Sunday, July 07, 2013

True Crime

True Crime They had him against the wall. The thief thought he was leaving the store without detection. Most thieves steal with confidence. If they didn’t have that heady confidence. They would have never crossed the line. I saw it all developing right in front of me. Two burly security officers accosted the thief and demanded that he empty the contents of his backpack. “Why did you steal from us?” The chastened thief tried to say something, but he was intercepted immediately by the larger security officer. “The police are on the way.” I could sense the ridicule, the embarrassment, and the ignominy of the moment for this thief caught dead red in the act. Looking closer, I thought I recognized the thief. In fact, I am sre I recognized him. It was me. The national chain whose first name rhymes with GALL decided not to prosecute. Their “investigation” determined that my “haul” was limited to one ninety nine cents bottle of Gatorade, hardly a Brinks job. Perhaps the most demeaning moment was when the mouthy security type sent me on my way with this admonition. “Come back in here again and we will bust your ass and call the cops!” I complied for a few days before my anger boiled over. I didn’t like how I was treated and I wanted to start talking. I sent an email to the chain’s corporate office in Arkansas. I followed up with a phone call to Edgar, the store manager. Edgar assured me that the matter could be dealt with to my customer satisfaction. I waited a few days. Then I waited a few more. The day arrived where I would wait no more and that was the day I returned to the scene of the crime. It was a bit strange walking into the store again, I wondered if I might be tackled and taken to the ground with alarms sounding and lights flashing. Of course nothing happened. Diego, a 28 year old affable store manager greeted me, listened intently to my story and then summed it up best. “This should never have happened.” In the end, he offered a gift card and on behalf of his store, a sincere apology. I caved. I was proud of myself that morning and I had a little extra energy the rest of the day. As I exited, the electric doors let me pass and I was a free man to continue my journey without being detained. Freedom was sweet---even at a discount chain.

No comments: