Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What's a Day Without a Wowmart Experience?

I'm having a group of teenagers over tomorrow night to begin studying "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan, so I went to the grocery to stock up on good stuff health food.

I don't know how or why Wowmart could be so crowded at 4pm on a weekday, but it was, complete with crying babies, shrieking carts and college students in pajamas.

As I unloaded the groceries into my trunk, I glimpsed toilet paper under the cart and knew instantly I had not paid for it.

A moment occurred. You know the moment: "Oh, God. Do I really have to go back in that place to pay for this toilet paper? Really? It's not that I don't want to be fair--it's not the money; it's the idea that I just made it out of there alive and nearly unscathed and thought I could go at least another week without having to ...."

So I put the t.p. under my arm and made my way back up the parking lot and through the doors.

I told the young man I had accidentally absconded with t.p., and his brow furrowed.

"Which door did you exit?" he asked defensively.

"This one," I said.

Then I realized that by righting this wrong, I was going to make him look bad, and he was trying to avoid that unpleasantry.

So he looked over my receipt and said, "There it is!"

I looked where his finger was pointing and saw Downy wrinkle releaser.

"Uh, that's not toilet paper."

"OK, well, take it up to Customer Service and tell them." He looked so dejected.

As I walked toward Customer Service, I was like, "See, Lord? Now I'm going to get that boy in trouble just because you want me to be honest over dumb old toilet paper."

And then I saw it. The line leading to the inner sanctum of Wowmart, the 7th level of h-e-double-toothpicks: 10 people deep, two associates working: Customer Service.

This is when I threw myself on the ground screaming and stomping my feet, rolling around flailing my arms and holding my breath--on the inside.

But then I had an idea.

I turned around, left Customer Service, and went through a shorter regular check out line. Then I simply went out the other door, so's the dejected kid wouldn't see me.

Genius! I let the kid off easy, I paid for the t.p. and beat the Customer Service line. Home Run! I think this was all legal and moral and everything, so I guess I'm pretty awesome.

And that's how the whole story unrolled.




Have you ever walked out with something unpaid for? What was it?

43 comments:

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

YES!!! I can't remember exactly what it was...toothpaste comes to mind...I had a cart full of babies and toddlers (4 kids in 5 years, remember?). The next time I went to the store, I put toothpaste in my cart, paid for it and told them I'd absconded with it the last visit...they looked at me like I was nuts, but I felt better about it.....

Linda said...

You cushioned the blow by allowing him to keep his plush job! He went home to his home on the Northern side of town to tell his girlfriend Charmine how he thought he'd lose his job but it never happened. He got off scott-free!

Oh my word...did I just type all of that? I need sleep. I hate that store.

Darla said...

haha, so funny you ask...just a couple days ago in fact, i had a couple of bags of homeade ice cream mix and laid it on top of some bags of potting soil, then later added more potting soil on top of that. the checker scanned one of the soil bags and we totally forgot the ice cream until we unloaded. haha.

Kingdom Mama said...

Yes! But it was awful and undoable w/o driving an hour back to the store. The kid that loaded my cart included a pack of pork chops and a carton of eggs that had been paid for by the man in front of me. I didn't see them until I got home!

Would you have driven an hour back to the store?...cause right now I'm feeling really guilty!

H-Mama said...

You are hilarious... and ummmm, no... never. ;)

Momma Morgan said...

I definately have done this! It had somehow made its way under my purse. Although I'm not exactly sure, I think it was a icing smoother thingy! (HA) I didn't even bother with the people at the door... I just walked in and went through the line to pay for it. I also repented and made a mental note to make sure I check my buggy before I leave the store next time!!!

Becky said...

happens to me ALL. THE. TIME! Especially when I had one of my many babies in the car seat on top of the cart. Something would always hide under there.

Now its more because of my mom brain and the fact that I inadvertently put my huge mom purse on top of something in the seat part of the cart.

I think you did the right thing.

Kim said...

There have been a couple of times that's happened to me...(in Wowmart!) and what strikes me as sad is that they're genuinely surprised when I come back in to pay for it. What? Do they just expect people to rip them off?? Sad....

