沃尔玛故事(三)艾滋病大盗及偷鸡腿的小伙 – Wal Mart story 3: thief with AIDS and the guy who stole chicken legs

那对艾滋病夫妻其实也蛮可怜的,得了艾滋病以后被社会歧视,找不到工作,没有人和他们交往。我相信如果社会能给他们一定的照顾,让他们有自食其力,人们不要歧视孤立他们,让他们不至于活不下去,活的卑贱,他们是不会这样报复社会的。陈水总,冀中星都如是。

第一次打交道是我在商场巡视的时候,同事曾志勇趴在一垛商品后面招呼我,我过去后他从商品的缝隙后指着一个女人悄悄说,那就是艾滋病了,你盯着他。我看过去只见一位浑身黑衣的女士正提着一个筐子选商品,瘦瘦小小,模样还算端正。我再回头一看志勇已经无影无踪,我是见习身份,要尽量服从老员工的安排。于是我尾随在那个女人后面,观察她的行为。

跟踪一个人是很累的,你得时刻注意掩藏自己不让对方发现,一般如果对方两次以上注意到你就会引起警觉,对方就可能抛弃证物逃走。而这个女士和她丈夫的事迹我早有听闻,他们是真正的滚刀肉。以前便衣抓过他们,但明白他们的身份以后根本无法处理,报警警察根本不管,最多活活稀泥,搪塞一下。谁也不敢靠近他们,这两个是真正的危险人物。得艾滋病并不危险,危险的是他们同时又十分凶狠,这就像两个背着炸药包的准恐怖分子。你一旦和他们发生肢体冲突即使是简单的推搡也会给你带来巨大的麻烦,你的同事会对你心生恐惧,和你保持距离。商场其他员工也会害怕你。公司领导可能会要求你去验血,你可能至少要休假一段时间,总之惹一身骚是毫无疑问的。

我知道这些事,也知道我即使抓住她窃取商品领导也不会管,根本没有办法。你做一件明知没有结果的事情就会丧失意义感,觉得很无聊。我躲躲藏藏的跟了她一会,干脆走到她身边大摇大摆的跟着她,她看我我对她微笑示意。我的意思是让她知难而退,就此罢手。谁知道她照样在里面转来转去,我就像一个大尾巴吊在她后面。她老人家如此安详从容,还不时扭过头来跟我聊上两句。我还得小心不要让她在拐弯时脱离了我的视线,趁机下手。看人家这贼当的,这水平,这心理素质,这从容。

这时志勇跑过来跟我说不用跟了,领导批示随她去吧,你回去休息。于是我回办公室室休息去了,而那天wb也没有当班。我总觉得这样放任她去偷不合适,但既然老员工发话了我也没必要拧着干。结果中午的时候在监控的死角发现了几个商品的空包装,几样家用小电器,价值数百元。正是那个女人当时购物框里放置的商品,看作案现场推断她在服装区的死角蹲下来,用前面的衣服架子挡住别人的视线拆掉包装破坏磁条然后将商品放在包里面从容自出口离开商场。

看着作案现场我对志勇说就这么让她走了,志勇脸色一变说你不也有责任吗。我操,我能有什么责任?师傅上班以后我把这件事告诉了师傅,因为我觉得这事当时不应当这样处理听之任之。结果第二天志勇看我的神色很不友好,他甚至教唆我去抓当事人。但我知道我在试用期里还没有得到公司正式授权,师傅数次严正警告我不许拦截当事人,一旦出事不但我可能走人连他也要受牵连。当时我就感觉志勇在害我。

上文写的那女士给我的感觉不是个坏人,我的意思是她不是那种心地偏狭恶毒的人。听别人说在安检门如果被查出携带未付款商品,她放下东西也就低头走了,好像还有点顾及颜面的意思。但她老公就不一样,如果安检门报警她老公必定拒绝查包,和安检旁的工作人员发生冲突,互相撕扯。而安检门旁的当值人员多半不知道他的身份才会去拦他,好像除了我们别人也不知道他的真实面目。

