Saturday, January 21, 2012

Retail Theft

Today, for the third time in recent memory, I engaged in a form of retail theft. But it wasn't my fault. Really.

About a year ago I was at Wally-World getting a few things for the car. I was in the self checkout and had finished scanning all the items. But the kiosk refused to take my credit card. My frustration was mounting and I was searching for a minion to help me with the problem. Just as I caught sight of a minion, some sort of alarm went off. As soon as it did, the well trained minion scanned the checkout kiosks and, seeing me, ordered me out of the store. My response was to point to the stubborn kiosk, explain that I just needed to complete paying, and I would be on my way. Nothing doing. I was sternly informed that the noise from above was a fire alarm and I needed to get out NOW.

Fine. I grabbed my bag of not-quite-paid-for items and marched out the door.

Then about a month ago, at the same location. Two places ahead of me in line, a gentlemen wanted to purchase some odd looking bunch of ...something... from the produce aisle. The tag on it wouldn't scan. The cashier then looked in a binder and, finding a code, entered into the workstation. The code was invalid. He repeated this process a number of times, as the clock ticked away. Finally, the customer informed him that he really didn't want that bunch of greens so badly and maybe he would just pay for the items that DID scan and get the hell out.

My purchase included two identical clothing items, sort of bunched together. The clerk, not noticing this, scanned them as a single item then bagged them. I counted this error as just payment for the time I just spent languishing in line and smiled my way past the error.

Today I was passing the baking supplies when I spotted a two quart bottle of Millers molasses. There was no price tag on the shelf, so I didn't know how much it was. But I know I needed a bottle for an upcoming batch of beer and added it to the basket. When I tried to check out, at the self-serve kiosk, the bottle wouldn't scan. I signaled the nearest clerk and told her my problem. After three failed attempts to manually enter the UPC code, she finally entered the magic code to override the system. She then entered a price of $2.50, knowing it was low, and smiled at me. I checked later, and this product sells online for about seven dollars.

No guilt.

Thursday, January 05, 2012