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Comments

Headset Hellion

Good for you for standing up for yourself! It sounds like you handled the situation very well. Personally, I would contact the store's corporate headquarters and file a complaint.

Suzume

"As university has been pressing me in the last months, I haven´t got around to writing down these to gems."

"I haven´t got around to writing down these to gems."

"University"

"I haven´t got around"

"these to gems."

omg.

The Worst

^ "University" does not need to be capitalized, as in this case it is not a proper noun. If it were referring to a particular university, such as University of California at Wherever, then it would need to be capitalized.

The Worst

*was referring to

Perfect time for a grammar mistake, eh? ;)

BookishGirl

So Ilia made a typo on the word 'two'. Whoop-de-doo.

Is that the best you can do, Suzume?

"Adventerous" Clerk

Horror and doom, the world will end! She used the wrong "to", are typos still a hanging offense, or do we only maim them? I'm sure double negatives and split infinitives are enough to get someone the firing squad, but typos, hard to say.

This is where we whine, vent, complain and generally carry on, as such common vernacular, slang and idiomatic expressions are commonly used as they express our speech patterns.

Y'all have uh nice day now!

MahiMahi713

Ok. Totally expecting backlash for this but whatever. Sometimes shit like that happens. That security guard was just following the rules he was supposed to. People WILL attempt to steal things by buying a few things but then sticking the stolen items in a bag or in their clothes.
They "treated you like a thief" because you had a backpack and to them, you may as well have been a thief.
As for the whole seeing your dirty and underwear thing, I know it can be embarrassing but unless you have nasty ass stains on them or they are so smelly that just opening the bag would have allowed him to smell them, you need to get over it. It is JUST underwear and sock.

Ad Girl

If we want to get nit picky, Ilia is merely posting a story submitted to the site by Soft Ice Girl. Stories are usually posted with the bare minimum of changes, usually just deleting anything that could identify the submitter. Otherwise, the story is posted as submitted, bad grammar, typos and all.

random_tangent

Bag checks are a common thing over here - anyone with a bag larger than an A4 piece of paper is expected to allow it to be checked if requested, or to leave it outside the store. Nothing to do with thinking everyone is a thief, just with having the same policy for everyone. So I don't really see the unreasonableness in the second story unless that isn't normal in other countries as well? That said, the security could have been more polite in their method of asking.

MahiMahi713

With my previous comment, I am directing at Ice Girl and not Ilia.

SpookyMustard

I have to do bag checks at my work as part of our usual procedure. Not because we think everyone is a potential criminal, but because we are trying to deter the small percentage of shoppers who may try to slip something into their bag.

Personally, I think your attitude towards them was quite rude. They're not treating you like a thief, they're following the procedures in their store for loss prevention. Not very diplomatically, but I don't try to make life hard for the less charismatic.

If anything, the way you reacted and threatened to go to a newspaper if they persisted was probably what made them call in reinforcements. If I had a customer clam up, refuse to let me bag check, refuse to let a security guard bag check and try to goad us into calling the cops, that would scream "SHOPLIFTER" to me. They have every right to refuse, but in my experience the only people who try to aggressively exercise that right are the people who've nicked something.

Not saying you did. But it's how it would have looked.

Also, I doubt the guard would care about your personal items. He definitely could have been more tactful (I am very shocked he outright stated he thought you had stolen something, that's pretty inflammatory) but you were wasting your own time.

Ilia

Corrected to 'to' to two. I admit it was my mistake for not catching it, as I try to fix things like that but is it really worth pitching a fit over, Suzume?

Cranky security guard

I agree with everyone that said you just should have let security look through the bag. Security was just doing their job.

Dan

Unless they are law enforcement, they have absolutely no right to search, even if it is store policy. It would be no different than me walking up to you on the street and demanding to look through your belongings. Just because someone wears a shirt that says "Security" gives them no more power over people than a shirt that says "Star Wars".