那个男的好像姓杨,一脸疙瘩。他老婆长相相对比较清秀。这两个人穿衣打扮,长相气质给人感觉都是一般的市民。我猜测他们原先都有稳定的收入,家庭也蛮和睦。结果男的不知道从哪里乱搞中奖,并且传染给了他老婆。于是丢掉工作,被人歧视孤立,别人见了他们就像见了鬼一样避之不及,失去生活来源。于是他们变成了抢钱夫妻,我记得看过一部金凯瑞主演的电影《抢钱夫妻》,说的是一对青年夫妻破产以后为维持生活街头抢劫的故事。现实中这对夫妻肯定更惨的多,在我们这个社会他们不知经受怎样一个心理变异的过程,肯定相当残酷。这两个人面容深处都埋藏着一种阴暗悲伤的气息,区别是女的透出一股绝望,男的表情不经意间更流露出一丝凶狠。

他们和我们这里的便衣都有过冲突,如今的现状是便衣看到他们就跑。然后躲起来观察他们,只要不是太过分也就听之任之。他们一般也就拿个日常用品啥的,只是那个男的会在商场扒窃顾客,他们一来商场有时就会播报蓝色代码:“顾客请放置好自己的钱包,工作人员请各归各位”。那个男的(我们姑且称他为老杨吧)就有丰富的反跟踪经验。经常走过拐角处猛然回头,跟踪他们的便衣有时骤不及防躲闪不及被发现。这时老杨就会转身径直朝便衣走过去,便衣胆战心惊猪突狼奔。

我第一次见到那个男的是他们夫妻一起来的,师傅通知的我。志勇我们三个人当值,他们俩跟踪的时候被发现,老杨追着他们满商场乱窜,这中间跟来跟去过程足有一个多小时。我从二楼到三楼时正好撞见师傅,师傅说他妈的老杨当起便衣了跟踪我们,你是新面孔他不认得你你跟跟看,师傅撤退了我到三楼搜寻那二位发现他们正在出口安检门和当值人员撕扯在一起,原来窃取的商品磁条未破坏彻底引发了警报。被拦截后他们拒绝开包检查,老杨十分蛮横不住推搡身材矮小的当值大姐。我静静的走过去一言不发的看着他们,杨氏扭头看到我低下头去随即转身往商场里走,我估计她要转移赃物于是跟在她后面。她走到电器区一垛商品后伸手拿出一件东西放在箱子上,那意思好像说商品还你不要再找我麻烦了。我拿起那个商品跟在她后面慢慢往外走,那个男的气势汹汹的冲进来刚想发作看到了我手里的商品呆愣了一下瞅了他老婆一眼随即恶狠狠的冲我瞪过来,目光相接我平静的看着他的双眼。一秒钟后老杨夫妻转身快步往外走去。我跟着他们走到安检门口便停下脚步。当值的大姐质问我为何不拦住他们,我说那俩是艾滋病。大姐吓了一大跳。生气道像这种事情你为什么不通知我们,我哑口无言只是叮嘱她尽量不要到处乱说以免引发恐慌。其实那时候我还没有得到公司正式授权不允许拦截当事人,而且即使有授权我也不会拦呀。

 

 

回去办公室以后师傅听我讲完过程以后很高兴,主管们也用嘉勉的目光看着我。但是过了几天老杨就对我进行了报复。

那天我和师傅巡视商场,走到拐角处时老杨忽然蹿了出来手里拿着什么东西朝我当面砍过来。我当时脑子里轰的一下两眼发黑,只有一个念头好像黑夜中的月亮挂在那里,:“他碰到我怎么办?他碰到我怎么办?”。这时鄙人灵魂出窍,真相显露,我露出了杀人脸。

