An Alarming Lack Of Trust

| USA | Working | January 25, 2013

(I got a winter coat a few years ago that sets off many of my local stores’ security alarms. Most of them recognize me and know it’s just my coat. One winter’s day, I’m shopping with my daughter. Sure enough, the alarm goes off when I walk in and again after I’m leaving, but a new manager stops me.)

Manager: “Ma’am! Ma’am, you have to stop!”

Me: “I’m sorry, is something wrong?”

Manager: “You set off the security alarm so I need to go over your bags to make sure you didn’t take anything. Could I see your receipt?”

Me: “You can have the receipt, but it’s just my coat. The alarm went off when I came in too. It always does that.”

Manager: “Nonsense! The alarm only goes off when people take things!”

(He proceeds to go through all my shopping bags and check everything off on the receipt, becoming increasing frustrated.)

Me: “Can I go now?”

Manager: “No. I know you took something and you are hiding it from me! I’m calling the cops to have them search you.”

Me: “That’s ridiculous! The alarm went off because of my coat and I’m not going to waste my time because you think I took something and can’t prove it.”

Manager: “I’ll prove it once the cops get here!”

(Noticing the situation since my daughter has begun to cry, another manager wanders over.)

Manager #2: “What seems to be the problem here?”

Manager: “This lady set off the alarm, so I called the cops.”

Manager #2: “We don’t call the cops just because the alarm goes off!? What where you thinking?”

Manager: “She obviously took something. Why else would the alarm go off?”

Manager #2: “Maybe because her coat has a security tag sewn into the lining that can’t be removed and it has been setting off the alarm for the past three years?”

Me: “Can I go now, or would you like me to wait until the cops show up and explain to them what happened?”

Manager #2: “No, I got this. I’m so sorry.”

(Thankfully, the new manager quit after a month.)

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