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040828 the time it takesI was kind of robbed at Dominion tonight.
Just Kind Of. They didn't get anything.
What did happen then?
Well, let me try to reconstruct it. I've had to do this a few times tonight already. Once for the night manager, once for the night cashier, once for policegirl 1, once again for policegirl 2 who made notes carefullly.
Around 0045 am, (late friday night) early Saturday morning, a normal enough customer puts his basket onto my belt.
He bought a lot of things from the Spices and Baking department: 2 packs of fish bouillon (aurora), 3 envelopes of instant brown gravy, 1 small bottle of maple extract, a 1-pound bag of brownie mix. He had to search for this: in the next aisle, with the oil, near the floor, we sell shortening: Crisco. He took one of these. He also chose a box of chocolate coated Oreo, and a box of FrootLoop bars.
Of course, he didn't buy them, but I'll get to that.
Another customer is chafing at the bit, next to me, around the outside. It turns out he left his identification at a register, and needed help getting it back. He'd gotten my attention, but another cashier came and cared for him.
So both the cashier and the Lost-ID customer got a good look at my badguy.
I get back to him, and as always, ask if he's got an Air Miles card. He said "No" to the Air Miles question.
Dominion/A+P have a loyalty program here which is used to track the sales. Each 20.00 you spend garners you a point. Some items on sale are regular price, but include extra points. At some time you will want to cash them in. There is a relationship between Air Miles and real miles, but it's a loose connection. But the best thing to do is cash them in at the low end. Say 125 points: that gets you 20.00 in a certificate. Say 25 points: that gets you a movie pass.
I ask him how he'd like to pay.
"I'm not going to pay; you are. Open the register, give me all the money, and my groceries too."
He grabbed me by my tie to tell me that. He moves something under his jacket or hooded thing, and says, "This is a gun. Do this quietly and there won't be any trouble."
I begin shouting. I love shouting at Dominion.
"Security! Security! This guy has a gun!"
He right away takes his hands out and waves them, "You weirdo! You F&cken Weirdo! I ain't got no gun! You weirdo!..."
He didn't stop with the F'Weirdo stuff, as I chased him out of the store, but I wanted to catch him and hold him. I decided against that after he turned the corner, and began accelerating.
Now, we normally have Alex do security for us. He's good! He hangs out with me, and the other cashiers, chatting, complaining about boredom, and trying to stay alert. I wish he was here tonight.
Our security tonight was so sleepy. We've had sleepy security before. They're worse than useless.
When I shouted security, I'm not sure where he was, but he didn't hear me. Everyone else in the store certainly did. They always do when I shout. Everyone can hear me shout. Everyone awake can hear me shout.
Who did hear me? Some of the grocery guys. They look scary. They're strong because they carry cases of goodies each night, they have lots of piercings and tattoos, and are generally tall and assertive.
Some of my customers heard me too. One of them was a fiddler who buskers nearby. He comes in each night for a fresh peach or some grapes. He was upset that I didn't call the police. He didn't find out that I did call them in the end.
The late cashier came to see. But nobody was around the instant I was chasing the guy.
Fiddler saw him running down Spadina, and told me he threw his backpack into the front of the store. Curious behaviour, but the store still has his sack.
So what time is it? It's around 110am, and the people who supervise me were away, outside the store, together. I don't blame them; we're all entitled to time off, and to not spend it in the store itself. They were at the Pizza Pizza nearby, I think.
I don't need supervision, per se, but when someone leaves a bunch of goodies behind, how do we put the stuff back onto the shelves? Easy. Void each item. This requires a small paper report (validation). But more than 10.00 in such negative transactions requires a supervisor override, something I needed one of them for. Oh well.
One grocery guy happened to be the night manager. James. He suggested that I prepare a written statement, and he'd ensure it got to the store manager in the morning. Good, it gave me something to do while my cash register was still locked up.
By 120am, I heard my name on the speakers, "Dave, come to cash One!". So I get back, and my register is released. But she didn't know what happened, so I told her. She flipped, and suddenly everyone is buzzing about it.
It was another supervisor who suggested that this kind of incident requires the police, even if nothing is taken.
I'm sure it's a waste of time, but she's sure it's required. We look for the police phone number, but can only locate 911, so that's who we call. They take quite a statement from me over the phone.
So 130am comes and goes, and I'm still at the office.
I'm offered a slice of pizza, and I figure, well, as long as I have to wait perhaps many hours for the police, and as long as I'm being paid, I wanted something to do, so I was instructed on how the grocery people do "facing".
Facing in our store is done by pushing all of the goods to the back of the shelf, and bringing two items neatly to the front, square and pretty. So I did this wherever I didn't see a grocery guy actually laying out fresh product.
To their credit, the police didn't take forever. They showed up around 2am, and so we talked upstairs, and I told them this story, and then we went downstairs, to where James opened the manager's office, and played the tapes which recorded.
A frequently asked question: why I didn't call 911 earlier. Why did I wait until 125am to place the call. Answer: I still believe it was a waste of time. This guy just didn't come across as dangerous to me.
During the composition, Jeff woke up, so I told him the story I'm telling you.
Life is full of stories. Why am I so alert, so joyous, so happy? I've got another story, I guess.
I hope I get sleepy soon. Tomorrow I'd like to do something better than sleep all day long, as I did today, before going in to work.
So let me see. This started at 0045, and it's 0530 now. I'm still thinking about it, alert. I don't want to do it again. This takes too much time.
That's all I know.
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