Sunday, January 28, 2007

Friday night was not a good night. It started off ok, better than the previous few days had been. I was still reeling from my break down, still feeling out of sorts, but better. I had a bill to pay, one that had to be paid that day. I was already late with my payment, and I had made a promise to pay it on Friday. Shawn had to go out, so I headed out with KC. We paid the bill then walked across the street to a smallish mall, to grab a few groceries and get some of J's photos developed.
I dropped off the film and had an hour to kill. We strolled through the grocery store, looking at bedsheets, and kitchen gadgets, and reading valentines. I threw stuff in and out of my shopping cart, collecting crap as I went.

The shopping cart (trolley) was one of those bi -level jobbies, with a basket at the top, and the bottom, the bottom basket being longer than the one on the top. I had my huge purse, and a bag from Zellers, where we had been earlier that evening.

The time spent waiting for the photos seemed longer than an hour. I dunno. Maybe that's just me remembering. I paid for my groceries, my photos, and left the store. I actually took my time, pausing at the entrance of the store to look at the photos, and then stopping at the entrance to the mall itself. That's where a grubby looking kid approached me. I thought that he was panhandling for bus fare or money for the phone. I had to ask him 3 times what he wanted. Then, I was approached by a plain looking woman in tattered jeans and uncombed hair. (I am not making this up, folks). The kid told me that he was with security for the store, and would I come with them.

KC was getting bus tickets, and I was there alone. I was so shocked. I thought later that I should've told her to push off, get lost. I really thought that I had nothing to hide, so I went. No problem.

They took me to the lower floor of the grocery store, and into an inner office. I was still confused. I let them look through my bags, my purse, offered to empty my pockets. I did all of that, even though, by law, I did not have to allow them access to anything. I still thought that I was ok.

Well, I wasn't. On the bottom level of my cart, were some groceries that I had forgotten. I didn't have them stuffed into my bags, or my purse, they were just there. I saw the cheese and nearly fainted. I had wanted the cheese, that was my main reason for going into the damn grocery store. I had forgotten the cheese. I felt so stupid. The cheese! I really had forgotten. I offered to pay, and thought that would be the end of it.

Nope. The female security guard decided that since I had put the food into my cart, I was guilty. Well, yeah, of course I put the shit there! I never denied it, and I hadn't tried to stuff it down my pants or into my bags, either.

So, the cops were called, and I was placed under arrest. He read me my rights, and then asked me what happened. Now look, I'm not a complete idiot, and I wasn't going to implicate myself in any way. I told him that I didn't mean to leave without paying for that stuff, and that it was an accident. He tried to get me to fess up. I mean, listen, guilty or not, I've seen enough TV to know better. I wasn't going to say anything that could be used against me. I also knew that if I started talking, I would freak out, and lose it. I was polite, and answered all of basic questions, but would not admitt to anything. Then he tried to scare me. He told me that the judge would go easier on me if I confessed.

Are you kidding me? I have NO criminal record, and I have never been in trouble like this before. I can't even imagine what the judge will do even if I am found guilty....A fine?

The problem here is this. I am a licensed PSW, and in order to work anywhere, in my chosen profession,I need a CLEAN criminal record. I will never work as a PSW if I am convicted. Even though I'm not working now, being a PSW is my light at the end of the tunnel. I am hoping to work again, and make a difference for the people that I am helping. Without my lisence, I'll just another shmuck looking for a minimum wage job. I've already been that shmuck. I want more.

I feel so freaking stupid. I don't quite know what I was thinking, but I know that I wasn't thinking, 'Hey, let's steal this brick of $2.99 cheese, when I have enough money in my pocket to buy a weeks worth of food.' I mean, it was more than just cheese...there were some pens, and some cucumber seeds...a bunch of little stuff. I am so freaking humiliated. I now have to go to court, stand before the judge, and answer as to why I stole CHEESE. Shit. If I was going to risk my lisence, it wouldn't have been for cheese.

