Ok, I tend to be a very understanding person.  I put up with a lot more than other people will.  However, the Giant Eagle around the corner from me has just about found my limit. 

A few months ago, I went in there to get a little something sweet.  I was trying to stick to a really strict diet at that time, and I was feeling guilty about looking for decadence.  I went around the store, and picked up things, looked at labels and what-not.  In the end, I decided not to get anything and just walked out. 

About a week later, I ran in there to get a roll of toilet paper (note, I had a date an hour after this incident).  As I walked out of the store, the manager and store security stopped me just outside the door. 

“Excuse me ma’am,” the security guard said.  “You were in last week, right.  Because I wanted to ask, what happened to the ice cream?”

“I don’t really rember,” I said, and I didn’t because I was really thrown off by such an odd question.

“You were in here.  As you were leaving, you walked down the alley and you looked back at me, and I thought that was suspicious, so I looked over the security tapes.  You took ice cream out of the freezer and I never saw you put it back.  So, what happened to the ice cream?”

I was flabbergasted.  I had probably looked back at the guy because I thought he was cute, but that feeling was definitely evaporating.  There were people all around us, and out here in front of everyone, he was accusing me of stealing.  And not just anything, but a tiny pint of ice cream. 

“I really don’t recall,” I said. 

I was annoyed by this point.  The manager tried to play good cop at this point.  “We aren’t accusing you of anything, we just wanted to know if you put it back elsewhere or what?”

It was the last straw.  “No, I disagree with that, you are accusing me.  However, I didn’t do anything, so I’m not really worried about it.”  I said, and then I left. 

I went back about a week later to get… ice cream.  The security guy followed me into the store.  I took it out of the freezer and waved it over my head.  I just wanted to be sure.  Things calmed down, they stopped following me around the store.  Then, tonight, I needed chips to go with my hamburgers.  So I walked over there.  I walked thru the parking lot and there was my favorite rent-a-cop.  Instead of tailing me himself, he sent the manager after me.  The manager was literally two steps behind me all over the store.  He was on the phone, too, with rent-a-cop, I think, saying things like, “Yes, I’m with her.”  I bought my chips and paid in change. 

I always tell stories about this stuck up little grocery store as an example of bad customer service for the classes I teach for welfare to work participants.  They are heartened to know that not only people with food-stamps get treated this way.  What really eggs me about this whole thing is that the initial stopping me crap was back in June.  It’s freaking October.  Those people are cracked out.  I’ll still keep going back for little things, but I think I’ll start showing the damn security guy my bag, or perhaps I’ll slip the manager a copy of this post.


Filed under Frustrations and Rants, Musings

6 responses to “Grrrr…

  1. Why the hell would someone stop you a week after they thought you stole something? Seriously I don’t think that shit is even legal. People get sued for accusing people of stealing even right when they think it’s occurred. I’d go after those fuckers legally if I were you.

    I was once accused of trying to return some clothing to a store that I never bought. I didn’t have the receipt – I left it at home – and just went up to the clerk to ask if I could return the stuff without it. I had every intention of going back to home to get the receipt if I was told I couldn’t. The guy accused me of stealing the stuff and threatened to hold me in the store. I pitched a huge hissy, went home, got the receipt, went back and waved the thing in my face, then went and found the store manager and forced the clerk to apologize.


  2. OK – I screwed up that sentence. The situation was that I had bought the clothes at the store, then was accused of stealing them when I tried to return them without the receipt.

    OK I feel better now.

  3. It is oddly traumatsing. I don’t know what is more rediculous, stopping me a week later, or that security guy asking, “what happened to the ice cream.”

    If it didn’t happen to me, I’d have trouble believing it.

  4. Leo

    How oddly ridiculous.
    Is this the only store close to you? I would boycott them for sure!

  5. twitches – I don’t know, you better get your story straight before they read this a come busting down your door.

    slynne – I agree with giving them a copy of your post.
    Then, buy a packade of link sausage – open it – wave the sausages around like num chuks and shout “power to the shoppers” as you back out the door. (don’t forget to buy some onions and peppers for later)

  6. Wow — I’m impressed that you’ve gone back — I guess there’s something so fantastically out-there about the whole situation. They didn’t think it was worthy of calling the cops on you when they first thought you stole from them, but now they watch you like a hawk and of course you’re on the defensive. I wonder what on earth they’re thinking.

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