Here's a post comparing the intelligence of dolphins with that of Costco employees. It recounts a fascinating recent discovery about the cleverness of dolphins. Dolphins have been trained to clean their own pools by rewarding them with fish. One clever dolphin learned to bait and trap seagulls because the reward for removing seagulls from the pool was lots of fish. This same dolphin then taught others the trick. No question, dolphins are cool and clever animals.
The writer then recounts how he was detained at a recent shopping trip because he didn't pay for one of the nine items in his cart on the way out of the store. He then recounts how it took five minutes to determine which item he didn't pay for. The writer states
"The next 5 minutes provided a lesson in pure comedy and a testament to our failing education system."
He pointed out to the flustered clerk that there were only nine items and it wasn't "rocket surgery". In the comments he claims he never called anyone dumb. Comparing her intelligence to less than that of a dolphin I think qualifies as calling someone dumb.
I wasn't there, but from the recounting, he didn't sound like an ideal or helpful shopper. He had an item he didn't pay for. He was pestering her and making condescending comments while she studied the cryptic receipt. There was probably a line of customers. He admits he didn't tell her which item he didn't pay for once he figured it out. Nice guy.
Now we all get annoyed when we are delayed unnecessarily, and most of us don't like the policies some stores have of checking your receipt against your purchases at the door, but that does not excuse being condescending or rude to employees doing their job.
I would suggest that the writer think about how the dolphins know to turn their trash into the trainers and not the other dolphins. Compare that with the writer's behavior of criticizing the employee for a store policy the employee has no control over instead of taking it up with management. The dolphins were rewarded when they did something right. This Costco employee was criticized and belittled for catching the mistake of someone else.
From an HR perspective we should be rewarding and recognizing these employees for a job well done.