Security Going All ‘Full Metal Jacket’

| Orange County, CA, USA | Working | April 29, 2014

(A mother and father are helping their young daughter put on her hoodie jacket before leaving the store.)

Security Guard: “Folks, can I just see your receipt real quick?”

Father: *handing over the receipt* “Sure, here you go.” *turns back to helping his daughter*

Security Guard: “No, I need to see the receipt for the jacket.”

Father: “But we came in with this jacket.”

Security Guard: “So, if I go into the family restroom I won’t find the tags to that jacket in the garbage?”

Mother: “NO! We came in with this jacket. It’s not even a jacket from this store.”

(At this point the guard insists the little girl take her jacket off so he can examine the brand label.)

Security Guard: “Well, now I know you’re lying. If this isn’t from our store then why does the label show our brand?”

Father: “It came from [Competitor]. You don’t even sell this brand!”

Security Guard: “[Store] has something called ‘owned brands’ which means we’re the only ones that sell certain brands. This is our brand. There’s no way this came from [Competitor]. You want to try this again, or should we check the surveillance video and call the police?”

Father: *getting visibly angry* “WE ARE NOT SHOPLIFTERS. CHECK YOUR D*** VIDEO!”

Security Guard: “You know what? Just go to the service counter and pay for it and I’ll just let this slide.”

(The mother must have a light-bulb moment, because before the father can flip out she quickly agrees.)

Mother: “Okay, okay. We’ll pay for the jacket.”

(The family comes to my counter, followed by the very smug security guard. They hand the jacket over to me and ask if I’m able to ring it up.)

Me: “I’d like to help you, but this is obviously old and worn. Not to mention it’s not even from [Store]. This is [Competitor]’s brand.”

Security Guard: “This is ours. I buy this brand here all the time for my girls.”

Me: “Even if this were ours, I doubt we would have sold a jacket with stains. Plus we don’t sell this brand.”

(This unfortunately goes on for several minutes, the guard insisting that the family had stolen it. Finally, fed up, the family leaves the hoodie at my counter and storms out. Later that day a lead finds the jacket under my counter.)

Lead: “Does this need to go to lost and found?”

Me: “No. [Security Guard] ‘busted’ a family shoplifting it.”

Lead: “… but we don’t sell [Brand]. How were they stealing it if it’s not ours?”

Me: “I don’t know. Ask [Security Guard].”

(She calls the guard over to ask him what happened. He recounts the story, pretty much exactly as it happened, only completely oblivious to his mistake.)

Lead: “You know this isn’t our brand, right? Plus it’s totally trashed. Who the h*** would buy a nasty, worn sweat shirt like this? Let alone steal it?”

Security Guard: “…”

Lead: “So, let me see if I understand. You stopped a family for shoplifting a shirt that didn’t come from our store, is obviously old, and made a little girl leave without her jacket?”

Security Guard: “Well, how was I supposed to know?!” *turns to me* “Why didn’t you tell me?”

Me: “Seriously?”

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