About a month ago, I was supervising our store’s slow self checkouts when a girl about 20 years old approached me, my first contact with customers in almost half an hour.
Girl: Excuse me…
Me: *snaps out of daydreaming* Hm? What’s up?
She seemed pretty nervous, like she wasn’t sure exactly what she was asking.
Girl: I was just wondering…. I mean last time we tried to use these… I’m not good with these, you know? So I was wondering if you could like…. *trails off awkwardly*
Me: It’s ok, they can be moody machines sometimes. Whenever you’re ready to check out I can help you with it, ok?
Girl: Ok. Thanks. *walks away*
I did not trust her at all at this point. She came back ~5 minutes later with a dude, 2 cases of cupcakes, and a 2 liter of pop. They walked to a self checkout furthest from me and scanned the 2 liter but didn’t set it down, so it wouldn’t let them proceed. I walked over towards them and let them know they had to set the stuff down after scanning it.
I lingered near them because it was all so sketchy, and after a few seconds of stalling she looked at me and said “we’ll be alright now, but thanks,” clearly asking me to go away. I humored her and went back to my podium but there was no way in hell I was taking my eyes off of them until they were paid up and gone.
As soon as I got to my podium, the guy gave a halfhearted glance around and set a box of cupcakes in a bag, pulled the bag off the rack, and tucked it in a dark corner of the bagging rack out of sight. Of course my handheld and their register were both screaming that there’s weight in the bagging area, but they were still trying to keep scanning as if nothing was wrong and seemed pretty upset it wasn’t working.
So then they called me over to them.
Me: *walks over to them* *without hesitation I pull the hidden cupcakes out of their hiding spot* Looks like you didn’t scan these. Might have missed the barcode or something. *scans the cupcakes and sets them down* You’re good now.
They scanned their other cupcakes then stood and talked for a few minutes. After a few minutes the girl left while the guy lingered and stared at the screen. He finally voided one thing off, then told me he wanted the whole order canceled.
I did so. He reached for the bags and said he’d take them back for me. I told him I’d take care of it, snatched up all the bags before he could grab them, and told him to have a great day. And then he left…
Maybe it was just a distraction for some of their cohorts, who knows, but if not that had to have been the worst attempt at shoplifting I’ve ever witnessed…