A Cup Half-Fool Kinda Day

| Working | April 3, 2013

(Note: many of the buildings in Milwaukee’s downtown area are connected to one another via a series of skywalks. I frequently use a skywalk that cuts through the downtown shopping center into the building I work in. This happens as I’m walking through the store and heading to work.)

Employee: “Miss? Excuse me! Miss!”

Me: “Um…yeah?”

Employee: “The register is that way…” *points to a register*

Me: “Uh, yeah, I see that. I’m actually not doing any shopping today.” *gestures towards the sky-walk entrance* “I’m just on my way to work, so—”

Employee: “Well, you’re going to have to pay for that mug first!”

(I look down and realize that my coffee cup, partially filled with coffee that I’ve been drinking, was indeed from that very store.)

Me: “This is my cup, though. I already bought this weeks ago. I really don’t have time for this; I’m sorry.”

(I starts to walk towards the exit, but the employee jumps in front of me, blocking my way.)

Employee: “Unless you can show me a receipt, you’re not going ANYWHERE!”

Me: “I don’t have a receipt! I bought this sometime last month! I don’t exactly make a habit of carrying old receipts on me just in case someone thinks I stole something! Seriously, I have to get to work. If you don’t move, I’m going to personally make a call into your HR department about this.”

Employee: “Well, go right ahead! I’d like to see you give that attitude to loss prevention! I radioed for them as soon as I saw you walking with that cup!”

(Indeed, only a few moments later, a uniformed LP officer comes up.)

LP Officer: “What exactly is going on here?”

Employee: *points to my coffee cup* “That! She’s trying to walk out with that!”

LP Officer:That’s what you think she stole?!”

Employee: “No, I know she stole it! We sell them, and I see her walking through here all the time and never buying anything! She’s always in a hurry, too!”

LP Officer: “Yeah, and she just had some random coffee laying around in her purse that she dumped in the cup to make it look like she brought it from home?”

Employee: “Uh… well… I didn’t notice.”

Me: “Okay, seriously? Can I go now?”

LP Officer: “Yeah, you go on ahead. I’m awfully sorry about all this. If you’d like, I’ll take your name and number down, and you can file a complain about this whole incident.”

(I give the LP officer my info and rush off to work. About three days later, I got a call from both the manager and the district HR department, saying the employee was fired. They also offered me a $100 gift card to the store for the inconvenience.)

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