In part two of my new Random Things I’ve Seen feature (it is now officially a feature: I’ve done it twice), I’m presenting something I saw some time ago, but was recently reminded of.
This story takes place in M&S. A surprisingly high number of my stories in recent years appear to take place in M&S. I never went to M&S before I had children. I’m not entirely sure why I spend so much time there now. I still rarely actually buy things from M&S. Perhaps I subconsciously feel M&S is a place one should be when one is a mother.
Anyway, I was in M&S. Again. In the food court, this time. I was loitering, for reasons that now escape me, near the tills. I saw a lady sidle along the packing end of the tills and, unnoticed by the customer or the cashier, take a packet of crumpets that had just been scanned and put them in her own basket.
Now, had she subsequently left the store, this behaviour would have been a little strange, yes, but essentially it would have been shoplifting. Odd shoplifting, but shoplifting, nonetheless. She did not leave the store. Oh no. She took her basket of pilfered crumpets and returned to the food court aisles. Presumably to obtain more shopping. One can only assume that she went on to pay for the already scanned, and thus paid for by someone else, ‘stolen’ crumpets.
Did she believe the conveyor belts were some kind of weird moving shelving? Had she already ascertained that there were no crumpets left on the shelves and, gripped by her desperate need for griddle cakes, formulated an elaborate plan (based on the off-chance that someone at the tills was actually buying crumpets) to snatch some? Had she had seen this particular customer take the last packet of crumpets and tailed her to the tills? Was it a revenge crumpet snatch?
Or is this simply what passes as a heist in M&S? ‘This is not just a heist, this is a M&S heist.’