Posts Tagged ‘stealing’

Shoplifter: You Got Schooled

June 15, 2010

This day, we had three groups of shoplifters. One group stopped outside as I stared at them, and a coworker who was leaving even came in to tell me, and I told her I alerted the whole store already–they did not come in, but I did watch them dump tags into the trash outside. The second group didn’t see me, and turned around, finding me standing there. I partake in small conversation with them, then they speak in Portuguese, laugh, and leave. I was both glad and irritated I was working, because no one else was around, and even when I asked for support–I got none, people didn’t hear me, or people came when it was already over. I wonder if it’s free season to steal when I’m not working.

Finally, the group from my Exam arrived. I instantly recognized the woman, saying I needed support in the front because we have a tag-team in the store. I go on to describe what she’s wearing as I approach her. Then I see the other man–they are heading to the same corner as last week. I’m already irritated with shoplifters and disappointed with my coworker’s apparent lack of care that when these people do steal, they steal from our work hours. Today, I’m not here to pretend I’m talking to fake customers, nor am I interested in them trying to pretend they don’t speak English. I take them on face-to-face.

“Oh, hello again. You’re in the same corner as last time. The denim shorts you were looking at last Tuesday are on sale now. You should check them out again.”
“Wow, you remember us? You’re good!” The man looks at me and laughs.
“Yes, I have an IQ of 150.”
“Really? I have an IQ of 285.”
My face is blank as I reply, “It doesn’t go that high. But I do have a photographic memory, so I remember you quite well.”
He changes the subject discussing a tank top hanging nearby. I can see sweat on his forehead. I tell him it’s not popular, so no one is buying it, because they can’t figure out what to wear it with. Then our conversation ends, as he and his cohort walk out and leave.

I actually can’t handle too many shoplifters in one day, because my heartbeat instantly rises, my gut turns and my adrenaline pumps; I’m like a lion seeing a pack of jackals in my territory. My body automatically tenses up and I hide nearby, ready to pounce. Three groups of shoplifters made my body feel very tired, since I only got to feast on one group. Sometimes my body knows there are shoplifters even before I know.

I wonder if the Exam shoplifters will come again or if they already came when I wasn’t working. I hope I was able to make them disinterested in coming into my store again to face me. Each time they successfully steal, they get bolder thinking they can do it again. Scaring them away before they come in, like some of my coworkers, is also useless, because it doesn’t directly deter them. What I do confronting them, discussing with them what we both know they are doing, without accusing them of anything, that is what works. If you can’t scare them or make them sweat, then you’re just delaying their inevitability–to walk in and steal when no one is around. They do have time on their hands. I rather they be afraid I’m going to appear out of thin air, and devour them.

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Shoplifter: Hey, What’s Up?

May 21, 2010

I am at the register, trapped being a cashier. Even then, I always look up, I always check my surroundings, and just as our usual shoplifter walks in, I see him. Tall, skinny, shades, with tattoos down his arms, and carrying his open backpack in his hand. I tell people to keep an eye on him since I am stuck with a customer. I watch as he moves, and then stop watching when a coworker takes over. So I continue to help my customer at the register, and the shoplifter comes up to me, stopping and smiling, he says, “Hey, what’s up?” Then, he walks away and leaves.

Shoplifter- Rule #1

May 14, 2010

The first rule I tell anyone I train, “Treat everyone like a shoplifter.” Before you back away and gasp in surprise, you need to understand how we treat a shoplifter. We pay attention to them, we notice what they’re looking at, offering suggestions so they know we’re there, we’re available. No matter where they look, they can always see us. How is that not great customer service?

I don’t just say hello to customers that come in, I watch what they look at, this way I get an idea of what they want, what they are shopping for. I generally ask if they need another size, but I also offer other alternatives, too. Whenever they hold something, I ask if I can put it aside in a fitting room or at the registers for them.

Some customers are utterly amazed when they walk into the fitting room and I ask, “I saw you looking through the pants at the front of the store, I see you didn’t find your size, did you want me to check if we have it?”
“How did you even see from here?”
I laugh, “I see everything, it’s okay.”

