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theft rant

we've also received a VEEEEEEERRRY obviously fake $100 traveler's cheque. i felt bad for the new girl that took it, because she had never seen a traveler's cheque before, so she didn't know what to look at, whereas since i work in the cash office practically every day of my life, i could tell it was a phony from across the room. (i AM the paperwork queen. ha. i do more paperwork than the managers. and i so don't care, because there are not customers in the cash office.) we've also had every freaking tom, dick, and pathetic coming in to rip things off of the shelves (including $3500 of calculators that the loss prevention team at corporate said was a GREAT IDEA to put live on the floor. ha. showed THEM.) i generally try to not be... well... profiling when it comes to people in officemax, and try to give people the benefit of the doubt, regardless of if they're black, white, asian, poor, rich, whatnot. i grew up in a VERY poor family, as well as went through fantastic goth phases, and i remember people in stores looking at me like they wished i would leave, because i was OOOOBVIOUSLY there for no good reason, other than to rob them out of house and home and to stink up the air. i used to LOVE to go into places that were expensive and after getting glared at by all of the workers repeatedly, going up and buying something like money was no object. this didn't happen very often, however. i still cannot fathom spending more than $3 on lipgloss, for example, and spending $17 on a tube of lipgloss? pish.

anyhoo. i always try to give people the benefit of the doubt when they come into officemax, regardless as to who they are. i've seen coworkers see a black man come in with a do-rag and baggy clothing (wow, i sound old by saying that.), and instantly get on the radios, harping about how so and so needs EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE over in the software aisle, code ten, CODE TEN! the same with.. well, with running the risk of sounding snooty, there are just some people that automatically stick OUT in a place like officemax. even when i wasn't pinching pennies, i never shopped at officemax, because i could get the same thing WAY cheaper at target or wal*mart. men that look like they're one step above homeless, for example. missing almost all of their teeth and weighing in at 50 lbs soaking wet, with a nervous tick. when you come in, head STRAIGHT to the ink and toner section, then make a beeline for the bathroom... yeeeeah, we're gonna be on that like white on rice. if you nitpick with us about a $2 pack of pens and then hang out in the software aisle, manhandling our $400 boxes of stuff? yeeah, we're going to become your new best friend. if you come in with 4 friends and IMMEDATELY split up, each of you going to a different section of the store where our theft is high? consider us attached to your hips.

i see people come in all the time and almost IMMEDIATELY know they're up to no good. i feel like i've developed a sixth sense about it. for example, someone coming in on a 95 degree afternoon wearing a GIANT baggy winter coat.

although at times, i do try to give people the benefit of the doubt. the manager will call out for us to follow someone, and i'll talk to them, they'll be genuinely nice, and i'll tell management there's nothing to worry about. unfortunately, almost EVERY SINGLE TIME i do this, i see them wandering around with a $50 ink cartridge one minute in the opposite side of the store.... next minute they're leaving empty handed. crap.

i feel like i'm sounding like a racist, caste loving bitch. if that's how you see it, i'm sorry :( but CHEEZ. if you're going to steal from someone, at least be freaking intelligent about it. but seriously. stealing is WRONG. unless it's cable or internet porn. just kidding about the cable. ha. people don't think about consequences in the grand scheme of things. when you steal from us, not only do you make us look bad, but you also cause everyone's hours to be cut because they have to make up the money SOMEwhere. you cause us to be babysat by corporate because they feel that we can't wipe our own noses without assistance. you cause things like demotions... i got my keys and other priviledges taken away from me because our theft was so high over the last year, though i know that i had NOTHING to do with it, following everything by the book when it came to things like the change drawer and lock-up items. (the new loss prevention district manager said that they had to eliminate theft possibilities one by one until they found the culprit. i laughed when after my keys were taken away (and mary's) because we weren't officially managers, that they discovered that there WAS internal theft going on - camera boxes were empty in side lockup, and they certainly weren't on display anywhere... and i know that IIIII had nothing to do with it, and since it happened after the keys were taken back, it could only be one of the management team. hrm.)

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( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
soulresilience
Jul. 30th, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
Sadly...as much as you might try not to profile, there tends to be a profile for shoplifters. At least it's a broad profile. Always trust your gut. That's what I would tell my tellers about fraud. Any doubts, politely excuse yourself and take it to a supervisor. Which would be me. MWUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA....HA.... I hate dishonest people. But, now I'm not a supervisor. And I don't work at a bank. And I don't deal with the public. But I make more money :D
soulresilience
Jul. 30th, 2005 06:37 pm (UTC)
Oh oh oh....speaking of traveler's checks. When I was working at the shoe store like three or four years ago now....anywayz, I worked with this girl that wasn't very smart in general. Well, anywayz, she let someone pay with a traveler's check. Mind you, when I came in and found it in the till I was like, "what's this?" You see, it was the part that is used to *sell* the traveler's check. You know, the part the seller is supposed to keep and the part that's used as the purchase receipt. The best part was that it said "NON-NEGOTIABLE" across it. I love it!

