Hey! Put that ham back!

Not sure if I’m in the right forum, but, I’ll let a mod decide.

I was in the 10 items or less lane in the grocery store today, and a 30ish guy was putting his goods on the counter…he was at the front of the cart…talking a mile a minute to the clerk, rapidly packing his own groceries, paid his bill, and left the store. When I first pulled up behind him, I noticed a large wrapped ham on the shelf under his shopping cart. A piece of meat that easily must have cost $20.00. I said to my wife, this guy is going to steal that ham, because, being that he had only ten small items in his cart, there was no reason for him to put the ham on the lower shelf. Sure enough, out the door he went. Dilemma time. Do I tell the check out girl? Or, do I say it’s none of my business, and let the store security do their thing? As I’m watching him trot across the parking lot and stop at his car, another checker runs over and asks if my checker saw that ham under that last customers cart? With that, they both run to the door and say ‘there he is’, and…that was that. They did nothing further and business continued on in a normal fashion. When I left the store, I told my wife that I know exactly where that shopping cart was, as I had watched when he stopped along side of his car, and I said let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and see if the ham was still in the cart. It was not. Did I do wrong by not speaking up sooner? I’m feeling like a real jerk right about now because I let the guy steal the ham. On the other hand, if the store has screwed up security, and they let people walk out with an expensive piece of meat…in plain view, then, the hell with them. Anybody want to jump in here and calm me down?

Nice thread title! Very punchy.

I work in a grocery store, and the cashiers have it beaten into their heads to check the bottom shelf of the cart. If the cashier let him out the store with it let him have it. It’s the cashiers job to check.

It’s a small thing. But what will you look the other way for the next time? Integrity is not a part-time thing. You either give back the extra money given you by the cashier or you don’t. You either turn in the wallet full of money, or you don’t. It was a theft. What will he attempt to steal next: your car?

I’m not mean-mouthing you; you’re right to question your inaction in this matter. It shows you have character. Put it into action in the future.

My take is that the importance of doing the right thing is somehow related to the gravity of the situation. The twenty bucks won’t bankrupt the store, but I would have made a reasonable effort to let the store know they were being ripped off. It was a little deal and was worth a little effort.

If something like this happens in the future, I would say alert the store. Theft isn’t just the store’s problem…they have to pass on the costs of theft to the consumers, so we all end up paying more for it.