The time we were escorted off of Walmart property at threat of arrest

Yes you read that correctly.

No we were not arrested. (Thankfully)

Yes it's a hilarious story.

I'm dead serious. 

I was sitting around the table with my family one night reminiscing. Our conversation brought us back to the time we were asked to leave Walmart. We came up with some pretty fun names for my story. For example, The Time we were Falsely Accused and escorted from Walmart. Or, The time we were almost arrested over a 3 dollar hot glue gun. Either way it's a pretty funny story. It's been long enough now that we can laugh about what happened. However at the time it was no laughing matter. Thus starts my tale of woes....

I love doing crafts, especially anything on canvas. I had just seen a video that inspired me to start a new project but I needed a hot glue gun that I could pretty much ruin. Instead of putting glue in it I was going to use crayons. So I picked up a mini one at Walmart for 3 dollars. It was a high temp gun which may have been where I went wrong. To make a long story short the crayons worked for a while but then my glue gun fried itself. I assumed it was because I put crayons through it which I probably shouldn't have. I though to myself, "Walmart takes anything back. I'll just try to exchange it for a low temp gun. If they say they can't do that because I put crayons through it then oh well. It was only 3 bucks" I was wrong. Walmart does not take anything back.

Two weeks and two states later we found ourselves in Vegas for work. This being the next Walmart opportunity I had, I brought my glue gun and receipt to try to return it. Now, my parents own and manage their own company. I started working for them doing little things when I was 8. As I got older and gained seniority, my job requirements and pay increased until I was 13. At that point I was the companies shipping manger and on the manufacturing line. Then sadly I was laid off and the manufacturing facility was relocated, but my point is, I know what customer service is. I also know that the customer is always right. I have watched my parents handle an array of problems and lots of angry customers with calm attitudes and confidence. My mom had some shopping to do so we did that first. Toward the end of her list she let my brother and I go to customer service to handle my transaction while she checked out. We got in line and waited our turn. When we were next I put on my best, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar smile, and prepared what I was going to say. If I could go back, I would turn on the recorder on my phone so I could have a record of everything said. We get to the counter and I give the lady the glue gun and my receipt and say I'd like to return it.  She proceeded to tell me that since there was no packaging for her to scan I would have to go get her another glue gun. Inwardly Sighing I did. I brought her a low temp mini gun because that's what I wanted in exchange. My first mistake was that I told her it was a low temp glue gun and mine was high temp. Since it was not the exact same item she said I had to get a high temp one for her to scan. By now I really don't want to run to the back of Walmart again so I asked if she could just scan it. She ended up calling a manager to help. Walmart was slammed at the time and it took a while but eventually the manager made her way over. I ended up going to get the glue gun, and when I returned the manager had arrived. I noticed right away that she was slightly cranky. Maybe it was my age or she was just having a bad day but she decided right away that she didn't like me. She asked if I had my receipt. I handed it to her and she said, "oh you bought this in California?" Her words dripping with what sounded like accusation. When I affirmed her statement she proceeded to tell me that she could not take it back for me. She said that it was a manufacturing issue and asked if I had a warranty. I told her no, and that it's Walmart's policy to take things back with a receipt. She replied that she knew that but she still couldn't take it back. Thinking I could encourage her help me by stating Walmart's policy I proceeded to assert some of my business knowledge. I challenge her saying, "I bought this at Walmart. Walmart is supposed to take items back with a receipt. Are you saying that I can not trust the honesty of Walmart's products and return policy?" she replies "Don't go there honey, don't go there" I just stare at her. My temper started to bubble a little but I swallowed it back. At this point I could feel my brother tensing beside me. He sensed I was feeling slightly flustered and did not like the direction this was going.  I figured that Jesus would have had grace and been patient so I could too. I decided the best course of action was repetition. I again stated Walmart's policy, and told her that I didn't even want a refund, just to exchange my glue gun for one that works. She looked at me and my brother in turn, and asked, "Are you 18?" Now this question annoyed me because I'm not 18, and I don't look like I could be. She told me that because I was not an adult I could not return it alone and needed one of my parents with me. I questioned her saying that I have returned many things before and my age had never been an issue. She locked eyes with me and said, "Your mamma taught you well didn't she" I told her that yes, my parents own a business. I inwardly hoped that implied that I knew what I was talking about and that she would just help me so I could leave. She smiled then, and now I'm wondering if she found my annoyance, that was starting to show, amusing. I returned her smile attempting to show she had not rattled me. She would not budge on my age and said I would have to get an adult. When I met up with my mother and shared everything the manager had said to me, she got increasingly upset. As my mom and I reflected, I realized that the manager was out of line in the way she was speaking to me. No where in Walmart's policy does it say that you have to be 18 to return items, so she was also refusing me service. I told my mom she would not help me unless I had a parent with me. At this point everything started to sink in and I realized I was trembling. Although I would have preferred there to be no issue, I was thankful that my mom was involved now and I could let her handle it. The three of us went to the return counter and my mom marched right up to the manager and proceeded to ask her why she refused me service even though I had my receipt and paid with my own money.  However, my mom was not able to finish as the manager put one finger up at my mom gesturing for her to be quiet and wait. This made my blood boil and my mom was very upset. She said that no she was not going to wait and she wanted to know why she refused to help me exchange a three dollar hot glue gun! They went back and forth for a bit, the conversation getting heated and the tension rising. Then the manager threatened to call security. My mom said fine, we did nothing wrong! So the manager called security. Now at this point I started to realize pretty much everyone was staring at us, and I pondered why I hadn't just thrown the gun away in the first place. When security arrived they talked to the manager privately. When they were done, the manager left and security came over to us. They said the manager had complained we threatened her and said we needed to leave the property immediately...

No, I'm not kidding.

Now I was angry and dumbstruck. All this over one mini hot glue gun? But it wasn't just about that anymore. I would have just thrown it out if she had told me nicely she couldn't take it back. I was upset that she was so rude to me, then to my mother, then lied to security about us! Now, No story would be complete without a dramatic exit!Enduring the eyes off the entire store, we left, but not without security flanking our every step.

As I was reflecting later I realized people don't act like that without a reason. I figured something must have hurt her really badly for her to act like that. So I decided instead of holding on to my anger I was going to forgive and forget. Then I wanted to go one step further so I prayed for her. I don't know what her name was or where she is at now, but I will continue to pray that the Lord will be with her. 


Popular posts from this blog

Why isn't God answering me?

Travel update!!

God Teaches Me Through My Dog