I moved to Jackson without any job prospects whatsoever. When I got here I went and applied in person for a lot of jobs, I was ready to take any job that came up. I felt lucky when the local temp agency called me wanting me to work for a sheepskin and leather company near the town square. They were going to pay me $10/hour to process online orders and phone orders for a company selling items I would never want to own or wear myself. But that didn't matter, I had a job and I was happy! Things were coming together.
About a week before Christmas, I was offered a job in a spa in one of the hotels in the village (where the ski resort is). This job was way more my style than the sheepskin company. Plus, it was for a bigger, legitimate, well-established company that I could trust was going to pay me on time, who pays their taxes, etc.
By this time I was doing the payroll and bookkeeping for the leather company, and they had some pretty sketchy business practices that I did not feel very comfortable being a part of.
I took the spa job, I started on December 27. It was so busy, trying to learn the job with so many people coming and going, checking in, trying to pay for their massages. It was hard!
After a few weeks of trying to work for both the spa and the leather company, I was feeling pretty burnt out. It was then that things at the sheepskin store started to get really sketchy. The owner had no money to pay people back for returned items that were arriving in the mail each day. More and more angry people were calling, trying to get their money back. They would change the tags on the jackets to say the size was different than the actual size, then ship it to the customer anyway, even though they knew it wouldn't fit. They were cutting out the "Made in China" tags on their products and claiming everything was made in the U.S. All sorts of bad stuff. At that point I left. I couldn't associate with a company who practices business in that way.
For months I tried to retrieve my final paycheck but the owner wouldn't pay me. He said he didn't have the money. He blamed me for things I didn't do, threatened me and swore at me when I tried to ask him for my paycheck. I told him I would not tolerate that sort of treatment and that I would take the matter up elsewhere. My boss at the spa advised me to contact the Wyoming Department of Labor Services. I did this, thinking nothing would actually come of it. Weeks passed and I didn't hear from anyone, then one day a check showed up in the mail. Hah! I was shocked. I never thought I would get that money that I worked for.
The leather store is liquidating their assets and closing the store. A week or so ago, my coworker, Kathleen, showed me an article in the paper. Apparently my old boss at the leather store had died of a pulmonary embolism. He was not a nice person, and not an honest business owner in any way. But it is still kind of a sad end to the story, I guess.