Anonymous 8m 1,894
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There is a well known business in Virginia, famous for its Gardening Center which specializes in statuary. The General Manager of this property is a closet gay, who suffers from extreme insecurity, immaturity stupidity, and a never ending desire to make the lives of employees as miserable as possible. This General Manager’s name is Tom. We all hate him and wish he would burst into flames one day and die.
Tom makes a point of dressing in camouflage, going hunting, joining sports teams, going to wrestling matches, telling everyone that he is a manly man. He thinks that no one knows (or he is fooling himself), but it is no secret that when he started working here at age 15, he had been sexually assaulted by the owner, who died a few years ago at age 75 from alcoholism. There were never any charges filed, and the abuse reportedly, went on for over 10 years.
When Tom started working for the Garden Center, he was just in the 9th grade. He dropped out of school, never graduating, and started working here full time. That was 40 years ago. Tom is now 55 years old, but he still acts like an adolescent. He lies, cheats, and steals. And, only for longevity, he managed to be promoted to the position of General Manager of the entire property. If anyone should not be in charge of anything, it is Tom. But, keep in mind, he was the “girl friend” of the man who started this business, and turned it into a million dollar operation.
Tom is what you would call a loser. He lived with his mother until he was 35 years old. He always pretends to be more than he is, and he takes this to the extreme. An example of this: He has never served in any branch of any military, except in his own mind. One day two vets from Afghanistan came into the store, to buy a cement bird bath for one of their mothers. They were dressed in camouflage and had some military pins on their hats and collars, clearly they were real military.
Tom, like he usually does, started talking to these two, telling them made up stories, about his imagined time when he served in the army during the Viet Nam war. Not only is Tom so blind (extremely near sighted) that the army wouldn’t take him, but he would have been about ten years old during the Vietnam war. This is Tom. He always has to try to make himself out to be more than he is. If he wasn’t so petty and nasty to everyone, you could almost feel sorry for him.
Tom finally did get married, and moved out from his mother’s house. He married the biggest whore who worked here. Her name is Charlyn. Charyln used to joke behind Tom’s back, that if she married him, she wouldn’t ever have to work again – and she was right. She forced herself on Tom, and even though his Mother hated her, Charlyn wound up marrying Tom. Everyone joked that Charyln was probably one of those people from the Jerry Springer show.
The general consensus of the entire store was that Tom was a nothing, a nobody. He had no father and lived with his Mother, who he referred to as, “She, who must be served.” He was hen pecked by his mother, and he would talk about how he wanted to murder her. He was assaulted by the owner of the business from the age of 15. You could really feel sorry for Tom, except that he was just so petty and so mean that you just wound up hating him, wishing that he would die.
Charlyn’s parents owned a pawn shop in a nasty part of the city. She could easily read people and she was an expert manipulator. She was arrested before she was 14 for shoplifting, prostitution, and drug trafficking. Tom did not have a chance. Charlyn wanted him so that she didn’t ever have to work again, and she knew how to, for the very first time in Tom’s life, to make him feel special and important. And she did.
Charlyn was 20 years younger than Tom. She was a whore. He was awkward and ugly. He lived with his mother. Tom was happy that he not only had a woman who was interested in him, but who he could marry and escape from his mother. He was over the moon!
After dating for just 2 months, Charlyn asked Tom to marry her. He agreed and there was a wedding and reception on the third Saturday in July at the VFW hall. Charlyn worked out all the details, and nudged Tom into buying a million dollar mega home just two miles away from the Garden Center. Charlyn got to move out of the mobile home she lived in with her boy friend. She was over the moon!
No one could believe that these two people were going to stay married, even though it was kind of nice that Tom finally got a chance to have a normal life. And, Charlyn who came from the wrong side of the tracks, landed a husband who put her in a mega-home. Strange, but still kind of almost sweet that these two people, from entirely different backgrounds, seemed to have found happiness.
Well, Charlyn’s grifter family started to enter the new life that Tom had for himself.. Her sister had the idea of stealing some of the statuary (prices started at $5,000) from the garden center, to sell it at a Saturday flea market. The problem was, that statuary was big and heavy, so how could they get it off the property? They then decided to settle on smaller pieces, like the bird baths or five foot angel statues. Still, these items were very big and heavy, so how to move them off the garden center property?
