Grocery Shopping Dilemma: Report Theft or Look the Other Way
What would you do?
You are in the grocery store when you spot a young man and a little boy by the donut/cookie case in the fresh bakery section. The dad proceeds to pull a cookie from the case and hands it to the little boy who quickly devours the cookie and they continue shopping.
What would you do about what appears to be a case of simple thievery, eating something without paying for it?
A. Confront the man and lecture him about the evils of sampling (shoplifting)?
B. Bring the matter to the attention of a store employee and tell them what you witnessed?
C. Do nothing except write a blog to find out what others would have done in this situation?
Yes, this is what I witnessed in the grocery store. Yes, I am the guy who did nothing but writing a blog to see what other people would have done.
The problem I have with scenario "A" is, I don't know what this man's intentions were. It's possible he planned to tell the cashier at the check out line about the cookie his son ate and pay for it. Maybe that's what he did. Why should I automatically assume the worst, and think he had no intention of paying for the pilfered pastry? Regardless of his intentions, had I confronted the man, he likely would tell me that he did plan to pay for it.
My issue with scenario "B" is essentially the same as scenario "A." Reporting the supposed cookie theft, I'm assuming the worst in this guy and expecting him not to pay for the cookie. It's not like he stuck a party-sized bag of cheese puffs in his coat with no intention of paying for them.
Here's the deal. Groceries stores today have tons of security, and video surveillance on every aisle. Unless the dude monitoring all of the in-store cameras was asleep at the wheel, he or she was well aware of the snatched cookie and whether or not the cookie was paid for. People get paid to help minimize retail theft and I don't imagine they need my help.
What would you have done? Would you confront the guy who possibly stole the cookie? Would you have contacted a store employee about the potential pilfering? Would you have played it cool like the guy on the radio and just let store security handle it?