Thursday, March 19, 2009

Behind Bars

When you look at this photo of me...yes, I'm posting a full-on photo of myself today...I'm sorry it is so scary...anyway, when you see this photo of me, what is the first thing that comes to mind?






Apparently to some sales clerk in a local big name department store who wasn't doing her job, she decided to add the title of "shoplifter" to my book of names.

How do you think I look behind bars?

Let me explain...

A couple of days ago, D-Man and I were in a local mall (by local I mean within an hour of where we live because remember, we live in rural, RURAL, Arkansas). We had time to kill, no where to be and no money to spend, so we were basically window shopping for those things we thought we needed when spring and summer roll around.

We had stopped in several little shops where I tried on some spring/summer dresses that could be paired with leggings now and summer later (because I am all about versatile fashion).

Our last stop before grabbing a quick bite to eat and heading home was to a big name department stores in the mall. Let's call it an anchor store with the first letter that starts with "D."

I have shopped this store many, many times in my life and frequently tried on things (as was the case today). I happened upon some cute dresses (same style, 3 different patterns) and since I still had birthday money and a birthday gift card from this store to burn my thought process was I'll try on the first dress and if it works, I'll get all three. Splurge for me!

I proceeded to find a sales clerk who let me into the dressing room. As she walked away she said to me, "If you need any help, let me know." This led me to believe that if I actually needed something, she would be within earshot to hear my calls.

But, contrary to my assumption, this was in fact not how it was...her lack of "customer service" would come to haunt me later.

I tried on the first of the three dresses and decided very quickly, "Ughh...much better on the hanger than on this body." So, I did what I always do in dressing rooms and hung the dress neatly back on the hanger and walked out with all three dresses in tow.

And to my surprise, sales clerk girl was no where to be found.

So I did what any nice citizen would do, I placed the dresses back on the rack where I found them and proceeded out of the store.

Now let me stop for a moment and give you a mental picture of what was taking place at this point. There was myself with only a small purse in tow and D-Man. No bags, no stroller, no fuss. Remember I said no bags...this will come in handy in a moment.

As I am walking down the mall, I'm doing what I always do especially when I have D-Man with me, I'm keeping an eye on the people surrounding me. Suddenly, I notice a full uniform...approaching me from behind talking on his cell phone.

He says to me (still has cell phone to his ear), "Ma'am, would you mind to show me what's in your purse?"

"Excuse me?" I replied back.

"May I see what's in your purse?" he answered.

I'm floored...but I open my purse and pull out the three things I had in it; my wallet, my day timer and a small notebook.

The man (who still hasn't shown me any form of id) then says to me, "Have you been trying on some stuff?"

I said, "Where?"

He said, "At big name department store that starts with the letter D."

I said, "Yes, three dresses."

"Well, what did you do with them when you were finished trying them on," he continued.

By this point, I am sweating...heart is pounding...I'm nervous. I'm all this not because I was guilty, but because someone would have the nerve to call security on me when they weren't doing their job by being attentive to my needs. I was overcome with emotion to say the least.

I answered his last question with, "I placed them back on the rack. Would you like for me to show you?"

"Would you mind?"

D-Man and I then proceeded to walk back to big name department store with security guard guy all the while he is trying to make light of the situation by making small talk.

Note to self, security guard guy, when you've just accused lady in the mall of shoplifting something that she didn't shoplift (and could not have fit into her purse if she had wanted to), she is not going to want to make small talk.

We are now back in the store and I proceed directly to the rack where I hung the three dresses after I tried them on. And can you believe, there were exactly where I told him they would be. Go figure?

About this time, the sales clerk was at the register hanging up from a call and she walks over and says to me, "I'm sorry, I didn't see you come out of the dressing room."

So in other words, you weren't doing your job, weren't being attentive to my needs and so I have to suffer for it?

Apparently so.

That's pretty much how it ended. I asked if I could go, they said thanks for being cooperative and I left the store.

In tears, but I left the store, nonetheless.

And I probably won't be going back. Ever. Or for a very long time.

I am happy to report, though, after a call to the store manager, Gary, I learned that what they did was not procedure...surprise, surprise.

And, I still probably won't be going back. Ever. Or for a very long time.

Anyone want to go shopping with me?


Jules from "The Roost" said...

First of all your are beautiful!!!! That makes me SO mad! The nerve of them...I have been in there lately and they do NOT help at all...there prices are too stinkin high anyway....You were alot nicer than I would of been!!!!!!

Jennifer A said...

I will never go back either. As soon as I spend the gift card in my purse, I am done with them!!!

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

um, no. I don't think I'm interested in going to Dimwit _illard's with you. How horrible! I often choose my favorite stores based solely on customer service--it's amazing how poor customer service can ruin a shopping experience! My motto: at least you can blog about it!

Sarah said...

Wow!! The nerve! You handled that SO much better than I would have! I don't think I could have kept my cool! Good for you! Sorry that your shopping day was tainted with that!

liz said...

Oh my heavens! I do not think I would have been as nice about it all. You handled it very well. What was your poor son thinking during all this?

Scott and Stephanie said...

you handled that much nicer than I would have!! so sorry you had to go through that

Cheryl said...

what an awful experience? How did D-man take it?
You handled it with much grace!

Sandra said...

Unbelievable! I just can't believe that! I would have been right there crying with you! What a mess!

Jenny said...

just knowing you makes this a very funny story since you would never even think of doing that but i would have left in tears as well! you handled that so much better than i would have!

momof2 said...

I'm so glad you have preserved this awesome story in internet blogland so it can stand the test of time.....I hate it that it happened, am sure it was humiliating and terrible when it happened, but man does it make for a good story! Especially knowing you!!!!

Beachy Mimi said...

That is just awful. That store just had their last visit from me. I am so sorry that happened to you. I'm sure they have never had anyone display so much grace when being wrongly accused. You Rock!