At Least Your Alcohol Addiction Supported An Old Lady

, , , , | | Legal | May 22, 2018

(It is about 15 years ago, and I am a greeter at a gigantic nationwide store. My duties are to make sure the front of the store is a safe place, all the carts are clean, and cart wipes are stocked in the proper container. Occasionally, something will set the buzzer off and I have to check the receipt to find a common data point between all the things that set off the buzzer that day, but other than that, it is usually a pretty chill job. This is the tale of one afternoon shift that is decidedly not chill: An incredibly old, frail, and somewhat wobbly woman comes through the doorway with a cart, and sets the buzzer off.)

Old Woman: “Oh, dear me! What is that?”

Me: “Hi, ma’am! I’m [My Name], and please don’t worry. It’s an alarm that makes sure everything is scanned and all tags are deactivated, like on pharmacy items, liquor, and detergents. I’m so sorry for the scare there! May I see your receipt, for the register and order numbers?”

Old Woman: “I went through the pharmacy, and then I grabbed this cart from over by those old registers they never use except for the holiday season, what with the Black Friday and Thanksgiving and all that…”

(While she’s talking, I take a quick look at the cart, noticing quite a few bottles of liquor, partly covered by newspapers and a torn up box. A common trick, but only in a much younger demographic.)

Me: “Oh, okay, ma’am. Well, it looks like you may have grabbed someone else’s cart. There’s actually a few bottles of liquor in here.”

Old Woman: *is very confused* “Liquor? Like bourbon and whiskey?”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.”

Old Woman: “Oh, no, dear, I don’t use any of that… A Scotch every other week, maybe some baking with rum or something for the holidays, but I don’t buy it. My husband does all that stuff! Oh, heavens, all this trouble! Well, I was just getting my prescription, but I took this cart from the old registers! Oh, but you…” *motions towards me with one hand, and almost falls, catching herself on the cart* “…well, you can take all this rubbish out, right? I need this to walk to my car!”

Me: “Well, yeah, but I think it may be easier for you tonight if you just got a scooter.” *points at the electric carts*

Old Woman: “Oh, no. Oh, no. That won’t do.” *tries to walk with the cart, but is even more wobbly*

Me: “Ma’am? I’d much rather see you safe in a scooter than wobbling and falling. The young man bringing in carts will help you out to your car, okay?”

Old Woman: “Well, all right, if you insist.”

Me: “I do, yes. I’m sorry for the scare; you have a better day, okay?”

Old Woman: “Well, you just added a bit of excitement in this old woman’s day. You have a good evening now, child.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(The courtesy clerk quickly gets her purse, and I make a stop motion as he starts to grab the liquor. He whispers:)

Clerk: “Like what, she stole it?”

Me: *whispering back* “No. This isn’t even her stuff at all! Totally unintentional.”

(I think that the matter is finished, and all I have to do is take the cart back to the LP department so they can do their thing. But, as I’m walking the liquor filled cart to Customer Service, some random woman, reeking of liquor and looking worse than drunk, grabs my arm. She has an incredibly fragile, tough-girl act going on:)

Drunk Girl: “Yo! Like, why’d you move my cart, b****?”

Me: “This cart? An old woman was using it to support herself while she was walking out of the store!” *quickly reaches the Customer Service desk*

Drunk Girl: *walking briskly beside me* “YO! LIKE, NO, B****! YOU DON’T F****** TOUCH MY STUFF!” *tries and fails to grab the cart* “I PAID FOR ALL OF THIS, YA KNOW!?”

Me: “Sure. Okay.” *quickly moves the cart of booze behind the Customer Service desk* “I just need to see your receipt for all of that. Immediately.”

Drunk Girl: “LIKE, WHATEVER, MAN, GIVE IT TO ME. MY F****** CART, YO!”

Me: *turns around to the clerk* “Hey! Page LP real quick. We’ve got a live one.”

Clerk: “Already done.”

(The drunk girl ran and took the cart from behind the desk, and as she ran towards the other doorway, a couple of police officers stopped her, one handcuffing her and the other redirecting the cart towards Customer Service where the LP guy was waiting. She was arrested when they found that she had an outstanding warrant, but they added underage drinking, public intoxication, and a couple of other things.)

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