Well hello everyone, and thank you for taking the time read what I have written about this corporation. My name is Franco, I'll leave it at that, and I am a former employee of Best Buy. I am also a disabled combat veteran, I served with the United States Marine Corps for 4 years and did my time overseas, in and out of combat **Served in Iraq as part of Task Force Tarawa / RCT I & RCT II** As it is right now, I have several major issues with my lower back due to the extreme wear and tear on it from my service to the country.
I was hired in April of 2006, Best Buy hired me also knowing my disabilities and what I am able to do and what I am unable to do. No biggie, they put me into the position that I wanted within the store, which was an Autotech aka Car Electronics Installation Specialist. Well after 6 months I proved myself worthy of my job and pay and was promoted to Senior/Supervisor of the install bay. Then this past March I was promoted to Car Electronics & Digital Imaging Supervisor, so now I was no longer in the install bay, I was now in the store, no biggie either.
Well first and foremost, I'll list my medical issues with my back, outside of that I'd rather not disclose the rest of my information. I am 25 years old, I have Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease and the affected discs are L2 thru L5, one herniated disc, two bulging discs, two torn discs, syatica and nerve damage to my lower back and legs. Therefore heavy lifting or prolonged standing can take a toll on my back, and for those of you that have syatica or know someone with it, you know firsthand it is not a good thing and there are days where you cannot get out of bed without wanting to collapse and curl up in the fetal position, if not then I guess mine is just that bad or you are one tough cookie.
Well when everything started happening, one in particular manager Ramez Guirguis whom is or I should say was the CEM (Customer Experience Manager) started to come down on me for having to leave early or not being able to come in for certain shifts due to my back problems, I would even take out the dirty work for his ungrateful butt and I would call around to my other employees and find someone to cover my shift for me, no harm no foul.
Well he proceeded to write me up on more than one occasion because I was missing days of work, when I argued his statement; he came back at me again. So when I confronted him that it sounded like he/they were trying to fire me due to my disability, the other manager in the room looked at him and shook his head as to say..."Ummm, no that's quite illegal". So I asked Ramez what did he want me to do, did he want me to sign my resignation papers or something?? And his exact wording was, 'Franco, it would be in your best interest to sign your resignation papers at this time...do you wish to do so??' And I laughed at him and told him he was going to have a harder time than that to get rid of me.
Roughly a week after I confronted the managers about trying to fire me due to a disability all of the sudden write-ups started to flow to me...writing me up for heinous things, the store wasn't hitting budget month-to-date as a whole, no biggie, the economy has been struggling...well for some reason I was the only Supervisor feeling the paper trail of it. Then once I started to combat that aspect, they continued to harass me and write me up to build the paper trail bigger and bigger.
Then finally they took my only full timer I had between both departments and moved her to a different department w/o my consent or hers, therefore causing me to fall face first and opening the 'administrative' door for them to start working on my termination. Mind you, they cut all of my employees hours saying that we didn't have the labor for it, leaving me to cover two departments for 8-9 hours alone, and still manage to take my mandatory 30 minute lunch which they were infamous for calling you in and tell you to punch back in early and help out, yet the managers would sit unbothered on their hour or longer lunch breaks.
Well needless to say, they did finally get enough paper trail on me to fire me because I didn't feel it was necessary for them to know absolutely everything about me and my personal life outside of Best Buy, they obviously felt different about my thought process and my personal life and fired me after they let me work a whole shift on Saturday, August 16th and escorted me out of the building.
So because they've decided to 'do me dirty', I have decided to do them dirty right back. And what better way than the World Wide Web, local newspapers, local news channels, and I will be contacting the Florida State Representative: The Honorable Marco Rubio (email: firstname.lastname@example.org), The Florida State Senator: Senator
Ken Pruitt (email: pruitt.ken.web@ flsenate.gov), also the director of Florida Veterans Affairs: Mr. LeRoy Collins Jr. (((Redacted))) Florida Governor: Charlie Christ: Executive Office of the Governor Switchboard: (((Redacted))) Also feel free to contact them as well to show your concern and/or hatred for Best Buy also. Or if you wish to contact corporate offices instead of contacting the "Best Buy HR Hotline" this is their number: 612-291-1000, actually here's the President Brian Dunn's business homepage if you'd like to read about him also, (i.e. his other companies that he has his corporate hand in, his annual compensation, quite a bit of stuff, all on the internet for you to see! (((Redacted)))
So while I have your attention this long, might I go ahead and add in the other stuff that doesn't exactly pertain to me in general, but it is affecting the employees and the customers of at least this local Best Buy if not nationally.
