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I’ll only be a minute

July 30, 2018

“It won’t be a problem,” I thought. I had my dogs at work with me, but I had to run an errand on the way home. They would be fine to wait in the car.

It was a hot day – a high of 32 C – but I only had to run into the dollar store and pick up one thing. I would be quick. And it was for a good cause. I was volunteering at a fundraising event that weekend and one of the fun activities needed a plastic hamper to hold some items. How long could it take?

I pulled into the parking lot and noticed very few cars. Great, the store was likely not busy at all. Walking as quickly as I could, I got into the store and found what I was looking for in less than a minute. With only one person in line to pay, I would be back out to the car in no time.

And then it happened. There was a ruckus in the entry. The security guard was holding onto a backpack that was slung around a woman’s shoulders. He was yelling for other staff to call the police. The suspected shoplifter was yelling obscenities. The exit was blocked.

Pandemonium in the entry of the store increased as the security guard continued to hold onto the backpack. The shopper, in turn, became increasingly agitated. All other activity in the store came to a standstill as people gaped and employees kept shoppers away from the entrance. Time seemed to stop as we all waited for the police.

I really don’t know how long it took before I could return to my car. Fifteen minutes? On a 32 C day, that would mean it was almost 50 C inside my car in that time frame. Way too hot for dogs.

Fortunately, I had left them in my air-conditioned office.

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