关于杀人脸这回事是这样的,有几次我和人争执真的动怒时明显感到脸上肌肉强烈扭曲时的表情,这时对方总是不战而退,还有过一个人退却的时候问我你想吃人吗?我事后也曾经对着镜子努力回复当时极端愤怒的表情。只见镜中人下牙外龇盖住上牙,下嘴唇噘出上嘴唇翻起,鼻子像狗那样皱起来。两只眼睛眯起来,露出鳄鱼那样的眼光。这脸既像恶狼又像恶鬼,确实挺吓人,那真的是一副欲择人而食的样子。那是我准备完全摧毁对方时露出的表情,那是我遇到重大威胁时灵魂中的恶占据了整个身体。

我下意识用双臂护住头部,两眼死死盯住对方,老杨看到我的表情往后退了一步,笑着说哎呦怎么了跟你开个玩笑。当时我除了老杨别的什么也看不见,只是那么盯着他。这时我师傅的话像一根针刺了进来:“不要被他激怒”。我像个漏气的皮球一下放松下来,我放下手臂对老杨笑了笑,然后转身和师傅一起离开了。

师傅和公司的教材都说过,做便衣需要极强的克制能力,不能超过必要的防卫限度。如果克制不住自己的怒火很容易做出后悔的事情,给自己和公司带来不好的后果。沃尔玛的便衣打人不管事情真相怎样那绝对是轰动性的新闻,毕竟树大招风,再说沃尔玛不喜欢行贿,很多人很多部门都等着找沃尔玛的麻烦呢。

师傅和我往回走的时候和我保持着距离两眼放光盯着我问他没有碰到你吧,一副如果我如果说有他转身就跑的样子。我摇摇头,老杨只是作势砍我,其实手里什么都没有,他也没有碰到我。他这样做一部分是试探,一部分是恐吓。那是我如果被他激怒出手那真是后患无穷,老杨少不得要讹诈沃尔玛,我也会麻烦缠身。

师傅那么担心,只是他不知道我还和艾滋病人握过手呢。那是在台湾,一些团体做宣传由艾滋病人上台现身说法,宣传艾滋病只通过体液传播的知识,据说和艾滋病人接吻只要口腔没有伤口溃疡都没事,人需要喝一升唾沫才能被足够的病毒感染(我估计这个没人敢试)。那个艾滋当事人演讲完毕以后走下台来很多人都和他拥抱握手,他走到我面前时我也和他握了手。但他作势要和我拥抱的时候我微微摇头,我摇头不是因为怕他。是因为我只和我的朋友或者亲密的人拥抱,而我不喜欢他。因为他在台上讲了一句:“我只是和许多人一样在大陆这个花花世界放纵了一下,为什么偏偏是我?”我觉得他毕竟不是做了什么光彩的事情还这么理直气壮的说出来,我不喜欢。

老杨夫妇和我们便衣部打过很多交道了,老邓还在办公室和他谈过心,没用,老杨照来不误。到最后上面真的放话说不要管了,听之任之了。老杨搞得我们便衣和沃尔玛都很头疼,毫无办法。我们不能打他,也不能抓他。沃尔玛是有道德底线的,也不能找个黑社会来灭了他,有时我真想守在暗处拿麻袋一套用钢筋打得他筋断骨折,当然这只是被气急了一时的恶念而已。可是我们管不了,警察总该管的吧。警察也不管,老杨持刀抢劫被通缉他自己去自首结果一天就被放出来了。该管的不管,我们遭殃,和这个社会许多的事一样。

不知怎的写到这里我总是想起来台湾那个病人演讲的情景。他演讲完毕走下台全场热烈鼓掌,许多人上前和他握手,拥抱。也许这就是大陆人和台湾人最大的不同罢。

除了杨氏夫妇,还有另外两个窃取商品的当事人给我留下的印象比较深刻。实际上我跟师傅在一起抓到的当事人也没几个,这个店很奇怪,师傅这个在别的店叱咤风云的高手在这个店很少有斩获。师傅正是被调过来增援这个店的,因为这个店的损耗率(指的是商品被窃后作案人丢弃在商场的空包装)很高,而捉到的当事人很少。不光是师傅,调过来增援的高手已经无数,但谁也解决不了这个店的问题。最后倒是我发现了问题的症结所在,但这个问题很致命,你要耐心看完这篇文章才知道。

