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To feel as though I've been judged as a potential shoplifter

(237 Posts)
101stNC Tue 16-Jun-20 14:45:39

I was in boots and thought I'd get myself a BB cream whilst in there collecting a prescription.

As I'm browsing the make-up kiosts looking at the options I can see the female security guard(?) has left her position near the door to come to the make up isle and stood at the end of the isle watching me closely. After a couple of minutes she approaches me and says that due to coronavirus testers aren't available which is fine by me as I had no intention of opening any of the creams anyway confused

She walks off back to the end of the isle and continues to watch me closely. I choose the one I want and make my way to the tills around the other end of the shop, I stop to pick up the dummy my daughter dropped and when i looked up the same employee is following me through the shop.

She only buggers off once she has seen me pay for my items.

I wanted to address her and ask what the issue was but as soon as she saw me leave the cashier she walked out of sight.

For context I'm 26, casually dressed (trainers and leggings) and have my little girl in the pram. I'm not a drug user and don't look scruffy (I hope!)

I phoned my DM to have a moan and ask whether it has ever happened to her, she said no despite the fact she regularly uses boots, Superdrug etc.

Today has reminded me of a separate incident where the same thing happened in a shoe shop, again where I was casually browsing to then buy.

I'm offended and embarrassed that this is the impression shop keepers get of me, what is the likely reason? Age? Pram? Trainers? confused

It's absolutely not the case that this happens to everybody as confirmed by the multiple friends I've asked since. She looked at me and made a judgement.

WIBU to complain or is that overkill?

OP’s posts: |
thecatsthecats Tue 16-Jun-20 14:51:39

Based on anecdotal experience - the pram.

It's an easy item in which to slip something small and unseen with a bajillion pockets.

Also, don't forget boredom/covid - if she's been told to be alert for people touching/using things and you're the only one in the shop then she needs you in sight to check.

happytoday73 Tue 16-Jun-20 14:52:01

So your 26 and you've noticed this twice (not same shop) in your life? It's not really a pattern is it considering how many times you probably shop.. I really think you are over thinking it.
They are paid to watch people.. They are doing their job.
For all you know they may have been warned about someone who fits your vague description or you've been randomly picked..

thecatsthecats Tue 16-Jun-20 14:52:33

Oh and YABU to complain on ONE incident of a woman performing a task within her job description without being actively rude to you.

Sharkerr Tue 16-Jun-20 14:52:38

I think YABU, you may bear a strong resemblance to a known shoplifter. Wouldn’t take it personally.

PennyPincher64 Tue 16-Jun-20 14:52:54

This happened to me once (same age as you) and I complained about it to DP later and he said that young women with children apparently have a reputation for hiding things in the pram to steal them. No idea where he gets that from because he has 0 retail experience but I can see how you could hide a lot in the bottom storage bit of you've got bags etc already in there.

ekidmxcl Tue 16-Jun-20 14:53:05

def the pram

rbe78 Tue 16-Jun-20 14:53:54

Why on Earth would you complain? She didn't harrass you, or accuse you, she just did her job. People nick stuff from shops all the time, and not just 'drug users' (what does a 'drug user' look like any way?!). I used to work in an upmarket toy shop, we would get yummy mummies trying to hide stuff in the prams and walk out... If you work in retail, you have to keep an eye on people, it's part of the job.

TheCanterburyWhales Tue 16-Jun-20 14:54:11

It's overkill.
She was doing her job.
You didn't shoplift.
You weren't wrongly accused of doing so.

Lalalamps Tue 16-Jun-20 14:55:04

Interesting. My partner noticed we were being followed around when we were in boots about a week ago. I didn’t notice because I’m oblivious.
Maybe this is their new policy 🤷🏽‍♀️

Ooopsijustsnarted Tue 16-Jun-20 14:56:09

Out of interest which bb cream did you get.
I have olay 'fair' its very light, too light and garnier 'medium' I look slightly orange. 🙄

101stNC Tue 16-Jun-20 14:56:17

It happened plenty during my teenage years which didn't bother me so much, but as a grown woman and mother i found it incredibly embarrassing.

Ah the pram theory could make sense.

I won't complain, but if happens again then i might as it was blatantly obvious to anybody paying attention that I was being watched like a hawk.

My partner was with me too, I assumed we looked like any other family out shopping. I certainly wouldn't have made that assumption if I were her.

OP’s posts: |
GenerateUsername Tue 16-Jun-20 14:56:31

I've had this happen to me twice in my life, and it was really unpleasant.

Are you white? Because I am, and I think it's a really good example of white privilege - I don't know why I was targeted, either time (I didn't have a pram with me, nor look particularly scruffy), but I know it wasn't because of my race.

