Welcome back to The Diary, thank you for tuning in or should I say reading in. I am really not funny but when you’re writing or should I say typing instead of talking you really think to yourself what can you use to substitute this word? I know other bloggers and writers know what I mean. So this post is going to be a little story time and my experience of when I did not want to be complicit and I ‘snitched’.
Some time ago at work, I had two customers who are regulars, come in. Everyone at work knows these customers and their family and they’re always nice to me. Not over the top nice but they just say hi with a nice smile on their face.
So on this particular day when I was working, the two girls who are sisters came to pay for something but clearly didn’t pay for the other thing which they were holding. For a few seconds I thought they had payed for both items, bearing in mind they were on the self checkouts so I could only gage if they did. So I printed out the last receipt and alas I saw that I was right and gave the receipt to the security guard to tell him that they stole because it is THEFT. So the security guard chased them down and got the item that they had stolen which was a duvet cover >>> was there really any point of stealing ??
So fast forward till about 10 minutes later and I was now serving customers and the two girls came back to join the queue with the item that they had attempted to steal. It came to their turn and one of the girls started shouting ‘YOU’RE TOO NUFF, YOU’RE TOO NUFF‘, now I’m not Jamaican so whilst she was saying this I didn’t understand what she meant ( I found out it meant being ‘too extra’) and then she said ‘people like you when they leave work they get boxed up’ >>> ???. I couldn’t even begin to fathom the emotions that were swirling through my head at that time but I remember feeling confused. Why come back to lament to me after you had stolen?
Oh yes I remember what was going through my head, I was thinking ‘why are you embarrassing yourself, it’s not a good look, you stole and you didn’t do quite a good job at that because you got caught!’ Gave her her receipt and she snatched it out of my hand…bullying 101. And then the next customer who watched it all happen in front of her eyes was just consoling me (I wasn’t crying or anything) and told me to be careful because girls out there are dangerous too.
It sunk in.
Please note this girl is big so I know she can fight and I had heard from the grapevine that she was a wrestler (not a real wrestler) and so were her family members. They looked like the type to actually wait for you after work to sort you out. I am not going to lie I was just thinking to myself, ‘Naomi you better say your last prayers because these people live across the road, it’s not going to be a mission for them to finish you.‘
So then I spoke to my colleague about what just happened and she was like yeah that’s how they are, always stealing. In my head…(I do say ‘in my head’ a lot but note I did say in my first post I like thinking so you can’t fault me on this). Anyways in my head and out loud I said ‘why are they not banned?’ They are just simply getting away with it because there have been no repercussions and obviously she stepped to me because how dare I abort her mission of stealing ? I told my colleague I’m not going to be complicit in crime especially when I can see, with my two eyes wide open what you just did. I know the two customers were smiling at me when they first came in because they thought I would be okay with it but wrong is wrong and no I’m not perfect.
I started to wonder did you think I wouldn’t ‘snitch’, because you’re a woman just like me, and around the same age range. I owed her no loyalty whatsoever, just here to do my job. I started telling her (my colleague) that I felt sympathetic for her not because she stole but because there was no need for her to do it yet she did. She isn’t poor which still wouldn’t justify it.
It clearly is a case of kleptomaniac behaviour.
For a second I thought it gives black people as well as black women a bad name and my colleague said it also gives Jamaicans a bad name too. But then I went home and thought like I usually do, that black people or black women or Jamaicans or whatever group of people you target are not a monolith. We can’t and will never all be the same, there will always be the good and the bad . It is not my responsibility to make sure that people from the ‘outside’ see the actions of a whole group of people as ‘good’ through the actions of ONE person. But that I am going to expand on in another post.
So back to the title of this post, what do you guys think about being complicit and snitching, should I have just pretended to act like she didn’t do something wrong ? Was I ‘snitch’? Did I betray her? (she ain’t my friend neither do I know her personally) Or was it right that I didn’t let her get away with it, to show her wrong is wrong no matter what? These were just the questions that were ringing in my head which I want to throw out there.
It can be easy to say that I did the right thing however there is a serious climate surrounding issues of snitching and being complicit in crimes. I mean when we think of the sexual assault allegations against R Kelly and people in his industry saying they kind of saw certain things happen, it makes you wonder that if the right thing could’ve been done, how many lives could’ve been saved? I can’t say it is solely an issue in only a certain type of community because every community is diverse and may very well face these issues too.
I’m happy I was able to turn a situation like this into something I can learn and build character from, no matter how little or unimportant it may seem. Yes the issue of theft may seem very minute compared to sexual assault but being a snitch is something no-one ever wants to be labelled as. When I was being shouted out it made me feel I did the wrong thing rather than the right thing which hurt me at that time.
Thank you for reading The Diary and please comment what you think and don’t forget to share, share and share this post!