Why are people so willing and ready to give up their personal freedoms so easily, and with so little objection? Read ahead and you’ll see what I’m referring to. You might not think this is a big deal, or that I’m nitpicking about trivial shit. But I’m not. And I’m not willing to bend on little shit like this, because the more you give them, the more they will take from you. And you have to draw the line somewhere!
When I’m leaving Wal-Mart, I don’t expect to have to show you my receipt. Big deal, you say? Yes, it is a big deal. Number one, I’ve already paid for the shit. It’s mine now. The receipt is also mine. It’s proof that I purchased my stuff in case I need to return it. It’s not yours to see, and you have no legal right to ask for it. If I refuse to show it to the old woman at the door, there is nothing they can do about it, and they certainly cannot detain me over it. Most people just assume they have to show their receipts at the door, when asked for it. No! You don’t!
Now there are exceptions to this. If you pay a membership fee to shop somewhere, like at Sam’s or Costco, then yeah, they have a right to ask you for your receipt at the door – especially since they don’t bag anything there. And you’re bound by the membership agreement to show it to them. I’m fine with that. But stores where I shop for free, I’m under no obligation to show my receipt. Even if I set off the alarm. It’s not my fault that some dipshit cashier didn’t know how to drag my DVD copy of Beaches across the magnetic strip. And furthermore, look at all the theft-prevention programs they already have in place.
Aside from the alarms at the door, they have security cameras in the store, along the ceiling. They also have plain-clothes, undercover agents walking around spying on people’s shopping habits. Trust me, I used to work the photo lab there, and was friends with the guy on staff. He caught five or six people a day trying to steal shit. Like big shit. Like X-Boxes and shit. Beyond that, they have the plastic barriers that have to be removed from some particular items before use, and a whole slew of other shrink-avoidance articles that I don’t have the desire to list. But suffice it to say, they’re doing a lot more than meets the eye. Like transformers.
So I went to walk out of the store Tuesday with some items that were all too large for sacks. Namely, a cooler and a camp kitchen. I paid for my stuff and started walking out the door. I walked through the magnetic sensors and did not set off the alarm. The woman immediately tells me to stop though. I had already stopped though, because I was leaving my basket and walking toward the trash bin so I could throw away my McDonald’s cup. While I was throwing this away, she snagged my receipt from my fingers! So I punched her in the throat.
Just kidding. So I said, “Can I help you?” She said, “I’m just checking your receipt.” I promptly snatched it back from her and said, “That won’t be necessary.” And I started walking back to my basket. She then approaches my basket and says, “Do you have anything in the cooler?” So I said, “No.” She then puts her hand on my cooler and proceeds to open it and look inside! This is my property now. So I got a little louder. “I said, no, lady!” So she looks up at me and says, “I heard you.”
At this point, I was fuming and furious. How dare you insult me by stopping me. That’s basically accusing me of being a thief. So I got in her face and I said, “I told you there was nothing in the cooler. Yet you took it upon yourself to open my personal property and have a look anyway. I did not set off your alarms, I did not authorize you to look at my receipt, and I did not give you permission to go rifling through my shit. If you think I’m a thief, you need to go review your security tapes and call the police. But if you try to stop me again, we’re going to go have a talk with your manager, and lay down what you are and are not allowed to do. And I will file a complaint against you for harrassment.” All she could muster up at this point was, “Thank you for shopping Wal Mart.” To which I replied, “Yeah, you’ll be lucky if I come back.”
Now a lot of you probably think I was being a jerk unnecessarily. But I’m serious – you cannot just allow people to infringe upon your personal freedoms and do shit like this. Where does it stop? Will you allow them to come out to your car and search your trunk? Now I’m fortunate in that when I took the cooler off the shelf, I opened it and checked out the inside. But what if I had not? What if there had been something in it that I didn’t know about? See how I would have been in trouble now? Because she invaded my personal property and stepped all over my civil rights. And next thing you know, I’m sitting in an office, waiting on the cops. I then get to probably go to jail, or at the very least have a theft on my record.
It’s my personal decision to return the mistakenly stolen item once I realize it. Which I would do if it was worth the trip. But this extends to further than your baskets, people. What if you get pulled over and a police man decides to search your car? Are you going to just let him because you feel intimidated? Know your rights. Don’t give up your freedoms on a whim.