YMMV.

ChubbyPigeon Tue 16-Jun-20 14:57:12

Its happened to me a couple of times OP. In superdrug actually when i was browsing the makeup for a long time (i was actually looking for a fucking concealer in my colour). It makes you feel really small.

It happened once in tesco too - when I was buying flowers which was really weird as it must be pretty difficult to shoplift flowers. What pisses me off even more is the security gaurd clearly thought shed caught me and Id only paid because of her, when i was always going to bloody pay

I think its just your relatively young and spending a while in the area

llamakoala Tue 16-Jun-20 14:57:18

YANBU... it is so embarrassing!
I’ve had this too and it really upsets me however I guess they are just doing their job.

One time I was in Tesco; I noticed something in my peripheral vision and felt I was being looked at- turned my head and the security guard was peering round from the end of the aisle, looking at me. Carried on picking stuff up and reading the labels (as I do! grin ) and when I looked back he was still at it, but trying to make it looks like he wasn’t watching me. I felt very embarrassed and just ‘spied on’ really. I don’t like being stared at the best of times.

Another thing I do is walk round bookshops and say if I decide to buy one, write down titles of ten or more that I’ll be interested in reading in future. I really like YA fiction and I’m older now so feel a bit embarrassed about being in that section.. furtively making my notes on my phone grin and one time in Smiths the Manager I think sort of stood near me for seemingly no reason- at the end of the aisle, a bit too close. I felt like I couldn’t carry on making my notes although I don’t think it’s really doing anything wrong... even if I do intend to purchase some things on kindle instead at a later date wink

Like you say, I do wonder what it is they are looking for... trainers? Jeans? Certain colour coat?

101stNC Tue 16-Jun-20 14:59:17

Ooopsijustsnarted

Out of interest which bb cream did you get.
I have olay 'fair' its very light, too light and garnier 'medium' I look slightly orange. 🙄

The one I got is "L'oreal BB C'est Magic" in shade light.

I've decided to stop using foundation as it just doesn't sit right on my skin anymore so hopefully this works well for me smile

OP’s posts: |
Isthisfinallyit Tue 16-Jun-20 15:00:58

Could be age. It hasn't happened to me since I hit my 30's.

BeyondMyWits Tue 16-Jun-20 15:01:17

I worked in a well known hobby and crafts store 4/5 years ago.

We always watched people with prams or wearing wellie boots.

Prams hid a multitude of objects large and small. Wellies hid the expensive paintbrushes and marker pens. Prams really were the worst though - they were also used as weapons when it came to escape plans.

My manager had to go to hospital!

Flimflamfloogety Tue 16-Jun-20 15:03:38

It's the pram.

I was followed everywhere when DS was younger. Unfortunately it's a really common tool for shop lifters. All too easy to slip stuff in with the baby or in the basket underneath.

101stNC Tue 16-Jun-20 15:06:20

I am white yes

I will never be able to understand the discrimination black people face on a daily basis but I do know how angering it is for somebody to take one look at you and make an assumption, so to have to deal with so much worse on a daily basis is just horrendous.

The lady was mid fifties and very well turned out (think black suit, subtle make, immaculate hair) whereas I look as casual as can be today. Black leggings, yellow t-shirt, white trainers. No make up because I couldn't be bothered.

I don't think she was a security guard per se but had taken on the role at the time, standing on the doors and scoping out potential thieves (me) blush

OP’s posts: |
Thisismytimetoshine Tue 16-Jun-20 15:06:35

You want to complain about someone doing their job? Good luck with that, she'll probably get a commendation from her boss.
Nobody accused you of anything.
It's aisle, btw.

101stNC Tue 16-Jun-20 15:08:15

Thanks to you others sharing your similar experiences, I fell less "dodgy looking" for it grin

Yes very embarrassing. I too felt small.

OP’s posts: |
flirtygirl Tue 16-Jun-20 15:08:50

You are lucky not to bame who this happens to all the time from age 6 till death.

flirtygirl Tue 16-Jun-20 15:09:38

You are lucky not to be bame, who this happens to all the time from age 6 till death.

101stNC Tue 16-Jun-20 15:11:07

BeyondMyWits

I worked in a well known hobby and crafts store 4/5 years ago.

We always watched people with prams or wearing wellie boots.

Prams hid a multitude of objects large and small. Wellies hid the expensive paintbrushes and marker pens. Prams really were the worst though - they were also used as weapons when it came to escape plans.

My manager had to go to hospital!

Blimey, was there a child in the pram?!

OP’s posts: |

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