Brief background on my work so this story makes sense. I work as a Service & Repair Technician for a major US wireless carrier. I work for corporate, not a 3rd party dealer. My company has a strict no-carry policy.
The first two stores I worked in were in very good neighborhoods (for anyone that knows South Florida, I worked in Coral Springs then Delray Beach). I chose to work at both stores, having originally taken the job in Coral Springs then opting to transfer to Delray Beach to work closer to home.
Then I was transferred to the West Palm Beach location because my skills were needed there when a longtime "Super Tech" took a job working in the Development division. I was not asked, but was told I'd be heading up there. The move was not optional.
This store is in an awful neighborhood. We're talking very close proximity to the county jail and in one of the highest crime-rate areas of Palm Beach County. In the last ten days alone a few major crimes have occurred.
* Last Thursday the police set up a drug dealer in a sting operation. The drug dealer opened fire on police in the parking lot of a Tire Kingdom about 150 yards from my store, just across the intersection. Several blocks were locked down with about three dozen police officers with tactical gear and assault rifles. Two airships were on station. A SWAT team ended up apprehending the dealer.
* Last Saturday the Shell gas station across the street from my store (about 100 yards away) was robbed at gun point. One of the more trigger happy assailant squeezed off a shot into a drink cooler before leaving but according to police "didn't seem to be shooting at anyone in particular". From what I understand so far these crooks have not yet been apprehended.
* Then Monday night somebody was stabbed in an apparent domestic dispute outside the KMart in my shopping complex (also about 100 yards or so from my store).
* In the last year three armored cars reloading ATMs within a mile radius of my store have been engaged in shootouts with what the police suspect are gangs.
* The lights in the parking lot on our side of the complex are routinely "out" after dark. I have reported it to my Store Manager (who has never closed our store in the nearly two years I've been there), my District Manager, Corporate Security, our complex security guards, and our complex's management. The lights are still routinely out after dark.
On the local news media website I found a "crime map" for the immediate area around my store for the last 30 days that I thought I'd share. I noticed immediately none of the crimes above are noted on the map, which makes me question how up-to-date it truly is... but even without those crimes the frequency and proximity is most troubling.
My location is that "bulls eye" red and black icon. The blue icon that appears to be thought bubbles or whatever actually indicate multiple reports of crimes at the same location.
I'm 22 years old, in good shape, and a big guy. I've got 17 years of martial arts experience and hold two levels of Black Belts in TaeKwon Do. Even with what I consider to be pretty advanced credentials, I still feel perilously at risk. Sprint's corporate response to my discomfort is that they are "dedicated to my health and well being" and are "taking steps to reasonably assure my safety at work". I'm calling bull on that one. My management's solution is to have three people closing instead of two... because apparently an armed gang will be thwarted by one extra person. Hey... maybe a no-guns sign will help!
I'm the first to agree that I should try and find a new job. However, I know most of you will agree that in this economy that really isn't an option. I have a good job considering I have not yet graduated college and don't have a great deal of past experience. The money is plenty to get me through and the schedule works to allow me to keep going to school. The benefits including health care and free services is also a huge part of it.
I apologize for the length of this vent/rant... but I hope that some of you have stuck through it to get to this point. Do any of you have suggestions as to what I can do or try to make myself safer? Any thoughts and comments are much appreciated.