Miss Manners: People glare at me because they think I’m shoplifting

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Why do people insist on judging other people without knowing them?

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Miss Manners: I was at their house for dinner and I saw my missing item on their shelf

I have health problems and cannot drive. Sometimes when I arrive at a store, public transit has taken an unexpectedly long time to get me there — a bus breakdown, missed transfer, etc. When this happens, I often need to eat something immediately. I have been known to grab a quick cold drink, a doughnut, a banana — something to get in my system quickly.

I always take the empty bag, partial bottle or an equivalent item (if it is fruit, for instance) up to the cashier to make certain that the store is not losing money on the product I consumed in such a hurry.

Most of the workers at my usual stores know me and understand my situation. It’s the other customers who get under my skin, looking down their noses at me just because they saw me eating something before paying for it.

If you see anyone grabbing some fruit or a cold drink on a hot day, you might want to watch out for them — not just to make sure they pay, but to make sure they are not having a medical issue and requiring aid.

I get as frustrated as the next person when I see actual theft. I once saw a young man grab some candy, eat it, then stuff the wrapper back onto the shelf. I took the wrapper to the manager and asked him to have that young man pay for it.

But don’t assume someone is stealing unless you see them hiding the evidence or walking out without paying.

GENTLE READER: Sure. But asking onlookers to keep a watch on you from entrance to exit as you eat a banana, hold onto the peel and pay for it at checkout is a commitment most cannot muster.

And you yourself were quick to call out someone you perceived to be stealing. What if that young man was only parking the wrapper until he could retrieve it later?

Miss Manners humbly suggests that a simpler solution might be to start bringing snacks …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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