It's been two years, so I think enough time has passed for me to write this safely.
I've been working retail on and off for 25 years. Started out as a lowly Thursday night and Saturday teenager selling computers back in the dark ages when Amiga and Commodore where the rage (yes, when dinosaurs ruled the earth) and have had many jobs since then.
One I had for a while was as console person at a booze seller. This was a national chain, and I was at a store locally to me, so almost all the other employees were locals too.
Now, the suburb I live in has a reputation as being a ghetto. It's where all the cities undesirables were sent as they were moved out of other places, as well as being housing commission estates for low-incomes, but it's also the meeting point of city and country. So all this comes into play when you're working retail here. Unfortunately, as with all booze sellers, I used to get a lot of local idiots as customers. I can deal with that. You smile, chat, make them laugh, and it's all easy. What I didn't expect was a fellow employee to become so spiteful that I not only went to HR, but that they offered money and sex to other employees to have me killed!
We were hired about the same time in October, to be trained for the xmas rush. "Sandy" was older than me and very rough around the edges. She'd done time for drugs in the past, but swore she was clean. That was probably true, as I never saw her appearing to be under the influence of anything ever. But it was also well known that she still had bikie connections and knew several of the owners / managers of local rough watering holes. Well, again, no worries there. Everyone knows someone, and it might lead to increased trade. We made it through xmas and it became obvious that Sandy hated the console but enjoyed floor work, while I was more skilled with customers and only knew about spirits.
So, I ended up with a regular 4 days a week shifts afternoon to close while she often had opens to afternoons, but our paths did cross at least twice a week. I would sometimes even give her lifts home, as she lived closer to me. But about March, she began to act very angry about me. Little things like occasionally telling me to 'get stuffed' when asking her advice for a customer, or being shirty about something. I put it down to an occasional bad mood and got on with working. After all, everyone has them, right?
Then it began to get rude. The name calling became constant, as did the swearing at me. She also began swearing about me to other staff, all of whom at first thought I'd done something to Sandy. When it became apparent I hadn't, they began coming up to me and asking what was going on. In only a few weeks, the venom had gotten quite bad. Bad enough that I would go home and vomit in the shower from the stress of it. And as I said, I've worked this type of job for a long time, so I have a fairly tough skin.
The final straw came when one day I was helping a customer. As they wanted to know about wine and I didn't have the knowledge, I asked Sandy if she could help the customer. There was also a manager wandering the store, doing the usual Wednesday night counts for ordering the next day. Sandy went into a rant of sotto vocce abuse about me while she scuffed over, led the customer over to the wine and helped her pick something out, and then slouched off.
The customer was obviously shaken, and after making sure that Sandy was out of hearing (over by the cider wall), asked me if this was normal. I shrugged and said that yes, it was. She lowered her voice even more and asked if a manager was available; I pointed to the person standing in the wine dept and said 'yep, there she is.' The customer raised her eyebrows, since the manager couldn't possibly have failed to hear what was said, thanked me profusely for being a nice and excellent console person, and left the store.
Next day, I came in early so I could 'get in the zone', so to speak, to have the two duty managers ask me what I thought had happened the night before. I said that nothing unusual, Sandy was her usual angry, swearing self, but that I had completed all my tasks and behaved fine as far as I knew. Turned out the customer went home and sent an email that gave explicit information that she was not happy about how I'd been treated and did the company think it was normal for their staff to treat each other like this?
I ended up having to write a many page document of what had been happening, which was sent off to HR. The HR person flew in the next week and did an interview with me and and then with Sandy. When it was reviewed, Sandy was shown the door the next day. That night, I found out that because of my complaint, they'd reviewed security footage for the past 2 months, and had not only found that I'd told the truth (if anything, I underplayed what she'd said and done), but that Sandy had been helping her mates steal thousands of dollars of booze. She'd arrange for them to come in and buy stock for their pubs, and when they'd come to the console, she'd let me log in, then kick me off the console and put them through. But she'd only scan about half their purchase in, she was deliberately missing stuff.
Sandy was VERY unhappy that I'd a) fought back, b) lost her her job, and c) now got her facing theft charges, as she was charged with 'stealing as a servant', something considered much more serious than just plain theft. After she'd left, one of the assistant managers complimented me on staying cool and calm about it, told me that I'd been perfectly behaved the day the interviews had been done and this was a good thing as if either of us had started anything we would have been terminated on the spot. And also asked if I hadn't been worried about her offering to arrange sex for them if one of the stock boys would lend her his dads rifle.
I said that she couldn't be serious about it. But apparently Sandy was; she'd hated me that much that she wanted me dead.
The manager who'd been on duty the night the customer was in was lucky to keep her job. Turns out Sandy tried to claim she was in on the booze thefts so she'd be fired too. Which explained some of the questions I'd been asked about the manager, but I'd said she was a kind person who might have been a bit scared of Sandy, and as it was her first manager role, she probably hadn't been trained in how to deal with her type.
Sandy never reappeared in the store and I haven't seen her since. But from a distance, it's interesting to see how someone could go from just being rough and ready to very aggressive to a single person, and not for any reason that we ever found out. She just really didn't like me.