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Category: Criminal & Illegal

Imprisoned By The Name

| Washington DC, USA | Bizarre, Crazy Requests, Criminal & Illegal

(I work at a call center where we receive in-custody records from county jails and state prisons. Most people who call us or are routed to us by calling the jail think we are the jail they are calling. This call comes in on the DC line.)

Customer: “Um, hi, yes, I have a friend who is missing, and I want to know if he’s in jail there? His name is [Name]. But he could be in there with the last name [Other Name], too.”

Me: “Okay, let me take a look.” *runs search* “No, ma’am, there’s no one in the system by either name.”

Customer: “His name has to come up to for him to be in jail there, right?”

Me: “…that’s correct, ma’am.”

Racing To Prevent Theft

| CT, USA | Bad Behavior, Bigotry, Criminal & Illegal

(I work at a well-known ‘tween’ girl’s clothing store. I am half black, though I am very light-skinned, so most people just assume I’m white or Hispanic. During training, we’re taught about some of the common ways people shoplift, such as lining empty shopping bags with tinfoil. On this particular day, two black women come into my store carrying a number of shopping bags, at least two of which are empty and I can see tinfoil poking out of one. We are trained to be extra friendly and helpful to people we suspect of trying to shoplift. Since I am up front, I greet them.)

Me: “Good afternoon. Thanks for shopping at [Store]. May I help you find anything today?”

Customer: *brusquely* “I’m all set! Leave me alone!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, but please let me know if I can help you with anything.”

(I go back to folding jeans, but keep a close eye on the customers. I notice them getting abnormally close to the jeans display, as though they might try to knock them into the empty bag.)

Me: “Just so you know, we’re having a special on these jeans right now. If you buy two pairs, you get $10 to spend on a future purchase.”

Customer: “I told you I didn’t need any help! Why are you following me?!” *I haven’t moved at all throughout this interaction*

Me: “I was just trying to tell you about the sale we’re having.”

Customer: “You’re racist! I don’t see you following anyone else in the store. You think I’m shoplifting! Racist!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you I’m not racist.”

(At this point a coworker of mine, who is also black, but noticeably so, has come over, as has one of my managers.)

Manager: “Is there something I can help you with today?”

Customer: *storms out of the store in a huff*

Need To Take A Seat Due To The Audacity

| Bear, DE, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal

(I’m shopping at the local grocer’s and standing in line, waiting to pay for my items. There is a woman in front in me unloading her items onto the belt. She finishes unloading and I notice that there is still one item in the seat part of her shopping cart.)

Me: “Ma’am,’ I think you missed an item.”

Woman: *glances at it* “I haven’t decided if I’m going to buy that or not.”

(The cashier rang up her items.  She paid, moved the loaded bags into her cart, and walked away without paying for the item in her cart seat. I guess she decided not to buy it after all; she stole it instead!)