Karebear

To those whining about the grammar/spelling: Perhaps, the poster's first language isn't English? Just a guess maybe...no need to get pissy over some typos and what not.

To the OP: While I wouldn't want to someone to dig through my bag, it seems backpacks (or bigger purses - sorry HANDBAGS [just finished reading Freeman's book again >.<]) are raised as a red flag in retail. I don't know how many times I have been told to watch someone with a backpack while working in a store, even if they don't seem shady otherwise. *shrug* Just something to think about, perhaps? Maybe next time leave your backpack at the front of the store with customer service or a cashier so they won't get antsy about it.

NC Tony

I can see both sides of this. On the one hand you don't want to be treated like a thief, and it can be annoying when you're assumed to be one. On the other hand, I've seen plenty of stories (both here on the net and on TV shows) where shoplifters will use large bags/backpacks to steal merchandise and waltz right out of the store with their ill gotten gains.

Arguing with the security raises red flags and will lead them to believe that you actually did steal something (hence the reason for calling up the manager), and may cause even more problems when it's proven you didn't do anything, because they then look at you like a problem customer.

Fluttershy

Yeah, where I work our door greeters are trained to check all bags larger than A4 size. Problem is, most of us don't because we are tired of being yelled at by people for looking in their bags. We don't give a shit what's in there, we're looking for our own stock that the small percentage of people try to steal. Catch 22, Loss Prevention and Head Office yell at us if they see us not checking so it's lose/lose either way :(

Duke of URL

If you submit to every proposed search because you have nothing to hide, you only serve to contribute to the false notion that only those who have something to hide should refuse a search. That's simply not true, and it's an invasion of privacy and an erosion of liberty.

Randomness

The risk of bag searches actually reduces my odds of shopping at certain stores on certain days. Mainly because I'm a bookworm and the main reason I leave the store price stickers on books I buy is so I can have obviously not *insert store here*'s books in my bag while book shopping. So some days I'll not pop my head in quickly into certain stores until I've ditched my bag with someone or I'll just head to a different store.

Though my personal favourite is the time when someone tried to claim that I stole a book a full month before they had it in stock as I had ordered it from overseas and wasn't available with their standard suppliers at the time.

That being said the laws here prohibit digging through people's bags without a police presence even with permission most stores stick with the routine of open the bag and let us look inside without touching.

Queer Geek

I'm the direct opposite. If this asswipes think I stole something, then I'm more than happy to open my bag up to reveal my stinky gym clothes, dirty socks, sweaty underwear, and a human head (did I say that aloud?) Either way, I'll proudly let them take a whiff of my body funk so it'll always be a reminder that I will never shop at their store again.

AmigaTech

I just wanted to point out that perhaps her signoff handle should have been 'Hard Ice Girl'. They were expecting a softie to roll over and do whatever 'authority' wanted to, and were most dismayed when she didn't.

--AT

Skittles

Wow sorry but Soft-ice-girl was absolutely correct in her actions. To all the people claiming she should have let them check her bag you should just fuck right off(provided you're from the US). The "authority" a security gaurd has is the same as the owner of the building, they can ask you to leave, that is the sum total of the authority granted by being a security gaurd. As a citizen like with any citizen if they see you commit a crime via their own eyes, by camera, or even if you trip the sensors, then and only then may they hold you for the police to search you. They don't even have the authority to search you if they see you commit theft, they can still only hold you for the cops. I mean seriously folks it's the fourth fucking amendment to the constitution. This could have easily been avoided by the store having people turn in their bags before shopping. I'll leave you with this quote from Ben Franklin "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety".

Hard Ice Girl ^^

Hi guys!
@the people flaming because of my typo: I am german, so english is my second language, but as I am quite a Grammar Nazi myself, I hang my head in shame ;)
Next time, I will re-read my next twice!
@Skittles: That´s exactly what I was so angry about. They were expecting me to oblige, and then threatened me with being banned for the store just for not doing so, although I was within the law and they had no right whatsoever. And that´s why I wanted the police, because they have the right to search me, and then I would have been happy to show the manager that my backpack is empty except for my underwear and the stuff I bought.
@AmigaTech: OLOL! I will so use the name in the future!