You will be seeing quite a few different names being mentioned in this, so let me go ahead and give you a legend to make this a little bit easier.
Best Buy Store #885 Port Richey, FL
District Manager for Dist. #27 & #77 - David Himes
District HR Manager for Dist. #27 & #77 - Cynthia Turner
General Manager - Lacey Smith
Customer Experience Manager - Wayne Saladino
Admin/Operations Manager - Ramez Guirguis
Services Manager - Bob Jost
Appliances Supervisor - Daun Barrick
Sales Operator / Customer Assistant Supervisor - Cameron Anschutz
Kerri - My associate / now roommate
Dave - My disabled associate
John - Former employee also let go for false reasons
So w/o further adieu...here is the events that are happening right under our noses and no one is taking action against them, well I am and hopefully you will to. Now I do not have set in stone dates for absolutely everything but please bear with me please.
1 - Ok well we all know that dating in the work place is not allowed, well why is it ok for Ramez to be dating another supervisor now manager named Liz, at his old location and everyone knew about it but did nothing about it...odd...
2 - On that same note, why was it ok for Lacey (GM) and Daun (Sr. Supervisor) to be hanging out with me outside of work at the St.Pete beach/pier and also in the Salvador Dali museum when I was only a full-time associate in the install bay??
3 - Because our store is/was connected to the local mall, we had two different entrances...one in the front and one in the back of the store, well one day our sewage system was backed up and started to flood the sales floor, it flooded so bad that we actually had a customer slip and fall into raw sewage during BUSINESS HOURS and our GM didn't close the store and DID NOT acknowledge the customer that slipped and fell in raw sewage and let her think that she slipped and fell in dirty/rusty water, mind you...it was only 1:30 - 2:00 in the afternoon. So business continued till the standard closing time of 9:00p and the mess was not cleaned up till the next afternoon, yet again during normal business hours. A call was placed to H.R. regarding it right after the customer slipped and fell by an anonymous employee from the Media department. (Yes I know exactly who it was because he was on hold with HR as he was telling me what he was doing).
4 - Also, so my roommate Kerri went into work one day and Daun came up to her and confronted her about the most recent credit applications to our apartment complex, furniture stores etc. etc., but wait a minute??! Daun isn't a manager, or a hiring & training coordinator, why was she looking at Kerri's personal information / credit information?? I guess she must have been using our GM's employee numbers possibly...but wait, isn't that considered invasion of privacy and is punishable by local/state law and should be immediate termination at the workplace? Weird, you'd almost think that Lacey and Daun were in it together...oh, and that's right, employees aren't allowed to have each other's login information for tender transactions or employee toolkit aka ETK as BBY puts it, which also is instant termination.
5 - So our GM Lacey Smith was put in charge of accepting applications for our newest local store coming up soon in Spring Hill, FL. It's rather odd that Lacey was only accepting FEMALE applications and making sure that the person who was in charge of them being reviewed at District or Regional was getting them and not anything else. What makes it even more interesting, is that Lacey was trying to get her girlfriend, who DOES NOT EVEN WORK FOR BEST BUY A MANAGEMENT POSITION IN SPRING HILL, wait, that would almost make it an 'UN'Equal Employment Opportunity, and I know that is against the law...tisk tisk
6 - When I was confronted by Ramez one day in our EDR (Employee Development Room), he asked me personal / sexual questions pertaining to another associate in the store, Kerri. Things like, 'You know Franco, you don't have to be dating to do anything with another person right?? 'I won't go into detail what I said to him and the other manager....but I'm almost positive what I do outside of Best Buy is absolutely none of their business.
