On March 12, I went to the Runnings Farm & Fleet store in Dickinson, North Dakota to try to buy an extra ammunition magazine for a .32 Beretta pistol. This store did not have this particular ammunition magazine, but the gun counter person offered to order one for me, if I paid for it now.
This ammo magazine price was about $25. I walked over to the sporting goods department cashier with the gun counter person, and I used my debit card to pay for this ammo magazine order. Normally, I would have just shoved this receipt in my pants pocket, but this time, I put the receipt inside of my wallet.
Today, March 18, the Runnings Farm & Fleet gun counter person who I had dealt with on March 12 regarding the ammo magazine, he called me at about 3 p.m. to tell me that it had arrived at the store today. I asked him how late was he going to be working, and he said 5 p.m., but any person at the gun counter could help me.
I really didn’t feel like driving to Runnings any time soon, but I felt that I should go get my magazine, maybe buy some more .32 ammo, maybe look at other things.
I got to Runnings at about 5 p.m. The first thing that I did was try to find some .32 ammo, because I had heard that stores were selling out of ammo recently. Some of the ammo shelves were nearly empty, and some of the other shoppers were commenting on how much ammo was sold out. I had a hard time finding the .32 ammo, because there were only three small boxes remaining on the shelf. I picked up one box.
I saw the older man who I had dealt with on March 12, who I had talked to on the phone earlier today at 3 p.m., but he was busy with another customer. There was a younger man working at the gun counter, and I explained to him that I had placed an order a week ago, that I had gotten a call a couple of hours ago telling me my order was here, and I gave him my name.
I waited a few minutes for the younger man to walk to the store room, and come back. He came back and he handed me my ammo magazine package, and he asked me if this was it. I looked at this package from Beretta, I read what gun models this magazine was for, and it appeared to be the correct one.
I was ready to pay for my box of .32 ammo at the sporting goods counter and leave. But like an abnormal person, I stopped to read the store inventory ticket attached to this Beretta magazine package, and the handwriting appeared to say, “Not Paid”. I showed this inventory ticket to the younger gun counter person, and he said, that’s what it says.
Not only did this younger gun counter person believe that this Beretta ammo magazine was not yet paid for, when I showed him my Runnings Farm & Fleet cash register receipt from March 12, he was quick to point out, “But this inventory ticket says March 18.” He believed that the receipt that I removed from my wallet to show him, was not proof that I had already paid for this ammo magazine, because the dates were different.
I was instantly very angry, because I knew what would have happened if I had left the store with this ammo magazine like I planned to do. This younger gun counter person would have been absolutely certain in his mind, that I had just walked out of this store without paying for this ammo magazine, and he would have called the Police.
The thought of what would have happened, bothers me a great deal. Getting the Police called on me for shoplifting, would have cost me my job almost immediately. It wouldn’t matter if the charges were later dropped by Runnings or the City Prosecutor, my employer would have been inclined to let me go immediately for a number of reasons, replace me, and that would be the end of my employment. I would probably not even be eligible to receive unemployment compensation, because I would have been fired “for cause”, as far as my employer was concerned.
Every year, myself and my co-workers have to complete an affidavit, answering questions, and disclosing any criminal charge whatsoever that might appear on a nation-wide FBI fingerprint and records check. I know from past experience, that failure to disclose a charge, even a dismissed charge or expunged charge, is considered to be a falsification of the affidavit. I have previously seen six of my co-workers be denied their background clearance, for very minor things, even dismissed charges or expunged charges, and they were let go from the employer that I currently work for.
So besides the embarrassment, frustration, and hassle of trying to explain my side of the story to the Police, who would know exactly who I was and where to find me because of my personal information on the Beretta ammo magazine order, I would have likely lost my job.
I was so angry about this, that I called the Runnings Farm & Fleet store manager. I told the store manager that the older gun counter guy who placed the ammo magazine order was nice and helpful, and the younger gun counter person was also nice acting, but the inventory ticket said “Not Paid”, I had already paid for this ammo magazine, and I was going to leave the store with it, if I had not read the store inventory ticket. The younger gun counter guy would have believed that I left the store without paying.
This would not have been just a misunderstanding, if the Police would have been called on me for shoplifting, I would have lost my job immediately. My employer would not be inclined to wait to see whether I was convicted or not, that is not how it would be handled. I asked the store manager if he understand my situation, if he as a store manager were arrested for shoplifting, did he understand that his employer might just go ahead and fire him immediately without waiting to see whether he was convicted or not.