I have to go to be finger printed in March, and then I go to trial in April. I could plead guilty, get a fine, and a stern warning, maybe community service (yeah, right, no problem when you've agorriphobia), maybe probation. That would save me from a trial. I can't do that, tho. I can't risk losing my PSW lisence, the one thing that I have accomplished in my adult life. I don't think that I am guilty, either. Well, I guess, yeah, I am, because, I HAD THE CHEESE, but you knowwhat I mean. There you have it. My big night out. One of the 1st nights in ages that I have gone out without Shawn since my depression has gotten this bad.

So, friends, I hope that you don't think less of me. I could've kept this to myself, but it helps to write. And yes, I am ready for the cheese jokes. If I don't laugh I'll cry, and THAT isn't working for me.

I am going to try to get some sample meds in the meantime, and get back into counselling. It's a start. I realize that I need to be more pro active, even if it means being a little pushy with my family doctor. It's hard, because when you're depressed, even the small things seem almost impossible to do. I have to take charge. I have to learn to tell Shawn when I'm feeling bad, and ask for help. No more trying to hide it, or just pretending that everything is fine. It's time to get serious.


her indoors said...

two words ASS-HATS! or is that one word! no way should they even think about taking you to court and arresting you, as you say you hadn't concealed the goods, which is what a thieve would have done, it makes my blood boil argh the sodding pillocks!
cant think of any cheese jokes but pop over and have a laugh just posted a joke x

Life, or Something Like It said...

Her indoors - word, I think. I just can't even see why they're dragging me to court. It seems like a waste of time and money for everyone. I forgot to mention that the grocery store is sending me a bill for their time, and I am to pay it.
So, ok, I didn't actually take anything, I offered to pay fro the items in my cart, and they want to give me a bill for the 2 security guards that they hired? Yeah, right. It will probably be for a couple of thousand dollars, but I will keep you posted. I will speak to a lawyer, but I don't plan on paying it. I think it's just a scare tactic.

Heidi the Hick said...

GAH! Where do I start? THE CHEESE. THE CHEESE.

Lots of people walk out of the store with stuff in the bottom basket. I've done it. I sure as hell didn't do it on purpose. Usually thieves hide things a llittle better than jsut leaving it in the bottom basket. Not?

You are absolutely 100% right though, about getting more pro active. And you're also totally right about the small things seeming to be impossible when you're down in the pit. You know that I hid it for years and suddenly couldn't anymore. That doesn't help anybody. But you can do this. Look what youve survived already.

And I have to correct you on one thing: getting your PSW isn't the only thing you've accomplished. There are three wonderful young people that you had something to do with!!

Damn, that was all sappy and dare I say, cheesy.

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

What a crazy story!!

Tod said...

You got arrested for stealing cheese! OMG! It is so easy to do that with the shopping cart. They shouldn't put those bottom shelves on them. I once had mine loaded with bottles of soft drink and nearly forgot about them. It's their own stupid fault if you ask me. Good luck with the judge. And I'm glad you are feeling more positive. :)

dilling said...

gosh, I can't leave you alone for a minute now, can I, without you getting into trouble.
it's been a rough week, all around, from the looks of things...
be strong, tell your truth.

captain corky said...

No more trying to hide it, or just pretending that everything is fine. It's time to get serious.

I like the sound of this Biddie, it's very encouraging! Keep talking to us.

I'm sure the judge will think this whole incident is absolutely ridiculous, and the Cops probably won't even show up.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

DON'T PLEAD GUILTY! When you go to court just be honest and tell the judge what happened. Considering how many real criminals they deal with each day I think they will be able to tell that it was just a mistake (you clean record backs you up on this).

I am very glad that you have decided to get some help. I know you'll do great!

she said: said...

Most reasonable people will tell you to seek legal advice. There must be some kind of legal aid you can find. It will cut down on your stress. Best case scenario you plead no contest, with a deferred sentence and if you are a good girl for a set amount of time - it will fall off your record.

I can't urge you enough to start taking those baby steps to healing.

SkippyMom said...

Well you got all my cheese jokes on IM the other night....but I will repeat a choice few to make you smile once again....[remember folks this was two insomniacs at 2 am in the morning, kay?]

Bid you neglected to mention what kind of cheese it was. It was Monteray Jack right? hee...

"It was a cheese jacking"

"Free the cheese." "Cheese have rights too!"