7 - The day after I was fired from that location, Wayne Saladino pulled my roommate Kerri into the warehouse where there were several employees back there doing their jobs n whatnot. He then proceeded to ask her in front of everyone, the same questions as listed above that Ramez asked me...hmmm, something's not right with that either?!?! Especially in the middle of the warehouse with other employees standing on the side working 'pretending' not to hear what was going on or being said.
8 - Dave is/was one of my Digital Imagine employees, he was a fantastic worker, did everything I asked of him during his daily tasks no questions asked. Well Dave played varsity football at one of the local high schools, he was playing with his buddies one day out in front of his house and an accident happened leaving him paralyzed on half of his body. So he only has one good arm and one ok leg that is still in a brace so he can get around. Well Ramez constantly harass him telling him to carry an employee binder at all times while he is working, to make sure that he is walking the store at all times contacting all customers knowing very well that Dave is handicapped. It has happened on many occasions where Ramez and Daun would team up on Dave if I was not working and harass him and over work him to the point where he still has a ridiculous list left at the end of the day therefore opening the door to write him up and take action against him. Well the most recent event happened a couple days ago, Dave was helping a couple customers in the computer department and the customer asked Dave a question he didn't know, so he went looking for a computer associate, couldn't find one and got yanked by another customer to assist them. In the process Dave got flooded with customers in the department pretty much forcing him to leave the other customers he was trying to help. When he was finally freed up to go help the original customers again Ramez pulled him aside and proceeded to insult him and belittle him in front of the customers and other associates on the sales floor and tells Dave that he is writing him up for his actions because he is 'Getting tired of it"...heres the irony, Ramez has been in and out of a wheelchair for the past couple months due to his own pure stupidity...does he find the wheelchair liberating and gives him the 'Do anything I want and get away with it' mentality?? I don't think so Ramez...try again.....
9 - On two different occasions, I've actually seen Daun driving past my old apartment at day and night to see if I was there doing what I told work I had to do on my days off to come, pack up all my belongings because my lease was up. So Kerri helps me get an apartment because I have horrid credit and next to no money but I have renters history...so she forks out the cash and her name to help me get a nice place for me and my dog, whom is my life. Well I/we were able to get me into a nice gated community, funny thing is, Daun doesn't live here, she lives in Clearwater...but for some reason she was driving past my apartment to see what cars were in front of my complex...not too smart either Daun, you've had me drive your car on more than one occasion, one of which you were too drunk to drive because you drank too much at the St.Pete Pier after the Salvador Dali museum...but, lemme guess, that wasn't you right??
10 - Cameron had a very pretty girlfriend who was also an employee at Best Buy...odd there goes that whole internal relationship thing again that management knew about but did nothing...odd...well Dave and Cameron's girlfriend were friends previous to Cam and her dating. Well Dave ran into her at the local bar/club and they started hanging out with each other and all their friends. The next day Cameron came up to Dave (The same Dave that is handicapped!!) and got in Daves face and told him if he ever talks to his girlfriend again he will: 'Drag his gimp a*s outside and beat the **** out of him'....yet again, management was notified and did absolutely nothing about it. But when Cameron found out that I knew about it he came up to me and tried to talk his way out of it...didn't work either Cam...sorry and better luck next time :(
11 - In March, my back went out on me completely leaving me pretty much helpless for three weeks, I had to have my mom and friends come by periodically to make sure I was alright since I was unable to do much of anything. When I was able to get around finally with my back brace and electro-stim unit on my back, I was told by managers that something needed to happen, because if nothing happened as far as me getting better, I was going to have to relinquish my title and my position/pay and give it to someone more fit for the job due to my back problems. But what kind of makes that interesting, in their own new employee training booklet, it blatantly says that we will NOT discriminate an employee due to their disability, I could've swore they were trying though....hmmm
12 - Shortly after I got hired at that location a gentleman by the name of John O. was hired on as a sales associate in the car electronics department. Well John was an underground music artist, so of course he had tattoos and such, no big deal, none of them were offensive whatsoever. They were things like flames, and masks of sort, his close friends' names that have died or passed etc. etc. Well Lacey made it a point to tell John that he needs to have his tattoos covered at all times, ironically enough SHE has a tattoo exposed on her wrist, and she also has more than one or two earrings per ear, but she told John any employee in the store is only allowed one per ear...hmm. Oh and you're not allowed to have facial piercings either while you're working, but yet she conducts business as a GM with her labret piercing in at all times, I started to notice that John started wearing long sleeve BBY shirts just to keep the heat off of him from Lacey about his tattoos, Lacey didn't change anything about her physical appearance or her work attire. But then I started to notice female associates with their nose rings/studs, labret studs, septum piercings (middle of the nose) and they were not being harassed about them from Lacey or any manager. So I told John about it, and John brought it up to Lacey and made very valid points, funny enough they fired him roughly 2 weeks later....quite odd considering he was an amazing employee of the store and had ZERO complaints about him to management or anything, just there one day, and gone the next.
