In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project

In Search of My Father 2017 Writing Project
In Search of My Father, 2017 writing project supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

TALES FROM A SHOPWORN MANAGER 5 OF 8 - THE HIGH SCALLION JOB

From 1973 to 2008, I worked in and around retailing, mainly managing shops of various sizes. The customer is always right never really stacked up in my orbit. In the next 8 blog posts, I share true tales with you, embellished for entertainment value. But they are all based on true incidents. 

5 OF 8

THE HIGH SCALLION JOB
(Note: Some readers might not know that a scallion is Irish terminology for a spring onion and that champ is an Irish recipe of mashed potatoes, scallions/spring onions and butter - for this story took place in Belfast.)

Customers come in all shapes and sizes, from all backgrounds, as do shoplifters.  A shop is a thieves’ paradise and professional bandits know all the tricks of the trade to confuse and distract, as they attempt to steal anything that is not nailed down.  They are a menace but the more inept thieves, the ones that have more than enough empty space between their ears, the ones that aimed low in life and missed, provide some light relief.  One day, we followed a man who was wearing a long overcoat.  It was one of the hottest days of the year and he looked as out of place as a kipper in a tap-dancing class.  By the fixed smile on his face and his glazed eyes, it was obvious that he had lunched recently with Jim Beam or Johnnie Walker.  He was high as a kite.  Slowly but surely, he walked around the shop putting various things into the pockets of his coat.  After about half an hour, as he was about to leave, we apprehended him and took him to the security office.
“Please empty your pockets,” I said.  “What pockets?” he slurred.
“The ones in your coat.”  “Oh, those pockets,” he chuckled.
In a few minutes, the following items were displayed on the desk: a bottle of brandy, a packet of custard powder, two small tins of cat food, a bar of chocolate, a bag of sugar, a bottle of ketchup and a bunch of scallions.  The man was arrested and whiskeyed off to the police station, leaving us wondering if all the food and drink he had tried to nick had been intended for a romantic meal for two – or just a quiet night in with the cat.  Even with the scallions, he was more chump than champ.


Coming up:
The lag with the bags was a drag
From a bread stick to a set of garden furniture
The avocado bravado desperado affair

No comments:

Post a Comment