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!)

Doesn’t Have It In The Bag

| North Vancouver, BC, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre

(I’m working as a cashier at a popular grocery store. A woman comes in my line with a shopping cart full of typical grocery items.)

Me: “Hi, there. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “I’m okay. I forgot my (reusable) bags at my house, though.”

Me: “That’s okay; it happens to us all.”

(The first thing on the belt is three 4-litre jugs of milk.)

Me: “Do you want bags for the milk?”

Customer: “Yes, please. And could you double bag it?”

(Next are a few things of meat products.)

Me: “Did you want the meat all in one bag?”

Customer: “No. I need the bacon in its own bag. And could you also separate the meat and seafood?”

Me: “Sure.”

(This keeps going throughout the transaction, wanting bread in one bag, the produce broken up into numerous bags, cleaning products in smaller bags before being put into bigger bags, and most of these being double bagged. At the end, there is a bag of chips left on the belt.)

Me: “Did you want this in its own bag?”

Customer: “Oh, no, thanks. I’m trying to cut down on the number of plastic bags.”

(I ended up using more bags than she had groceries.)