13 - As a technician in the store you don't get the usual reviews for pay and what not, you get different ones, you'll get a yearly review w/a raise and also a technician's review w/o raise. I was promoted to supervisor late February and made official on March 1. But for some reason Best Buy didn't give me a yearly review, or a yearly technician review OR MY SUPERVISORS REVIEW THAT HAPPENED A FEW MONTHS AFTER I WAS PROMOTED. But its kind of funny when I told all the managers about it, the only one to say anything was Lacey and she told me that: "We'll see what happens, no promises or anything, but we'll see if you can't get a pay appraisal after six months with back pay, cool???" and walked away from me...heres the kicker, my six month mark would have been September 1st....hmmmm, coincidence??? Na...never...
14 - Best Buy always proclaims how they love to be evolved in the community, that they're customer driven, and they base all of their products and services off of what the customer wants so they have that great public persona. Well, in Best Buy we have things that are called ERG's...Employee Resource Groups. They're normally things like Asian Employee groups, or African-American Employee groups, or Hispanic Heritage groups, or PRIDE which is on behalf of the gay and l*****n community, or WOLF (Women of Leadership Forum) no biggie, I respect that, it's only right. But when I asked management about helping me and assisting me in forming a Disabled Veterans Group or a Veterans Group as a whole, I was told that it was not beneficial to the store or its employees, yet there were at least 6 military veterans in our store alone. Soooo, how would that not be beneficial to our employees is beyond me...but hey, who am I?? Just a consumer now, or as management likes to put it, and I quote...they "Promoted me to customer".
Noooo Best Buy, you didn't promote me to customer, but you just added a big can of kerosene to the already existing fire that has been burning since I saw the new management team come in and take over our store from the Clearwater location. All of these events are true and I have the people that were the affected parties writing statements with contact information and I will be faxing them to corporate on Monday as well as this posting :)
Here's the absolute kicker in it all though...people HAVE TRIED contacting HR to let them know about everything, but Best Buy and their fantastic HR department just seem to let things fall to the wayside. You would almost think that both Lacey and Cynthia are members of the PRIDE group and both have high 'rankings' within the group, and all HR complaints and issues have to go through Cynthia Turner at the District Office in Tampa before anything can happen. So I guess it all makes sense why we never saw any affect of what was being told to HR about certain supervisors and managers of the store. So as if anyone needed anymore fuel to dislike Best Buy, this should be more than an ample amount of info for ya to consume and pass on ;)
To any Best Buy employee that wishes to come on here and challenge me in anything I said, you're more than welcome to. Let me just throw out there that my roommate still has her new employee training guide from September 2007 and we've already scoured the book front to back to see if it's true what our managers have said to us, written us up for etc. etc. and its kind of odd that you don't see anything they talked about inside of it, and I guess it doesn't help the situation any when my roommate is in Business Law and we already went through all of her law books and all the legal documents necessary that pertain to disability and unfair treatment in the workplace due to disability/disabilities, but thanks for trying ;)
Everyone thank you for your time, and any and all action that you may take into your own hands regarding this issue.
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