Nov 12, 2008

Thieves

He that steals an egg, will steal an ox.--George Herbert (although it may be in Proverbs) If you have a sink, you have one of these, a strainer basket. When I got to work this morning, the first customer that I waited on was a woman looking to buy a strainer basket, because the one she had was broken. The little plunger doohickey on hers was kaput. I got her a new one and that started a discussion about whether or not it was the same size as the one she brought in. I tried my best to reassure her that 99% of the kitchen sinks in America have the same size drain hole, including hers. She was having none of it, so she asked me to take it out of the package to show her. I noticed that the package had been cut down the side with a knife and when I took out the new strainer, I discovered that, rather than being new, it was someone's old broken basket. Either someone returned a broken old strainer basket to the store, or they swapped it on the shelf. Either way, the one that should have been in the package was stolen. Someone got away with a $4.99 item. Hardly a day goes by that I don't find an empty package or two stuffed in the back of a display. Brass plumbing parts have become expensive and we lose lots of those to people's pockets. They must look in the bins and see that we have plenty and figure no one will miss one. I even found a burned out light bulb in a package with three new ones. Someone brought it in and just swapped it for a good one and walked back out. This used to surprise me. Who steals from a hardware store, especially one where we have personal contact with every customer and we actually know about half of them by name? After a month on the job, I stopped being surprised. If you have something, anything, there is someone willing to steal it. I'm guessing that it is not usually about needing something that you don't have the money to buy. I wonder if its true that a person who would steal a small thing, would also steal a big thing? I think no. I think most people who steal small stuff are too afraid to steal something big. They might be inclined, but fear holds them back. Our thieves come in all sizes and shapes. Sometimes they are the person you would not suspect. Mostly, they're not the person you would suspect, I'm guessing. The meth addicts steal our stuff and try to return it for cash. That never works out for them. Some people must think that the store won't miss a small item or justify their theft by telling themselves that they spend plenty in the store, so they're owed. Maybe some people get a thrill from stealing small stuff. Nothing in our store is that valuable, but lots of things are small and easy to steal, so people do. It's a sad commentary on where we have arrived. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

13 comments:

Annie Ha said...

A friend of mine was arrested for shoplifting a few years ago. She was, I think, 26 at the time. I said to her, "Isn't that something you stop doing when you are 12?"
She said she wanted a necklace and she didn't have money so she took it. She found it exhilarating and then proceeded to take other small items from various stores in the same mall. She was caught stealing a $12 pair of socks.
Luckily, they didn't bust her for any of the other items in her bag, just for the socks. Petty theft doesn't carry much of a consequence, it seems.

Coffee Messiah said...

Amazing, but not surprising.

With so many losing their jobs and being desperate, I'm thinking the trend will grow.

I've never needed or wanted anything bad enough to end up in jail or anything though.

Luckily.........

Reya Mellicker said...

I think there's a difference between the thieves who break into cars to steal stereos because they can sell them, or steal because they have no money, and shoplifters.

Shoplifters I do not understand. "Exhilarating?" It's such a bizarre idea - at least to me.

Remember Breakfast at Tiffanys? In the movie, they portrayed shoplifting and glamorous and fun.

Huh?

Megan said...

At the clothing store, I found that happening with socks a lot. Children's socks, mostly. Apparently the parent(?) would open a package (say, of six), put a pair directly onto the child or children, and calmly walk out.

dennis said...

Dennis steals from Merle's hardware store. But HEY! In Breakfast at Tiffany's the only reason Holly took Paul to steal from the dime store was because they were doing a day of things "never done before" Paul had never stolen. Holly had grown up a poor orphan and had stolen food. They stole 2 cheap Halloween masks by wearing them out of the store.

They did however portray the New York public library as Glam & fun. The last lines of the movie are so true. And there is a great CAT in the movie too.

Dennis thinks it's a disease, Kleptomania, like OCD hand washing or other behaviors we can't all understand.

Steve said...

Hmmm...Blogger just ate my comment.

I'm sure they have it rationalized in their minds somehow. But it's still bad Karma!

alphabet soup said...

A good thing you opened the box, that woman would not have been too happy to get home and find she had paid for a broken second-hand item. As for the shop-lifting, who really know why people do this. What I do know is that the rest of the customers who do pay, also pay for a cost factored into the price to cover losses incurred from theft.

Ms Soup

Squirrel said...

People steal grapes at the grocery store often! I always feel like saying something to them.

If you will steal a grape, you will steal an ox.
or does it only apply to eggs?

Julia said...

Sometimes grapes are sour, so I will often eat one to make sure it's not a sour bunch before I buy. Otherwise, I agree with you all and say that shoplifting is bad!

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

At Long's...

I think we find about $500 a week in empty packages around the store...

makes me sick...

people even find receipts outside ... bring in.. take the product off the floor and "return" it ...

one of our stores was just robbed a couple weeks ago... only a couple hours after Matthew and I were there... around 7pm .. that's crazy...
made the two clerks get on the floor face down... they wanted in the pharmacy...

bella rum said...

My wreath was stolen off my door one Christmas. My niece told me, "They'll steal the drawers right off your bottom if you aren't careful."

Anonymous said...

People steal pens from their offices, and paper too.


and time.

Anonymous said...

I like to taste the bread at the super market before buying, to make sure it is fresh.