May 13, 2015

Dont Sample the Whistle Key Chains

Retail Adventures

As I come around to the main aisle following a trail of spilled coffee and I see a middle aged Latino or Native American man of short stature at the reading glasses display. I'd noticed him before wandering around other parts of the store, not really looking like he was shopping for anything in particular.  Along with his height I notice his hair is messy, his basketball shorts and wifebeater tank top are ripped and dirty. He's also wearing a bomber jacket that looks like it's been crumpled up on the floorboard of a car for a week.  Usually when someone like this, unkempt, shifty, aimless, is in the store they get a second glance. It's probably profiling but usually hunches turn out to be right and they end up stealing something.  Having free coffee tends to attract more of these people than we'd like, but it's a nice thing to offer our customers. 

He's got on a pair of reading glasses and on his tippy-toes trying to stand high enough to see himself in the little mirrors provided by the store for customers to see how different glasses look.  They are set about chest high on an average height person, and they are adjustable but he insisted on balancing on his toes to see his reflection while holding a dixie cup of coffee, spilling most of it out on the floor in front of him, and all over himself.  He notices me and looks up with a wide, stupid, toothless grin and giant bug-eyes from the magnifying reading lenses and says "Hawdo I look?!" I paused for a second to think to myself 'like a scumbag moron' and said outloud in my friendly customer service voice "makes you look smarter"  because that's what people say when you try on glasses right?

I left him to his spectacle shopping and walked away but kept an eye on him as he continued through the store.  He still had the glasses in his hand but his other hand was hidden by his jacket sleeve and it looked like he was trying to conceal something in his shorts. His right hand was under his shirt as he walked around.  It was time for my lunch break so as I left, I asked another employee, we'll  call him Jason, who has sort of become our unofficial, self appointed theft prevention officer.  It's not his job, and isn't qualified for it and it takes away from his normal responsibilities so I probably shouldn't encourage him but he's into it. 

When I return from lunch I ask about the suspicious individual.  "So did he end up stealing anything"  Jason says something like "not that he saw but went on to tell me what happened"   Or unofficial security officer isn't very subtle when it comes to tracking potential shoplifters and many times they get the hint they are being watched and either just leave or confront the accusation.  This time the guy got a little antsy and said something like "hey man I ain't takin nothin, why you watchin me"  and at that point Jason mentions how he's been hiding something under his shirt.   The man then explains that he has a zit on his ass that he's been trying to pop. Jason was speechless.  This guy may or may not have been stealing but at that point he didn't care. He told him to go wash his hands.  He follows him to the bathroom and waits for him to exit.   The individual is taking his time, definitely more time that it takes to wash your hands.  Jason goes in to check on him and see's what can not be unseen.  The guy has his basketball shorts halfway down his legs, bent and twisted over in front of the mirror trying to pop the pimple on his butt with both hands.

"Oh come on man!"  Jason exclaimed and then tells him to pull up his pants and get out of the store.

The rest of the day all the employees are recalling him from earlier and taking mental notes of all the things he touched in the store with his dirty butt zitt hands.  As a general rule I do not recommend testing out the whistle key chains. Ever. I once saw an old homeless woman pick up one of every color and blow into them one at a time.  Add reading glasses and several other things to that list.  


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