About twenty years I was in management with a man that was nearly twice my age, his name was Sam Hellmond. At the time I was the assistant supervisor in a small grocery store. The head supervisor was fired for theft so Sam came over to take up the position.
I remember the night he was due to arrive at the store. My graveyard shift started at 11:30 p.m. but I came half an hour early. Then at exactly 11:29 p.m. I heard a buzz at the employee door. I looked through the peephole and saw what I thought was a homeless man. I opened the door slowly and said, "Can I help you?"
He looked at me and said, "Hey buddy. I'm Sam Hellmond. I'm the new supervisor."
I smiled at him as he looked like a pretty cool guy. The first thing that I noticed about him was that he reeked of whiskey. His hair was long and greasy and his teeth were brown from a lifetime of smoking. I thought he was going to snuff out his cigarette but he kept smoking inside the store. Inhaling the smoke instantly made my throat itch and made me feel like I was going to vomit.
We walked upstairs together and talked for a bit. He then told me to go down to the salesfloor to run the crew and he was going to look through his emails. Two hours passed and he was still upstairs supposedly looking at his emails. I didn't like the guy already. I went upstairs to see what he was doing and when I got upstairs he was sitting in the dark smoking a cigarette. Annoyed, he asked me what I wanted and I said nothing.
First break came and went and Sam still sat upstairs. My anger increased and I went upstairs to ask him if he planned on helping me but when I got upstairs he was gone. About an hour later he came back eating a hamburger and told me that he had been on lunch.
The night passed and at seven in the morning I saw him walking through the parking lot to his truck. He hopped in, started the engine and took off. Apparently he was done for the day.
Day after day he sat in the upstairs office doing nothing except talking on the phone with his buddies, smoking cigarettes and taking a swig of whiskey from a bottle that was hidden in the inside pocket of his jacket. On other nights he came in piss drunk and would go into the manager's office, turn off the lights, lock the door and sleep. You may ask how I knew he was sleeping. It was because his face had crinkles on it and he had that dazed look that came from just waking up. I wanted to say something to him but I was only twenty and he was forty.
Then about a month later he started to bring his cats to work and they would sit up on the desk and he would pet them. Every once in a while they would scratch him and he would smack them on the nose.
After a while he began to show up to work later and later and always leave early before the managers got there so they couldn't see that he was drunk. Then a couple months after that he started to call in sick on a regular basis.
Then one day I was working on the salesfloor and he arrived four hours late. The light went on in the office and I heard some voices and hollering. I went up stairs. It was the store manager and his assistant grilling Sam about his drinking. He started to sob and he was put in a taxi to go home.
They had sent him away for help. I saw him again about two weeks later as he lay in his coffin.