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.