Have I ever explained, that one of my jobs in my college years was as a security guard at K-Mart?
K-Mart was the brain child of S. S. Kresge, he had made his fortune as the Kresge 5 and 10, (that’s 5 and dime for you young’ns). I worked at store 4008, which by chance, was only the 4th K-Mart ever completed in this country. We had a front door guard, a full-time floor-walker (that’s someone who looks for shop lifters) and me. I was hired part-time, doing duty at the patio door and as back up floor-walker. Since K-Mart was situated just outside the city limits, any shoplifter’s detained were required to be transported to the county jail by the state police. An in store report, as well as a copy for booking was needed, when a shoplifter was transported. One of the responsibilities of the head floor-walker was to attend the court proceedings as the representative for the store.
I remember this one time when I was floor walking, I spotted this woman standing in Milnery, open her purse, and with her left hand pull some keys out and hand to a companion and simultaneously placed two scarves in her purse with the right hand. The judge imposed a hefty fine on her. She had over $140 in her purse, while stealing two scarves worth $1.
Another time, I stopped a young family. They had been in the shoe department, and placed put new shoe on a child who was riding in the shopping cart. The family went through check out, the mother paid for everything except for the shoes on the child. The young mother spent the night in the county jail.
There was this time I was stationed at the Patio Door as a security guard. There my duty was to just watch and make sure everyone leaving had a receipt secured (in those days, stapled across the top of the sack) on their shopping bags, and to lock up the gate when the store closed. This one night, a rather tall but gruff looking person came walking toward me with an opened shopping bag. I spotted it right away. I asked to see his receipt, he said no. I asked again explaining I was required to see his receipt. The man hugged the bag closer and continued walking to his parked car. I followed again asking, finally I just went around to rear of the car, wrote down the license plate number.
I proceeded to report the incident to the state police and reported this apparent criminal action and the license plate number that I had obtained. There was a system search and it turned out that the car belonged to the Judge! The judge that heard our shoplifting cases! The story became the joke on the judge around the court-house. It was no joke to K-Mart. The store couldn’t get any convictions for a while.