As promised, here is part one of my favorite holiday retail stories. Okay, so this first one is post-holiday. It doesn't make it any less funny.
A couple of weeks ago, one my customer services reps comes running up to the manager's bridge.
She's all big-eyed and out of breath. BIG overreactor, this one.
S: Dude, someone's unwrapping stuff in the women's bathroom!
Me: (tiredly) You sure it's not a tampon or something...
S: SERIOUSLY! They're STEALING something. RIGHT NOW!
Me: (a little more seriously) What do you think it is?
S: I don't know, but I'll go back and find out if you want.
Me: (Finally realizing that something serious was going on) Go, and I'll let LP know.
So, she goes back to the bathroom and returns to the LP stand with TONS of empty CD and DVD wrappers. But our perp had gotten away. We were all pissed. A blatant thief in our midst, but we hadn't moved fast enough. As the night wore on, S would not let the issue go.
S: Can we call the police and give them her description? I saw her! I really did! And she was STEALING! From US!
Me: No, S. We don't have her on camera, and you didn't catch her in the act.
S: What if she comes in again? Can we just arrest her?
Me: No, S. And she'd never be stupid enough to come back in.
Or so we THOUGHT.
The next morning I came in to find that S had asked our product manager to show the video of our perp to EVERY SINGLE EMPLOYEE in the hopes that she would show up in the store again so we could bust her. Well, at least everyone knows what she looks like, I thought. But she'd be nuts to show up again.
Three hours later, I was walking the floor with R, our sales manager. Suddenly R's head whipped around to the right and I was almost choked by the cloud of whirling blond hair.
R: That's HER!
R: HER! The....the....lady. The....thief.
Me: From last night?
Me: How do YOU know, you weren't even...
R: I saw the video this morning! I remember because she looked so......plain. Mid-40's, white, female, plain clothes...
Me: Oh. Oh sh*t! Let's get moving!
So we broke into teams. One tracked her from the monitor at the LP desk, and the other followed her unobtrusively through the store. We watched her LITERALLY FILLING her bag with dozens of CD's and DVD's. She was just grabbing items at random and STUFFING them in her bag! It was almost surreal. The cops arrived as she was making her way into the bathroom. She just walked to the door, looked both ways, and entered. This lady had a pair of brass ones! The cops (three of them) surrounded the bathroom and waited for her to come out. Waited 30 MINUTES!!! R and S were both looking at the monitor at one point and S asked, "What the hell is taking her so long?" "She's got to unwrap over 40 items and then stash them back in her bag. That's at least an hour job," I replied. It still was rather surreal to me. After a few more minutes, the police busted in, cuffed her, and walked her to our security office. After a while, they asked me to come in.
Cop: We need an exact account of what she stole. A receipt.
Me: Okay. Just put everything in this basket and I'll ring it up.
Cop: (Starts to put items in the basket)
Crazy Thief Lady: Are you the general manager?
Me: (SIGH) Yes.
Crazy Thief Lady: PLEASE don't press charges! I'm sick! I'll NEVER do this again.
Me: (to the cops) Is this everything?
Crazy Thief Lady: PLEASE! I'll do ANYTHING!
Me: (to the cops, again) Is this everything?
Crazy Thief Lady: PLEASE! PLEASE! I'll do anything. I can help you!
Me: (to the cops, for the final time before I walked out) Is this EVERYTHING?
Crazy Thief Lady: I can help you! I can. I help people.
Me: (staring a hole through the cop who was sifting through cellophane)
Crazy Thief Lady: I've helped BLACK people! PLEASE!!!
Me: (my head jerked up to face her, and the room fell silent. Dumbfounded, I responded in my best Scooby Doo voice) Rooumph?!