那天我和师傅照常在店内巡视,巡视的时候是大有文章的,并不是随便在那里瞎逛,这份工作需要全力以赴才能完成。巡视的时候需要把自己的感觉撒出去,就如同把周围的人都笼罩在你的气场中。来商场的人当然绝大多数是来买东西或闲逛,而偷东西的人身上必定周围的人有不同之处。不同之处在哪里呢?从这种人的眼神,表情,甚至走路的姿势都可以感觉的到。其中一点准备偷东西的人是紧张的,不像其他人那样放松,不管他们怎样掩饰有经验的便衣还是立刻能察觉到。

这时师傅盯上了一个小伙子,他派我过去看看那个小伙子手里拿的什么东西,是不是公司的商品。那个人正站在两排货架之间,我装作挑选商品的样子从他面前走过,他见到我猛一下浑身紧张了起来。这种紧张是什么概念呢?就是你做了坏事正心怀鬼胎的时候面前忽然出现一个人那种反应。我走到通道尽头以后拐弯来到师父面前,师傅看我的眼光露出些许肯定。至始至终我都没有正眼看过那个人,我只是走过他身边时用眼睛余光看到他手里拿了一盒蛋糕,包装已经破坏,嘴里还在嚼着。

我们一直跟着他在商场里面转悠,当他把吃了一半的蛋糕丢弃到垃圾桶里后我跟在后面捡了起来,这就是证据。我们跟了他大概一个小时,最后在商场出口处截住了他,我把手里的蛋糕盒给他看忍不住直乐,这管不住自己的嘴丢人现眼。我们把他带到办公室,师傅问他还拿了什么,结果他又从口袋里拿出个烧鸡腿。

按程序给他做完笔录,然后又让他拿着赃物拍照留念,师傅有点拿他开玩笑,让他拿着蛋糕盒子和鸡腿摆pos。我是不喜欢伤害别人尊严的,即使面对当事人也一样,因为我十分珍惜自己的尊严,知道那种被羞辱的痛苦。而且我小时候成长环境里好多人都是小偷混混,我知道他们成长的环境没有给他们太多选择。但他们一样是人,一样有尊严。后来我跟师傅说我不会去伤害别人的自尊,即使面对当事人也一样。

后来让那位大侠去买单 ,结果他掏光身上的钱也还是不够,虽然仅仅只有二十多元。他没有工作,自然也没有钱。我问他厦门工作机会这么多你随便找份工作也可糊口,为何这样?最后我给他垫了几元钱让他回去坐车用,因为他住的地方离这里很远,我始终对他很客气,我把他当做和我一样的人来对待,他只是犯了点小错。

过了几天他把那三元五角钱给我送到办公室了,由同事转交给了我。他再次回到自己曾被羞辱过的地方那需要多大的勇气呀。

The husband and wife with aids were incredibly hard done by. After contracting AIDs they were discriminated against by society, couldn’t find work and no one had any association with them. I believe that if society looked after them, let them stand on their own feet, didn’t discriminate them and isolate them, didn’t make it impossible for them to earn their own living and didn’t make their lives pitiful, then they wouldn’t retaliate. Chen Shuizong and Ji Zhongxing are similar cases.

The first time I came into contact with them was when I was making a routine inspection of the shopping mall. My colleague, Zeng Zhiyong, who was lying low behind a pile of goods called out to me. After I went over, he pointed out a woman through a crack in the goods, whispering, “That’s the woman with AIDs. Watch her.” Looking over, all I could see was a woman dressed all in black carrying a basket and picking goods. She was small and thin, and looked normal. I looked back and saw that Zhiyong had disappeared without a trace. As I was still in my probationary period, I had to as much as possible obey arrangements made by senior staff members. Thereupon I tailed behind the woman, observing her behavior.

