I am a regular at our local Goodwill. I am there at least twice a month. I am probably there every week. I start Christmas shopping this early because I have a great master bedroom closet that I can stash stuff. All you mommies on a budget know what I am talking about. Anywho, I went to the thrift store this week. #6's birthday was coming up and the boys needed long sleeve shirts and winter jammies.
The store is set up like a U around the registers. There were two carts of things about 10 feet in front of the registers. In the afternoon this store regularly starts bringing things out of the back and carts sit with the new items for sale. I walked into the store. I didn't get a cart because I really didn't want to buy all that much. I walked past the two carts and snagged a Cinderella tea set. Three bucks, 1/2 off, good for the birthday girl. I head over to the mens section, found 4 shirts for #2, a Lands End cashmere sweater vest for #2, some pullovers for DH and #2. I head over to the kids section, 3 dresses for #5, 3 dresses for #6. I make a comment to the lady in kids, "It is every time I come in and don't get a cart that I find everything we need." So, I head back up front to get a cart and drop the whole load into the bottom.
I head to shoes. Find a brand new pair for me. Tags still on. Yeah! this trip is rocking! I find a brand new bean bag for the school room. Perfect for the little kids and reading this fall. I found a brand new Party Lite 3 wick vanilla candle. It still had the wrapping. The cart was filled and overflowing. By this time I am in the store a minimum of 20 minutes.
I am at the back of the store and all the sudden I hear, "WHERE IS MY TEAPOT?! SOMEONE STOLE MY SHOES AND MY TEAPOT!" There was a family (I assume) in the store with 2 bigger kids, a daughter (mid 20s) and a mom (grandmother). They have more melatonin than me. The kids were running wild in the store, trying all the toys and being loud kids. The mid-20s woman starts going up and down every single aisle. She starts rummaging through every person's cart in the store. No joke. They are growing louder and louder and oh, the complaining. "I cannot BELIEVE that someone would STEAL MY TEAPOT and MY SHOES!" At this time I am in women's looking for something for myself when the whole thing starts. The woman going around and rummaging through the carts comes up to my cart and yells, "HERE IT IS. SHE STOLE IT!" and starts taking things out of my cart.
Now, if they would have been a bit more polite that steel rod that I felt strengthen my spine would have never gone stiff. In general, I am easy going. I go with the flow. Dawn knows this. My mother knows this. Margo knows this. But she called me a thief. And then she called me a liar.
I said, "I got this out of a cart up at the front. It was unattended. It was right behind the cart marked everything for fifty cents."
"Oh! SHE LYING! Our buggy was always attended. Someone was watchin' it the whooowa time."
Then the grandma came back. I was in the back of the aisle and the daughter was coming at me from one side and the grandma came at me from the other side. I was closer to the daughter and standing in between her and my cart. The daughter was trying to empty out my cart and kept swiping. The grandma was verbally chewing me out.
I stated, firmly, with that rod of steel not going limp, "Well, if your cart was attended you would have known 20 minutes ago that the teapot was missing. Your kids are running wild. You are calling me a liar and a theif and you ARE NOT touching anything in this cart." The daughter reached out towards me and I stepped back, giving her my best don't mess with me look. But she was just mean. I was truly scared. I knew that if we weren't in the middle of a store she would have no problem hurting me. I was scared. The grandma was coming at me from the right and the daughter was swiping at me from the left. Right then the clerk at the front dinged for the manager and someone yelled, "Call the police!"
The grandma backed off and said, "No teapot is worth callin' the police!" but the daughter still wouldn't back off. The manager came out. She has more melatonin than me. She was trying to play peacemaker. She asked me how I got the teapot and I told her and the daughter/grandma team kept calling me a liar and a theif.
"NO! Our buggy was always attended. She stole it. She is lying." They kept yelling it over and over again.
I reached my point. I told the manager, "I am regular here. I have been coming here for 2 years. The clerks know me. Never have I encountered people like this ever here. They are calling me a liar and a thief. I cannot steal something they have not purchased. It does not belong to them."
The manager said, "Oh that is a good point."
The daughter says, "She stole our shoes!"
I respond, "I got these off the rack."
I kept going, "And if they would have stayed by their cart they would have known over 20 minutes ago this was no longer there."
The manager asked me to take the teapot out of my cart.
So, guess who didn't come home with a teapot? Guess who went back into the store after I checked out? I saw the grandma waddling back in.
Guess who is going to get a CCW? I don't ever want to be that close to being harmed again.