Do you know how psychotic you have to be to go undercover as a Walmart security guard?
All content has been edited for clarity.
Doing The Most
“I went to Wal-Mart to pick up medications for my aging parents along with some adult diapers and cleaning products. I always swing by the pajama section for novelty tees and found one I liked. I was in a hurry and decided against it.
After checking out, I realized I forgot a can of Lysol. I returned to grab it, placed it in the cart, and proceeded towards the register. On my way back, the tee I admired caught my eye again so I searched for my size and tossed it into the cart. I went to the register, paid, and continued to exit.
I was picking up my bags to head out the door when a man, in plain clothes, grabbed my arm and yanked me away from my cart.
The man said, ‘I saw you put that in your cart.’
I responded, ‘Huh?’
He said, ‘This,’ and lifted up a bag to reveal a can of Lysol, ‘I saw you try to steal it.’
I responded, ‘Oh no, I didn’t see that under the bag when I was paying for my t-shirt. I’ll run back and pay for it now. Sorry.’
He retorted, ‘Yeah right. You’re shoplifting. You need to come with me. I need your driver’s license.’
He pulled me from my spot by my arm.
I yelled, ‘Get off of me,’ and yanked my arm away. I explained how I back-tracked for the Lysol, became distracted by the tee, and upon tossing the shirt into the cart, it landed on the bag concealing the can.
I added, ‘I paid $80 for all my items. Why would I steal a $4 can of Lysol?’
The man said, ‘I hear that excuse all the time.’
I responded, ‘Sure you do. It was an honest mistake. I shop here all the time. Why would I rob the place? I’m not giving you my ID and I’m going.’
I grabbed my bags and headed toward the parking lot. I was right out when one, no two, no three, no four police cruisers came rushing towards me, surrounding me, lights and all.
One of the cops said, ‘Hello. I’ll need to see your license please.’
I handed him my ID. He told me to lean against his car while five officers ran my license and one stayed to question me. I explained about forgetting the Lysol. I mentioned the tee and how the bag covered the can. I told him I had money and intended to pay.
The cop asked, ‘How much did you spend?’
I said, ‘Eighty dollars. I have the money to pay. If I was going to steal something why would I pick a $4 can of Lysol? This makes no sense. I shop here every week.’
The cop, nodding his head in agreement, responded, ‘Right, right.’
Upon reviewing the receipt he went to the cruiser and discussed it with the other guys. The assistant store manager was with them.
The officer with my license came back and handed it to me with the receipt.
The cop said, ‘They’re not going to pursue this but they’ve decided to trespass you. You cannot return to any Wal-Mart, anywhere, ever.’
They all left. I looked up to see everyone in the window staring at me as I was holding two oversized bags of adult diapers. So embarrassing.
Being ‘trespassed’ wouldn’t be a big deal but it was the only store in town that had a selection of adult diapers. Plus, I needed access to the pharmacy for my parents’ medicine. I sort of knew the overnight managers from shopping there, in scrubs, after my shift at the hospital. Over the phone, they told me to just tell my story to the general manager when he returned from vacation on Monday.
Monday came, so I went to see the Walmart GM. Upon walking into the store, I realize he’s my next-door neighbor. He moved in about two months earlier but I never made his acquaintance. I didn’t introduce myself, I just told him what happened.
He. Started. Cracking. Up. ‘Haha! Of course, you weren’t stealing! It’s an honest mistake. You can shop here as long as you like and I’ll discuss it with our head of security. He’s a really good guy, you know.’
I thought to myself, ‘Yeah, he’s an absolute gem.'”