Similar thing happened in the bank when a teller let someone deposit their pay check as cash (which is policy). However, once again "NON-NEGOTIABLE This Is Not A Check." And of course the customer's response in both situation "Oh, I didn't know. How silly of me." *cough*bullshit*cough*

Sorry, been a while since I shared retail stories.
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
ha ha, the freaking tenacity of some people is mind blowing. like a guy that brought in a harddrive to return fairly recently, i KNEW something was up because

1) he looks like a thug
2) he SAUNTERED in and tossed the harddrive on the counter and said 'you can just give me store credit for that.'

the look on his face when i said "okay!" and OPENED THE BOX to see the inside. needless to say, his old harddrive was in there. he swore up and down that was how he bought it and the freaking manager almost gave him the freaking refund. the guy came back in the next day with the actual harddrive to return and said "oh, i'm sorry, it was in my computer upstairs", when the night before, he was freaking out on us saying that he HAD no other computers.
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC)
hee hee, and i got a $20 reward, by the way, for calling on his bluff.
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:29 pm (UTC)
i really hate dishonest people. i don't think my gut feeling works very well, because so many freaking times i've given people the benefit of the doubt and even HELPED THEM PICK the thing out that they end up stealing from us later.
a_muse_d
Jul. 30th, 2005 06:35 pm (UTC)
i treat everyone like they're trying to rip us off. equal opportunity paranoia.
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:30 pm (UTC)
maybe that's what we should do, then :)
(Deleted comment)
scrumbles
Jul. 30th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC)
I am on a personal crusade against inkjet printers. I got a used laser printer for $80 and the toner lasts far longer and prints way faster than an inkjet. The cartridges are a huge ripoff that they sucker you into with the super-cheap printers themselves. I mean I'm not condoning stealing but $50 for a cartridge that lasts 50 pages is ridiculous.
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:31 pm (UTC)
about a year ago, we stopped selling lexmark printers all together because they're such a freaking ripoff. i think we're under new management overall or something because we sell them for $29 all the freaking time now. so many times in the last week alone, i've had someone yell at me because the printer is cheaper than the ink and comes with full cartridges.

yes, sir, i'm sorry. it was ME who priced that.
dojie
Jul. 30th, 2005 09:49 pm (UTC)
I worked the cash cage at a grocery store in one of the bad parts of town once, and we had rampant theft... even right under the noses of the two plain clothes security guards we had working in the store. At one point, there was cash missing out of the office so they did that process of elimination thing, but they started with me because I was the full time office person. It made me so mad I quit. I didn't realize until later that the act of quitting made me look guilty. Of course, I was young and stupid then.
wickedcricket
Jul. 31st, 2005 08:06 am (UTC)
Why are the folks at Corporate so clueless? Last Christmas we had orders to put the previously-locked-behind-a-glass-case DVD box sets out on the floor, against all of our wishes, and lo and behold, our shrink numbers were much higher this inventory...HMMM, WONDER WHY!
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
amazing how that works. the sad thing is that we keep having stuff stolen RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. people will come up and grab the prepaid phones, for example, then head back, slice them open, and leave.

my favorite was the day that i found about ten empty software boxes that were housed in a bin right in plain sight. ah, yes, we're a bunch of quick ones.

at least we don't have as many grab and runs like we used to when i first started working here, though we did have someone grab a $200 monitor and bolt out the backdoor.
___vanity_kills
Jul. 31st, 2005 04:34 pm (UTC)
stealing is WRONG. unless it's cable or internet porn.

hehe
bigstusexy
Jul. 31st, 2005 05:25 pm (UTC)
anyhoo. i always try to give people the benefit of the doubt when they come into officemax


I for one would like to cencerly thank you for that. You dont' know how many times I have had problesma nd thing of that nature. Infact, its almost that very reason I hate Wal-Mart, everytime I go there I have problems or I get looks or something. I've never found their prices to be such a teal and the store is alwasy a wreck somehow. GRRR

Moving on, yeah its kind of a double edged whamy and some other more proper term I can think of right now :P You don't want to profile yet you get feeling and almost know that someone is going to be likely to do it but *sigh*
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:37 pm (UTC)
one of my managers will sick associates to watching someone closely when they come in if they're black, which is bull shit.

