Workers Archives - I Hate Working In Retail


Burger King Worker finds $100k Stash and Hands It In

  • Backpack full of cash found in California fast food restaurant by employee cleaning tables last month
  • A bag of marijuana, a ‘white rock’, candy, cigarettes and a bank withdrawal slip among the contents of the bag
  • If no-one claims the cash in six months it will go to the hardworking, immigrant owner who will donate the proceeds to a Muslim charity

An honest assistant manager of a Burger King found an abandoned backpack stuffed with cash while cleaning tables late last month and rather than keep it, notified her manager.

Sahista Bakawla waited for the bag’s owner to come back to the San Jose, California, outlet of the fast food chain and claim it. Strangely no-one did, so she took it to franchise owner Altaf Chaus who opened the bag to look for ID.

The contents of the bag surprised them both: $100,000 in cash along with a baggie of marijuana and a suspicious ‘white rock’.

Scroll down for video 

Sahista Bakawla (left), who found the backpack while cleaning tables at the San Jose Burger King

Altaf Chaus, owner of the San Jose Burger King, who has said he will donate the proceeds to charity should the cash come to him

Sahista Bakawla (left), who found the backpack while cleaning, and Altaf Chaus, owner of the San Jose Burger King, who has said he will donate the proceeds to charity should the cash come to him

Bakawla told KGO Bay Area: ‘I twice cleaned, like two or three times cleaned the tables, and it’s still here. I waited until 3pm. And nobody came here.’

Said Chaus: ‘I open the zipper, I see lots of money, cash money, $100 bills stack up like half the bag. I said, “Wow! Today’s my birthday, this is my birthday gift.”.’

He immediately called the police.

‘I’ve been in this country 26 years and I worked two jobs for 15 years before I bought this Burger King. So I’m a very hard working man. I don’t want that money, maybe it belongs to somebody.’

 I worked two jobs for 15 years before I bought this Burger King. So I’m a very hard working man. I don’t want that money, maybe it belongs to somebody.
Altaf Chaus, Burger King owner

When police inspected the backpack, they found ten stacks of $10,000 totaling $100,000, candy, cigarettes, a bank withdrawal slip, and a bag of marijuana and a ‘white rock’ in it, that possibly could have been drugs, Chaus told NBC.

The restaurant was busy that afternoon and San Jose Police Sergeant Heather Randol said there were not many leads related to the owner’s identity.

Police were working with local bank officials to locate the individual who left the money behind.

For now the cash has been booked into a property warehouse.

Stacks of bills totaling $100,000 was found along with a small amount of marijuana and a deposit slip

Stacks of bills totaling $100,000 was found along with a small amount of marijuana and a deposit slip

Officers told Chaus that by law the money was his if nobody claimed it in a six-month period.

Given the amount of cash, there is speculation it was intended for a morally dubious transaction and may therefore go unclaimed.

If the money does come to him, Chaus told UPI that he would ‘donate the money to needy people’.

Speaking to the San Jose Mercury News, he said one possibility was a Muslim foundation that he allows to leave fundraising material on his counter.

Chaus is a Muslim himself, and originally came to the U.S. from India.

Only two weeks earlier, the branch had mistakenly accepted counterfeit $100 bills, and Chaus put up a handwritten sign on the milk shake machine by the cash register saying NO $100 BILLS PLEASE.

Asked if anyone has ever left a large amount of cash behind before, Chaus recalled: ‘One time a lady left her wallet with $800 in it.’

On that occasion he found her ATM card, called the bank, and she got her money back.

The San Jose, California, Burger King restaurant where $100K in cash was found in a backpack along with 

The San Jose, California, Burger King restaurant where $100K in cash was found in a backpack along with marijuana, candy, lists of phone numbers and email addresses, a bank withdrawal slip and an ATM card

Sourced from


America’s Workers Are Out-Stealing America’s Shoplifters

Shutterstock/The Atlantic

In a couple of weeks, the media will shift its attention to the madness of holiday retail, as if the fate of the American economy rests on how many hours (or days) in advance people started waiting in line to get into a sale at Best Buy. But one thing that might get lost in the coverage of Black Friday stampedes is how much money retailers will lose from shoplifting and theft—at the hands of their own employees.

