It's like any other Thursday after a play-date I've stayed too long at.
I'm driving home with my overtired 2 year old and screaming infant, I remember we are having friends over for dinner and I need to stop and pick up stuff to prepare for dinner during nap time. I pull into Shaws, I take the cranky toddler plop him in the carriage seat, toss the diaper bag in the bottom of the carriage, then balance the infant in her seat on the top of the carriage area. I run in grab a few things, which include the bakery cookie for the toddler and a much needed caffeinated Diet Coke for me, stuff the items in the cart between the diaper bag and the infant seat and head to he checkout, and by now we are the loudest in the store, infant wailing, toddler screaming for another cookie and me just trying to keep my sanity. I pay for my items and quickly and get out. I'm halfway to my car when someone taps me on the shoulder, I'm thinking what you need money for the bus, food etc?? the man says, Mam you have unpaid merchandise in your cart. My response, what?? He says the diet coke, Ah I say, the diet coke has fallen from the seat into the carriage and is between my diaper bag and the cart under my toddler. I say oh I'm sorry and grab my wallet to give him the $1.49 for it, thinking here's $2 keep the change I just need to get this kid in for a nap and the baby fed. He tells me no you need to come back into the store. Ok, so I follow him in and he brings me into a security office along with my ever so happy crew! He brings in another female Shaws employee and he shuts the door and asks me if I have any other unpaid or stolen merchandise on me. I am appalled, I say no, I just forgot to pay for a Diet Coke that had fallen from the seat of my cart, I'll pay for it now. He says no you can not do that, you can not have the soda back, it is evidence, we have you on tape taking the soda then leaving the store with it unpaid. Now I sign some forms stating this is a civil offense and that shoplifting is a crime. I am shocked, I explain to him that it was a mistake, I have $50 of paid groceries right here and I have a $1.49 Diet Coke that I forgot about, I'll pay for it, even double just let me leave! SO I sign something that goes to Corporate Headquarters to decide if I will be charged for shoplifting or given a fine at about $250. So now I wait patiently for Corporate to get back to me with their decision.
Now mind you this is all over a $1.49 Diet Coke!
Please Mom's think about this the next time you go to Shaws. Market Basket is right up the street with much friendlier employees and far less expensive products.