Last night, I realized that I needed to make a quick trip to Super Wal*Mart, where I do most of my grocery shopping.
I know, a lot of you hate all of Sam Walton’s properties. If other grocery stores kept Wal*Mart’s hours, I’d shop there. Given their hours and their prices, I can put up with a little in the way of annoyances if I can shop on my schedule. (And I needed a few non-grocery items, too.)
As I was leaving, the door greeter asked to see my receipt.
Well, that’s odd, I thought. He didn’t ask to see the receipt of the person ahead of me. And he didn’t ask to see the receipt of the person behind me. The stupid alarm didn’t go off, so he had no real reason to single me out.
(He was black, I’m not. I do not assume racial bias.)
But there was some reason that he would ask to see my receipt, and apparently only my receipt. And whatever that reason is, I have a problem with it.
I didn’t cause a scene, and I didn’t refuse to show him my receipt, an action that got a shopper in Illinois “illegally detained” recently in a story that has been blown far out of proportion. I showed the receipt. He looked at it, scanned the items, took a quick glance in the bags and thanked me.
I then called the manager the next morning. I pointed out how nice the greeter had been, and how much I didn’t appreciate being singled out. The manager asked if I had purchased any big electronics — a television, DVD player, or iPod, for example — because employees are instructed to confirm a receipt for an electronic item.
I told him that I had purchased some DVDs that were in a bag with several other items and that the greeter would have had to have had X-ray vision to have spotted them down in the bag. Maybe, somehow, this greeter had spotted them, I said, but I don’t think he could have. And the people before and after me had roughly the same amount of merchandise in their buggy and weren’t asked.
The manager apologized and said he’d talk to this employee to make sure he’s not just picking people at random. That’s all I ask: if I’m going to be stopped for apparently no reason, I expect everyone to be stopped for no reason. Nothing will get that policy changed faster.