Title: So long Best Buy
Posted: July 29, 2007 (02:14 PM)
As some of you know, I was previously working at Best Buy in the media department. I say 'previously', particularly because I haven't physically worked in the store since May 26th, despite being a bona fide employee.
The problem came when I requested a transfer from the Madison store to the Milwaukee store to coincide with moving. I wanted to start around June 1st, and management at both stores were telling me that it "was good to go," and it was "a done deal." As luck would have it, my General Manager from Madison was taking over the same store I wanted to go to, and at the same time as me. Everything seemed in order. I had a my Uhaul, a remodeled apartment, and a job all ready to go.
Then I called for my schedule at the new store. I was told, "We'll see if we have anything available." Uh oh... For the next month, I was given the runaround from so many managers that I couldn't keep their names straight. Desperate, I called back to Madison for help. It turns out that Best Buy dragged their feet right into a hiring freeze, which included my transfer. That's when I decided to call the unemployment office.
The lady who took my claim was friendly and helpful. I explained everything about my transfer and she said that I qualified and she even backlogged my claim to cover the previous three weeks. Not knowing when or if the transfer was going to go through, I began a massive job search. It took a while but I finally got a few job offers. Last Sunday, Best Buy called to say that I was on the schedule for the week - two months after I left Madison. I explained that they had taken too long, I just received a job offer the day before, and was planning to head in and sign a separation notice on Tuesday.
Tuesday came around and I signed the separation notice, only to go back home and get the biggest shock of the year. I am being investigated for unemployment fraud. It's been five days, and I can't tell you how nerve-wracking it's been waiting to hear the result. Since the investigator had clearly made up her mind before talking to me, I am quite sure that I'll need to do an appeal. I just can't believe that this is even happening. Best Buy is now saying that I wasn't being transferred, and like an idiot, I never got any of it writing. In the absolutely worst-case scenario I could have to pay the money back, $300-$1500 in fines, receive a felony on my record, and face up to 270 days in jail. Realistically, I will probably only have to pay it back, but that felony charge scares me. I just landed a new job and I haven't had the background check yet.
As for the new job, I am now an Assistant Manager at Gamestop. I know that it's not the most glorious position, but it will pay the bills, and I just might have some decent opportunities ahead of me. The only reason they gave me the Assistant position was because there were no Store Manager positions available, although 3-4 new stores will be opening in my area. Having a discount again will be nice, and I will even get to borrow certain merchandise to take home. I had wanted to get out of retail, but that dream will just have to wait.
Posted: July 29, 2007 (02:31 PM)
Wow, that situation stinks. It's so typical of working for a huge retail chain that I'm not sure why the unemployment department is trying to make matters worse. They have to know that you're stuck in a fairly common issue. They should also be able to investigate and see that you're telling the truth, so if you get any prosecution out of this or even have to repay money, that's bogus.
Posted: July 29, 2007 (02:47 PM)
That's terrible news; I'm sorry, bud.
I hope everything turns out for the best.
Posted: July 29, 2007 (03:14 PM)
man, good luck with that shit... if it's at all financially possile, get or at least talk to a lawyer. and is there any record at all, even one scrap of paper, that you were going to be transferred? or anyone who would vouch for it?
even then, it's not like you were actually working in that period of time--this is the naive side of me asking and not the giving advice side, but how is it unemployment fraud if you haven't been working?
Posted: July 29, 2007 (05:32 PM)
How about that General Manager that was transferring with you? Won't he say anything in your defense? Best of luck to you through this ordeal.
Posted: July 29, 2007 (06:04 PM)
Never work for Target, either. They blow.
I actually wanted to try and get on at a Gamestop, too. Either that, or Gamecrazy.
Posted: July 29, 2007 (09:23 PM)
I don't think I like Best Buy anymore.
Posted: July 30, 2007 (12:04 AM)
I worked for BB when I was 16-17. They payed well but a lot of stuff pissed me off there.
Good luck with everything, I suggest getting a lawyer to go through this. Hopefully it won't be a problem.
Posted: July 30, 2007 (05:14 PM)
Thanks for the support. I should hear the result any time now. I do have a friend who is a lawyer. A financial lawyer, but he may be able to offer some advice. Beyond that, getting the support from anyone at Best Buy is going to be difficult. They instigated the investigation, and anyone managers who assist me could very well be risking their futures.
On the plus side, I just finished my first day at EB Games (same company as Gamestop for those who don't know), and things went smoothly. It's the same type of work I did at Best Buy and when I managed the used media store for three years. So far so good. As for their ruthless stance on getting Game Informer subscriptions and reservations, I might have lucked out. Some of the stories about employees being fired for not meeting goals are true, but it seems that our district manager is more concerned with simply improving over previous years.