Shoppers who took advantage of a supermarket that accidentally opened with no staff could be considered part of a "real life candid camera" or
patients in a "mad experiment" that explored morality, a professor of religion says.
Opportunists took the chance to stock up their pantries when the doors to Hamilton's(NZ) biggest supermarket opened for about eight hours early
yesterday without a checkout person in sight.
A security system computer glitch is being blamed for the doors opening and the lights coming on at Pak 'n Save in Mill St about 1am yesterday.
Sergeant Guy Callahan said police were alerted at 9.20am by a member of the public saying loads of people were leaving the shop with "truckloads of
About half paid for their groceries using the self-scan service, but that stopped working when someone scanned alcohol, which requires a staff member
to check a customer's age before the system is unlocked.
Victoria University's professor of religious studies, Paul Morris, said the Easter-time ethical test placed customers in a tricky situation. "It is
like real life candid camera where people are clearly faced with this series of moral dilemmas."
There had been a debate about whether you needed to be religious to be moral, he said.
"The Christian Right have tended to think [that] without the Ten Commandments and God's divining hand we would never have been able to develop a
plausible and sustainable morality.
"This [Pak 'n Save incident] is like some mad experiment, because you've sent off to church the religious and it's the secular who have gone shopping
on Good Friday ... and you've put them to the test.
"Most acted morally and responded in very appropriate ways by trying to pay by using the self-service area. But clearly others saw that fortune had
smiled on them in some perverse way."
Supermarket owner Glenn Miller was initially furious over the incident, fearing that thousands of dollars of groceries might have walked out the door.
But after reviewing the shop's security footage during the weekend his mood had mellowed.
"I can certainly see the funny side of it ... but I'd rather not have the publicity, to be honest. It makes me look a bit of a
The first customer arrived with a young child, spent 20 minutes selecting groceries, scanned them, paid, and walked out, Mr Miller said. "I still
think she probably doesn't know we weren't there. It is the funniest thing. You just have to laugh your head off when you watch."
Mr Miller did not intend to take legal action to pursue those who had not paid. "The story has been in the papers ... and on TV, so hopefully that
will make some people feel guilty and they will cough up."
All cash handed over would go to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, Mr Miller said, though by yesterday no repentant customers had come forward.
Ok, becuase of a technical error, people are being told they arnt moral because they should have been at church that day?? At 1am in the morning??
This is blatently forcing the blame on the people, and guess who is enforcing it....the church!! Do they really think poeple are going to front up and
pay hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars for goods with the rise in food prices these days? If it were me, knowing that I need to prepare for TSHTF
soon, This would have been Ideal, and this does not make me a less Moral Person. I would really like to hear some feedback from ATS on this!!
edit on 24-4-2011 by grindhouzer because: (no reason given)