Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Honesty Among Thieves

Dead or Alive?One of the blogs I visit daily, Worship City , had an entry about accidentally stealing from a store and what a pain it is to go back and buy the item. I liked it so much I am ripping off his blog and posting my own experiences with this felonious faux-pas.

Once, in Wal-Mart, we had a stack of the bargain bin DVDs spread out on the seat part of the basket (love them cheap movies!). We were getting some groceries and didn't want the DVDs mixed in with canned goods and cold milk. The DVDs ended up being covered by two purses, the grocery list, a box of eggs, and several loaves of various breads.

We forgot about them, unloaded the food items, paid, reloaded the now bagged and purchased items, went past the cart checker (who barely glanced at the cart or receipt), and out the door. Without the alarm going off!

When we got to the car and began loading our newly purchased edibles into the back ... Oops.

Because it took us almost 20 minutes to go through the line in the first place, and I didn't want my mother, nor the perishables, staying out in a hot car in the Florida Summer sun, I decided to simply return the movies. I quickly ran the DVDs back inside, explained to the customer service people what happened, and said I didn't want to wait another 20 minutes in line, just take them back. (I secretly hoped they would allow me to get ahead of the other people in the service line, to be honest).

Took me 5 minutes for them to (barely) understand I didn't want a refund, no I didn't have a receipt because I accidentally stole them, and would you just please take them back.

I'm not sure the two women behind the counter really got what I was saying, and they looked at me with mixed contempt (for, in their minds, trying to scam with stolen goods) and stupidity for trying to hand back a stack of DVDs.

I ended up leaving the stack on the service counter, and just leaving.


Another time, way back in the mid '80's, my mother was on a trip to a conference and decided to get some souvenir's for us at the airport. (I forget which one, she tells this story so much I'm not even sure she remembers where, either).

She paid for her purchases (gum, doodads, trinkets, magazines) and left the in-airport gift shop to head for her plane back. Half-way to her gate, she shifted her packages and realized ... Oops! ... She had a board game (a nice wood backgammon set) tucked under her arm and hadn't paid for it.

Her flight was leaving soon, but she just couldn't walk away with an unpaid for gift. So, she turned around and slogged through the crowds back to the gift shop.

She got there and told the clerk behind the counter what had happened, and offered to pay for it, apologizing for her mistake.

This clerk accused my mother of stealing it. Loudly, to her face, in front of the entire gift shop.

When my mom again tried to explain what had happened, the clerk again shouted she was a thief and picked up the phone, calling for airport security. The short time waiting for security to arrive was filled with my mother trying to set the woman straight (getting more and more frustrated, and a bit angry), and the clerk accusing her of theft, and of having a guilty conscience, and that's why she brought it back to pay.

Long story short(er), she was detained by airport security, was almost arrested, missed her flight, and had to sleep in the airport until next morning to catch her rebooked one.

She did end up paying for the backgammon set. A nice man who saw my mother try to pay for it on her return trip, and the belligerence and abusiveness of the clerk, helped get things settled. Apparently, the clerk also accused my mother of stealing other things and wanted her checked for hidden items. Didn't happen.

Say Cheese!All for attempting to correct an honest mistake.

Even faux crime doesn't pay.


Today's Penny Doubled Daily Cumulative Amount for 79 days is:



Penguino pepper said...

What a jerk that clerk was. hey, that rhymes! jerk, clerk, jerk, clerk, jerk, clerk, jerk, clerk, jerk, clerk. :)

Conner said...

Those are great! I feel so bad for your Mom! How horrible.
A friend had the same experience at Wal-mart as you did. They couldn't realize someone was coming back with items that didn't pay!

Hektos said...

i feel really bad now...usually when that happens to me i just keep on drivin >_<

Hektos/Felbane said...

i feel really bad now...usually when that happens to me i just keep on drivin >_<

Hektos/Felbane said...

woops...crappy connection sorry for the double post :S

Raivynn said...

No worries, Hektos! Glad to see you stopped by. ^.^

Take your rhyme one step further, penguino .. Jerk Clerk at Work