Old, ongoing rivalry between coworkers is similar to territorial dogs. Here’s an example: Winnie is a Pointer who was neglected by her original owner for about seven years. Eventually he gave her to his friend Frank who lets her sleep on his bed, and she won’t allow his other dogs to enter the room. At feeding time she bullies the others and won’t let them eat the food in their own bowls. When they’re in the living room she lays down on the couch, and she allows the big dog to sleep there but not the little dog, Roxie. She chases her out of the house and Roxie hides outside under the deck for hours. I took care of them for a few months and once Roxie regained her confidence she began to retaliate against Winnie, and so they continued to have the same bullying problem except it was in reverse.
Millions of businesses across America have the same problem but for the purpose of this article, the focus will be on Lowe’s Home Improvement store #1668 on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta, Georgia. If one were to visit the cabinets department and look at their project files and manufacturer spec books, one would find the names of several different former employees whom have departed within the last two years: Melissa, Mandy, Courtney, Tiana, Katie, Deborah, and possibly another one who would have passed through in October 2015. Outsiders observing this would ponder why, and wonder if there is also an additional employee who could have witnessed each departure and possibly have caused it. The answer is Chantal Martineau.
The self appointed adult in charge, Chantal projects a mature image and kind demeanor when managers and customers are around, and when they’re not she invents a wide variety of false pretenses in order to prevent one from doing one’s job and occasionally she’s also a temperamental beast. She had a major incident on the sales floor on the morning Saturday, September 26, 2015. An employee reported it and was promptly fired by HRM Derrick Frazier, who wrote on that person’s Separation Notice that s/he got fired for being uncooperative and unproductive. Where did that misinformation come from? It came from a new ASM in training named Raymond Allen Sinclair, who got it from Chantal. Translation: She has the power to throw huge raging fits on the sales floor over non issues (just like a four year old who missed nap time) and then get her victim fired almost instantly. She owns the place because she’s the only employee who has seniority, which is exactly how she wants it. Only higher ranking employees are allowed to stay; people whom she has no control over. She’s Winnie the dog, pushing out little Roxie but allowing the big giant dog Simon to sleep on the couch because he’s three times her size.
Chantal has nothing to do with the departures of those whom held a higher rank (Project Specialist Interiors), which were Tiana and Deborah, except there was one named Melissa who was suddenly fired out of the blue after she told Chantal that she had been convicted of a white collar crime years earlier.
This is how Chantal operates: In July 2015, she filed a formal complaint with HR that a coworker might bring a gun to work. There was absolutely no basis for it in reality. Her argument was that the person had published an article online in February 2013 that posed a clearly hypothetical scenario of mothers bringing guns to their adult daughters’ jobs to protect them from sexual harassment. To read it click on this link. Anyone could see that Chantal’s complaint was transparently ridiculous. The matter went up the HR flagpole until an attorney struck it down as a frivolous complaint that had no basis in reality. Imagine what it must have been like for her coworker, who knew about the complaint, to be forced to sit next to her everyday.
Why wasn’t the victim allowed to transfer to a different store? At the time that she requested a transfer there was an opening for the same position at a different store that was closer to home. Here’s the answer: Lowe’s does not allow employee transfers. One must apply as external applicants do, and the ASM at the other store would have investigated the matter and rejected the application.
When victims get fired because of malicious people like Chantal who becomes responsible for his or her financial damages, their employer or the attacker? Labor attorneys always try to blame it on the company because they have more money. They wouldn’t hold Chantal responsible because she’s broke. From their perspective it would be a waste of time to sue someone who can’t afford to pay a judgement. However, from the victim’s perspective, it makes sense to put the onus on the culprit, and if she can’t pay a judgement then the court should garnish her wages.
Why haven’t people sued her? The answer is that labor attorneys hesitate because if they win they’ll never get paid. In order to reach that point, the plaintiff would have to be someone who has a lot of cash to pay attorney’s fees (thousands of dollars?) and is angry enough to actually do it.