Store Policy

by on June 29, 2024 :: 0 comments

photo "Kidzone" by Tyler Malone

Yesterday, James Westgate dropped his wallet in the parking lot after shopping at the Tall Corn Organic Grocery. An elderly lady, a Mrs. Masterson, picked it up and turned it into the store’s lost and found at the service counter.

Having looked everywhere with no luck, James decided he must have lost his wallet while shopping at the grocery. When he arrived there, James approached a man standing behind the service counter.

“Good morning, I’m James Westgate. I may have lost my wallet while shopping here yesterday. Could you check to see if you have it?”

The man behind the counter, wearing a name tag which read Kyle smiled and said, “Hmm, let me see. Oh yes, this must be it. Before I show it to you though, may I see some identification? It’s store policy.”

“I can’t do that,” James said. “All my identification papers are in the wallet. Here, let me see it, I can point out the driver’s license with my picture.”

“Sorry, with no identification, I can’t let you look at this wallet. You might not even be the owner. Allowing you to look through it would violate store policy. We’re very strict about that.”

James tried another approach, “How about I describe the wallet and its contents? It’s brown and has a little pocket next to…”

Kyle interrupted him. “Hold it right there. Lots of wallets are brown and have pockets. I can’t confirm the description of the wallet without the owner’s permission, but there may be another way.

“Do you have a passport, or two pieces of mail addressed to you at your mailing address? Anything will do, a utility bill, a voter registration card, maybe something you’ve signed, like a business record?”

“My voter registration card is in the wallet. I don’t have a passport; I don’t carry two pieces of my mail around with me and I don’t have any business records handy.”

Kyle shook his head, “Then, sorry, I can’t show you or rummage through this wallet, even if I wanted to. Do you know why?”

James, rolling his eyes, said, “Oh, I think so, it’s because I don’t have identification, you don’t have the owner’s permission and it’s store policy.”

Gesturing by pointing both his index fingers at James, Kyle said, “Right.”

“This is nuts. Let me talk to the manager.”

“He’s off today. His cat got sick. He had to take it to the vet.”

“When will he be back?”

“I don’t know. I have no idea how long it will take for the cat to get well. Do you?”

“Okay, let me talk to the assistant manager.”

With a great big grin, Kyle said, “I’m the assistant manager and I’ve already explained everything to you.”

James’ shoulders slumped, “You’re not going to give me back my wallet, are you?”

“No, not until you provide sufficient identification to prove you are the legal owner. It’s store policy.”

Then the tenor of the conversation changed. “Sir, I wonder if you’d take a few moments to answer a short survey about our customer service at Tall Corn Organic Grocery.” Kyle handed a survey card to James.

Staring at the form, James wanted to rip it up, then he noticed something. He asked, “Would this survey be considered a business record of the Tall Corn Organic Grocery?”

Kyle, beaming with a childlike innocence, said, “Yes, it would and with enough good customer reviews, I get a bonus.”

James filled out the survey, signing his full name just as it appears on his driver’s license. He handed it to Kyle, who looked at the signature, then at James, and said. “So, you’re James Westgate?

“I’ve been telling you that.”

“Well, now that it’s confirmed, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Did you lose your wallet in the past couple of days?”

“Yes, I did.”

“I think we have your wallet right here.”

Handing it to James, Kyle said, “I am so happy we are able to get it back to you.” He offered no apology for the inconvenience he and his foolish adherence to store policy caused James.

With his billfold in hand, James left the service counter to shop for a few items. When checking out, Kyle was operating the register. James was surprised.

“I thought you were the assistant manager.”

“Yes, but I’m fully cross trained and can do every job.” Then, seeing an elderly lady struggling to get her cart of groceries out to her car, Kyle excused himself, saying, “Oh, gotta go, Mrs. Masterson needs some help. She’s the one who found your wallet.”

James got his receipt. As he headed to his car, he saw Kyle drop his wallet while helping Mrs. Masterson. Kyle didn’t notice and went back into the store. Before anyone else could get it, James walked over and scooped the wallet up off the ground.

Despite knowing that giving it back to Kyle would be the right thing to do, he had another idea. He took the wallet to the lost and found at the service counter.

Afterwards, he thought, “I know he’ll get it back with no hassles, unlike what he put me through, but if life was fair, this obtuse jerk would have to show some identification first. After all, it’s store policy.”

editors note:

Unbending corporate rules, that’s what we live under. Oh, and the sun. Forever. ~ Tyler Malone

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