Following somebody is tiring. You have to constantly pay attention to keeping yourself concealed so the other person doesn’t become aware of you. Generally if the person notices you twice or more you will arouse their suspicions, which might make them abandon everything and flee. I long ago had heard about the past deeds of this woman and her husband. They were indeed troublemakers. They had been caught by plain clothed store detectives before, but after it as was understood who they were there was simply no means of dealing with them. The police basically didn’t care, the most they did was to smooth things over and dodge the issue. Nobody dared to approach these two genuinely dangerous characters. The fact that they has contracted AIDs wasn’t the danger, the danger was that they were also fierce and malicious, just like two prospective terrorists carrying explosives. As soon as you come to physical altercations with them, even simple shoving, it will bring you great deal of trouble. Your colleagues will fear you in their hearts, and keep you at a distance. Other workers in the mall will also be afraid of you. Company managers may request that you have a blood test and at the very least you will have to take some time off. In brief, there’s no doubt that it will cause you a big problem.

I know these things, and I also know that even if I caught her stealing things, the manager wouldn’t care. There’s simply nothing you can do. When you do something of which you are fully aware is meaningless, you lose your sense of purpose and feel senseless. I followed her secretly for a while, and then simply strolled over to her. She looked at me. I hinted a smile at her. My intention was to make her aware of the situation so she would back off and give up there. Who was to know that she would continue to rove around as before. I was just like a big tail dangling behind her. In the same manner as an elderly person, she was serene and took it easy. From time to time she would even turn her head and say a few words to me. I still had to be careful not to let her out of my line of sight when she turned a corner, so as not to give her an advantage. I observed this thief: her standards, her psychology, her calmness.

At that moment, Zhiyong hurried over and told me that I don’t need to follow her anymore. The manager said to leave her be, and that I should take a rest. Thereupon I went back to the rest room in the office. The World Bank also didn’t work that day. Overall I thought letting her go like this and giving her free reign to steal was inappropriate. However, since the order came from above, it wasn’t necessary for me to pursue it further. Come midday, this resulted in the discovery of the empty packaging of some household electrical appliances, worth a few hundred Renminbi, in an area not covered by security cameras. The woman had gone to a part of the clothing area that had no cameras. From the crime scene, it could be deduced that she had crouched down and used the clothes rack in front of her to block the view of others, while she tore open the packaging of the goods in her basket and destroyed their magnetic strips. Then she put the goods into her bag and calmly left the mall from the normal exit.

Looking at the crime scene, I said to Zhiyong that it was all because we let her go. The look on his face changed, and he said that I wasn’t responsible for it. Huh, what responsibility DO I have? After my mentor arrived, I told him about what had happened as I thought that we shouldn’t have dealt with it by turning a blind eye. Consequently, the next day Zhiyong looked at me in a slightly hostile way. He even urged me to seize any implicated persons. However, I knew that during my probationary period I wasn’t authorised to do so, as my mentor had sternly warned me that I must not intercept implicated persons. As soon as something happened not only would I probably be fired, even he would be affected. I felt that Zhiyong was causing me harm.

The impression the woman gave me was not one of a bad person. By this I mean to say that she wasn’t the kind of person who was prejudiced and malicious. I heard someone say before that if she gets caught at the security gate with goods that haven’t been paid for, she gives them up and walks away with her head bowed. It would seem that she still has some honour. Her husband, however, isn’t the same. If he sets off the alarm at the security gate he is sure to refuse a bag-check and start a violent conflict with the staff. The staff on duty by the security gate most likely don’t know who he is and so apprehend him. It would appear that apart from us no one else is aware of his true identity.

