Be Polite While Shopping

Bust BuyThe St. Louis CBS affiliate reported last Friday that a 61-year-old Best Buy employee was bludgeoned by a couple in their late 30s leaving the story after the employee asked to see their receipt. I’m glad to see that everyone is getting into the holiday spirit. You know: Christmas. Christian. And what no one expects: the Spanish Inquisition![1]

There are two things of note about this incident. First, no one died. It looks like the couple behaved very badly. Had they had guns, who knows what would have happened. Clearly, it would not have made the encounter more “polite.”

The second thing to note here is that this was likely a racial incident. The report noted rather awkwardly, “It’s considered normal procedure by most to be asked for your receipt while leaving a busy store like Best Buy with expensive items.” In fact, my experience at Best Buy is that I am never asked for a receipt. Years ago, when they first started showing up everywhere, they did ask for receipts. I haven’t been asked in 15 years.

I suspect that the couple felt they were being singled out. Clearly, I don’t know if this is true. I don’t know the races of the people involved. But why would people behave like that? I’m not suggesting that their reactions were appropriate. It is never okay to bludgeon someone over something like this. But I think it is understandable.

So if you do any after Christmas shopping: be polite to the employees. And by “polite” I do not mean to bring a gun.


[1] All together in one place—what no one expects:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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