Grey Face here and although I'm sure at this time of year it's not necessary, I thought I'd offer up one of the stories from retail that particularly broke my faith in humanity. The fact this wasn't the first or last time we had a situation like this made it more depressing.
It began with a middle aged woman and a ten year old girl coming into the store. They browse for awhile, and then the girl comes up and buys one of our bags for life, basically a cloth bag with a pretty design for a pound. She declines a bag to put it in and goes back into the store. The older woman leaves and we're keeping an eye on the girl in the CCTV room, wondering if this is one of those cases of people expecting us to babysit their children. But no. The girl picks up a pile of clothing stuffed at the back of a rack, puts it into the bag and tries to leave the store. Just outside the door, we grab her and bring it back in and ask to see inside the bag, and ask for a receipt. Nothing. At this point, she tried to run, but we blocked her and kept her in the store, phoning the police and a security guard.
They take her out the back to start questioning her, and she gives us her 'aunts' phone number.
We keep trying while she's questioned, and keep not getting an answer. The little girl is frightened, and sobbing her heart out, the poor thing and we were feeling awful for her, because it must have been quite frightening for her although everyone was being gentle. Finally, nearly an hour later and at the point the police are about to take her to the station, the 'aunt' returns (I use inverted commas because we were pretty sure she was the mother). She then raises merry hell in broken English about how we can't arrest a child, it's not her fault, she wasn't here, we should just let the kid go, we're monsters, etc etc etc. Eventually the police took them both away and the kid got a caution and the 'aunt' got a ban from the entire retail park.
It never failed to depress me how parents will use their children to steal for them on the basis that they will get away with it. I've seen it half a dozen times, children left on their own and instructed to leave the store with a basket, a bag, even a full trolley, and claim that their mother is outside, and they're going looking for her and then run like hell.
I think it's the lowest level of NATs.
Happy holidays everyone.