"You don't know Jack about Cheese."

...and not from the other night - but you asked if anyone knew a good lawyer?

Well I do...but only if you are trying to get custody of the cheese or force it to pay child support, natch!


drunk punk said...

cheese????? WTF?? We're easy targets aren't we? Plod's probably the same over there as here. Catchin' criminals is hard work n time consuming so just nick ordinary folk at every opportunity n your arrest rates look good n its easy 'cause honest people are soft targets. Used to have a bit of respect for plod but I wouldn't piss on one if he was on fire these days.

Life, or Something Like It said...

Heidi - I am just left to wonder why they cashiers didn't just say, Hey, lady you want taht cheese and crap?
You're right about the girls, but my PSW, that was all me. You know what I mean?
Effing cheese. Also, KK and J know nothing about this, so....shhhh....

Life, or Something Like It said...

Redneck - Yeah, not really the best week that I've ever had. Well, I'm nothing if not interesting...

Tod - The more I think about it, the more I wonder about this grocery store. It was like they had to make their quota, or something. I used to work for this very same chain, and people walked out with soda (pop) all of the time..And water softner salt, and dog food....

Dilling - You're back! Thank goodness. You know me, just can't stay outta trouble.

Corky - I am hoping that the cop doesn't show, too. It really seems so silly to me. It is such a waste of time for everyone concerned. Even if I am found guilty, with no prior record, the most I'll get is a slap on the wrist. I was talking to guy last week, and was telling Shawn and I about a drunk driver that almost killed him. Guess what she got? A fine and 9 months probation. What is the worst that they will do to me?
Thanks for listening.

whimsical - I still have to speak with a lawyer, but I do not plan on pleading guilty. You're right, there are so many real criminals out there. This feels like a huge waste of resources for everyone concerned.

she said - I am starting with itty bitty baby steps. Shawn has offered to take time off work to get me to my counselling appointment. It will drain our finances, but if I can rebuild my life, then maybe I can go back to work, too. Baby steps.

Skippy - You don't know jack! Free the cheese! Honestly, I HAVE to laugh. HAVE to. Thanks for the hugs.

Drunk punk - I feel like a fool. Seriously. Cheese and seeds and crap....The security guard could've let me go, sent me on my way, but she wanted to make an example of me. A 37 yr old mom out shopping with her kid. I wouldn't cross the street to piss on her if her head were on fire.

DJ Andi said...

So was Friday the 13th or something? Jeeze or should I say cheese?

I think you need to take donuts to court in case the cops show up. Tell the judge it was an honest mistake.

I can't believe the store really pressed charges or did any of that if you were willing to pay. Plus, it wasn't concealed in any way (hello it was in plain sight under the cart).

If you have an opportunity, definitely talk to counsel, but tell the truth. The judge will probably throw it out if you agree to pay the amount. As for paying for the security guards, as "brilliant" as they were, I can't imagine it would cost too much to pay for them if you have to. But I would stick to your guns and not pay just on the principal.

Keep us posted. I can't believe that happened to you. That sounds like something that would happen to me.

Good luck!

Heidi the Hick said...

Baby steps.

You've survived worse.

print out that last paragraph and blow it up and tape it to the wall over your computer.


Life, or Something Like It said...

dj andi - I have already agreed to pay for everything that was in the cart, even though I never actually took it. I will talk to a lawyer and see what he/she says.
The stuff was in the lower basket on the cart, not on the very bottom. The security guard is saying that it was concealed, but then she is also saying that it was plain sight. Know what I think? Most women get a little bit of power, and they trip. I'm saying this as a woman. The officer and the other (male) security guard were both willing to let me go. She wouldn't.
I think that I will let them take me to civil court if they want anything out of me. I don't have a job anyway, so good luck collecting. I will probably end up with a fine imposed by the courts anyway, and we have enough finacial hardship. Besides, I think that they were wrong to do this to. I do. That's why I didn't run, or give them any trouble. I really thought that they were mistaken....
I will keep you posted....

Heidi - I know that I have survived worse, but I am SO scared. I can't imagine how I'll face the judge, or even make my dates. I feel like throwing up. I am so sorry that I even went out. I am. This is a nightmare to me.
Thanks for the love. :)

Anonymous said...