They worked it out and Charlyn and her grifter sister, Brenda, would take Tom’s keys and during the night would sneak off to the Garden Center, unlock the gate, and load up the statues. They had a pick up truck waiting down the road, drivin’ by Brenda’s boy friend who was on an early release parole; his name was Earl.
The first time they stole a stone bird bath, everything worked great, and they were never caught. They used Tom’s keys, opened the iron gate, picked out a bird bath, put it in their car, drove it to Earl’s pick up truck. The four tiered bird bath, complete with base and water pump, retailed for $2,000. Earl and Brenda sold it for $500 at Saturday’s flea market. This would be the first of many statue heists.
This thieving went on from April, all through the summer, until October. The court records would later report that almost $200,000 dollars of inventory was stolen by Charlyn, Brenda, and Earl.
Tom’s mother always wanted a nice bird bath, but since he married Charlyn, they were no longer on speaking terms. After being married for a couple of months, a friend of Tom’s mother called him, to tell him that his mom misses him, and he should call her. He did, and their relationship saw a new chance for friendship..
Tom’s mother mentioned that she wanted a bird bath, and it would be nice if Tom could get her one from the Garden Center where he works. He was going to do this, but as there are so many types and designs, which one did she fancy? She told him that while she was at a flea market a few weeks ago, she saw a nice bird bath, that she really wanted, and it cost a lot less than the ones at the Garden Center where he worked. She asked him to go with her to the flea market this Saturday, so she could show it to him. He agreed.
When Saturday came, he picked up his mother to go to the flea market. Charlyn always lied to Tom, telling him that she was enrolled in Home Economics Classes at the Community College. No one could say for sure if he really believed her lies, or was he just so happy to be married and getting sex on a regular basis, that he was in denial. In any event, he picked up his mother and drove to the flea market with her.
Tom’s mother comes here every Saturday, so she knows the best place to to park, who to buy a hot dog from, and who sells the best bird baths. This was an old abandoned/converted drive-in movie that had gone bankrupt in the 1970’s and closed until someone bought it from the tax auction, and rented out spaces for the vendors, for Saturday’s flea market.
Anyway, Tom’s mother walked right to the stand that had all of the bird baths and smaller statuary. No one from the Garden Center was there at the time, but from the court records, Tom reported seeing 30 birdbaths and statues that still had price tags and bar codes on from his store; when he saw them, he realized right away that these were stolen from the Garden Center where he worked.
It all went down very quickly when Tom used his cell phone to call the Garden Center, asking the inventory clerk, Bonnie, to check on which bird baths and statues had sold in the past year. When he found out that the bird baths in front of him, which still had his stores’ tags on them, were not listed as being sold but were missing from the Garden Center, he quickly put it together that he was looking at stolen property.
He called 9-1-1, and the police arrived to the flea market almost immediately. When the vendors who were selling the stolen bird baths and statuary, could not produce paperwork proving that they had purchased it, they were all arrested for stealing. In less than two hours, Brenda and Earl told the police everything, even about how Charlyn gave them the keys to the Garden Center.
Poor Tom. His mother just kept repeating, “I told you not to marry that piece of trash. I told you she was no good.”
In the end, Tom divorced Charlyn and his mother moved in with him. Charlyn and Brenda were sentenced to five years in jail for grand theft. Earl, violating his parole, had to go back to prison and serve his original sentence, plus ten additional years for grand theft.
Tom returned to his petty little life as General Manager of the Garden Center, making everyone’s life hell. His latest, he forces everyone to line up in the morning, with the American flag, saying the pledge of allegiance.
It’s really too bad about Charlyn. Even though no one liked her, whatever she was doing, it kept Tom happy enough that he left the employees alone. Now that he was back to living with his mother, he turned into someone that should be running North Korea.
Just one last note, when his mother finally does pass on, there is a standing bet at the Garden center. I have five dollars invested. The bet is that he will turn out like Norman Bates, keeping his dead mother’s corpse in a rocking chair, in a room in his house, pretending that she is still alive.