This afternoon after my shift, I felt a sudden craving for Goldilocks brownie, so i went to a supermarket near the office to get one. After I paid for the food, I left in a hurry and failed to secure the receipt. When I reached the exit, one of the three guards stopped me and asked me to open my bag. He said that he saw me take an unpaid pack of brownie.
I was shocked of course. I did as he requested, but I told him that I paid for it. When he asked me to show him the receipt, that’s when I realized my mistake. I told him that I paid for it—again—and asked him to go with me to the cashier to verify the truth in my statement, but he refused to go with me. He asked me to open and empty my bag for him to see other “stolen” items. I was so embarrassed! I kept on telling him I paid for it, but he won’t listen to me. He even raised his voice to make everyone know I stole a bar of brownie.
I was so infuriated this time, but I really tried to control myself. I told him to call their manager, and I will only answer questions and follow instructions given by the manager, not him. The other guards went to call the manager.
When the manager arrived, the guard boastfully told him what I “did.” The manager asked me if this was true, and I told him my side. He simply smiled at me and asked me to go the counter where I paid my brownie. There, the cashier confirmed my statements and apologized.
I was relieved. I told the cashier not to apologize as I also have my fault. I also told the manager not to put the blame to the cashier.
“You seem a nice boy,” said the manager.
“Thanks,” I replied. “I really need to go now, but before I go, I have to tell you that you must educate your guards. I know that they are just doing their job, but please tell them not to humiliate anyone in public, no matter what they think the ‘suspect’ has done. There is always a proper and humane procedure for that.”
The manager apologized.
“You know that I could file an incident report against him and against your company, right? But I won’t do that. Just make sure this does not happen again to anyone else.”
The manager talked to the guard about the incident and lectured him about what he did in front of me. When told to apologize to me, the guard snorted instead.
I felt my murderous intentions brewed inside me. Despite that, I manged to calmly confront the guard. “I know you were doing your job, but do not do it with arrogance and too much feels of self-righteousness. To be honest, I really wanna shout at and punch you right now, but if I do that, I won’t be any better than you. But I wish you get suspended for you to learn your lesson. You know what? With the money I have right now in my wallet, I can buy ten or even twenty bars of this brownie. Why would I stain my reputation as a professional for a thirty-seven-peso worth of brownie?”
And the guard just snorted again.
“I’m really sorry, Sir,” the manager said to me. “We assure you that we will have this matter in our hands and impose specific disciplinary actions.”
“I hope you would,” I said and left the supermarket with—honestly—murderous intentions in my mind!
If this episode of my life taught me a valuable lesson, it would be “always ask for your receipt/proof of purchase.”