For some of us who buy used furniture, there’s always the hope that you’ll uncover a copy of the Colonel’s Secret Recipe, the original Coca-Cola formula, or maybe a print of the director’s cut of Highlander 2: The Quickening. One Chicago man recently purchased some old file cabinets from Sears and discovered something not quite exotic, but very sensitive, when he discovered hundreds of employee records inside. Complicating matters, no one at Sears seemed to care.
The man tells NBC Chicago that he’s purchased the cabinets for $23 each last weekend at a liquidation sale.
When he opened the cabinets up to see why they were so darn heavy, he discovered a wide array of very personal records for hundreds of Sears staffers — photos, birth certificates, termination papers, forms detailing accusations of theft. Some of the documents had employees’ Social Security Numbers.
Realizing this was paperwork he should not be in possession of, the man says he contacted Sears.
“Take them off my hands and put them in the proper place before someone who’s unscrupulous gets them,” he said.
In typical Sears fashion, no one he spoke to seemed to have any idea what to tell him to do with these documents. He claims that he tried calling the retailer eight or nine times in just a few days, and that one rep actually told him to simply leave the files on a loading dock behind a Chicago Sears store.
“The company should have had a little bit more due diligence in order to protect these people,” said the man who was simply trying to hand over these documents to someone at Sears who wouldn’t resell them.
It wasn’t until NBC Chicago got involved that Sears paid any attention to the man’s predicament.
“We greatly appreciate the customer bringing the issue to our attention,” a Sears rep told NBC. “Ensuring the integrity of our associates’ personal information is of the utmost importance.”
Shortly after being contacted by the station, Sears was in contact with the cabinet-buyer and someone had scheduled a time to pick everything up.
We just hope this person isn’t a Sears repair/installation tech, because then the appointment will be repeatedly delayed, rescheduled and then deleted from the system.