Strange experience in a big-box store

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treadlightly
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Strange experience in a big-box store

#1

Post by treadlightly » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:09 pm

Yeah, I know. Strange people in a big box store. Who would have thought?

Anyway, there we are, smart-shopping for Items and Products. I've alerted on odd behavior in the canned goods. A gentleman sought defilade behind what I think they call an "end cap." He is peering between shelves down the aisle.

My wife notices, and gives me the high sign, which, unfortunately, the alleged creep sees. Now he's alerted on my wife, and by extension alerted on me, and I'm obviously alerted on him.

I split my attention between him and the rest of the store, because the attack always comes from the raptor you never saw, and he scoots down another aisle and out of sight - and then comes back to his post, after my wife and I enter the aisle he had been monitoring. We wanted to alert the shoppers in the aisle to a potential hazard. Everybody needs to be alerted.

I didn't know what to think. I've skulked around to surprise my wife as a prank. After all, if you can't annoy your own wife, who in these troubled times can you annoy?

He could have been playing an absurd game of peek-a-boo, but it didn't quite seem like that. It was creepy behavior.

There were two young ladies in the aisle, smart-shopping for their Items and Products. I asked each one if they were in the company of a bearded fellow. One of them said no, and I warned her to be wary of someone just out of sight at the end of the aisle. The other one was on her phone with a friend, because multiple sightings of the alleged creep all over the store had her spooked. My wife and I offered to escort her at least to the cash registers, but she declined. By that time, the possible weirdo had fled.

And there he was again, at the cash registers, mixed in with some store employees. There wasn't any question he found me interesting, so I readied my go-to weapon of choice, my grin, and asked him who he was and why was he frightening the ladies.

It turns out he was a loss prevention employee, acting like Maxwell Smart trying to blend in at a THRUSH convention. He wasn't mad, but said one of the people I spoke to was a shoplifter, and my blowing his cover meant he had to let her leave with stolen property. I'm sorry a thief got away, but I'm unrepentant, too. Act like a threat in my little happy zone and I will do what it takes for my wife's safety, hopefully through de-escalation and retreat.

I fully support anti-shoplifting efforts but I don't want to sort store ninjas from legitimate creeps.

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03Lightningrocks
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#2

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:38 pm

To me you were being as creepy as the guy you said was stalking. Walking up to total strangers telling them to look out for some other guy and then offering to "escort" them seems as weirdly suspicious as anything. I think instead of playing Maxwell Smart yourself, you should have simply informed the store manager of your concerns.

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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#3

Post by puma guy » Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:44 am

I had him pegged as loss prevention almost immediately in your story. I worked in retail and was very familiar with the tactics you described. Yes, the end of shelving gondolas are call end caps; sometimes end tips. Just doing his job.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#4

Post by MadMonkey » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:51 pm

03Lightningrocks wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:38 pm
To me you were being as creepy as the guy you said was stalking. Walking up to total strangers telling them to look out for some other guy and then offering to "escort" them seems as weirdly suspicious as anything.
This right here. That comes off as really weird even if you meant well.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#5

Post by treadlightly » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:14 pm

03Lightningrocks wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:38 pm
To me you were being as creepy as the guy you said was stalking. Walking up to total strangers telling them to look out for some other guy and then offering to "escort" them seems as weirdly suspicious as anything. I think instead of playing Maxwell Smart yourself, you should have simply informed the store manager of your concerns.
Well, I guess you're welcome to any opinion you want of me. I'll stay out of it.

Have a good day, sir.

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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#6

Post by Texas_Blaze » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:28 pm

treadlightly wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:09 pm
Yeah, I know. Strange people in a big box store. Who would have thought?

Anyway, there we are, smart-shopping for Items and Products. I've alerted on odd behavior in the canned goods. A gentleman sought defilade behind what I think they call an "end cap." He is peering between shelves down the aisle.

My wife notices, and gives me the high sign, which, unfortunately, the alleged creep sees. Now he's alerted on my wife, and by extension alerted on me, and I'm obviously alerted on him.

I split my attention between him and the rest of the store, because the attack always comes from the raptor you never saw, and he scoots down another aisle and out of sight - and then comes back to his post, after my wife and I enter the aisle he had been monitoring. We wanted to alert the shoppers in the aisle to a potential hazard. Everybody needs to be alerted.

I didn't know what to think. I've skulked around to surprise my wife as a prank. After all, if you can't annoy your own wife, who in these troubled times can you annoy?

He could have been playing an absurd game of peek-a-boo, but it didn't quite seem like that. It was creepy behavior.