This is how you should treat every customer, because anyone could be a shoplifter. This is how you should treat every shoplifter, because anyone could just be a customer.

Shoplifter- Caution, Keep Clear

May 13, 2010

I’m walking near the front of the store and I see two women who look like shoplifters–and coworkers have said previously, “Don’t judge people like that!” and right after this a manager of another store said, “Did you see those two women, they just stole from my store!” I eventually found the stolen shorts thrown under a rack. I don’t know what’s worse–that I can spot a shoplifter or that they make themselves so obvious.

Okay, so, the shoplifters outside walk into a store right across from us, and I notice how they have this big, colorful shopping bag. When they leave, they aren’t carrying it anymore. Soon, I see another man leaving carrying that colorful bag–they’re tag-teaming! (Tag-team is when one shoplifter goes in to distract everyone, and then another less obvious shoplifter–who generally doesn’t dress the same–enters and steals while everyone else is distracted.) I watch the two women enter the next store as all the employees converge on them–I assume the women are loud and obnoxious. Either way, the man proceeds to enter the store and starts to throw things into his bag, and me and my coworkers are standing there watching, since I don’t know what to do really. Customers outside that store are just standing and watching as he leaves with his bags full of clothes.

Later, my manager says, “And all the customers in our store didn’t have anyone to help them.” As I think to myself, “Seriously?” If that were in our store, and has previously happened, she drags me out and tells me to follow them around and not let them out of my sight–what happens to the customers there?

I get off work soon after this debacle. I know the direction the shoplifters went, and I think about which stores would be the best to hit, considering the type of stores they visit. So I walk up, and lo-and-behold, there they are in a kitchen store ‘browsing’. Nearby is another clothing store where a previous coworker is managing, so I go in, and tell him about the women as they walk by. And I’m standing there pointing at them as they look at us, and they walk away.

I tell the same manager this story, and I get the reply, “I knew someone who was trying to be brave like that and he got stabbed.” Thanks? All I could really reply was, “I’m also packing.” Just don’t tell anyone.

Shoplifter: Backpacker

May 8, 2010

One day, as is usual, I start working and I find a shoplifter hard at work filling a bag with our clothes. Of course, no one is around and no one even sees them. Seriously, they act a certain way, and sadly, they look a certain way, it is kind of lame. These women before me are dressed like sloppy sluts, but weighing about a hundred pounds more–their string camisole is two sizes too small, allowing you to see the bra-strap underneath, with their stomach and sides showing; they wear tight, tight denim shorts and flip-flops (slippers) and even walk kind of like a duck and kind of like an orangutan. They seriously look like they’ve had too much to eat and too much to drink for several years in a row. To me,they stand out as much as a gothic trying to hide in the snow. Either way, while the shoplifter has her large, bulky, yet extra-small tank-topped body turned away from me, I sneak behind her. Yes, I can be a ninja, too! Beware as I glide silently wearing my Italian heeled-boots! Whoosh! I duck behind the whale-sized ninja.

I find her bag in a corner, which is actually one of our backpacks. She has almost completely filled it with pants and shirts. She’s folded them quite nicely, and has a pile of hangars nearby. She’s quite a packer, she must travel a lot, eh? Obviously, she’s been filling the bag for a while, and yet again, I sigh in disappointment with my coworkers–she must have been doing this for several minutes already. Can they at least look around? Look up from the cash-registers, come out, and walk around a little; don’t hide behind the wall of protection! Anyhow, I grab the bag and hide behind a pillar as she walks back to her hot spot. I glide away in a cloud of smoke. Poof, I am gone.

I leave the backpack at the counter, quickly walking back to her, to see how much the thief enjoys being stolen from. I ask how she’s doing. She mumbles something, and starts to leave. I tell her, “I have your bag at the counter if you need it.” When she doesn’t reply, and keeps walking, I say, “I’ll keep it on hold for you. I’ll remember you. Don’t you worry!”

One point for sales-ninja! Zero for the gaijin mochi-ball in a tank-top. *Sad face for you*