Monday, December 7, 2009

When Doing The Right Thing Sometimes Feels Wrong

I had another interesting adventure tonight.

They seem to follow me, those adventures.

I've been robbed before. Twice.

My apartment was broken into many years ago, and my purse was stolen out of my car only a few years ago.

But I've never actually SEEN anyone attempt to commit a robbery right in front of me.

Until tonight.

That was a first.

After dinner, I dropped the boys off at basketball practice, and headed out to the MomStore.

AKA, Wal-mart.

Gotta love Wal-mart.

And I mean that both on a sincere and a sarcastic level. For so many reasons.

Tonight was relatively painless.

In and out in about 20 min.

As I was walking towards the OUT door, I noticed two things at the same time.

First, was the woman to my right, who was also leaving the store, but pushing her cart towards the IN door.

In a split second, I took in the fact she had a CARTLOAD of stuff, and she was walking with purpose towards that door.

And boxes. I saw lots of boxes. No idea what was in them. But the subconscious immediately registered 'big ticket' items.

I looked at her for no more than a couple of seconds before focusing more closely on the person to my left.

The 'Wal-mart Greeter, and 'Let me check your receipt cause you have a box in your cart that isn't in a bag' person.

Now, I don't know who mans this post in YOUR Wal-mart, but in this particular store, on this particular evening, it was a 'little old lady' type.

With a limp.

I don't say that to be mean, but it's sort of part of the story.

I have seen this woman working there many times.

She was in conversation with a couple of teenage boys as I walked by.

The 'cart full of boxes' woman (from here on known as Cart lady), was walking much faster, and had already reached the door, and was halfway through it before the 'YOU'VE STOLEN SOMETHING!' alarm went off.

Right away, the Wal-mart greeter lady (from here on known as WG lady), went after her. Calling out to her 'Excuse Me'.

Three times she called after her.

Getting louder each time, when by the third, she was SCREAMING across the entrances.

EVERYONE could hear her.

Except Cart lady. She just kept on going. Didn't look back once.

I lost sight of them for a second when the two teenagers the WG lady had been talking to stepped in front of me, and began going after her, and calling after her.

****SIDE NOTE****
Personally, I thought that was a little strange in itself. What could be so important, that they would have to chase after the WG lady, when SHE'S chasing after a potential thief?

So, when I finally got out the door, there was WG lady, holding onto either the cart, or the Cart lady herself, I'm not sure.

What I AM sure of, was the conversation.

WG lady was asking for the receipt, and Cart lady was saying she didn't have time to produce it because her cab was waiting.

Excuse me?

Your cab is waiting?

You're two seconds away from being accused of stealing by pissed off WG lady, who had to limp after you, chasing you down because you completely ignored the warning bells and her screams, and you won't produce the receipt because your cab is waiting?


Obviously I wasn't the only one who thought that was a lame excuse, as the WG lady was beginning to lose it.

God love 'er, she just kept repeating, 'I need to see your receipt!'

Unfortunately, Cart lady was determined to leave, and WG lady was giving off the 'over my dead body!' vibe.

All of a sudden, Cart lady starts grabbing boxes off the top of the cart pile, and yells 'I'm taking my stuff!'

WG lady tries to take the box back and yells into the crowd, 'Get security!'

This is the moment my brain officially split in two.

One side said, STAY!

The other said, GO - FAST!

I went.

I had no idea where to find 'Security' in Wal-mart, so I made a very gender biased decision, and walked to the two closest guys wearing red Wal-mart shirts.

I told them, 'The Wal-mart lady at the front door needs your help. I think someone may be trying to walk off with a cartload of stuff. She asked for security.'

And honest to god, I got the look.

The one where they first stare at me, then look at each other, then back at me with a 'Um. Security? Um. You want US to do something?' look.

I simply said, 'She needs HELP!' and walked back towards the entrance.

By the time I got back outside (after stopping to say a quick 'Hi' and 'Gotta love Wal-mart') to a neighbour who had seen me (and another person) asking for security) the Cart lady was gone.

The WG lady was about five cars down into the parking lot, with a couple of Wal-mart employees.

She had the cart.

It looked to contain LESS than it did a few minutes before, but there was still quite a bit in it.

Cart lady was nowhere in sight. And WG lady looked PISSED.

I walked over to her and started to say that IF there had been an incident, and they needed anyone who had seen anything, that I had been directly behind them.

I'm not quite sure how much of that thought I actually got out, before she simply walked by me and gave me the hand.

Yup, got the hand, People.

Oh yeah, she was pissed.

So, I left it at that, shook my head, and walked across the parking lot to my car.

On the drive home, I replayed the incident through the brain, and once again thought of that moment where WG lady yelled for someone to get security.

I knew going to get help was the right thing to do, but I also wanted to stay there, in case Cart lady did anything to WG lady.

I don't mean 'did anything' in a 'stab her in the parking lot' kind of way. I just mean that Cart lady was adamant she was leaving - with her stuff. WG lady was just as adamant she was staying.

I was afraid Cart lady might push her down in her attempt to get away, and that's not something you want to see happen to a little old lady who is already sporting a limp.

It was one of those moments where you think, 'Nothing will happen to her', but the minute you walk away to get help, you think 'But what if something happens to her?'

One of those moments when doing the right thing sometimes feels wrong.

And then thinking, she must have gone after her through the parking lot. Could I have done anything to help stop her?

Did she get away with anything? (After seeing the before and after of the cart, my personal guess would be, yes). Could I have helped in stopping her from taking anything if I had stayed? I was 'right there'.

Who knows?

Personally, although I agree with employing people of 'retirement age' as a greeter, I don't agree with them having to chase down potential thieves.

If Wal-mart is going to offer 'security', then post someone at the front entrance/exit, where people with balls the size the their shopping carts will attempt to walk right on out.

Ahhhh Wal-mart. Gotta luv ya!

And there you have it, another one of those 'interesting adventures', and opinions, from the Korner ;-)



Employee No. 3699 said...

Wow. Just wow.

Kim's Korner said...

Yeah, it really WAS a 'just wow' kind of moment!