The key location of this story involves the M&M Store, which has locations in various cities around the world. This store sells M&M merchandise as well as M&M candy, which can be purchased by the pound using the ‘bulk’ purchase format (i.e. you’re in control of how much you take out from the dispensers). What you’ve bagged up is what’s taken to the cashier who then charges you by weight. The price per pound when I was there was $12.99 USD.
I was in line for the cashier at the M&M Store in New York when a group of people, which consisted of a woman and four boys, cut in front of me in the line. They only had one large bag of bulk M&M’s so I just let it slide.
As we were waiting in line, all of the people in the group started digging into the bag and eating large handfuls from it. Compared to my bag, which ended up being slightly over a pound, their bag was about 2.5 pounds. By the time they reached the cashier, they had gone through almost half of the bag.
Once the women got the cashier, the remainder of the bag was weighed and the price was calculated. At this point, the woman decides that the bag of candy was too expensive and walked away from the cashier.
At the time, I didn’t talk to them or tell them that they were basically stealing from the store, but in hindsight, maybe I should have chimed in with a not-so-friendly reminder about how bulk purchases work. 0817-11
I have mental images of a bunch of piggy people stuffing their faces with M&Ms while murmuring, “Mmmmm….crunch, crunch…..mmmmm.” It’s times like this that letting someone butt in front of you in line may yield all kinds of Ehell entertainment value.
The family was shoplifting. In that kind of circumstance, recording the action with a cell phone video camera would be appropriate. If I had caught the thieving consumption of M&M’s on film, I might interrupt the sales transaction with, “Excuse me but you may not be aware that this customer has been stealing from you by eating a considerably amount of your inventory. I caught it on video.” It’s then left up to the cashier or manager to deal with the customer in the manner they deem appropriate.
I’d also be pretty tempted to speak directly to the mother, “I see you and your sons are eating much of what you intended to purchase. It would appear that there is now a dilemma since the cashier cannot weight what is now in your bellies. “ Notice that I did not directly accuse her of thieving…yet. I’m giving her the opportunity to realize she’s been caught and to make it right without a whole lot of drama. I’d wait for the reaction….such as, “Yes, we did make a mistake and I’ll rectify that with the cashier”, in which case no further discussion is necessary. But if I’m told to F-off and mind my own business, in which case, I’d say, “I so sorry to hear that. I and other customers will have to pay, via increased prices to cover inventory loss, for your theft and I don’t like subsidizing thieves.” Then I’d talk with the manager as to what I witnessed. Thieves deserve no mercy nor should they expect to be treated with cordiality.