Bad Reputation

BY ŽENIJA ESMITS

Something’s been bugging me for a while (a while being roughly 3 years). Here it is. I’m 80% sure a certain store in the neighborhood thinks I’m a shoplifter.  No. Seriously. 

I base this on a few things: circumspect watching, overly attentive staff (each and every staff member greets and asks me if I need help*) and not-so-subtle hovering.  Sure these things could be interpreted in a few ways. But I choose to assume the worst. 

Re-enactment by Heather Phillips of what I imagine I must look like to sales staff.

Re-enactment by Heather Phillips of what I imagine I must look like to sales staff.

Sadly for everyone I worked retail for a very long time. There’s a way to make people feel uncomfortable. I know, because I’m really good at it. Take it from me; occasionally you need to be on top of people. Other times it’s just flat out disconcerting for the customer. And ultimately that’s why I’m a terrible salesperson.

I’m also a terrible actress, but I may have to ' L'il Wayne it up' and start flashing handfuls of cash-money around next time I wander into nameless SG store. But theatrical ideas aside, what should I do?

  1. Boycott - I suppose I can spend my money elsewhere, but if you know me then you know I’m extraordinarily lazy and convenience often trumps uncomfortableness, quality and expense**
  2. Confrontation - Should I ask nameless SG store's staff if they’re being cagey for any good reason?
  3. Play along - Wire myself with a loop of Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing” as I casually stroll through the store while trying to ram awkwardly large objects into places like my pockets or under the front of my top. Obviously I’ll be wearing enormous dark glasses and equally enormous hat. Crap. This just got theatrical.

This is either my special brand of paranoia talking or I’m public enemy number one. Regardless, it's a nuisance. I'm in this place almost every second day running some errand or another (there's a hint for ya) and without fail if a particular woman is working it seems sales staff are sent to feebly drift around me like I'm Winona Ryder. 

* in and of itself not a problem, but when it’s recurring as well as in this particular nameless store it’s rather suspicious. As suspicious as me apparently.

** see previous post: Location, location, location.

Posted on June 18, 2014 .