Yesterday was payday and it is also the time we do our grocery for the household. We normally go to Gmall Toril of Davao or SM City Davao for the reason that I find it accessible to other stores that I can feast my eyes and money on. It spells comfort for me and homey already. But not yesterday. I chose to do our grocery shopping at #NCCCMallDavao because I found there the perfect table for my kids which I will blog on a separate post. Now I just realize, maybe there's a reason why we were led there other than the table and the chairs for my kids. My hubby and I witnessed an attention grabbing scenario that moved us while inside the newly renovated, well lit grocery of the mall. Actually at first, I thought, being a mother and sensitive that I am, I'm the only one who would be crushed. But later did I know, the hardened heart of my hubby apparently was. He confessed later on.
It is a usual and everyday scenario inside the grocery that many people flock in their store because of cheaper price compared to the two favorite stores I mentioned. I avoid going to #ncccmall because 1) I tend to get dizzy seeing a lot of people around, 2) the arrangement and order of their products being sold are not organized and I find it very confusing, and 2) I don't enjoy the variety of shops inside the mall except that I love the coziness of their cinema and the #southbrews coffee express outlet which my hubby's family frequent specifically my FIL. (Side post: I love their beef tapa with rice and their red iced tea. But recently, they are not offering this dish anymore...sigh!!). Yesterday, in the middle of all the commotion the grocery shoppers did, an angry pregnant woman shouted an unpleasant word. We were all starting to look who's that woman and followed where she's going. She was walking towards a little girl of 7 years old and found out it was her daughter that she throws her anger at. There was a bag snatching going on pala inside the grocery ha. We went near the mother and daughter and kind of eves dropped about what happened. There were two security guards who assisted them and asked questions of what transpired. Initially, when I found out how the snatching happened, I was blaming the pregnant woman who just carelessly and complacent about her bag put inside the basket under the cart trolley. She said she left the trolley with her daughter to get a salt in the other aisle. Maybe she did not tell her daughter on where she's going because the daughter said, "because I can't find you mom." What broke my heart even more is that the mother keep on blaming her daughter about what happened. The child was crying while embracing her hands with her hands touching her heart. I observed she is shivering out of fear, guilt or shame because a lot of people were already staring at them. The mother is crying too, helpless. My husband offered a little help in his part by butting in in their conversation and helping the mag-ina. Honestly, the security measures of the management is slow, poor and useless. For one, there was no sense of urgency seen in their security personnel. Though it has to be dealt calmly, but it was too calm that it's like they don't have the proper action taken. Second, THERE IS NO CCTV INSTALLED INSIDE THE GROCERY. That's how we found it because my husband told the responding security personnel to check in to their CCTV but we just got a reply there's no CCTV installed in some portions inside the grocery. It's only the main entrance or exit points where there are installed equipment. For a business thriving as theirs, they should have invested not just an ordinary CCTV camera but of good quality that can zoom and identify facial features. Not to mention on key areas, there must have CCTV's for security purposes.
While the interrogation was going on, we were relieved because the basket was found with the bag in it. The sales attendant found it I think somewhere that it was just left unattended. But when she looked for her purse, it was gone. Good thing the cellphone is still inside. The mother and daughter were still wailing, hopeless while they were ushered somewhere by the security personnel. As for us, we continued buying our stuff and thought we never see them again. It was an uneventful episode that night because the rotational blackout came in at the wrong timing. Though the lights provided sufficient brightness, the air conditioner didn't. We are sweating already inside the establishment and could not accommodate enough comfort for the crowd. Fast forward after we are in the counter paying for the things we bought, I saw them again seated near the customer service. I signaled hubby they are seated at the Customer Service section still crying. While they were being interviewed by a customer service attendant, my husband went to them again. After paying, I followed to where they were seated. The mother kept on saying they were how many minutes already waiting for their update and still they were just being informed to wait still. Honestly again, their attendant is very lax and unsympathetic. No firm actions are being done or whatsoever. She was worried because she kept on saying their life line is there which she meant her credit card and ATM cards are inside her wallet not to mention her valid identification cards and a 7,000.00 cash for her coming delivery which is anytime soon. Yes, she is anytime due to pop. The 7,000.00 pesos cash was just sent by her seaman husband for her incidental expenses during her labor and delivery. That doubled our pity now for the both of them. They haven't bought their grocery supplies because they have no money left with them. I am teary eyed already on their fate that night. We are just concerned of the girl because of the trauma she'll be getting from the mixed feelings she acquired on that incident. We told Rosalie (the mother) to stop blaming the child because after all it was not her fault and it is a situation that is beyond one's control and unexpected.
At that moment, my main reason of going to the mall seems slim already to me. In my mind, I'd like to offer na lang the money to them but my hubby said he'll just wait for me there and buy the kid's table and chair. I thought he will just tell me to postpone buying the table and chairs for the kids for he'll give his money to the mag-ina. But even if he says no, it's still okay with me. But then again I got his approval by giving me the go signal to buy the stuff so off I went to their department store. When I came back, I a saw a police and I think their head security personnel talking to my husband and the mag-ina. My husband told me later na when we arrived home that the head of the security personnel offered to the mag-ina that they'll blotter to the police for security and safety purposes but they will ride a jeepney going to the precinct. WHHAAATTT? No extra service to transport a pregnant women to the police precinct? I'm sure they have a company car to be used if they are really needed to be in the police precinct. Is that what you call customer service? So my husband suggested that can they just call a police posted nearby to get the statement of Rosalie to ease out the discomfort of the pregnant woman. He even told the head of their security personnel to logbook what happened for recording and reference purposes.
After all what happened, we just offered to give them a ride home since it is just near our house too. A dinner of chicken siopao since, they hesitated from the start of any monetary help and to pay for their dinner. But we are just too worried because we also knew only the two of them are staying in their house. I frighten and left a parting message to the mother and seconded by my husband to never brought up the blaming tune to her daughter or it might cause her trauma. The kid already has tamed down from crying even before we left the establishment because my husband keep on comforting the little girl. We gave her food to eat because they don't have food intake yet and it's past 8 in the evening already. My husband gave her a money anyway and insisted on it. We told her for emergency purposes since they don't have money left.
Reflections, lessons learned and a message to the establishment's management even to a regular shopper like us, up next on my blog...