Have you ever been out and become distracted (by kids, a wandering mind, or just your surroundings) and ended up accidently breaking the law? You know, like driving along and suddenly noticing you’re going 20 over the speed limit? Or following the car behind you, not realizing that you just ran a red light? I think everyone has done something like that at least once in their lives. But what about something a bit more serious. Like shoplifting. Not intentional shoplifting, more like… shoplifting by distraction. Yup, I’ve done it. More than once, actually. I have left a store with something in (or under) my cart and not paid for it. The big question is, What did I do about it? Did I: a) Go back to explain the mistake and pay for the item? Or b) Just let it go, not wanting to explain or bother? Well, the answer is B. Go ahead and judge.
The times that this has happened to me were very innocent mistakes. On more than one occasion, I have forgotten about a case of Pepsi on the tray underneath my shopping cart. I was already at the car when I realized it, with two kids and a cart full of groceries. I did feel a bit badly about it, but not bad enough to actually trek back into the store and pay for it! Another time at Wal-Mart, Hubby and I chose a new clock and put it on that bottom rack of the cart. Oops. Another forgotten item. We didn’t realize until we got to the car. It was busy, we had tired and cranky kids. It just didn’t seem worth my time to go back, although I know it is the Right Thing to Do. Does that make me a bad person? Honestly, I don’t really think so.
I am an honest person. If I was walking down the street and saw someone drop money or their wallet, I certainly wouldn’t keep it. I would flag them down and give it back to them. If a cashier handed me back the wrong amount of change, I would point it out. Even if I noticed the Pepsi under my cart before I left the store, I would go back and pay for it. I don’t mean to steal, but it happens sometimes.
Has this ever happened to you?
If so, have you gone back to pay for it or did you just keep it?
Do you think I’m a horrible person?
(Please tell me I’m not the only one who has done this!)