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Social Anxiety Can Rob You… Of Your Voice

, , , | Right | April 22, 2022

I work at an office supply store with a big copy and printing department. My boss is insistent that we speak with every customer on the floor at least once. We’ve recently had several thefts. Two days ago, I asked a man if he needed any help. He got spooked and ran out the door, setting off the security alarm. Earlier today, another customer ran out the door with a shopping cart full of stolen items.

It’s getting close to the end of my shift, and I see a teenage girl toward the back of the store browsing the shelves. I walk up to her.

Me: “Good evening, miss. Is there anything I can help you find today?”

Her eyes go wide, and she stares at me for a few seconds, like a deer caught in headlights.

Me: “Is that a no?”

She then started running toward the front of the store in a full sprint. I got on the radio and said we had a shoplifter. I watched as the girl approached the front door and… turned and ran toward our printing department instead. She sat down at one of our self-service computers and put on a pair of headphones.

Turns out, she was there with her father, who was getting a big printing order done, and she was just browsing while they waited. I never really got an explanation for her behavior, but she hadn’t stolen anything. My guess is that she had some kind of social anxiety.

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