September 22, 2006
Working the Permanent ShiftRate this encounter: Andrew Benton, Tucson, Arizona, January 1987
This is my one and only encounter that I can recall, but it still remains with me to this day. Back in 1986 I had moved from Western Pennsylvania to Tucson, Arizona to marry my fiancé. I found a job as an Assistant Manager for Walgreens drugstore. The setup they had at the time was a Manager, Executive Assistant Manager and Assistant Manager; the latter being me!
The Executive Asst. Manager was an older gentleman, in his late 50s, a Mr. Allison. We would do split shifts on Sunday--he would work in the morning and I would work in the evening until closing. Unfortunately, one Saturday just before the end of the year, I hurt my back badly and was unable to go to work Sunday. My fiancé called Mr. Allison and told him I would be unable to work and he said that would be all right, he would work my shift as well as his own. Sad to say, that evening in the back stockroom, Mr. Allison had a massive coronary and died on the spot.
Aside from the guilt I felt long afterwards, I never got the impression that Mr. Allison had left something of himself behind; that is, until one evening when I was taking a break in the employee break room and I could hear someone working in the stockroom. We had a long conveyor belt that we would put our new stock on and roll it along as each box was checked and emptied. The sound puzzled me because I had all of my people working in the front of the store and there shouldn't have been anyone in the stock room. So, getting ready to question whoever was in the stockroom, I went in and found it to be completely empty. There was no one there and the conveyor belt, which I had heard moving only seconds before, was empty and unmoving. I merely put it down to hearing things or dismissing it as the sound of our large stockroom delivery door rattling in the wind as it sometimes did.
I didn't think much about the incident until a few days later when I was talking to one of the employees in the breakroom. Her name was Shirley and she was not one to make things up, she was a very serious person. But she told me that she had heard someone in the stockroom that morning moving boxes on the conveyor belt, which was where Mr. Allison had been working when he had died. But when Shirley investigated the noises, she found the room to be just as empty as I had. And if someone had left the stockroom they would have gone right by the breakroom and Shirley had seen no one during her experience.
Shirley was the only one to my knowledge that had shared my strange experience. If it had happened to any one else, they never told me about it. Today, the place where Walgreens used to be has been completely renovated and a new business has been in there for several years. I drive by this place very often and there are some shops in this plaza that my wife and I frequent. Every time I walk past the location of my former employment, I wonder if anyone has experienced what Shirley and I had. If so, I can't help feeling sad thinking that poor Mr. Allison may be trapped in there, still doing my work for me.