Do you go to the newer W-mart on the South side or the one on McGall.?

Blessings!
Kim

Tammy Howard said...

Your solution was indeed genius.

Pamela said...

A very long time ago, my sister and I were shopping at Sears. It was when the store had shopping carts, so that tells you how long ago it was. We had put several clothing items in the cart. As we walked around, we got hot and took our coats off, putting them on top of the items in the cart. We looked around the store for more items that we needed and then decided to head to another store in the mall. Out the store we pushed the cart. Nobody came after us and this was before the days of the electronic attachments that they now have on clothing and other various expensive merchandise. About five minutes later we realized that we had not checked out at Sears. We turned around and went back in...praying that we were not stopped going back in. We paid, but all the way to the cash register.

Even though we had not intentionally walked out with the merchandise without paying for it, my heart was still racing as we were going back in the store. I just knew that they would not believe that we forgot to pay for the clothing. We never had to explain to anybody and my heart eventually calmed down.

Mrs. E said...

You're a smart lady! I thought this was headed over into the "No good deed goes unpunished" category!

Lois Lane II said...

Oh, yes! I can't remember what it was that I absconded with, but I remember thinking, "Really, Lord? Can't I just give extra money in my thithe?" How sad is that, lol?? BUT my sweet husband (who talks to hours for people when we have a problem with a bill or for customer service) took it back inside and paid for it through a regular check out line. Yea!

Aunt LoLo said...

Hahaha....TP! At Costco...

Heth said...

Good job Linda. I hate that store so much.

Mocha with Linda said...

It's happened to me a couple of times, but I've never had them send me to Customer Service. They just send me back to a line. And I don't know why it would be the greeter's fault. It's not like they check your receipt like they do at Sam's.

Guess I'll start calling you Sticky Fingers Lid.

Dawn said...

I came home from Lowes with an extra bag of fertilizer one time. I had to make a second trip later in the day so I took a bag to the checkout with me. Should have heard the conversation with the clerk as I tried to explain why I wanted to PAY for the bag, but NOT take it with me. She finally said, it would have been easier if you would have just kept it to yourself. I told her that I would have felt guilty every time I looked at my pretty green grass! ha!

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Mocha Lid: Yes, they do check us here, if we have something that is not bagged. So now I just keep my receipt in my hand as I head out the door. Next thing you know we'll have to take our shoes off upon entering and leaving.

Dawn said...

I practically had to battle with a gas station attendent the other day to pay for my gas. There was an strange occurance at the gas pump and it told me to see the cashier, who told me that he owed me "$22.82". I tried to explain that I bought gas and was not sure how he could owe me money, which led to the manager giving me a personal lesson on how to use a gas pump - - - I must tell you that at that point I was NOT amused and finally said don't you think that we should exchange numbers in case you over charged me, charged another customer, or gave me free gas. Frankly, I think he took my name just to shut me up. I'm still waiting for this to resolve so I don't know if all the trouble was worth the time or not - - - Good for you for going back to pay! Free isn't free. It just means we all pay a little more next time.

Susanne said...

"And that's how the story unrolled". LOL. You are witty!

I know I've left with stuff by accident before but I can't remember what they were. But I have had, when I've taken it back in to pay for it, shock from the cashiers for the fact that I didn't just take the goods and run. At our Wowmart they have those gates at the doors that announce in a nasal electronic voice to the whole entry way if something wasn't scanned. It's not really the greeter's job to check people's reciepts unless that crazy voice goes off. Or that's what I've always told myself. LOL.

Mel said...

Yes indeed i have walked out of the store without paying for something...never went to customer service i just got back in line...it has happened in the drive thru at Taco Bell too...

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

How many times did I have to walk my precious DS (years (and years) ago) back into the store, sometime having to drive all the way back to the store when I would stumble upon him enjoying his ill-gotten loot. I would gently explain to him that you can't just put it in your pocket you have to pay for it first.

Sadly I have this experience in reverse. I have had several instances of knowing I paid for something and then getting home and wondering what happen to it. Most time several day after so it is to late to go back to see if it is still there in the cart in the parking lot or in the bag turny thingie.

