National Shame

, , , , , | Legal | January 15, 2019

(A drunk man has entered our store and asked a few customers for money.)

Manager: “You can’t do that here; you need to leave.”

Man: “But I lost my wallet and I just need some bus fare. Can you give me some?”

(He walks over to stand in front of the manager where there are shelves and our registers between him and her. He’s so drunk he leans against the shelves.)

Manager: “No, I want you to leave now.”

Man: *on his way out* “Some b****** stole my wallet and I just need a little money to get home.”

(He approaches a few passersby outside the store.)

Manager: “That’s it. I’m calling the police”

(She rings the police and as I’m serving I hear her say that the man threatened staff and customers, and she hangs up the phone.)

Manager: “That will get them here quicker”

(By the time the police arrive, the guy has moved on. I leave the manager to talk to them while I keep serving, but can hear the conversation.)

Policeman: “Can you tell us what happened?”

Manager: “A drunk man came in and wanted money.”

Policeman: “He tried to rob you?”

Manager: “No, he asked customers for money for bus fare, and he asked me, too, because he lost his wallet.”

Policeman: “You specifically said he threatened people. What did he do?”

Manager: “He asked customers for money.”

Policeman: “But did he actually threaten anyone?”

Manager: “Uh, no.”

Policeman: “Well, why did you say he did? You know, you could be in trouble for making false accusations.”

Manager: “Oh… I’m [Nationality] and couldn’t think of the right words in English at the time because I was upset; I meant to say I felt threatened.”

(It was not the first time I’d heard her lying to save her own skin, but this time she realised that she could have been in big trouble, and on the occasions that I’ve heard her calling the police, she’s never tried that one again. She had come to Australia as a small child and had spoken English with an Australian accent for over thirty years.)

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