Walmart self checkout- my humiliating experiance
So many people are always in a hurry. When you go to the store, you see long lines of people with carts over flowing, people on their phones with the look of frustrations peeking around the line to check how much stuff the person in front of them have, kids crying and screaming because they didn't get what they wanted or they have just been there what seems like forever. We avoid these lines because usually, we are in a hurry, do not want to wait, or do not want to stand and listen to the noise around them. So here goes my story.
I had to go to Walmart and pick up quite a few things. When I say quite a few things, pretty much grocery shop. My kid’s dad was picking up our kids at 5:30 pm on this particular day so I knew I was on a time crunch. I had a pretty full cart but since only about two of the 18 registers, exaggerating maybe a little, were open, I decided to go to the self-checkout. I am scanning and bagging, scanning, and bagging, and my total comes up. I cannot remember the exact amount, but it was close to $200. I pay, grab my receipt, and proceed to walk out. I was stopped by a kid in front of me and then another girl behind me. He says, do you know why I am stopping you here, like he was a Policeman, I said no but I got to go. He said, you did not pay for all your stuff. I said, yes, I did and started to get my receipt out. He said no, I was watching you and you skip scanned some stuff. I was appalled. He said you will have to come with me. I am very aggravated at this point. We go in this little room, and he goes over my receipt comparing it to every item I had. Remember me saying my cart was full, yes, this took forever! Now this is the part where it is going to sound like, yes, she knew, but no I did not. Not with about $200 of groceries in my cart. There ended up being $64 and some cents of stuff that did not get scanned. I asked him, how can that be, I scanned everything. He says to me, you did not wait till the light turned green. What light? He said, if you scan to fast and do not wait till the light turns green before scanning your next item it will not scan it. I said, first of all, I don't where this light is your talking about and second, I always listen for that beep sound when you run something over the scanner. He says, yes, it still makes the beep, but it does not scan. Well, how am I supposed to know that. I was not trained on these. He said he was going to have to call the Police because it was over the allotted amount of just letting me go. I am shaking at this point. Three Police officers come in and he explains what happened. I then said, if you stood there and watched me the entire time doing it wrong but knew I was scanning everything, then why did not you just come up to me and say, ma'am, you have to scan slower and wait for this light right here to turn green. He really did not have an answer. He asked me if I had ever been in trouble there before. I said, no and I will pay for the stuff that did not scan. He finally says, well I am not going to have you arrested and I am not going to ban you from the store but be more careful next time. I asked him, can I pay for the stuff because I need that stuff. He said, yes, that is fine. I paid for the rest of the stuff and left.
One month later I was in Walmart again, and mind you this was not my first time in there since this incident, with my fiancé and daughter. We were standing in the checkout line, and I noticed the same security guy standing at the front, on his phone kind of looking around. I said, hey, that is the guy who stopped me, looks like he is looking for someone. Little did I know he was waiting for me. As we are walking out of the store, three police officers, yes three like I was a hardened criminal, stop me. One says to me, Are you Sarah? I said yes. He says, you are going to have to come back on with us. I go back into that little room, AGAIN, and the security guy starts raising his voice, arrest her, she is trespassing. Arrest her! I said what are you talking about? Now one of the Officers in there was one that was there the first time. He says, you lied to me and starts pounding his fist on the desk, you lied so arrest her for trespassing. I am so beyond confused, getting angry and just beside myself at this point. I asked again, what are you talking about? He said, you told me you had never been in trouble before, look, look, right here, 2015 Sarah Rish, it is in the computer. I said, whoa wait, I have not been Sarah Rish since 1994, at that point I had not, second, I have never been in trouble in any year here or anywhere and third, I never received anything saying I could not come here. I looked at the Officer that was there the first time and said, you were here, you heard him say he was not banning me. The security guy starts throwing his hands around again, well that was before I found out you lied. I started throwing my hands around and said, the more you do this and pound your desk does not make it anymore true. I was getting pretty loud because my fiancé and daughter were sitting outside the room on a bench and heard me yelling. My daughter told me she had said to my fiancé, great, now she is going to get arrested. One of the Officers finally said, did you sign anything saying you could not come here, I said, NO. Did you get served with any papers saying you could not come here, I said, NO. Did you get anything in the mail saying you could not come here, I said, NO. He then said to the security guy, we cannot arrest her. She has nothing saying she cannot be here. He did pull out the paper for me to sign that I was ban from Walmart property. So, I get up and I leave.
Next day, I am sitting on my couch crocheting, watching tv, and my kids dad comes to pick up the kids. They leave and about two minutes later he walks back in and says, Brant, which was one of the officers that was there for both incidents, is out there to arrest you. For what? He had gotten a warrant to have me arrested for theft. Are you kidding me? I did not leave that store without paying for everything I had. The Officer let me drive to the jail while he followed, and I got booked for theft. I told them my fiancé was on his way right now to bail me out, so I did not get put into general population. I got a court date about a month out.
I go to court and tell them I want to get a lawyer, so court was rescheduled. I talked to one and told him I did not want to plead guilty. I do not want a record and I did not feel I was guilty. I paid for everything I took out of that store and if anything, that was entrapment. He suggested since I have never been in trouble before, I could probably get a first-time offenders program offer. At the time, I did not really know what all that entailed but I finished talking with him and left. After talking with my fiancé, he told me if I took that I would have to plead guilty to get that. Nope, nope, nope! I went to my next court appearance and my lawyer walked over to me. He said, so were going to take the first-time offender’s plea, right? I said, so if I do that then I HAVE to go up there and say guilty correct? He said yes. I said, well I could do that for free and I am not going to do that, so I do not need you. He was not happy to say the least!
I get called up, the Prosecutor read off the charges and the first part said, "Did you on or about April 5, 2020, intentionally or knowingly...….", I said NO. He looked at me, the judge looked at me and the judge said, you did not. I said, He said did I knowingly or intentionally, no I did not do that. Yes, I missed some items but not knowingly or intentionally. The judge said, how do you not know you were skip scanning. I said, the security guard admitted he watched me scan every item, I just scanned some to fast because the light did not turn green. He was kind of puzzled. He said, well you do not have a record, so I am deciding on 6 months’ probation and court fee of #64 and some cents, what the missed items came too. I said, and this is without me saying I am guilty. He said, that is without it going to trial. Then I said, why the fee? He said, that is what you owe Walmart. I said, I paid that before I left the store that day. I have the receipt right here. The judge was puzzled again and said, well then, no fees, hit his gavel and I was done.
I wrote an email to corporate explaining this entire situation. They ended up calling me and apologized after looking into the situation and said they were sending me a letter saying I am no longer banned from any Walmart. I was still angry about the probation because I had to go report once a month to the probation officer once a month and they seemed a tad confused about it also. I caused quite a stir about the self-check outs and now they have replaced all the check- outs with new ones that make it known if your able to scan the next product or not.
This situation was such a mess, very embarrassing, and was one of the incidents that caused a chain of incidents of things to come in my little town. One of which had a hand in me being dismissed as a CASA, but like I said, this was a small fraction. More to come so keep checking my blog on other mistreatment by people in higher places.