Customer shamed by woman working at grocery store for forgetting to scan one item

Mary Duncan
Photo by Nathália Rosa on Unsplash

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.*

We live in a time when people just aren’t that kind to each other, don’t you think?

I feel like when I was a child back in the 80’s life was so much simpler, quieter, safer and more comfortable.

Sure, I was a child then, but I don’t remember my parents or grandparents going through the kinds of things then that we are going through now.

War and violence constantly being bombarded on us by the media, kids spending their hours playing shoot ‘em up video games - it’s just not the same as it used to be, it’s worse.

I was at the grocery store the other day and witnessed a display of humanity that I would rather have avoided.

There was a woman in line in front of me at the self checkout area who had a cart loaded with items, but such as it seems to be where I live now, there is usually only one human cashier available at any given time to check you out, so most people do it themselves.

It was taking her forever to check out, and the grocery store attendant had to help her multiple times when the machine read errors and stopped working until the attendant came over to scan her card and get things moving again.

The woman finally finished checking out and started walking away from the register and I heard the grocery store attendant start freaking out and yelling at her.

“You didn’t scan that case of water under your cart!” she yelled.

All eyes in the area went to the scene unfolding, and I had a front row seat.

“I was watching you the whole time, and you didn’t pick up that water and scan it.”

“Oh my gosh, I forgot it, I’m sorry, I’ll get back in line and pay for it now.”

“Oh no, I’m calling the manager, we have enough people in here trying to get away with stealing.”

The woman immediately burst into tears, apologizing profusely, trying to maneuver her cart back through the line so she could pay for the water.

“You can use my register,” I told her, because I hadn’t started scanning yet.

“Thank you,” the woman said to me, and I helped her lift the case of water up to be scanned and looked her in the eye and smiled, because she deserved some kindness.

“You don’t need to call the manager, see? She paid for it,” I said, and the attendant snubbed her nose at me.

As the woman with the water walked by her, she said:

“If you can’t afford to go shopping without stealing, you shouldn’t come into the store!”

I don’t know what the deal was with either of these women.

The one with the water, she probably really did forget that it was sitting under her cart. I can’t imagine anyone would want to risk stealing a five dollar case of water after paying for everything else, but who knows?

Either way, the grocery store attendant shouldn’t have been so assuming, judgmental and mean.

What do you think?

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State

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