Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Shady Babushka?!

She was old; a sweet little Polish grandma, ahead of me at the checkout. A slight stoop, sensible shoes, and the classic kerchief, knotted beneath her chin. It was my lunch hour, so I was kind of in a hurry, but I didn't have the heart to be annoyed. (I'll be this old one day, I thought to myself; give the poor girl a break.) I was a little surprised, though, when five minutes later, she was still digging in her purse to pay. The bagger and the checker waited too, wearing patient smiles. Finally, she completed her purchase and shuffled out the door with her cart.

On my way out to my car, I noticed the woman just reaching her big, old Buick. Seeing that she was quite slow, I offered, "Can I help you get your groceries into the car?" (I couldn't let this frail old woman spend the next five minutes lifting her purchases out of the walker cart and into her vehicle.) She simply said, "Yes," and opened the back door for me. Placing the heavy items as directed (oranges and milk go on the floor, apparently), I then shut the door. Without giving it much thought, I accepted her simple "Thank you," put her cart away, and turned to walk to my own car, but a sound made me turn around.

What I saw shocked me. This feeble old woman had re-opened the back door of her car and was unloading her pockets onto the back seat; pockets containing bottles of vitamins she had obviously shoplifted! Imagine my surprise!

What would you have done?

a) Go back to work, chuckling to yourself; the little stinker, scamming the store with that sweet little old lady routine!
b) Take her by the hand and lead her back into the store to tell the manager what she had done and return the goods
c) Call the store and report the theft
d) Block her car, call the police, and make a report. (Old age or not; stealing is stealing.)
e) Other (Explain)

I'll give you my answer in the Comments section tomorrow.

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