I think his surname is Yang, and he has a wart on his face. His wife’s appearance is relatively graceful in comparison. These two dress up, giving them an appearance that makes people think that they are ordinary citizens. I would guess they originally they had a stable income, with a harmonious family. Then the man slept around, and unaware that he had caught the virus infected his wife. Thereupon, they lost their jobs and were discriminated against by others, thus isolating them. When other people saw them they shunned them as if they had seen a ghost, causing them to lose their spirit. Then they became a couple of thieves. I remember seeing a Jim Carrey movie called “Fun with Dick and Jane”. It was about a young married couple who after they became bankrupt took to the streets and to make a living by looting people. In reality this couple were yet more pitiful. I don’t know what they endured in our society that changed their mentality, but it must have been quite cruel. Buried underneath the skin this couple was an air of deep sorrow. The difference was that the woman gave an impression of hopelessness, whereas the man’s facial expressions unconsciously exuded a hint of viciousness.

They had clashed with us plain clothed store detectives before. Nowadays however, if we saw them we would avoid them. Then we would secretly observe them. As long as they didn’t do anything too serious we would let matters drift. Generally, they would pick up everyday products, but the man would also pick-pocketed customers. Sometimes, as soon as they entered the shopping mall there would be a code blue announcement: “Could all customers please put their wallets in a safe place, and all staff return to their posts.” The man (we’ll temporarily call him Old Yang) had a lot of experience countering those tailing him. Often he would suddenly look back as he was turning a corner so that the store detective following him would be unable to move quickly enough to evade being discovered. Then Old Yang would turn to directly face the store detective and walk towards him, thus terrifying him and causing him to flee.

The first time I saw the man was at a time he came together with his wife, so my mentor tells me. There were three of us on duty including Zhiyong. Zhiyong and our colleague were following him but he spotted them. Old Yang then chased them, causing them to flee in disarray. The pursuit lasted more than an hour. On my way from the second to third floor, I happened to come across my mentor. He said that f*****g Old Zhang was playing tricks, pursuing the store detectives. Since I was a new face here he wouldn’t recognise me and so I should go and take a look. After he left I arrived at the third floor to search for that stupid guy, but discovered that they were in a scuffle with the staff on duty at the security gate. It turned out that they hadn’t destroy the magnetic tags of their stolen goods thoroughly enough, and so set the alarm off. After they were intercepted, they refused to have their bags inspected. Old Yang very rudely pushed back the petite female member of staff on duty. I quietly walked over to them, not saying a word. Ms.Yang turned her head and saw me with my head lowered. She then immediately turned around and went back into the shopping mall. I reckon she wanted to get rid of the stolen goods. I followed behind. She walked behind a pile of goods in the electrical goods area, took something out and put it on a box. By this I think she meant to indicate that she’s returned the item and so there’s no need to bother her anymore. I picked up the item and followed behind her, who was slowly making a move to the exit. Just as Old Yang was thinking of aggressively breaking away back into the store, he saw the item in my hand. He stared blankly for a moment, glanced at his wife, and then suddenly stared at me aggressively, his gaze meeting the serenity of mine. Within a second, the Yangs turned around and rushed towards the exit. I followed them but stopped at the security gate. The woman on duty asked me why I didn’t stop them. I told her that they had AIDs. This shocked her considerably. She angrily asked why I hadn’t told them about something as important as this. Unable to reply to this, I just repeatedly warned her to as much as possible not blurt this out everywhere so as to avoid a panic. Actually, at the time I didn’t have full authority from the company, so I wasn’t permitted to intercept implicated persons. But even if I had, I wouldn’t have done so.

Back at the office, after I had finished explaining what had happened, my mentor was very pleased. The others in charge also looked at me with encouragement. However, after a few days Old Yang took out his revenge on me.

I went on an inspection tour with my mentor in the mall that day, and as we were turning a corner, Old Yang suddenly jumped out with something in his hand, swinging it towards my face. While my mind raced and my vision dimmed, I only had one thought that seem to come from another world: “What if he makes contact? What if he makes contact? ” At that moment, I had an outer body experience. Everything became clear, and I showed a murderous face.

