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07.08.

Fair Firing?

WICHITA, Kansas (NBC NEWS) – A Kansas Walmart worker hailed as a hero for stopping a shoplifter was fired Saturday.

Walmart refuses to comment, but Heather Ravenstein says she was told she was being let go because of her actions in the shoplifting episode.

“My stomach started turning instantly,” said Ravenstein. “I was like ‘Are you serious?’ I couldn’t believe it. I was trying to save them money and this is what happens to me.”

Ravenstein saw a suspect with a computer in his shopping cart roll out the front door of the Walmart on Friday night.

She was suspicious because the computer had security wire still wrapped around it. Ravenstein says the man refused to show a receipt.

“I just grabbed a hold of it and wasn’t letting go,” said Ravenstein. “I wasn’t going to let him get away with a $600 computer.”

Wichita Police say the suspect started to punch and kick Ravenstein before jumping into a waiting car and speeding away.

Ravenstein has a small bruise on her shoulder but was otherwise uninjured.

At first, Ravenstein says managers at Walmart praised her for stopping the shoplifter.

“They said ‘good job’,” said Ravenstein. “The store manager came and talked to me and said ‘Good job. You need to be more careful next time. We appreciate you trying to protect our assets.’ I was like ‘Yeah, I’m not going to do it again.””

Everything changed Saturday when Ravenstein showed up for her shift.

She says after her lunch break she was sent to a back room and told she was fired.

“I don’t think it’s fair,” said Ravenstein. “I just hope they catch the guy.”

Ravenstein is a single mother to a 4-year-old boy.

She says she doesn’t get child support. She hopes she’ll be eligible for unemployment benefits and plans to apply on Monday.

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04.09.

Face Down

My wife and I never shopped at Walmart. We had tried shoping there a few times when the first one opened up near us in the mid 90’s, but we really didn’t care for the clutter, the cramped aisles, and the toothless people dragging their messy-bottomed babies all over the floors. But eventually one day I saw an advertised item (a cheap XBox 360) that tempted us to venture back inside. Could it really be as bad as we’d imagined all these years? Surely the place had been classed up somewhat in over 10 years.

We found the sales staff reasonably helpful, and the shoppers inside weren’t too much different from the people seen in Target or the mall. The store was out of the advertised game system, so we left, but we felt maybe the place wasn’t quite the circus we’d remembered, and considered driving to a different location that still had the machine in stock.

Then on our way out, we noticed a small group of gawkers crowding around something on the ground just outside the exit. A man in a trucker’s cap and a wife beater was passed out cold, face-down on the sidewalk (and I mean literally face-down, nose smashed perfectly into the concrete). There was an empty beer bottle not far from his hand, and a large, spreading puddle of some sort of liquid that he was laying in. The puddle didn’t really look like it had come from the bottle. Standing over him was a middle aged female Walmart employee, puffing on a cigarette, warning everyone to “get back, I can’t let’cha touch him”.

We went on our way, confident that the situation was in the most capable of hands.

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04.08.

Catch Me If You Can

This evening I decided to stop and pick a few things up at the store on my way home from work. Unfortunately, the only store between my office and house is a Wal-Mart. I parked my car and I was getting out, I noticed A LOT of commotion from the car parked directly in front of me. I tried to play it off like I didn’t notice, but that was impossible. Literally, everyone in the parking lot stopped to witness the ordeal going on in front of me. There was a 30-something year old female screaming at the top of her lungs for some guy to “get up off me,” and/or “get out of my car.” Now said guy wasn’t “up on her,” or in her car. He was standing next to the driver side door, which was open, and repeatedly asked her to come back into the store so they could discuss things. (She was standing outside the passenger side of her car). I slowly walked to the front of the store where approximately 30 people were standing to watch this arguement. I found out from fellow spectators that the chick had stolen some item from Wal-Mart and the guy was apparently with the loss and prevention department. Next thing I know, this crazy lady starts running and screaming through the parking lot, and the guy is chasing after her. By this time, just about everyone has come out of the store and everyone in the parking lot is staring and hysterically laughing. Before you know it, this insane thief is trying to get into some random chick’s car. Naturally, the random chick starts freaking out and yelling at the thief. So now, not only is the Wal-Mart security guy screaming at this lady, so is a random woman who just wants to enter the store. This fiasco ended with the thief hightailing it across a VERY busy, major street. Cars start honking and slamming on the brakes, the security guy follows her across the street and finally tackles her in the grass. Right about the time the guy nailed the girl, the cops showed up. I have no idea what on earth this chick stole, but it was by far one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen at a Wal-Mart.

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03.31.

DIY

I was an ICS Associate at my Walmart. One day at work, we heard that a customer was caught trying to mix his own paint in our hardware section. We all started to talk about how stupid it was that someone would do that since all the equipment was behind a counter and looked generally off limits. Later that day, I was pulling pallets out to the floor and happened to be by our paint counter. As I walked by I remembered the man from earlier and thought to myself, “Why would anyone try to go back there and make their own paint!” Then I looked up directly above the paint counter and just about fell over laughing. A large banner hung over the area that read, “Do it yourself.”

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