I'm a criminal...
...an alleged one, but still.
That's right, your friendly neighborhood wandering wonderer has been branded a criminal. Not formally, of course. There were no police involved. But there almost were.
And here I thought I was going to be a white-collar criminal (for the extension on the taxes being late, which thankfully DH remembered he needed to complete yesterday morning), instead of a petty crime sort of person.
Yes, petty crime. Petty theft to be exact. From Michael's.
I walked into Michael's last night after working out at Curves to pick up a couple of wayward items that I needed, and after checking out I ran into a former Curves employee. No, not the pixy stick chick, but the drill instructor instead. The drill instructor would tell us that we're not working hard enough, or would pick on someone for stepping off a machine even if it were due to a physical limitation - such as doctor's orders to not use weights on a knee after surgery. She picked on me once when I slipped out of the circuit to use the bathroom. I told her to stuff it. After the pixy stick chick I wasn't going to put up with anything from anyone there.
So, I see her and she says, rather loudly, "Oh Hello, look who's here. Back to steal from us again?" Color me stunned. Excuse me? She went onto say (to no one in particular) that I used to brag about that when I'd work out at Curves across the way. Considering I was dressed in workout clothes, and I'm sure she bored everyone there talking about how she used to work at Curves, someone may have believed her. I, however, was livid. Immediately. I'm sure I didn't help the pulled muscle that's affecting my neck movement by getting very very angry about this.
I immediately turned to the first clerk I saw and requested the manager of the store. The manager isn't available. Fine - get me the manager NOW or give me the use of a phone so that I may call the District Manager because I'm not leaving the store until I say me peace to someone in management. The manager of the store was with me within 30 seconds - just in time to hear another comment that I've always stole from Michael's. I immediately offered to turn out my small pockets, open my very small purse, and the bag that I had in my hand with my purchases and the receipt. Then I launched into my outrage at being accused of such in a store where I've spent money very regularly, and am recognized by long time staff members.
Thankfully, the long time staff member in question saw me pointing at her and came over and asked what was the matter, addressing me by my married title (Mrs....) and asking if there was something wrong. When informed of the allegation, she was more stunned than I and started stuttering that *I* would never do such a thing, I'm such a good customer, this that and the other.
I could see the manager was skeptical of something, and asked if she would like to bring in the police. She asked me why, and I said it was because I'm ready to bring in a lawyer for the suit I'll file regarding defamation of character for these outright lies. I turned on the former Curves employee and told her that I don't know what I ever did to her, but it will be NOTHING compared to what I'll drag her through in court over this, and that I would sue her for everything she has and doesn't have and would be paying ME instead of her creditors for the rest of her natural life.
At this, she went pale. And started apologizing that she didn't mean it, it was a lie, she doesn't know why she said it. I said it was because she's a stupid b!t(# who doesn't have an ounce of sense. I caught the manager nodding out of the corner of my eye. I let the manager know that I wasn't sure I wanted to continue shopping at an establishment that has employees that accuse good customers of terrible things like this, and the apologies started left and right. The manager apologizes, the nice clerk who knows me apologizes, the stupid former-Curves employee apologizes very softly.
I turned on her and let her know that she'd damn well better be apologizing a little louder and that she'll be apologizing to me for the rest of her life. DH says I probably made her feel about a couple of inches tall. Good. *mutters*
Accuse me of theft, ME...
Now, I still need to decide if I'm going to call the District Manager (yes, I actually do have his number from a previous issue with the framing department from two years ago, and have confirmed that he is still in that position) and lodge a complaint. I already told the manager that if this is what her employee did *now* to me out of the blue (when I haven't spoken to this woman in about 5 months) just think what she might do to some other customer that she knows or doesn't know, and that she should reconsider the woman's employment.
Personally, I'd love to see the wench out of a job. Yes, bloodthirsty am I today. You see, there's a bit of misguided irony in all of this. About 8 years ago I hired on with an online auction company - no, not eBay... a consumer electronics auction site known as onsale.com, which became egghead.com (after I left) and went down in a spectacular flaming mess shortly after that. Anyway, after about 6 months I started getting suspicious of a great amount of bids that would be placed for servers and then couldn't be charged against the credit cards given. Then I noticed a pattern in the location of the bidder. And thus began my career as a fraud investigator. I spent a year developing a multi-tiered fraud reporting system and another year coddling it while another department inherited it after a re-org that my boss engineered while I was on maternity leave after B was born.
I was a dedicated online crime fighter, and that part of my resume got my foot firmly in the door of where I work now, but sadly has been tapped only a few times. Internal, online and postal theft lies in other hands now, but I can still contribute actively to all of those arenas when staff meetings turn in that direction. I've consulted with a number of developers and contractors who have come in over the years and they walk away dazed with a notebook full of notes they've managed to write down while I blaze through two years of experiences.
Believe me, two years doesn't sound like much, but it's eons when you're dealing with the evolution of online theft - and that was in the day before identity theft was huge too. Ah, but I digress. Me. A thief. A petty one at that...
*wanders off mumbling something about hanging thieves and being insulted*