Last evening, I went shopping at the Naivas Supermarket (store) at Development House formerly occupied by Nakumatt along Moi Avenue and the whole experience turned out to be ghastly and regrettable. After paying and receiving my receipt and goods, on my way rushing out of the store, the two guards manning the exit literally blocked my way out and told me I was in possession of goods I hadn’t paid for.
You know the hell of a spectacle such a scene could cause. If it was on the open, as mob justice has it, it could have possibly been just that. I would have been lynched and or hacked to death.
Then a middle-aged lady ordered me to hand her my receipt which I readily did and then she grabbed my shopping bag and without my consent, she started frisking the contents therein whilst matching with the itemized receipt and couldn’t find one item unpaid for.
All this while, shoppers were looking at me wondering how a dapper dressed man who seemingly looked modest would stoop as low as being a shoplifter. To say the least, I was embarrassed and felt harassed. I felt that for a moment a citizen’s arrest was meted on me, then prosecuted and detained all at one go and surely after all this nonsense, it emerged that there wasn’t evidence to prove the offense I was alleged to have committed.
If this is something that happens every other time to people out there, then tellingly, nothing could be further from the glaring truth of the quagmire of rottenness that our society has been bogged into. That act surely qualifies for assault, false imprisonment, harassment, and character assassination. If these guards suspected I had not paid for goods, after asking for the receipt they shouldn’t have held me any further subjecting me into such mental torture. I mean it’s, of course, understandable and reasonable for them to request for a receipt whenever and if they feel something is wrong provided the plea is made politely and discreetly.
Firstly they didn’t even ask for consent to search my bag. Secondly, they didn’t mind to conduct the search in private such that in the event I wasn’t culpable, my image remained protected and untainted. I guess common decency and courtesy demands that I was the one who could have unpacked my bag since I wasn’t a flight risk as they had accosted me.
I was even ready for a body pat, but had it got to that point, it had only to be done in the presence of the third party and most likely a police officer and or my lawyer. Throughout the demeaning ordeal, I felt obliged to remain in the shop until the matter was resolved to their satisfaction despite having done nothing wrong.
Here they added insult to injustice; they cheated me of my money in terms of shopping and, as it were, my time. I felt as if I was guilty of criminal or dishonest conduct, was a thief, a liar and a person of disreputable and low moral character. To say the least I have never been put through such trying moment of public ignominy. That supermarket subjected me to a considerable amount of distress, agony, mental torture, humiliation, scandal, opprobrium and contempt in the eyes of the public. I have never been this insulted.
Eventually, I was informed that it was okay and not to worry about anything as I was free to go. No apologies. Nobody felt the need to be sorry. Let me be clear about one thing; that whatever the fault is the hell with the fraud detectors is non-mine or anyone customers business. You can’t make a customer pay through his character for your negligence of not maintaining your fraud detection systems.
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