11/22/2005: Aways a 'Barney Fife' around when ya DON'T Need one...
"The whole incident was absurd, said the carpenter who was banned last week from all Home Depots worldwide for pocketing a pencil.
And Home Depot apologized on Sunday, saying that Michael Panorelli, 51, who had spent $117 on window-trimming lumber, should never have been written up for taking the pencil. Panorelli said he did it absent-mindedly.
"We encourage our associates to follow the letter of our ... zero-tolerance policy against shoplifting," said Home Depot spokesman Yancy Casey, reached by phone Sunday in Atlanta. "In this case, there was an error in judgment."
The company wants to make amends, but Panorelli isn't up to returning their calls or doing business with them--ever again.
"I heard they issued a public apology and that I'm welcome back in the store anytime I feel like it," said Panorelli, of Lawrence, Mass. "Somehow, that doesn't do anything for me."
Panorelli went to the Home Depot in Methuen on Thursday with his client, Lawrence businessman George Salas, who grabbed a pencil near the cash register so that Panorelli could do some quick math. Panorelli pocketed the pencil and, with Salas, picked up and paid for the lumber.
The Home Depot loss-prevention worker was waiting for them outside the door, Panorelli said. An assistant manager was called. Panorelli had to give a copy of his driver's license. The loss-prevention worker snickered and asked if he needed a pencil so badly that he had to steal one, Panorelli said.
"He wanted me to sign a confession saying I knowingly took something of value from the store," Panorelli said. "I didn't sign."
-- Home Depot offers sharp apology, but he makes a point too.
Mr. Loss-Prevention Worker (aka "Barney Fife") Needs to GET a GRIP -- writing up a customer for absent-mindedly pocketing a pencil is the quintessential definition for the Mayberry Deputy Sheriff's penchant for the *Picayune * while missing the *BIG* picture entirely. Well, a better LATE than never apology from Home Depot.
Karen on 11.22.05 @ 11:37 AM CST