Parking lot security”. This is where you drive around the parking lot with a walkie talkie, in case anything suspicious happens. It’s very serious business.

You’ll notice how I put parking lot security in quotations. That’s because I (and every other employee at costo) am clearly not a qualified security guard. I can’t confront anyone who is doing anything suspicious; all I can do is call my boss over the radio. I have no weapons, unless you count the car I’m driving.

the tank

A tank, to be sure.

The job was described to me like this, “OMG Tara, parking lot security is so boring and easy.” “All you do is sit in your car and drive around. I study for my finals.” “I read a book.” “I watch youtube videos.” Being prepped in this way, I wasn’t too nervous. I brought snacks, I brought my ipod to listen to. But I also made up my mind to try to be alert and watchful because I’ve been binge watching true crime TV on Netflix lately.  I knew if I wasn’t careful it could be ME being profiled on one of those murder shows as the innocent victim, portrayed by a (slimmer and more attractive) actress. The opening line would be, “An easy job turns deadly. Parking lot murder, tonight at 11.”

me and megan3

I hope that this is the photo CNN uses for their profile.

I was so diligent that I even went over how to use the walkie talkie before they sent me outside. My supervisor snorted, but Tara leaves no stone unturned. I went out before the store closed. For almost an hour nothing happened. I watched the parking lot slowly empty, and I started to let my eyes wander. This was my fatal mistake. Right as the last members were leaving the parking lot a lady had her purse stolen. It happened right in front of me, and all I heard was squealing tires, and a baby start screaming. I was like, OMG! There’s been a murder! There was a getaway car that I didn’t even see, someone kidnapped someone, omg omg omg! I failed! I failed!

I drove over of course, where the woman was already being assisted by other members. She had left her purse in her basket while she was putting her kids in the car. Someone grabbed it and sped off. I saw no part of it. After I confirmed with her that her purse had been stolen, I radioed the manager. Had I been a professional security guard, I might have said, “Manager to the door please. There’s been an incident.” Instead I was like, “Um…can a manager come out here please, A LADY JUST GOT HER PURSE STOLEN!”

After that I was on edge the whole rest of the night, even though nothing happened. Nothing happened the other three nights I was lot security either. The managers don’t even seem to take it that seriously. They are supposed to page me every time an employee exits the building after dark but when my radio died early in the evening one night, they seemed very unconcerned with getting me a new one. If I had gotten shot in the parking lot the CNN headline would have been, “Tonight, a Costco security employee is shot in the parking lot after her managers refuse to supply her with proper equipment. Who’s to blame? CNN finds out.”

cnn blame

Finding out who to blame is CNN’s favorite job.

Knowing that I accomplished absolutely nothing as a security guard, I returned to the front door, where I checked member cards. It was here that the most traumatizing event of the entire week happened to me.

While I was welcoming people to Costco, a bug flew up my nose. I can’t even-it was so upsetting that I don’t know if I can talk about it. When it happened I immediately started snorting and wildly clawing at my face. This one member walked past looking at me like I was a freak.  I think it would have been better if I had swallowed it honestly. I don’t think it flew back out. I think it got stuck up there. So I either swallowed it, or it’s living trapped in my sinuses right now.

Yes, I just said that this event was more traumatizing than an innocent woman having all of her credit cards and personal identification stolen. She is probably still dealing with this problem. But if the bug is dead inside my nose slowly ruining my sinuses, well, then so am I.

I am a horrible person. Also, not very good at security either.  

That’s all for today readers, what jobs have you been horrible at?