Not only has George Zimmerman become public enemy number one, but now a former colleague at CarMax, where Zimmerman worked in 2008, has come forward complaining about his constant hazing that lasted for months – including pranks and ethnic jokes.
In an interview with ABC News, the CarMax employee who spoke anonymously said that he complained to management numerous times, but Zimmerman denied the harassment.
According to Zimmerman’s former colleague:
“The guy was so convincing when he was confronted by management to the point where I doubted my own self. I would not be surprised if he got away with it [Martin murder accusation]. He’s got, like you say, a good poker face. Great poker face…That pretty much summarizes this guy’s personality. Great poker face.”
The employee, who is an Arab-American, worked part time at the used car retailer in 2008, and rose quickly to become one of the company’s top salesmen, despite the hazing, he says.
He wrote a one-page complaint accusing Zimmerman of pressuring him to split deals with him:
“These are some of the bully activities I have been facing that led me to be concerned about my work environment…impersonating me in a terrorist character.”
He also accused Zimmerman of giving the new worker “wrong directions about how to perform my job, and then later made jokes to other employees and managers of how ‘stupid’ I was to listen.”
The former car salesman insists that Zimmerman, who was 24 at the time, was not a racist, but would do anything to gain the approval of his colleagues, chiefly harassing their new colleague with Middle Eastern jokes. He said the racist remarks hurt more than anything else.
The employee went on to say:
“He wasn’t joking around. He was choosing his words. He was making fun of my accent, or pretending that I have a thick accent.”
He also recounted first hearing Zimmerman’s name in the media, “Because that name, I’ll never forget… I had to pull over when I heard him on the news.”
The former colleague says that Zimmerman also referred to him as “a f—ing moron” on countless occasions.
The man said he wanted to do his work and go home:
“But Zimmerman noticed the gap, or the unwelcome from some of the other employees, and he took that opportunity to pretty much put me as a target, and to make fun of me, bully me around, pretty much harass me 24/7. Just make it difficult for me to work there.”
The former colleague said others at CarMax reported Zimmerman was upset about not getting the promotion he thought he deserved, and that’s why he took out his frustrations out on the colleague.
Either way, this goes to show the temperament Zimmerman often displayed against someone he felt threatened by.