i was recently in a sporting good store standing near one of the registers, making a purchase, when a tall guy walked up around the line of registers and out the door. as he walked past me, the 20-something guy made too much eye contact with me. as he passed, i immediately looked at his left armpit, which faced away from the registers and cashiers, because i could tell he was doing something he should not. i saw a bulge beneath his hooded sweatshirt (on an 80-degree day) and knew he was shoplifting. i told the cashier even before the guy was completely out of the store. her reply: “i hate when people do that.” period.
i told another person, who said, “we can’t do anything about it now because he left the store.” to which i pointed out that the opposite was true, that you can’t do anything to a shoplifter while they are in the store, but you must wait until they are out of the store, then you can get them. while still inside, they can claim to be still shopping.
regardless, nobody cared. i pressed the issue until a salesperson happened to overhear me, and he went to find the manager. meanwhile, the cashiers simply commented how rude it is to steal and how there’s no point to it, blah blah, going about their business.
so why to people shoplift? for starters, at least in this particular store, it’s because they can. nobody cared, nobody made an effort to do anything about it. it’s as if their nails were wet and they didn’t want to mess them up.
we are pushing our standards of acceptability to the lowest they have ever been in this country. the more we allow things like this, the more we turn our heads when something or someone needs help, the more we have blind eyes and deafs ears, the further down we are going to sink.
people continue to think they have no effect on the world around them. we’re having a tremendous effect, but in the wrong direction. however, you’d be surprised how much we can change things for the better – if we actually cared and made an effort.