since my theif-dar (like a gaydar, but for theives!) doesn't work well, if i see someone that i think might be wonky, i'll ask over the radio or drop hints and see if someone else picks up that we should be hanging out with them.

a surefire way to get followed:

- have a backpack
- come in with 2 or 3 people and immediately split up
- keep looking at us
- nervously refuse help when we ask if we can find you anything
- wear a giant freaking coat this time of year (which happens a LOT. hi, it's 95 degrees outside sir, can i hold your parka?)
bigstusexy
Aug. 8th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
weird! You know I can't think of too much in office max that I'd myself would see taking, except toner and I could use some toner but then gain I'm not reall that big into printer so I'll just wait till I'm at work where I can run off 100's of copies and no one would blink an eye.

That reminds me there is so much stuff I want to buy but cant, meh.
aubkabob
Jan. 22nd, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
That reminds me of a customer I caught making a zillion copies on one of our printer displays. I approached her and asked if I could help her, she said she was just checking the print quality. Twenty minutes go by and she's still there making copies so I had Ted approach her. He's like 6'5" and has a VERY deep voice and said "Um, is there anything I can help you with?" She said "No, I'm just checking the print quality." He replied "No, REALLY. You've been here a half hour, IS. THERE. ANY. THING. I. CAN. HELP. YOU. WITH." She blinked and said "maybe I should go."
bigstusexy
Jan. 22nd, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
Save that one for your book, "Working Retail: Weird stories from the Isles"
aubkabob
Sep. 9th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
I'll post it along side the column about the boy who trailed liquid poo all across our furniture pad.
bigstusexy
Sep. 9th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
I'm telling you keep them! Write them down then when you are tired of knitting you write the book and all you need is a mention on like the Today show or NPR and you'd have a best seller.
kimberlychapman
Aug. 1st, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)
stealing is WRONG

Yup. And I'm sick and tired of how people try to justify it. I hate some big corporations too, but stealing from them isn't a political act unless one does it and then publicizes it and is willing to be prosecuted for it.

Yet this is the excuse too many people I know use to justify their massive collections of illegal MP3s. It's like hellooooooo...it's stealing, pure and simple. And all stealing hurts society in some way or other. It always hurts someone innocent, whether it's a pack of pens in OfficeMax that makes OfficeMax raise their prices to cover the loss, or an entire album of MP3s from Sony, because even if Sony is evil and doesn't pay the artist properly anyway, that theft means Sony owes the artist even less than a pathetic royalty, and is then encouraged to bugger up CDs so honest folks can't even listen to a legitimately purchased album on their computers.

But it's always amazing how people will justify their own theft. :/
sweet_tiffany82
Aug. 5th, 2005 12:43 am (UTC)
i hear stories like this all the time from my mom. shes a manager at a retail store..and this one time this woman came in with her son and demanded him to give my mom back the shoes he stole. apparently..the kid came in the store and stole the shoes. when his mom saw the shoes he told her that the store had a thing where you could trade in shoes..LOL. yeh wtf. she knew he was lying so he came back to the store to apologize to my mom.this kid was 9..too.

one time this lady came in without shoes on. my mom was like,"uh you cant walk in here without shoes on." the lady got smart with my mom. my mom knew she was up to something and would leave without shoeson. people are stupid.

then theres people who come in with these big ass purses..trying to steal. its pathetic

sweet_tiffany82
Aug. 5th, 2005 12:48 am (UTC)
leave with shoes on *
sweet_tiffany82
Aug. 5th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
that happened at sams club. someone was stealing money out of our cash registers.

it was obvious that they stole a key..and it was probably one of the workers
belenen
Aug. 6th, 2005 02:07 am (UTC)
I found that kinda happening to me when I worked at Walmart, because most of the people I caught stealing were hispanic, so I started feeling more suspicious about them. I think the only way to keep from that is to become close friends with someone who is hispanic, so that when you see a hispanic person they remind you both of the thieves AND your friend, and it works out to neutrality. I also had a few black people trying to steal, but they didn't effect me so much because I have some close black friends -- so I didn't start getting suspicious about the race in general.
belenen
Aug. 6th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC)
*I used the word hispanic because that was my problem, but you can insert whatever race you feel inclined to be suspicious of.
aubkabob
Aug. 7th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)
that makes total sense. one of my supervisors profiles black people MASSIVELY. whenever a black person comes in, almost no matter what, she calles a 'code 10' for us to watch them and follow them around. a white girl who worked in the copy center called her on it and said that it was mean and disrespectful had dated a black man for quite some time.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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