October 11, 2007


Now please tell me why you would shoplift in your own hometown, especially a small one like Ripley? In Wal-Mart which admittedly, is the only "store" in town, but has closed-circuit monitors and a security force? At the ages of 15 and 17? Someone said the young have no fear; I say they are stupid--which may equate no fear.

I was drafted to perform a different task today and hope never to be drafted again. For what, Missy? "Welcome to Wal-Mart; How're you?; Have a nice evening; Good night." That's right. Girlfriend, notorious for the sour-puss, was drafted to act as a greeter. You're kidding, right? Not. Seems they were short-handed and needed someone to meet and greet. Now I can smile with the best of them so that was no problem. Nooo, the problem was standing in one spot. My spine is killing me. I went out for a break and fell into the car. The spine was frozen in place. See, it's one thing to be on your feet, moving around, and another to be standing in one place doing virtually nothing. Moving around doesn't give you time to focus on how badly your back is hurting from being on your feet for hours on end. Standing still correlates with a watched pot; it doesn't boil, the clock doesn't move, and your back screams for relief.

Now you may think that "greeter" has got to be the most do-nothing position in the store. Not so, boys and girls. You have to tag returned goods, keep an eye out for unbagged goods and check receipts (because some people like to keep walking with Wally's merchandise), act as the welcoming face to your friendly neighborhood store, be the store directory, yada yada. Got that? Good.

Round about 9:45, I noticed two young girls behind me with their cart. Attractive, looked older than they were. Appeared to be looking for someone. "They close at 10 o'clock." That remark caused me to look back a second time and helpful Missy started to correct them--it's a 24-hour store. But, I kept my lips sealed. Turned back to see Mr. Security, shaved head, muscular, has taken up a position in front of me at the doors. Undercover clothes, blue-tooth headset, obviously security. If goody-two-shoes could make him, surely the regular patrons know who he is, right? Self: Good grief, surely he's not going to tackle someone in front of me. Where is that coming from, Missy? Last week, the head of security, who looks Sudanese, tall, thin, tackled a shop-lifter outside the store. The young man walked out of the store with his new shoes on. B-r-i-g-h-t. Anyway, the girls disappeared into the bowels of the store and out of my mind. Mr. Security stood for a moment, then faded away.

I was relieved as greeter and went back to my section, most thankfully. A young boy approached me and asked if I would page his sister. No problem. Then another associate paged the sister again. I'm thinking she's outside in the car. As I'm on my way to clock out, what to my wondering eyes do appear but an office full of parents, children, security, associates. As I pass by, the associate who made the second page told me that we had paged one of the shop-lifters. GET OUT! We're paging her for her brother who had become separated from the crowd and she is in the office being read her rights. Understand that they are barred from the store. That, in itself, was an act of kindness; they could've gone to jail.


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