Friday, April 23, 2010

Hanging clerk

posted Tue, 05 Dec 2006

I have started a list of things I will do once I am in charge at The Store. At the top of the list?

Chop the right hand off every shoplifter.

Maybe not for the first offense, but definitely for the second.

And if they do it again, maybe cut off the left hand. Or brand the forehead. Something.

Because those darn security tags are such a pain in the neck to remove and the entire security system is such a hassle and ends up costing honest people so much money that it’s time to shift the expense back to the thieves. Why should we bear the burden? The store loses hundreds of thousands of dollars to shoplifters every year. They showed us the stats in training and I think I calculated it was ½% percent of sales. That’s a lot when you think that retail runs on pretty thin margins. (I could be wrong about that percent – it might be higher.)

Whatever it is, if an employee stops a shoplifter, we get 10% of the value of whatever they were about to steal or $25, whichever is greater.

Those of you who are horrified at my idea, think how much money and time it would save you not to have to pay for store security – because make no mistake, you are the ones paying. Prices are higher because of the security employees who walk around looking for shoplifters, because of the sensors there at the exits, because of the tags on the clothes and because of the labor it takes to install and remove those stupid, stupid tags. And, of course, prices are higher to make up for the loss of stolen items.

Wouldn’t life be easier – and cheaper? – if we would reduce or possibly eliminate the problem by chopping off the hands of shoplifters? We’d probably only have to do it a few times before potential shoplifters would give serious consideration to committing the crime.

My mom and dad lived in Saudi Arabia where gold jewelry hangs on the walls in the markets. Yet there is not a big problem with shoplifting. Why? Because thieves are separated from their hands there. Can you imagine a store displaying precious jewels here? Wouldn’t it be nice if they could? It is possible. We can do it.

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