There were two young ladies in the aisle, smart-shopping for their Items and Products. I asked each one if they were in the company of a bearded fellow. One of them said no, and I warned her to be wary of someone just out of sight at the end of the aisle. The other one was on her phone with a friend, because multiple sightings of the alleged creep all over the store had her spooked. My wife and I offered to escort her at least to the cash registers, but she declined. By that time, the possible weirdo had fled.

And there he was again, at the cash registers, mixed in with some store employees. There wasn't any question he found me interesting, so I readied my go-to weapon of choice, my grin, and asked him who he was and why was he frightening the ladies.

It turns out he was a loss prevention employee, acting like Maxwell Smart trying to blend in at a THRUSH convention. He wasn't mad, but said one of the people I spoke to was a shoplifter, and my blowing his cover meant he had to let her leave with stolen property. I'm sorry a thief got away, but I'm unrepentant, too. Act like a threat in my little happy zone and I will do what it takes for my wife's safety, hopefully through de-escalation and retreat.

I fully support anti-shoplifting efforts but I don't want to sort store ninjas from legitimate creeps.
Do you write suspense novels?
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#7

Post by SigM4 » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:34 pm

^^^Haha.

I’m still trying to figure out what “smart-shopping” is.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#8

Post by treadlightly » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:56 pm

Texas_Blaze wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:28 pm

Do you write suspense novels?
You make my day! I have a short non-fiction piece I'd like to finish, intended to help volunteer organizations spot financial misdeeds before they get out of hand. I'm not an accountant, so I may not be the best person to tackle the subject.

On the other hand, I feel compelled to speak out. Google for "indicted treasurer" if you want to read some sad horror stories. PTA, Band Booster, and all manner of good organizations can be victimized by the people they trust.

Someday, maybe, I might try a second work. Something about dark and stormy nights, perhaps. :biggrinjester:

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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#9

Post by C-dub » Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:58 pm

Loss prevention dude needs to get better at his job. Acting like a stalker enough that others notice is not "blending" into the background.

If someone was acting like that around my wife or daughter or now, grandchildren, I would probably directly engage and let him or her know I'm aware of their presence. Might just be eye contact and if that wasn't enough go up from there, which would include letting store people know.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#10

Post by WildBill » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:08 pm

C-dub wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:58 pm
Loss prevention dude needs to get better at his job. Acting like a stalker enough that others notice is not "blending" into the background.

If someone was acting like that around my wife or daughter or now, grandchildren, I would probably directly engage and let him or her know I'm aware of their presence. Might just be eye contact and if that wasn't enough go up from there, which would include letting store people know.
Sounds like he's a wannabe.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#11

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:45 pm

treadlightly wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:14 pm
03Lightningrocks wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:38 pm
To me you were being as creepy as the guy you said was stalking. Walking up to total strangers telling them to look out for some other guy and then offering to "escort" them seems as weirdly suspicious as anything. I think instead of playing Maxwell Smart yourself, you should have simply informed the store manager of your concerns.
Well, I guess you're welcome to any opinion you want of me. I'll stay out of it.

Have a good day, sir.
It was not an opinion of you. It was an opinion of your actions. You have a good day as well. Sir.


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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#12

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:52 pm

Aren't loss prevention people supposed to be doing their monitoring of shoplifters on CCTV?

Then once they have the theft on video, they approach the perps on the floor?

SIA
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#13

Post by treadlightly » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:00 pm

03Lightningrocks wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:45 pm
treadlightly wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:14 pm
03Lightningrocks wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:38 pm
To me you were being as creepy as the guy you said was stalking. Walking up to total strangers telling them to look out for some other guy and then offering to "escort" them seems as weirdly suspicious as anything. I think instead of playing Maxwell Smart yourself, you should have simply informed the store manager of your concerns.
Well, I guess you're welcome to any opinion you want of me. I'll stay out of it.

Have a good day, sir.
It was not an opinion of you. It was an opinion of your actions. You have a good day as well. Sir.
All's well, I appreciate your opinion. What one telegraphs is an important part of getting through the day. You've given me food for thought.

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03Lightningrocks
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#14

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:02 pm

surprise_i'm_armed wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:52 pm
Aren't loss prevention people supposed to be doing their monitoring of shoplifters on CCTV?

Then once they have the theft on video, they approach the perps on the floor?

SIA
I am thinking there are no hard and fast rules. I have seen people in Walmart stalking shoppers who were acting suspicious. I actually caught one checking me out. Haha. He was following me from isle to isle for at least 3 isles. That or it was the biggest shopper coincidence in history.


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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#15

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:17 pm

His mother told him you were his long lost father. :-)

SIA
America.....just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need
to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us feel uncomfortable.

Hunter S. Thompson, Kentucky Colonel, gonzo journalist. 1937-2005.

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