Blessings
R

skoots1mom said...

i haven't walked out without paying BUT i have walked away without my "cash back".
boy, what a mess
I had requested $50 back but when reviewing my receipt realized my money was still in the clerk's drawer at the grocery store...

Ugh...had to go back...she was checking out the next person. Even though she remembered my checking out, she was required to close her line (boy did the "killer arrows" fly at me from the people who had to move to another aisle). Her manager removed her drawer and they departed to the service desk (she looked like a puppy with her tail between her legs and I wanted to crawl under the checkout counter--I felt horrible).

Counting it all, reading their receipts...it took about 15 mins and finally they brought my money back. Geez, praying it never happens again!

My ADHD Me said...

"And that's how the story unrolled" WAHAHAHA!!

Many years ago, when I was into collecting Franklin Mint figurines ( they have been long gone, ever since I started selling things on e-bay), I ordered 26 Wizard of Oz figurines. -That was before I had anything better to do with my money, lol

ANYWAY, they sent one a month and you paid each month. They sent me a letter that said I could go ahead and get them all at once and still continue to pay each month, so I did.

They sent me the set.

The next month they sent me another set!

I called and they said they would ship me a return label.

They sent me a THIRD set!

NO ONE would send me a return label or even seemed to care that they were sending me about $400.00 worth of merch each month!

I marked the third set "Return to Sender", but I never could get them to "Let" me send back the other set. I had called numerous times and even sent them 2 letters. It would have cost about $25.00 to return it because I had opened it. (I didn't open the third set).

I REALLY REALLY tried to send it back. Finally I put it in the attic and left it there.

I felt bad, but what else was there to do?

Darcy said...

Dog food. Wowmart also. Had to wait at the check-out to pay for it after already waiting for the check-out for all my other stuff. People in line couldn't believe I was taking the time to be honest. Sigh. Sad that honesty is a surprise these days.

Darlene R. said...

I had put a couple of liter bottles of that Wal-Mart Peach flavored carbonated water stuff in the seat of the cart where the baby's carseat was sitting. I had covered the baby and covered the drinks at the same time. I noticed it as I was putting the baby in the car and went back in a paid for them.
Is it just me, or do they look at you like you're strange for being honest?
This Christmas, they didn't charge us for a portable DVD player. We went back in and paid for that, too.
At least this time, the lady said "Thank you for being honest."

BTW, that was smart thinkin' of ya to go through the regular line!!

samurai said...

I remember taking one of my son's back to a home decor store to return the marbles he absconded with. I wanted to make a point to him, and he learned the lesson well.

But your story is really cool. I am glad to hear how you resolved it!

christy rose said...

Yes, many times. Once it was after I was home that I realized i had not paid for the baby formula. I did exactly what you did. I drove back, walked in the door, went straight to the self check out, paid for it and left with a receipt.

Chatty Kelly said...

I had a similar Walmart experience. I purchased a pan & a lid (separate) and they only rang one of them, and when we got to the car, hubby says "I think our bill was too low." He checked, yup, only the lid was charged. So he went back in and did the exact same thing you did. Why bother with customer service?

Melli said...

I have had it happen... and to the best of my knowledge I've made it right - but I can't remember a particular incident. I do know that if I happen to NOT discover it until I'm all the way home, that I have probably considered it paybacks for all the things I've PAID FOR that never made it into my cart! (which happens much more often than the other way around...) LOL!

You have a cute blog! I'm visiting today because you were Dr. John's link of the day! Congrats!

Yolanda said...

I know that I have, but honestly at the moment, I don't have a clue.

Melli said...

Ohhhh Linda... if you don't know Dr. John, you are missing out on something SPECIAL! He is a retired Lutheran Pastor with a good soul, a child's heart and an incredible imagination! You will find him HERE.

Debbie @Like a Rose said...

I've done that a couple of times and ended up carrying the stuff back in to pay. The only time I didn't take something back was from the Arby's drive thru. They gave me the wrong bag with more in it than I ordered but I didn't realize it until I was back at work and clocked in. Since I knew they couldn't actually take it back anyway (they just have to throw it away) I just called in case whoever's food it should have been wanted a refund or something.