The thing about the murderous face is this: there have been a few times when I’ve gotten really angry in a dispute with a person, and I’ve felt the muscles in my face violently contorting. At this moment, the other person always gave up and backed off. There was even a time when someone asked me if I was going to devour him as he retreated. After these events I have looked earnestly in the mirror, trying to wipe the ferocious appearance from my face. The lower jaw of the guy in the mirror protrudes out in front of the upper, his lower lip pouting and his upper raised, his nose pursed like a dog’s. His eye’s are narrowed, his gaze resembling that of a crocodile’s. The face looks as if a vicious wolf’s and a demon’s have been combined. Indeed, it truly frightens people. It really has a blood-thirsty appearance. That is my facial expression when I’m about to completely destroy my opposition, that is the evil part of my spirit occupying my entire body when faced with a major threat.

I subconsciously used both arms to protect my head, my eyes rigidly glaring at him. After Old Yang saw the look on my face, he backed off, smiled and said what’s the matter, I was just kidding. At the time I couldn’t see anything else but him, I was only fixed on him. At that moment, my mentor’s words pierced through like a needle: “Don’t let him infuriate you.” Just like a ball leaking air, I relaxed in an instant. I put my arms down and smiled at Old Yang, and then turned and walked away with my mentor.

Both my mentor and the company have said before that to be a plain clothed store detective one must have a great ability to restrain oneself. One shouldn’t exceed the limits of self-defence. If one is unable to contain one’s rage, it’s very easy to do something you might regret, bringing unfavourable consequences to oneself and the company. If Walmart’s stores detectives are found to have hit people, no matter what the the actual facts are, it will be bound to make the news as it is a well known company that doesn’t like to bribe it’s way out. There are many people in the company who just wait for trouble to arrive.

When my mentor and I were making our way back, he maintained his distance from me. Gazing at me attentively he asked if Old Yang had made contact with me. He had a look that suggested he would have fled if I had said this to be true. I shook my head, OldYang had only pretended he would hit me. There wasn’t actually anything in his hands, and he didn’t come into contact with me. He was partly trying to sound things out and partly trying to be threatening. If he had angered me to the point of retaliation, it really would have caused me no end of trouble. Old Yang would without doubt have blackmailed Walmart, and I would have been caught up in trouble.

My mentor was really anxious, but he still didn’t know that I had shook hands before with a person who had AIDs. That was in Taiwan. Various groups were speaking on stage about their personal experience with AIDs, saying that it is only transmitted through bodily fluids. One guy reported that as long as you don’t have any wounds or ulcers in your mouth, nothing will happen if you kiss someone with AIDs. A person would have to drink a litre of saliva before there would be a sufficient amount of virus to infect them (I reckon there’s no one would would dare try this). After this guy finished his speech, he came off stage and hugged and shook hands with many people. I also shook hands with him when he walked by me. However, when made a gesture to hug, I gently shook my head. This wasn’t because I was afraid of him. It was because I only hug my friends or those I’m close to, and also because I didn’t really like him. This was due to what he said on stage: “I’m just like anyone else indulging in this sensual world of China, why am I the one discriminated against?” I thought that he hadn’t done anything splendid after all, and didn’t like the way he confidently spoke as if in the right.

The Yangs had come into contact with our store detective department many times before. Even when Old Deng had heart to heart conversations with Old Yang in the office it would be of no use. He would just continue as he did before. In the end the higher-ups said not to pursue things any further, taking a laissez-faire attitude. Old Yang really gave our department and the whole of Walmart a big headache, as there was nothing in the least we could do. We couldn’t use force and we couldn’t arrest him. Walmart has morality as it’s bottom line. It won’t turn to the criminal underworld as a means to get rid of him. Sometimes I think about keeping watch from a hidden place, putting a sack over him and beating him thoroughly with a steel bar. Of course, this is just an evil thought brought on by momentary rage. Since we are unable to deal with this, the police should. However, they don’t. When an arrest is ordered because Old Yang has been looting holding a knife, he goes and gives himself up. He is released after a day. Those that should handle things don’t. When we suffer a calamity, it’s just considered the same as most things which happen in society.

