Amidst my many career pitstops, I spent some time as the Business Center Manager of a CompUSA here in NYC. Though the lack of knowledge amongst the sales representatives scared me - one once help up a Laser Toner Cartridge and asked me if it was an internal or external modem - the job wasn't that bad.

Eventually, I hired a friend of mine to work in my department as a corporate sales representative. His knowledge of computers was quite basic, but he did know how to sell and I needed a good salesman in there. (My monthly commission was based on how well my reps did!)

Well, one warm July Sunday my unnamed friend was working the closing shift at said store, while I was home enjoying a nice weekend off. Apparently, right before closing time, nature called him and he escaped to the restroom for a few minutes.

In that brief span of time, the rest of the crew and all of management left the store and locked it right up.

Needless to say, many phone calls followed as we tried to catch up with someone who had a key - I wasn't deemed worthy enough of being a key holder. However, our efforts were futile.

The store had closed around 6:00 pm. Around 10:30 pm I received this in an email -

It's 10:05 p.m. and I'm still in CompUSA. I'm sending this rescue message out in hopes that if you forward it to enough people, one of them may have the authority to open the doors and free me.

If you forward this letter to only 1 person, then you are lonely. If that one person was me, then you're pathetic.
If you forward this letter to 5 people, then you surround yourself with only your closest friends and good fortune will come to time.
If you forward this letter to 20 people, you are one of those assholes who forward everything they get to a group distribution list that they made 3 years ago which includes people who have long since moved on...GET A LIFE!

A little boy in Ohio sent this letter to ten of his friends and the very next day his mother's crack addict boyfriend was arrested.
A 35 year old man in Dallas sent this letter to 7 of his friends and won a free Pepsi when he looked under his cap the next time he had a Pepsi.
A 19 year old man deleted this message and has been celibate ever since.

He never did get out that night, and was only rescued the following morning by the opening managers - who, incidentally, didn't believe him. They claimed the motion detectors would've gone off with him still there - but my Caller ID, showing calls from CompUSA up to midnight, does not lie.

Needless to say, I gave him that Monday off.

A remarkably similar experience happened to myself as well. It's scary how close the above story resembles my own.

I worked for CompUSA for a year in the Business Sales department. It wasn't a BAD place to work, but I wouldn't want to make a career out of it. (I did enjoy a certain recognition as being the store's resident Linux guy. "Can you tell me about Linux?" "Sure. Go to Business Sales, and ask for Chris.")

Anyway, it was a weeknight, and I had gotten off of work at around 10, and everyone else had stuff to do. I went to the break room to clock out, and I noticed the TV. Star Trek: Voyager was on, so having nothing better to do (and looking forward to an hour drive home), I sat down and watched it.

After the episode was over, I turned the TV off and walked out of the break room. Walking across the store, I noticed the front gate was pulled down.

Not a good thing.

Seeing this, I jogged to the back of the store to see if anyone was back there by some chance. Nope.

This is where it got fun. While in the back administration area, I decided It would probably be a good idea to call someone to get me out. Just outside of business sales, there is a phone for customers to use. I started to run from the back of the store to the phone, with the intent to call a manager.


Of course, genius me decides to run right across the motion sensor's line of sight. After hearing the alarm, I changed my course of action mid-stride. I picked up the phone and promptly dialed 911. Not because I was scared, but because I didn't want a shitload of police showing up pointing guns at me.

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Hi. My name's Chris, and I'm locked inside my CompUSA. I just tripped the alarm, so I figured I'd call you guys so you don't send SWAT or some shit. It's just me in here."

"Yeah, we registered the alarm. There's a police cruiser on the way, so we'll fill them in on the situation."

She tries a few times to get in touch with the alarm company, and finally succeeds. From there, the alarm company gets in touch with Ben, the operations manager. He's got a bit of a drive, so I'm stuck with a bit of a wait. I walk over to the front gate, and sit down to wait for the police. They finally show up, and they get a smile out of the situation. Well, I'm glad to brighten your evening, officers. I was laughing about it too. Why not? It was funny as hell!

During my sit, The alarm finally silenced. I wanted to call home just to let them know I'll be late, and why. While walking over to the phone, the alarm went off again. I went back to the front gate, and one of the cops said "Just stay right there!" He was stern, but trying desperately to keep from laughing.

Eventually, Ben showed up and saved the day. While walking up to the door, he looked at me and said "Chris!" shaking his head. I explained to him that it wasn't my fault this time, and I was right. The closing manager is supposed to do a walk of the store before locking up. When Voyager ended, it was still early by employee time.

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