by Lucy S. - Posted Tue July 31, 2007 @ 11:50 AM
Living in a small town, I found myself shopping in the local Wal-Mart frequently. Usually, I had no real problems with the service there - except for one particular employee. In retrospect, I wish I had spoken up sooner rather than allow this matter to escalate.
One day, I walked casually into Wal-Mart when I noticed that the new worker at the doors was watching me rather closely. I thought nothing of it, until I began to browse through the store. Everywhere I went, she followed. Literally, I would turn around and bump into her. I found my mother, who was also shopping in the store, and told her what was happening. My mother started to say that it was probably my imagination until she turned down and aisle and ran into the same woman.
We left the store, and I didn't complain about this incident at the time. I figured that for whatever reason the woman must have thought I was a shoplifter. While it was very uncomfortable, I thought that this was a one time incident.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. For the next month, every moment I spent in the store I was scrutinized. I begin to dread shopping or I would purposely go to other stores. I just couldn't figure out why this employee was doing this.
Then, near Christmas, I went into the same Wal-Mart to buy presents. My mind was filled with plans of what I was going to buy and such, so I didn't even notice the woman as I made my way through the store. I'm sure she was around. I just didn't see her. Anyway, I finally found what I was looking for and I headed to the checkout line. As the cashier as rining up the items, I noticed that the woman who had been following me was standing by the doors, staring at my intently. I did my best to ignore her as I paid for my items and headed for the exit.
Just as I was starting out the doors, she stopped me and asked to see my receipt. I was so surprised it, I initially forgotten that I had stuck the receipt in my purse with the change. As I was digging out my receipt, another customer stepped up. She had been behind me in line, and she asked if the employee if she needed to present her receipt. What the employee was both shocking and an outrage.
"No. I know YOU didn't steal anything."
I was simultaneously embarrassed and angered. I found my receipt and after she carefully examined it, I demanded to speak with the manager. She seemed reluctant to call him, but I said I had to speak to him.
I told him about what had just happened and how this woman had treated me for some time, but he was less than apologetic. He stated that their employees had the right to ask to see receipts and watch customers who acted 'suspiciously.' However, both he and the employee couldn't state in what manner I had acted suspicious. I've since moved, and I haven't gone into that particular Wal-Mart again.
All I would really like is an apology from both the manager and the employee. I understand that shoplifting is a real problem at stores (oddly enough, I used to work at Wal-Mart), but that doesn't mean that honest customers should be treated so discourteously. I especially want an apology for basically calling me a shoplifter to another customer.