He Can’t Recover From That

, , , | Legal Right | January 12, 2019

(At the store where I work, when someone is stopped from stealing something, whether accidentally or on purpose, it’s called a recovery. An hour before closing I’m on self-checkout, next to the only open register at the front end. Since it’s dead, the other cashier and I are standing on the aisle, waiting for customers. A man comes speed-walking towards us.)

Coworker: “Hi there, are you ready?”

Man: *gesturing in the general direction of service desk and holding one of our buckets, which clearly has something in it* “No, I already paid.”

(He rushes past us. Since we’ve been getting a lot of people walking out with unpaid merchandise, I immediately follow him to ask for his receipt. The alarms start going off around him and I dash towards him.)

Man: “Oh, is it the bucket that’s setting them off? Here, you can have it back.”

(He drops the bucket and runs out the door empty-handed. I grab the bucket and look into it, grinning. There are two large packs of batteries, which are high-theft merchandise and therefore have sensors in them.)

Coworker: *runs up to me* “What just happened?”

Me: “I think we just made a recovery.”

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Stealing Her Baggage Is Her Baggage

, , , | Right | January 11, 2019

(We often hold bags for guests, for their convenience. We have a lady who is a regular and is very difficult due to her being highly suspicious of us and not trusting us at all. Why she continues to do business with people she doesn’t trust, I don’t know.)

Lady: “I need these bags for you all to hold until I come back.”

Me: “Certainly, ma’am. All five?”

Lady: *scowling* “Yes. Wait! How will I know if one of YOU doesn’t STEAL something from them?!”

(I’m getting transferred so I’m feeling bold. Plus, I’ve had enough with being called a thief from her over and over throughout the years.)

Me: *loudly and clearly* “We don’t steal, ma’am.”

Lady: “But you might!”

Me: *scandalized tone* “Stealing is against the LAW, ma’am! Do you think that we would want to be taken away by the police?!”

Lady: “No, but—“

Me: *looking her dead on* “I promise you, we don’t. Your bags will be perfectly safe.”

(She wound up placing locks on them, anyway, to prevent theft, and her attitude improved slightly from then. My manager comes out from the back office, wiping his face.)

Manager: “I heard it all, and I should punish you for using that tone with a customer, but it was so funny to see her put in her place that I won’t. Carry on.” *leaves*

(Sometimes standing up to rude customers pays off!)

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Was That Drunk Driving Or Drunk Calling?

, , , , | Legal Right | January 11, 2019

(It is my first day as a part-time telephone operator at our district court. I have been given a list of the names of the employees and their respective positions so I know where to transfer the calls, but certainly have not had the time or authorization to know each and every single case they have been working on.)

Me: “[District Court], how can I help you?”

Caller: *obviously irate* “I need to speak to my lawyer!”

Me: “No problem. What’s his or her name?”

Caller: “I just need to speak to him!”

Me: “I apologize, but there are several different lawyers in this building. I need his name so I can transfer—“

Caller: “I need my lawyer! He’s supposed to be handling my case! I was driving drunk two months ago and the f****** police got for me for the third time!”

Me: *sighing, thinking that is way more information than I needed* “Sir, I’d be happy to assist you, but I still need the name of your lawyer to be able to transfer this call to him. As I said, there are more than one—“

Caller: “Just do it! How hard can it be? Is this even [District Court] I’m talking to?!”

(At this point I’m not really sure what to do, so I start guessing from the list of names.)

Me: “Is [Lawyer #1] your lawyer? Or possibly [Lawyer #2]?”

Caller: “Nooo! F*****g incompetent people in this city! This is my taxpayers’ money at work!” *hangs up*

(I was left stunned, just staring at the phone. Had this guy not been driving drunk so often, “his” tax money would not have to be spent on the police investigation or the trial in the first place.)

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Getting Into The Holiday Spirit Is A Steal!

, , , , , | Right | December 25, 2018

(I have just clocked on for my closing shift. As my shift-lead-in-training and the manager teaching him are working on cleaning behind some of our food units, I am helping them. At the same time, this means I do not notice the woman who has just entered the building. However, my shift-lead-in-training does and alerts to me it.)

Shift Lead: “Hey [My Name], there is a woman at the register.”

Me: *quickly notes the woman in question, who is now walking away with an empty soda cup* “Ma’am?”

(She moves over to the soda machine, fills up her cup, and then takes her time with the lid. All of this is very normal, so I am content to wait at the register for her to come back over, as is custom. In the time I help two more people out, I watch her as she paces about slightly, adjusts her jeans, and never once looked back behind her. Normally, I would be watching someone by this point, anyway, as we tend to get a lot of odd ones, given we’re in the middle of downtown Seattle. Suddenly this woman starts to make her way towards the door.)

Me: *louder* “Ma’am! I can ring that up for you.”

Woman: *stops, turns slowly and looks at me*

Me: *smiles*

Woman: “Why are you trying to STOP ME?” *raising her voice and taking large steps closer to me with every word* “I am POOR. It’s almost Christmas. LET. ME. HAVE. THIS.”

(My shop is normally very giving; we understand people have hard times. But all we ask is that people are honest and upfront with us about it; that way we can work something out with them. But this woman does none of that; she outright attempts to steal from us.)

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I can’t do that.”

Woman: *narrows her eyes at me and glares*

Me: “Ma’am, I am only doing my job, and I have to ring you up for that soda. I don’t have the power to just let you walk out of here with that cup.”

(She keeps glaring at me. Knowing she won’t listen to me, I know there is only one option left, since I’m “low” on the chain of command.)

Me: “Let me see what my manager says.”

(I turn and walk a few steps back and explain to my shift lead that she just tried to walk out of here without paying. Having heard and seen the situation, he realizes it’s not worth trying to make the woman pay the $2.25 she would owe us, so I’m given the okay to let her go. The entire time, the woman has been very nasty and rude with me, I might add.)

Me: *walks back* “He said you’re good to go.” *returns to my register to help someone*

Woman: *overly cheerful voice that makes it seem like I’ve been nothing but a bully* “Oh, THANK YOU, KIND SIR! Thank you so much! Merry Christmas to you!”

(Later when I explained the entire ordeal to my general manager and then coworkers, they just sort of shook their heads and told me if she came back they would have security escort her out. Happy holidays, I guess?)

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Catching This Criminal Is A Piece Of Cake

, , , , , , | Legal | November 2, 2018

This happened years ago, when my father was a child. My grandfather told me the story.

One day, after a family outing, my grandparents and their children arrived home to discover that someone had broken into their house and stolen various items. A local teenager was soon identified as the likely culprit after his father turned him in to the police. The father had noticed that his son was suddenly in possession of several items that didn’t seem to belong to him, and the police quickly realized that these items matched the description of some of the things stolen from my grandparents’ home. As such, my grandparents were asked to testify against him in court. At this point the young man had not yet formally confessed, but it was expected that he would be found guilty based on his possession of the stolen items.

During the court proceedings, the judge asked my grandparents to describe the items that had been stolen. They listed off several items, including one particular item that was missing from the refrigerator: an expensive cake from a famous bakery. However, upon hearing my grandmother mention a chocolate cake, the young burglar loudly objected, “The cake wasn’t chocolate! It was strawberry!”

He was found guilty.

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