I’m not sure why, but writing up to here I’ve been constantly thinking about the speech of that guy with AIDs in Taiwan. After he had finished his speech, as he came off stage the entire audience was clapping. Many people went up to the front to shake hands and hug him. Perhaps this is the biggest difference between mainland China and Taiwan.

Apart from the Yangs, there was a couple of others implicated in stealing goods that gave me an even deeper lasting impression. Basically the amount of implicated persons I’ve arrested with my mentor numbers but few. This is a strange store, in others he is an all powerful master. Here he rarely has success. My mentor was transferred to this store to reinforce it, as this store’s loss rate (referring to the empty packaging of stolen goods discarded by criminals) is very high, yet very few implicated persons are captured. It’s not only my mentor, there have been countless others transferred here as reinforcement, but no one can solve this store’s problems. In the end it was actually me who discovered where the crux of the problem lay. However, this problem was deadly. Be patient, read to the end of this article and then you’ll know.

On that day, I was making an inspection tour of the store with my mentor as usual. There is a lot more to an inspection tour than meets the eye. They’re really not just a case of casually wondering around aimlessly, they require an all out effort. When making an inspection tour, one must spread one’s own perception further afield, encompassing all those within one’s vicinity. Of course, the vast majority of those that come into the mall do so to buy things or stroll around. However, there is certainly something different about those that come to steal things. So what is this something? From the look in these people’s eyes, their facial expression and even the way they walk, one can feel it. Amongst these people, a few that are about to steal are nervous, rather unlike the relaxed nature of others. No matter how they try to conceal it, an experienced store detective can still sense it immediately.

At that moment, a young man grabbed my mentor’s attention. He sent me over to find out what it was that he was holding, whether or not it was something from the store. He was standing between two rows of shelves. I pretended to be shopping, and walked in front of him. When he saw me he suddenly became nervous from head to foot. What was the meaning of this nervousness? This was the kind of reaction one gives when someone suddenly appears in front after one, harbouring an ulterior motive, has done something bad. I walked to the end of the aisle and after turning the corner met with my mentor. He saw that my gaze revealed we had hit on something. I never looked the young man straight in the eye, I just looked out the corner of my eye while passing him and saw that he was holding a box of cake. The packaging was already damaged, and he was still chewing.

We cruised around, following him throughout the store. After he put the half-eaten cake in the trash, we retrieved it from behind him. This was our evidence. We followed him for about an hour, finally cutting him off at the exit. I showed him the cake box in my hands and, unable to control my mouth, laughed directly at him, making an exhibition of myself. We took him to the office, where my mentor asked him what else he had stolen. This resulted in him taking out a roast chicken drumstick from his pocket.

According to procedure, we put this down in writing, and then took a picture of him holding the stolen goods. My mentor took the mickey a little, making him strike a pose holding the cake box and the chicken drumstick. I’m not the kind of person who likes to harm the dignity of others, even if faced with implicated persons. This is because I greatly value my own dignity, and I know the pain of being humiliated. Also, there were a lot of thieving ruffians in the environment in which I grew up, and I knew that their childhood surroundings didn’t give them much choice. However, they are still people, and still have dignity. So I told my mentor that I wouldn’t take away the self-respect of an other, not even an implicated person’s.

After, we let the noble man go and pay for the goods, but when he emptied his pockets, their wasn’t enough money even though the total only came to just over 20 Renminbi. He didn’t have a job, so naturally he didn’t have any money. I said that Amoy has a lot of job opportunities, you can easily get a job to make a living, so why are you doing this? In the end, I gave him a few Renminbi so he could take the bus back, since he he lived far off. From start to finish I was very polite with him, treating him as if he were the same as me. After all, he had only committed a minor offence.

After a few days he delivered that three Renminbi and fifty cents back to the office for me, which was passed on to me by a colleague. I wonder how much courage it took for him to return to a place in which he had been previously humiliated.

1 Comment

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

adminreply
August 3, 2018 at 4:34 am

Original translation by Simon Cooper

Leave a reply