There's a MySpace rant that dropped today from a woman who says she was in a store when there a CODE ADAM called. She says that a security guard demanded she hand over her baby.
1. Read her MySpace rant here.
2. Read the back and forth at Consumerist here.
I have been away from a computer nearly all of today and not even able to knock out a post on my phone. Now that I can see the furor, this is what I think.
1. We all know what I think of the trash that shops in Wal-Mart. I seriously doubt this went down the way she describes - with a Rent-A-Cop "demanding" she hand over her baby.
2. The Consumerist is being somewhat needlessly sensationalistic. Nobody tried to "steal" a baby. Wal-Mart steals your money. Not your howlers. Believe me. NOBODY there wants your crotch spawn. [disclosure: Consumerist sends a great deal of traffic to Behind the Counter]
3. CODE ADAM is a federal program created and named in memory of 6-year-old Adam Walsh, who was was abducted from a Florida shopping mall in 1981 and later found murdered. There are SPECIFIC steps businesses must follow when a child is reported lost or missing.
4. ONE OF THOSE STEPS IS: If the child is found accompanied by someone other than a parent or legal guardian, reasonable efforts to delay their departure will be used without putting the child, staff, or visitors at risk.
5. This was a baby. For whatever reason, the security guard had cause to believe that this baby may have been the lost baby.
6. If you lost your baby in a 200,000 square foot store, would you want a woman - who by her own admission was screaming obscenities - walking right out the door with it?
ON THE OTHER HAND
7. How the hell do you lose a damn baby? Seriously. How in the hell do you lose a damn baby? Howler monkeys I understand. They crawl away. Babies? It ain't like they gonna push the crib from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds or anything.
8. Rent-a-cops are dumb. I've never met a smart one. Have you?
9. I am so, so, so sure this could have been handled with more tact and grace.
10. If you have been so wronged, why would you go home and rant on MySpace? why wouldn't you drive to the police station and start filing complaints and talking to lawyers?
Anyway. That's my punditry. No great insight. I just think that all parties involved should have shut up and calmed down. We as a society are all too ready to grab, jerk, howl and yell out that we are being mistreated. And the rent-a-cop was probably a bit too fiesty. But he thought she had snatched a baby. Put yourself in their shoes. Nobody was thinking straight.
The lesson here? The only way to win is not to shop at the House of Wal.