Sunday, September 18, 2016

Modern Times

Just another Sunday afternoon....

So, this was interesting....

Went out to the Big Box hardware store for gardening materials only they carry, and which they only had (and barely that; the website lied!  LIED, I tell you!) at this store, one conveniently located right on the huge 10 (or is it 14, or 16, with service road lanes?  I can't remember anymore) freeway that runs through town (that detail will matter in a minute).  I'm standing at the outside register, one within gates for the garden center, but an entrance you could drive a truck through and nothing by it except those sensors that make an annoying noise if your purchase wasn't properly scanned before it left the store.

So I'm standing there while they try to find a purchase price for my purchase (see above; they were sold in packages, but only available loose.  Huh?) and two guys (black guys, to identify them properly) come sauntering out carrying two chain saws in boxes.  They are striding rapidly up to the register, but there's a bit of a line and they aren't making for it.  The cashier knows what's happening (he saw it yesterday, too, he later tells the Lovely Wife and I), and calls out.  Suddenly they accelerate like Usain Bolt and race through the gates and into the parking lot, jumping into a car that speeds away.

The Lovely Wife, incensed, chases after them, determined to get the license number and the like.  She sees the driver, a white guy, but doesn't remember the runners; she wasn't looking at them coming, like I was.  The  cashier, meanwhile, is yelling at her to get back in the store; for her own safety.  As a more street-savvy customer tells her, who was walking in as they were running out, they could have guns.  It isn't worth it.

Indeed, it isn't.

Oddly, my thoughts turn to the fault in the store.  They are foolish not to put such expensive items on display, and require customers to bring a ticket to a cash register, and then wait while an employee brings the item from a secure location in the store.  Costco does this for watches and jewelry and cameras; no fools, they.  You pay, then you get your hands on it.  And why should the store do this?  Because they make it too easy to steal at that location (it is, as I say, just off the freeway, and a less densely populated part of town.  Even on a weekend, the street traffic is light, the customers numerous enough a car can be parked in a crowded lot and drive away quickly, over the hills and far away.). (at the same store closer to my house, on any weekend, you'd stand in line for up to 10 minutes just waiting to get out onto the service road.  Enough time for several customers to leisurely walk up and snap your picture.)  Being so easy, what if the thieves have guns, and decide to fire?  People seldom hit what they are aiming at, which means the wounded could be you or me, and not some employee trying to save his employer a few dollars.

And honestly, while the saws were boxed, they were large and heavy; those guys took off like linebackers in a broken backfield.  They could have hit somebody, or knocked them over.

The theft is bad; the stupidity of making it so easy, is worse.  And all so they can make things more convenient for the customer (and hire fewer staff to work in the store, and do things like bring you the chain saw you just bought to the register).

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