A few days ago, I was at Kmart and I was taught a valuable lesson about honesty.
My daughter found a really cool pair of sunglasses in a three dollar bin. She loved them so much, she wore them all around the store. We bought about $50 worth of stuff, and when we were paying for it, she was still wearing them, so we accidentally forgot to pay for them.
When we got to the car, I noticed she was wearing the sunglasses and I asked if we had paid for them. She said that we hadn't. Obviously, at that point, we had gotten away with it, but I wanted to teach my daughter that it's not okay to steal, even accidentally. I wanted to teach her to be honest. So we went back to the store to pay for the sunglasses.
The lines were long, but we got back in line, so we could pay for the sunglasses. Unfortunately, it turned out the sunglasses didn't have a tag on them. The cashier asked for a price check, and let somebody else go in front of us while we were waiting, because obviously getting a price check is such a long ordeal that we couldn't possibly allow the line not to move. She was right. The person didn't know what the price was and we had to locate another pair of sunglasses in the bin, but those weren't labeled either.
We had to call another person to find out what to do about the situation. This person suggested getting another pair of sunglasses from another place, and then marking those down to three dollars. At this point, we had been dealing with this for at least 10 minutes.
We followed the cashier and she got us another pair of sunglasses and then we had to get in the customer service line, because obviously the cashier couldn't do it herself. That line was very long too. I said to the cashier that I would just hand her three dollars and then asked if we could leave. She said it didn't work like that.
After several minutes of waiting in line, I started to get pretty pissed off because it didn't look like the line was moving at all. I asked to speak to the manager. The manager came over and I told them all we had been through in attempting to pay for the sunglasses, and they said since they were only three dollars and we just spent $50 at their store, I thought he should let us just have them and let us leave.
He said he couldn't do that and then I started fighting with him. I said that this was ridiculous, that it was their fault that they didn't label the item had such terrible customer service that they had no way of dealing with us without it taking practically 30 minutes of my time. I was SO ANGRY. Finally, he agreed to give me the sunglasses for 50% off. I said fine and that I was never going to shop there again.
Maybe it's impossible to get an item for free just because the store sucks, but considering it was only three dollars, I don't think it was worth anyone's time. For me it was just about principle at that point. What sucks the most is that my daughter was so miserable through the whole process and I was just trying to teach her to be honest. I don't think that lesson succeeded.