Stealing Was A Mis-Steak

, , , , , | Right | March 28, 2019

(I am eight and a half months pregnant. I’m exhausted one night, eating lunch in the coffee shop next to the lobby of the store where I work. The registers are all clearly visible from my location, and our cashier has closed his register down and taken over the self-checkout so those cashiers can go home. The self-checkouts are now the only registers open. As I’m finishing my lunch and am about to clock in, I see a guy wearing a fantastic leather jacket looking around and acting kind of iffy. I casually take a look around to see what he can see, masking my movements in a yawn and stretch. He can see me in the coffee shop, the manager with their back to him opening the counting room behind customer service, and the cashier at the self-checkout talking to some guy who is bent over his work station. He probably thinks I’m half asleep due to my yawning and putting my head down on my folded arms, and takes that opportunity to dart through the closed register, with premium steaks in his hands. I run over to intercept him at the customer service desk. Even though I see him attempting to steal the steaks, it is actually a fireable offense for someone in my current job position to accuse someone of stealing, and we must offer them every opportunity to pay for their purchases prior to exiting the store.)

Me: *running in front of steak thief* “HEY! Sorry, sir, register #6, which you just went through, was closed at the time! Perhaps the cashier at the self-checkout might want to help you out with your purchase tonight, as our customer service is also closed!

(I’m walking backward at this point, chattering up a storm, increasing my volume as we’re getting farther away from the self-checkout. He’s trying to get past me, but he can’t maneuver between me and the bakery displays in the lobby, partly because I’m huge, and partly because I’m faster than the average pregnant woman.)

Steak Thief: “You f****** b****! You have no proof that I didn’t pay! Don’t accuse me of stealing! You didn’t see jack f****** s***.” *continues walking*

(I know that if I touch him, it’d legally be considered assault. The instant he calls me a f****** b****, I recognize him! He was a low-level manager from a different store in the same chain, who thought I was bitter over a promotion I had applied for, that he got, that I had to decline due to a poorly-timed interstate move. His hate for me since I declined the promotion has been intense, and he has stated before that I hate him over my failure to be good enough for the promotion. He’s basically a gas-lighting a**hat, but everyone who matters knows that I’m leaving the job as soon as my maternity leave starts.)

Me: “Oh, I was in [Coffee Area] five minutes ago; I saw everything. Furthermore, I remember you. Congratulations on the job you got recently, and that I’ll have to decline again. Either find me your f****** receipt now, or leave these items with me.” *continues walking backward in front of the steak thief* “Hey, [Cashier]! Come here!”

(The man that the cashier has been talking to straightens up to full height; he is much taller and a little broader than the cashier, who is 6’5″ and 250 pounds.)

Big Customer: “Stay here, dude. I’ve got this.”

(I hear this, but it doesn’t make sense that [Cashier] has been told to stay there, until the incredibly tall, sturdy, and broad seven-foot tall man that I had never seen before I saw him talking to the cashier strides over to us in about four steps. I am completely mesmerized by this man’s tallness, and the steak thief is clearly scared.)

Big Customer: *in a booming, loud voice* “Hi! I’m [Cashier]! Dude, you want to pay for those steaks any time soon?” *striding forward, as the thief backs up towards the registers* “Both this young lady and I saw you go through the sixth register without an attendant. So, either pay for the steaks, return them, or, if you do neither, I’ll get your a** fired, then trespass you from the store, and fine you $500 in addition to the cost of this premium meat.”

Steak Thief: “I… uh… um… err… Yeah, I was just totally leaving these here with this very, very nice lady, because I totally… uh… I forgot my wallet? And the cashier? She—“

Me: “We have no other women on shift right now. But we do have cameras that you know capture audio, as well.”

Big Customer: “Steaks. Now.” *extends hand*

Steak Thief: “Can I… I mean, can I go once I…?” *puts steaks on my belly and RUNS out of the store* “BYE!”

Big Customer: *as soon as the thief leaves* “Whew, he didn’t call my bluff! And yes, I am a [Same Name As Cashier], but I have nothing to do with loss prevention or anything. That little dude at self-checkout—“ *points at the 250 pound, muscular 6’5″ cashier* “—wouldn’t have been able to do much here.”

Me: *laughs* “Yeah, well, you gave a very good version of that spiel, and the dumba** has probably heard it often enough from places he doesn’t work at to believe you. Unfortunately, he knows that he could get through me just by talking and walking. He’d been trained in my job before.”

(The manager at the other store fired the steak thief because they had a video of him pulling a similar stunt at a store in a neighboring suburb. I, as predicted, declined the promotion again, and left the company during my maternity leave.)

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