Allow me to explain with yet another story of something going on in my life at the moment.

Currently, I am a store manager. I've bounced around many stores in two districts before finally landing a spot in a swanky, "elitest" area of town. I cleaned up the store from the hellhole that it was (much like many of the others) and have constantly been recognized by the regional manager as a top performer week after week. I've built a solid team after a rigorous weeding out of slackers/lazy/incompetent workers.

I hired once such employee with a bit of a colored past a few months ago. He's a hard worker, desperate for hours, always comes in on short notice, stays late and is willing to work with sudden schedule changes. He's rather young, 23, and has a daughter that just started kindergarten this year (a mistake of his youth). He still has some mistakes he falls back on, but he's trying to get his life back together.

I was aware of a felony charge against him, but not some of the other things that took place 2-3 years prior to that (all of which is public knowledge if you search for it). My boss, as well as my employer, tends to frown upon the hiring of people such as this. However, in my eyes, everyone deserves a second chance and a place to start over from... even if it's a $8.50 minimum wage job cashing/stocking shelves.

Last week he didn't show up for a shift. I texted and there was no response. Any calls were routed directly to voicemail. This was strange because up until several hours prior we were conversing about the truck being delayed a day due to issues at our distribution center. So, I let it slide. The next day I get a phone call from one of my assistants boyfriends saying that she was arrested and wouldn't be in for the night. I thought it was a joke considering they've called in before as a prank just to razz me a bit.

Curious, I googled her name and found out she was. That was panic number one, which was resolved the next day. As curiosity killed the cat, satisfaction (sic) brought him back as I looked into my "missing" cashier. He popped up on the recent arrests page for the detention center here in the city. My heart sank. I wasn't sure what to think at that point.

I called his father the next day to "inquire" about what had happened, citing that this wasn't like him to just not show up. His father starting giving me some made up bullshit excuse but quickly realized that it was pointless and "half explained" what happened. I asked that he keep me in the loop with what is going on and to tell him that his son still has a job, despite what my boss might think if she knew.

I hung up feeling a little dejected. I sensed that his dad really didn't care about what was happening to his son, just that he left a message for his parole officer to call him and that was that.

The next day I spoke to a bail bondsman about the process to get someone out. They explained everything to me about how it works, what happens if they don't show up to court, etc. Everything was all fine and dandy until he noticed that he had a hold on him at the detention center. He said I'd have to speak to the parole officer. So, I dialed around and finally got his number, left and message and haven't heard squat back.

He was picked up on a "possession of a controlled substance" charge with a probation and parole violation. It strikes me as odd considering he's been clean for a while, so I'm wondering if it was a carryover from someone else... a sneaky suspicion tells me a customer that shops at our store might have got him involved in something, but I've yet to investigate that portion. Our "special shopper" just happens to have been absent for nine days as well, saying he was 'in the hospital'. *cough*obvious lie*cough*

At any rate, I'm wondering if I'm crossing the line with attempting to intervene. According to my district manager (and an asset protection manager for the region), I'm "supposed" to terminate an employee for two consecutive no call no show shifts. Ultimately, I feel that since I'm responsible for these individuals the decision should rest with me. Our district trainer (someone else entirely) agrees.

When I left the voicemail for the parole officer I inquired about whether or not I'd have any more leverage as a voice for him being his boss at work (versus his parents). I explained that I wasn't trying to go behind his parents backs but just trying to get a damn good employee back.

Since he's still sitting in the detention center I'm going to pay him a visit tomorrow to see if he'll talk with me and I can find out anything else. He doesn't have money for a lawyer so a public defender will likely be appointed (again). I'd speak to the judge on his behalf if allowed, but I'm wondering if I'm overstepping my bounds in all of this.

I spot interview people daily. Good help here is so hard to find. People literally write down "just want job" or "I need money" or something stupid. They don't know what the minimum wage is or can't bother to research it (let alone spell properly on their application). Plus it's interesting to see people do a one eighty after they've worked there a bit. Disgusts me sometimes. My coworkers become friends and family (per se). It's a support network for one another (which isn't always a good thing, but I digress).