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I love MY Starbucks Store. It’s invariably filled with talented, educated, creative people. People who are going places.

Some of the customers these Baristas serve also have those admirable traits.

What the heck does this have to do with police sitting like bumps on my pickle?

[Yes. I know I could not write that were I of the male gender. Most likely, a member of the male gender would not write that either out of fear of being called a gherkin.]

But, I digress.

First, let’s examine definitions…

In a pickle: According to Phrases.org.uk (Yes, the Brits get credit for this one, too)…

In a pickle (or, in trouble) “…was originally an allusion to being as disoriented and mixed up as the stewed vegetables that made up pickles.”

Disregarding the icky fact that it went on to state that, during medieval times, hot shots (aka Royalty) often had their pickle juice stewed with the meat of troublesome children, I found this definition helpful.

Sitting Like a Bump on a Pickle: I have heard only one person (other than me) use this phrase. It is a cliché twist on Bump on a Log. According to WikiAnswers, Bump on a Log means “unmoving, inactive, stupidly silent.”

I choose to eliminate the last of these three definitions because…

  1. I have a great deal of respect for law enforcement officers despite the as evidenced by the fact that I married one.
  2. They put their lives on the line for us.
  3. They are a constant presence, reminding us to be good citizens and follow inconveniently low speed limits.
  4. The police department in this suburban town may be understaffed.
  5. There may come a time when I have to finagle my way out of a traffic violation, and can not be certain someone will not bring this to the attention of Southlake PD.

MY PICKLE

Starbucks #6394 in Southlake is my office away from home. A bit over a week ago, I walked outside to answer an incoming call. Since my iPhone was in my purse, I took said purse with me, and plunked it on a table immediately outside the door. I then wandered about chatting via Bluetooth.

Courtesy of Coffee Master, Jonathan

Courtesy of Coffee Master, Jonathan

I returned to my seat inside the store sans purse.

I have no excuse.

None.

Zero.

If you care about my pride, self-esteem and will-to-live, please suggest one in comments.

One of the aforementioned talented Baristas (who will be featured in a future article) continued his Social Media consultation session with me, including design of a new banner for this glob.  Within minutes, the authoritarive voice of my Bluetooth announced, “There is no cell phone currently connected.”

[The exact wording may be a bit off, and I can’t test it  with my new iPhone. Why? I’ve since misplaced my Bluetooth. Temporarily! What a Gherkin. *head*desk*thunk*]

Jonathan, another aforementioned talented Barista created and sent a meme within an hour of the incident. In his defense, he originally used …”will kill you.” I asked that he change it to “pinch” because I don’t want to become the number one suspect in a criminal investigation.

Where is Jonathan going in this world? He completed the grueling process that entitles him to a black Coffee Master apron. So, I would say he’s headed up the ladder at Starbucks. To find out what interests Jonathan, check out his Tumblr Site. He’s a fan of all things beautiful in nature. Bonus! He’s a stellar example of this Starbucks signature: caring, professional, extra-mile Baristas in a clean, well-managed environment.

THE POLICE INVESTIGATION

The Starbucks employees tried to locate my iPhone using Find my Phone feature on the Internet, and provided me with the non-emergency number for the Southlake PD.

Me? I was flitting about like a troublesome child bound for a boiling vat of vinegar, sugar, and pickling spices.

The responding officer took a list of the missing items, including nearly $1,000 in cash I’d intended to take to my Credit Union for deposit in my savings account. Yes. I realize this makes walking away from that purse a dumber move than it already was.

Since that fateful day, I visited the police department twice, sent multiple emails with account numbers, including the locations of charges made with my debit card after the theft (and, after the card had been reported stolen).

[Normally, debit transactions require a PIN. In the good ole’ U.S. of A., we have a nifty option on MasterCard Debit whereby one can select credit if they want additional float time on charges. A purchase transaction can be processed sans access to the PIN.]

The thieves filled their gas tank at my expense to the tune of $50.12 and went on a shopping spree at Guess ($907).

During my second visit to the police department, I learned the file had been suspended.

Why? Because (I was told), “there is an organized gang working in this area, waiting to steal women’s purses when they turn their backs on them, and we have been unable to ID any of them.”

So…

In effect, they told me to pound sand these prolific criminals (20 purses stolen in one week in Southlake) had not yet left actionable clues as to identity, and were no longer worthy of investigation. My husband called and spoke with the Sergeant of the Detective Division. The gist of that conversation, “We know our money is gone, but — as a retired police officer — I hate to see criminals go unchallenged.”

A detective called me yesterday morning to let me know he was now assigned to my case. Those unauthorized charges?

Those took place in Dallas and it would be my responsibility to file a complaint with Dallas PD. Which would then require that the Dallas PD (1) take an interest in a theft that occurred outside their own jurisdiction, and (2) coordinate with Southlake PD to secure video surveillance tapes.

The video surveillance in Starbucks in Southlake? Erm. Yeah. He’d get on that.

He did. He called Starbucks for the Intel on contact information.

I used Sent Messages on my new iPhone to provide MY Starbucks with the Intel provided to Southlake PD days earlier.

THE STARBUCKS RESPONSE

In addition to in-store assistance when the theft occurred, Cameron Spivey, the manager of the store completed an incident report to put the theft on record. A representative from STARBUCKS headquarters contacted me the night the report was filed, and apologized for my loss while visiting their location. He provided a STARBUCKS internal case number and contact information.

He also gifted $25.00 to my STARBUCKS card as a way of thanking me for my loyalty as a customer. Something they were under no obligation to do, nor anything I deserved for being dumb enough to leave my purse unattended.

The Baristas (my friends) at Starbucks? They have since asked that I not tip or treat them because of my loss. They feel my pain. This place is family.

The only complaint I have about their actions during this event was that they loaned me the store phone to call my husband.

They had no idea I would sooner throw myself in a vat of pickling juice and let Hot Shot Medieval Dudes gnaw on a thigh than tell my husband my purse was stolen. This made the second time in so many months I unwittingly separated myself from my purse while in public. The first time? A late night bolt to STARBUCKS for a pound of Guatemala Antigua Cone Ground  ended with my car backing itself into a pretty silver one. After locating the owners of that car, and exchanging insurance Intel, I left my purse on the car trunk when I drove away. This doth not a happily ever after ending make. Forsooth.

SO, HOW ABOUT YOU?

Have you ever been the victim of a crime? Felt helpless knowing the culprits would likely get away with the crime again and again? Wanted to run away from home before calling to confess a Random Act of Stupid? [My destination of choice was the Denali National Forest Park and Preserve.] Most importantly, have you yet thought of a good reason why I would leave my purse unattended?

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