Its the hormones, you know…

Andrea blames the hormones. I blame andrea – at least at one remove. Tesco were mostly civilised about it.

Monday afternoon i did what i have never – as i remember – ever done before: which is walk out of tesco without paying.

Its those new diy check-outs. i much prefer using them, because they are so much faster. Although people do tend to forget stuff.

I have lost one credit card over the last year at a diy check-out. The other day i handed in £15 that someone had forgotten to collect by way of change.

That made me think: the occasional glitch in the check-out means tesco probably lose the occasional item to individual carelessness and computer error. But if people leave them extra cash…perhaps its not total loss.

Anyway, i scanned my shopping, scanned my clubcard and, according to the security guard later, just put the bags in my trolley and walked off. Eeeek! I am turning into one of THOSE sorts of old ladies, twenty years too soon.

So was it the hormones? It is true, i have been scattier later. But then, i had also been up for three all-night parties in the three preceding nights. I was sleep-deprived, your Honour.

Worse, the lack of sleep led me to rush out the house to shop without doing my hair, attending to facial bristle, or even dabbing on a spot of mascara. The realisation hit me half way round Tesco, at which point i could have died.

By the time i reached the check-out, i was in a state of total panic: just wanted out. So my guess is that it was more sleep than hormones (and andrea failing to point out what a mess i looked!).

Tesco were good. Or rather, the local management were good. According to inside sources (ner! don’t try and track them down, Tesco: i’m a journalist and if i didn’t have a pretty good inkling of what goes down in your canteen, what use would i be?) one rather daft manager wanted the police summoned and/or a lifetime ban from the store.

Excuse me? Wearing my legal hat, i know the police would not be best pleased: there was no intent to remove the goods (as evidenced by my scanning my personal id) so it would be a bit of a waste. As for marketing: Tesco nationally are well aware of the average value of a family shopper.

Frighteningly, we probably spend £5k-£6k per year in our local Tesco: what on earth is achieved by banning someone who spends that sort of money with you?

But still: wiser counsels prevailed. Dan, the store manager was sympathetic. Just as well, because i was upset – and less sympathetic handling would probably have meant a lot of tears. Ditto Gary the security guard who, most unjustly, i was wary of when first i came out.

Thanks – and hopefully i didn’t embarrass him too much by giving him a big hug before parting.

And that’s it. I was a little nervous for a few days about going back. But i’ve been back: not stolen anything else; and my brief career as dotty old crone is, fingers crossed, over.



3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Laura said,

    Happens to all of us, even those who are meant to be young and on the ball. Almost walked out of Sainsburys the other day without paying because I was in a hurry and using one of the self checkout machines. Luckily I caught myself after a couple of seconds so no member of staff got involved, but once you’ve used them a few times the process becomes so automated its easy to forget even the most obvious of steps, because you just assume you’ve done them. Glad the staff were sympathetic to you, could have been a nightmare if they’d decided to kick up a fuss. I suppose they’re well versed in discerning those with criminal intent from those having a bad day!

    By the by, you mentioned having a chat about gap years etc, do you have a preferred method of contact for that? I think my response to you got lost in a deluge of comments from my friends, such is the way of Facebook…

  2. 2

    debz furneaux said,

    well as far as i can see that is perfectly ordinary thing to do – so i really wouldnt worry – very embarrassing all the same. i would however take issue (tongue in cheek) with one thing – as a woman it is your responsibility to look good , not rely on someone else to tell you that you look a mess! lol. i can just imagine my reaction if any partner of mine had dared to comment that i looked a mess, particularly if i was only going to tescos!! hehehe welcome to the world of bad hair days!

    • 3

      janefae said,

      Tongue-in-cheek, Debz, tongue-in-cheek. And probably very exceptional circs: i can be a night bird…but i’d proably clocked very little sleep for three nights running and wasn’t exactly firing on all cylinders.

      One thing i found interesting was the divide at Tesco between the sensible tendency – the ones who see me daily, know i’m hardly al capone, and on the whole am probably good for business – an the hanging-and-flogging tendency.

      Bit of a bugbear of mine, the way officialdom can sometimes be merciless.

      I really object to the instant assumption, on a train, that someone who says they have lost a ticket is fibbing – and once watched in horror as some prat of a revenue enforcer reduced to tears a woman who had lost or misplaced her ticket…and was being asked to stump up an extra £100 to get home. ick!

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