The Global Retail Barometer, an annual report released late last week, revealed that American retail staff steal a lot more from their employers than actual, dedicated thieves: Employees account for 43 percent of revenues that were lost but shouldn’t have been, while shoplifters account for 37 percent. Usually, this takes the form of unsupervised sleight-of-hand at the register—benefiting from purposely canceling transactions that shouldn’t be canceled or issuing unwarranted refunds—and it accounted for about $18 billion in lost retail revenue last year in the U.S.

As MarketWatch noted, the outsize dent left by employees is more or less unique to America. The rate at which U.S. employees steal from their companies is nearly the highest in the world, second only to Argentina’s. Worldwide, retail workers contribute to only 28 percent of revenues lost.

So how might employee theft be reduced? Increasing supervision isn’t a guaranteed fix, as it might just engender more of the negative feelings that lead to theft in the first place. Instead, it might help to simply pay employees more: A 2012 study suggests that if retailers pay their employees better than their competitors do, employee theft will mostly disappear. Having a higher disposable income might be part of it, but the study suggested that paying higher wages can create a work culture that’s more premised on honesty.

Funnily enough, that’s exactly the opposite of what most employers have been doing. As Vox observed, wage theft on the part of U.S. firms is rampant: Nearly a billion dollars in wages that rightfully belonged to workers were recovered with the help of attorneys, states, and federal agencies in 2012. And if the Economic Policy Institute’s generous estimate that wage theft costs employees $50 billion a year is even close to accurate, employees aren’t the most culpable thieves here.

Sourced from


I Work for Burger King at $7.40 an Hour — Here’s What It’s Like

I have worked as a cook, cashier and every position but management for three years.
Claudette Wilson is 20 and works two jobs in the  fast food industry, one at  Burger King and one at a pizza place. She is on her feet, sometimes for 12 hours a day, and makes $7.40 an hour. She agreed to share her experience for the Guardian’s A Day’s Work series because she wants people to understand  why fast food workers have been striking for better wages.

Wilson participated in a  protest in Detroit, Michigan last week.

1. What is your typical day like?

Everyday for me is different. I can tell you how a typical Saturday is like: first I wake up around 8am to go to work at Burger King from 10am to 6pm. After I get off of work from Burger King, I go to my second job at Jet’s Pizza from 6pm to midnight. After I get done with working, sometimes I hang with friends, sometimes I just go to sleep.

2. There’s been a lot of talk lately about people wanting work/life balance. Does your job provide that?

My work/life balance is pretty rough at times. There’s not even much time for me, let alone anyone else. In a weird way though, having both jobs does provide balance to me and a change of scene, but I’m not sure about others.

3. What’s the craziest/most unexpected thing that’s ever happened to you while on the job?

The most unexpected thing that happened to me when I was at work is when I witnessed a robbery at the Burger King I work at. The guy tried to get away in a cab. One of the cashiers and my manager at the time ran outside after the cab and chased it down to get the cab driver’s attention. The driver stopped and got out of the car while the cashier and the robber tussled in the backseat for awhile. In the end, the robber got out of the car and ran across the street and got away.

4. What makes for a really good day on the job?

A good day on the job to me is when I arrive on time, and everyone is in their position and ready to work. There aren’t many bad attitudes and the customers aren’t being rude. The best kind of day is when everyone is doing their job and the day goes by swiftly.

5. What’s your annual salary? Do you get benefits?

I get paid $7.40 an hour. My annual salary varies depending upon how many hours I work, but I have not made over $15,000 ever annually. I do not receive benefits. I have worked as a cook, cashier and in just about every position short of management off and on for the last three years. I still live at home with my mother and try to go to school on the side. I do dream of something more, but it’s really hard to get jobs right now.

I participated in the  strike on 31 July 2013 for District 15 (Detroit, Michigan area). I did it because I desire to accomplish a few things: I want to be able to form a fast food workers union and earn a higher wage. Also I would like to see fast food workers taken more seriously and actually respected for the hard work that we do.


Sourced from