We Lost It

Ah, shit.

So today I’m walking through my store when I notice that Xbox consoles aren’t piled up into the same shapes they were before my day off. I check the on hand counts and it appears that we are suddenly missing a ton.

Then a coworker approaches me and tells me all about a customer who had walked around on his phone, talking to some guy out in a van parked behind the building. Not a good sign. Sounds like we were cased at bare minimum.

I reviewed video.

While I was gone, customer contact had not been the same. People were going unserved, unnoticed. People were ducking inside the store with hats and glasses on, their heads down. Several were on their phones. I switched the camera view to the outside…

And watched in utter shock as those anonymous people pushed cart after cart of merchandise out of the store within minutes. Adding insult to injury, they loaded their vehicle and turned right around and hit us again… and again…

One guy grabbed a laptop by the handle on the box and calmly strutted out with it, unpaid. It worked so flawlessly. He walked back into the store and repeated himself.

Thousands. And thousands. Of dollars. I kept jumping up and exiting my office to assist on the floor, but it was yesterday’s footage. These people were gone.

I recorded key timestamps, wrote a summary and left my findings for people who are higher up. Tomorrow is another day off.

I simply cannot be there all of the time.


20 responses to “We Lost It

  1. YIKES–no wonder they were so quick to keep you!
    If I were the higher-ups, I’d have you head a mandatory employee seminar on theft prevention…because that situation just aint right! EVERYONE should be watching for things like that. In retail, I was trained to help every single person who walked into my department. If they went a while without needing help, I’d go over again and ask if they were still alright. The more helpful you are, the more a customer feels that they’re being watched (because, well, they ARE)…and it also doubles as a good customer service experience. It seems like the other workers really need a reminder on that.

  2. The important part here is that you did your job. Even though you weren’t there to help stop the act, you went back and found the details. And things can be handled from there. But you’re right that you can’t work all of the time. Now it’s time for other people to pick up the slack while you’re gone.

  3. Oh, I have to wonder, though – there are no alarm thingies on the laptops? Why were there not bells ringing all over the store? Or did people ignore them?

  4. I’ve been thinking this for the past few months, and I mean no offense by it, but your talent is wasted in retail. We live on a continent that needs to be constantly defended by clear thinking against a range of internal and external adversaries, and you’ve got the sort of detail orientation that would serve you well in the intelligence world. I’d feel safer if there were more people like you in the intelligence world, anyway. Again, I’m not trying to insult you, or what you do for a living — I’m just saying that I wish you were somewhere else (where there also happens to be more job security).

  5. The thing I feel about shoplifters nowadays, let them go. Really. You don’t know if they have a weapon on them, or if they are really desperate for something and may hurt you. It’s just not worth it. Let them go. Of course make a report about it, but I wouldn’t risk my safety over it.

  6. Yeesh.

    Seems like it is good job security for you but holy crap the rest of the employees there seem pretty damn oblivious about their surroundings.

    I hope you at least got a vehicle license plate number on the outside camera.

  7. oh my goodness, that’s awful! Is there nobody working LP when you’re not there? At the goodwill up here, they have a guy who watches the surveillance from home, and calls the store whenever he catches anything. wouldn’t that be sweet?

    • Matty-matt, I HATE how difficult they make it to comment in your blog. That LiveID app that’s supposed to let me comment as my LJ ID never freakin’ works!!

      Anyway, I’m not entirely sure. Apparently we’re missing things now that were never put out on the sales floor… dun dun DUNNN! Possibly internal.

  8. FUCK! i can’t imagine the balls it takes to do that. i walk in a store and i feel like im being watched and often am worried about sticking my hands in my pockets at the wrong time or place. if i have my pack i almost always leave it with the person at the door. jeez. but thats probably because i’m a security person and know what should be gong on.

    on a professional level… if its not something you don’t want to say in public… how do you tell when someone is talking to someone in a van outside? do you monitor the comms?

    sounds inside to me. i’d go see who went in to talk to (distract) the person watching the video console when it happened. you could probably assume it happened when you were gone for a reason. check the work logs and eliminate some people. look to see who was legitimately busy at the time… someone is going to look distracted and nervous. but hey… i’m network security. same but different. most of what i do is a process of elimination and finding what it ain’t before finding out who it is. set up a sting. we call them honey pots. :)

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