Hello, I'm Danny...

By Linda Thornton

“Hello,” he said, “I’m Danny.”

I’d seen him as I’d walked into the store and noticed him looking at me, but not taken too much notice. People often look at me when I’m out with my daughter. When she was very young, it was her copper-coloured hair that attracted people. Later, it was her behaviour that drew attention and her insistent demands for whatever she decided she wanted and wasn’t allowed. Nowadays it’s because of her size. I hate to admit it, but her weight has gone out of control this year and I’m panicking.

But, back to Danny. He held out his hand, and, since it is the season of Goodwill, I shook it and smiled. “I’m the manager here,” he continued.

“Oh,” I said, thinking that perhaps all new managers now liked to introduce themselves to their customers, being as it was, the season of Goodwill. “Are you new here?”

“No, I’m not. And this is my floor manager,” he continued, indicating the person standing next to him. “We have a video of this young person,” indicating my daughter “stealing some body lotion from the shop.”

The blood drained from my face as I thought, Oh God, here we go again. Danny produced his phone and asked if I’d like to see the store video. I agreed, as my daughter was protesting her innocence and things would certainly continue to escalate unless we could settle this one way or another. “I recognised her, and you, when you came into the store. The video is from March, 2019, but, look” he pointed, “there you both are coming into the store and there you are,” indicating to my daughter,” taking the body lotion out of its box, putting the box back, and the bottle of lotion down your front.”

It was undeniable. My daughter started blustering, “I don’t remember doing that, I have no memory of doing that.”

I felt humiliated, shocked, angry, and ultimately, surprised that she had done this. Usually if she wants something, she sneaks it into my shopping trolley and by the time we get to the check-out I generally pay. No need to shoplift. So all I could do was to agree to pay for the item, and thank him for not trespassing both of us.

I crawled out of the supermarket on my hands and knees – figuratively, not literally – and prayed for strength. This was only day one of a two-week Christmas holiday…

PS. Every cloud has a silver lining and I happily told my daughter that she would have to wait in the car every time I went to that supermarket or else there might be trouble. It made food shopping so much easier!


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