Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I am in between homework assignments so thought I would say HEY!

I was on the phone with my friend Ann who says, "Hey, I guess you are working at the book fair today." Crap! I had totally forgotten about it. I told the book fair guru lady that I could help Tues and Thurs of this week during the lunch hour. Picture hundreds of children ages 6 through 12 looking at books, but mostly eyeing the cheap crap like erasers imprinted with what looks like a dollar bill, pens with big fluffy things on top, stupid posters that have kittens sitting on buildings and the saying, "bright lights, big kitty." STUPID! Anyway, the book fair is actually pretty fun especially last year.

Last year I watched a girl finger most of the books in the place and suddenly she is outside showing the recess lady her purchases. I had not seen the girl go through the line so asked the other lady who was there about her. The other lady was sure the girl had not come through the line. We talked to an administrator about it and I was sure I could identify the little thief and we set off to look into each of the classrooms. Well, I never did find her. I would have known her if I saw her but I never did. Well, the next day the same girl comes in. She doesn't know that I am onto her. I watched her like a hawk. She fingered all the books again, slowly making her way around the room, over and over again. Then when the lady at the cash register was busy with multitudes of children fingering the cheap erasers this little girl takes off, with a fancy, expensive book in her hands. At this point she was at the front of the room and I was in the back. I went tearing after her, literally running, and stopped her in the hall. When I turn her around to look at me she is terrified and says, Just take it, just take it," and hands me the book. I asked her to tell me her name and she would not. I kept persisting and she finally tells me her name. Well, I went back in and the other book fair lady and all the kids in the room are dead silent. I realize at that point that my running from the back of the room must have really shocked everyone. I guess I don't look much like a runner. Anyway, all the kids were so amazed that I caught a shoplifter. Turns out she gave me a fake name, The little sneak. She was good, too good for a little 9 year old girl. We figured out her real name, and reported her to the principal. Then after the book fair was over I was walking by the front office to turn in my visitors badge and there is the little girl again, calling home because she is "sick." I just gave her a sidelong glance that basically said, "I know who you are, and I know what you did and I know you are only calling your mother because you know you are SO BUSTED!"

I really did feel bad for the little girl, she was starting her life of crime at such a young age. But on the other hand there is a certain thrill in capturing a thief red-handed. Hey, wait a minute, now that I am taking my Native American Lit class I wonder if that red-handed phrase is a bigoted one based on Native Am's. Anyway, I don't think police work is in my future, but I did enjoy my moment of glory as a Book Fair Security Guard. The kids feared me before, but now they really fear me.


mom said...

Just what you needed - - another thing to do. So, did you go to the fair today or not? When I worked at the book fairs when the kids were young, we had a stamp and each purchase had to be stamped when they bought it. The kids knew that and if you didn't stamp it, boy, they were right on you because they didn't want to be accused of stealing. Maybe that's an idea you can pass on. We would even stamp the posters and as much of the pencil as we could. I miss those days but at the time, I couldn't wait until the kids were too old for the book fairs. Now I go back and look for good books for Emalei's teaching library.

Julie said...

Ha Ha! That is so awesome! I can't believe the nerve of some kids. Good thing you were on top of it and caught the perp. You totally should have recieved some free books for your efforts, or at least a discount. Hopefully it will be that fun this year.

Brent and Collette said...

Maybe you should consider changing your major to law enforcement.

McGiven Family.... said...

You are so funny! I had no idea you had a blog until I was talking to Katie McGiven yesterday and she told me. How rude! Anyway reading it makes me laugh! That story is hilarious about that little girl. I can totally picture you running after her. What a good detective you would make!

Daledogg said...

Jeanna, I didn't know you were in the same line of work that I was. I can't believe that story didn't come up when I told you about my busts at the Bookstore. Anyways, that was a good story. Still looking for you on campus.

Wyatt & Brittany said...

way to go Jeanna!