Shawna said...

Hey, Linda! Long time no chat. I just wanted to let you know that I'm doing a giveaway. I'd love for you to let your readers know if you think they'd be interested. A lot of moms with little ones love BabyLegs.

http://shawna-mygirls.blogspot.com/2009/06/new-babylegs-cool-line-review-and.html

Jules from "The Roost" said...

You handled that perfect. ;)

Brenda Susan said...

Yay, good save! Yes, I did something similar but it was the library this week! Not as serious as stealing tp but still! I checked out 3 books & one was a NEW 7 Days Only novel that did not appear on the reciept or online from the self-check-out thingy.

I did not notice till I got home & library was closed, so I went back the next day with it in my purse & checked it out again, whew...don't want the library police coming after me!

jbzimme said...

Did you hear Gregg's sermon on integrity this past weekend, or you were at Commonway?

Either way, kudos! :)

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Yep, at Wowmart. I purchased a sticker book for my baby girl, and it was wrapped in plastic. When I got home and opened it, I realized that the reason it was still wrapped in plastic was that there were 3 of them in there, and whoever had stocked it hadn't bothered to unwrap them and take them out. So I trekked all the way back, because my conscience wouldn't let me keep them. :)

Glad you found a good solution that did NOT involve the customer service desk. I cringe everytime I have to stand in that line.

Ginger said...

Linda,
I love this story. You are soo crazy!
Ginger

Sharon said...

Love the story. Once, when shopping for clothing, after returning to my car with my bag of purchases, I realized I had not been charged for a sweater. I knew I should go back in, but came up with every excuse imaginable and didn't do it. And you know I never could wear that sweater. And I never again choose to not go back inside and pay for an item that was accidentally "given" to me.

beckyjomama said...

I wen tback into Wowmart to pay for laundry detergent that I had missed in the checkout line. And both the greeter AND the customer service people gave me dirty looks and the CS lady actually asked me if I was crazy to come all the way back in to pay for the $3.79 bottle. I told her that I didn't want to STEAL it and the I just wanted to be honest and she said "yep, then I guess that makes you crazy", rolled her eyes at me and shoved my change across the counter at me. I smiled, said "you're welcome" and left, knowing I had done the right thing, even if it did mean getting dirty looks!

Gotta love wowmart!

Christina said...

I've been reading and scrolling and you are so funny...this time I had to comment. I can think of at least two times I've done this.
Once I was at a restaurant with my two kids. It was the kind where you pay when you leave. The waiter brought the receipt, I had it in my head to go to the cash register, I gathered my monkeys, no, my children, and walked right out the door. Once I was in the car with the receipt in my hand, I realized what I had done. I called from my cell phones (those wonders) and told the lady what happened; she let me pay with a credit card and said she appreciated my honesty.
Another time I was in Gymboree, the children's clothing store. I had a pile of clothes hanging on the stroller, and my littlest one had gotten a hold of some tights. I took them from her and stuck them in the folded up canopy of the stroller, and continued shopping. I paid for my stuff, walked out of the store and headed to Chick-Fil-A. I took my daughter's sippy cup out of that canopy that was folded up and happened to see the stolen pair of tights sitting there. I called the store and told the lady what happened and she too appreciated my honesty.
I think that when you have kids not only do you lose brain cells per kid, but also more per kid... by the third child I'm losing three times the amount of cells! I don't have that many to spare...

Deb said...

Back when my kids were little, I made a quick stop at the drug store. The older kids were begging for candy & gum that was at the check-out line, etc. I kept telling them over & over again. We finally walked home, the older kids were fussing & complaining the whole time!

When we got home, they asked why their baby sister (14-mons. old)was allowed a candy bar & they weren't? The baby had grabbed whatever was in her reach at the time. We were all hot & tired, but we walked back to the store & paid the 50 cents.

Madonna said...

Yes I have accidently. If I discovered it while unloading then I go back in and go through the line again. If I have already made it home, I just call the store and tell them I will stop and pay when I am that way again.