Good for you about taking an active approach to the depression and not being like me and reaching for the scissors.
As for the cheese, those people are arse clowns, don't plead guilty, all humans make mistakes and you can always argue that those stupid trolleys are at fault as well for ebing so sneakily designed.

Life, or Something Like It said...

kate - I am trying to be brave, but in reality, I have been unmedicated for over 2 years. I am making baby steps, and I am scared outta my mind.I have reached for the scissors before..
Ah, the cheese...I feel like an idiot, but I do think that the grocery store is over reacting. They got everything back, I wasn't even trying to leave when they stopped me, so that may play in my favour also. I am not pleading guilty, tho. Screw em. I'll fight this all way to the top courts if I have to.

Gentleman-hobbs said...

Pleasent 5 mins will read one again!

CindyDianne said...

Oh my...

That is the stuff I usually have nightmares about. Surely, you will not get found guilty in court. What a mess!

When it rains, it pours and all that.

So...what IM do you use?

Edna B said...

Biddie it does sound like a bad dream. I hope common sense prevails and it is thrown out of court before it even gets there - however I don't know much about the American Justice system, except for the cop shows I see on TV. I don't think they would have even have taken it as far as the police here; they would have let you off with a caution, made you pay for the stuff and that would be the end of it.
PS The puppy is going better, not so destructive the last few days - yay!
Thanks for stopping by. Chin up if you can!

Marni said...

Damn, girl! I wish I could do something to help you out! What a pain in the a$$ and for, basically, nothing. What a bunch of jerks.

{{{ hugs }}}

Life, or Something Like It said...

gentleman - hobbs - Thanks for stopping by. Please come again soon, I'm sure the next post will be a much more light hearted one!

CindyDianne - I feel like i am having a nightmare right now! I am just hoping that this gets thrown out, or the judge sees at as I do - a stupid, colassial mistake.
I IM on MSN..That's what the kids tell me anyway...

ednab - Thanks for coming by again! I am actually in Canada, and I don't know much about the justice system here, either. My understanding is that it is up to the Crown Attorney to decide whether or not this is an idictable offense. If it isn't, then I should NOT be fingerprinted, if it is, then I should be. I have to go and get my fingerprinting done BEFORE the trial, though..It's a little too much for me to take in all at
So glad to hear that the puppy is doing better. My little brat still chews whatever she get her paws on, but she is such a big part of our family now. I wouldn't give her up for anything.

Marni - It seems as though I've really done it this time. I am hoping that the whole thing just gets thrown out.
I did try to get in to see my Dr. today, and he's gone for a week. I will get in there next week, and get a referral to a shrink. This has scared me so bad, I don't want to be wandering around in a haze anymore. Never again.
Thanks for the hugs!

Camie Vog said...

No way! I guess the store really needs money to pay for those security guards! That way the two of them could buy some better clothes....

About a month ago, I did the same thing with a case of beer. It was for my husband. The bagger noticed it and brought it to my attention. No biggie. I paid for the beer seperately, and had to listen to stupid jokes from the cashier about how an obviously pregnant lady was out stealing beer. Still, no police were called, and it is the CASHIERS job to ask if there is anything on the bottom of your cart!

Life, or Something Like It said...

camie - I feel the same way. I WAS a cashier, for this same grocery chain, and it was MY job to ask. The security guard said that I was hiding stuff, then she said that it was in plain sight. I don't really know which it was. If I was hiding the stuff, then I wasn't doing a very good job, cuz they saw it sticking out. I just don't know why nobody said anything. Seriously. I woud've paid, no problem. Most of the people at that store know me, as a customer, and a co worker. (except the security guards). When I look back, I think that I was an idiot to even speak to them. They had no id, no badges, nothing. It just seems so unreal.

tshsmom said...

Oh MAN!! We've all done the same thing! I forgot a box of chips in the bottom of the cart just last week.
I thought you had to be completely out of the store, before they can nail you for shoplifting?

Life, or Something Like It said...

tshsmom- I was in the plaza still, but not in the store. Still. I wasn't trying to flee.....