It’s not very often you will find me schlepping through the isles of Walmart, but there are those times, that out of convenience, you will find me picking up a cart full of groceries/household goods. To be honest, I’ve never had that much beef with the big box retailer, I’ve just always chosen to support my local stores with most of my (and/or the businesses) purchases.
However, the actual implications of those “convenience” trips, was brought to light this past weekend. Read ahead, but please note, I will never step foot in another Walmart for the rest of my life.
This weekend, while killing time on my way to meet my parents, I decided to “conveniently” drop in Walmart to stock up on household goods. After about 45 minutes of browsing isles, reading labels (don’t even get me started) and throwing stuff in my cart, I went to check out. I placed all my items (or so I thought) on the belt and went on as usual. I swiped my debit card, accepted the $80 charges and proceeded to walk out of the store. BUT, when I got to the exit a man jumped out at me, set off the gate alarms and said “Mam, you need to come with me for the items under your purse!!”… I quickly moved my purse and said “Oh my gosh, these two items!!” Yes, that’s right – 100% MY BAD, I picked up two smaller items that after falling out of my cart for the 5th time, I placed my purse in the top bin to secure them in place <— I once requested Target to have small baskets in their carts and this is why!
The funniest thing though, is that after I removed my purse and turned my cart around to follow Barney Fife, both items fell out my cart and started rolling out the store, lol. I proceeded to walk from one end of Walmart super center to other, while Mr. Fife loudly communicated to all of his colleagues on his walkie-talkie that I was on my way. At this moment, I hadn’t hit the infuriated stage – I was more so just trying to bring down my heart rate, because the scene they made was so drastic that I literally thought I was going to jail.
So there I sat in Walmart’s security room with my $80 cart full of purchases, while a police officer called in my driver’s license and the Walmart’s HR staff gathered all the basics… Like the 8.99 ish price tag of the two items in my cart. But as I sat there, clearly innocent (even the cop was silently mouthing ‘sorry’ to me) the HR security lady did not blink an eye and proceeded to treat me like a full-fledged criminal. She kept saying to me “ma’am, do you understand why you are in here” “ma’am, please stay seated as we run the items you have tried to shoplift” “ma’am, is this your first shoplifting offense” “ma’am, you may be billed for the products you have tried to shoplift and for my time” “ma’am, luckily because this is your first shoplifting offense with Walmart and the items are under $20, you will be able to walk out of our store today”… By this point, I had put on my oversized shades and had gone from ‘nervous’ to ‘irate’. I believe I said “you can either rephrase your questions, or just except that I’m not going to answer them.” Had she called me a ‘shoplifter’ one more time, I might have ended up in jail yesterday, FOR REAL. Luckily though, I was “escorted off the premises” before giving her the chance and making said attack.
But I digress, because as infuriating as this story is (and it’s actually pretty comical too), it was just a great reminder of the title of this post — VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR. I can guarantee you, had this happened at my local Nature’s pantry, Nature’s Own or Green Acres – that they wouldn’t have innocently harassed me, accused me of false charges and overall made a mockery of me in a public setting. Nothing is worse than being an honest person and being accused of dishonesty. I mean, I’ve been known to correct cashiers when they accidentally under-charge and/or miss items while scanning <– it’s like a karmic disease that I can’t help.
If your curious though, I didn’t get off scotch clean. That’s right – this girl, as of right now has a permanent record with Walmart as a “shoplifter”. Moreover, when I called this morning (ohh, the poor customer service rep who had to take my phone call), it was noted that I’d need to call back in 14 days to review all fines that I would be billed… Not even kidding. Hold me back.
As you can imagine, I will never make an ethically poor shopping decision out of “convenience” again. And, I encourage my readers, customers and/or family/friends to do the same.