Hellbound Alleee

I too would avoid going somewhere where they check my personal belongings and get up in my face. Also, I know why they checked Hard Ice Girl: she was young.

Give someone a little power and it goes to their heads.

Sammi

Adding fuel to the fire...

Security can request that you stop if they suspect. They cannot stop you. Helmart, for example, will sometimes ask to see your receipt. They cannot force you to - I usually smile and say no thanks and keep walking.

Exception - when you belong to a membership (Sams, Costco, etc), and you stop for a receipt check. As condition on being a member, you consent to this.

The only time a security/loss prevention person can stop you (verbal and/or physical) is when they personally witness a theft.

It sounds like the OP was stopped on suspicion - he (she?) acted correctly.

I used to be a cop, and I have worked loss prevention, my facts may be out of date, but they are correct.

Becky

Many times it's store policy for them to check backpacks. At one retail store where I worked, we have to keep all backpacks at the front counter. It's a minor convenience when we as shoppers have to do stuff like this, but it's even worse when you're an employee and have to enforce it. (especially when not even other retail employees enjoy making your life more difficult).

Zmidponk

From what I can see here, if they were checking everyone's bags, they did everything right up until Soft Ice Girl said she wasn't allowing them to search her bag - which she had the perfect right to do, regardless of any 'store policy' or 'security measure' (I believe you folk in the US have something in the 4th Amendment to your Constitution to that effect). At that point, they should have simply let her walk out with nothing more said, unless they had a solid reason for thinking theft had occurred, such as witnessing her stealing something, in which case, they should have detained her at that point and had the police on their way.

However, if it was ONLY her bag that they wanted to check, then they were treating her as a thief right from the off.

Zyffyr

I have worked in Security. Where I am located at least (Oregon), unless they actually SAW her put something in her bag they had no leg to stand on. The moment that she said no, any further attempt would have put them in a very bad legal position.

AmigaTech

Your English is much better than my German.
Ich kann nur ein bier gehabt, or something...

--AT

L

llia, assuming you're in the US, just curious, was the person who stopped you STORE security, or was the store in a mall with security and you were stopped by MALL security, the difference being mall security would have had no right to ask to check your bags for items from a store. That must be done by store security. And neither one doesn't have the right to hold you. They can ask for you to show them your bag, which they cannot touch, but you can open for them, and they can call the police if you don't comply but they still cannot hold you unless you were being disorderly and being violent and they had to make a citizens arrest. I don't believe they can force you to show your bag even if they have a sign stating such; that's just a deterrent. And, if they're wrong about stopping you, they've opened themselves to a civil suit. Also, any security worth a lick will know that, unless they tailed you through the whole store, saw you conceal something, and never lost sight of you until you left, they might end-up making a bad stop. I've been in Security 7 years. It's a fine line between what we can and can't do, and when we do do something we are 100% sure the person is at fault. Sorry you had to run into such bad security. Unfortunately, a store has the right to ban you for anything, as it's private property, even if they're wrong about it.

Soft Ice Girl

@ L: First of all, while Ilia posted my story and nicely corrected my spelling mistake after people flamed me for it, this happened to me, Soft Ice Girl :)
And second, I always thought that store and mall are interchangeable words.. It was store security, then. The supermarket is not in a shopping mall, it´s outside.
And thanks, people, especially to those who have worked in security, for validating my feeling that they stepped over the line. I was already fearing that I have been a crusty after all...

mystic_eye_cda

Here generally they ask you to leave bags at the door/counter. Which let's face it, most people are more than happy to do because who the heck wants to carry that stuff around! Particular in a small store. Some places make a show of taping your bag or whatever so you know it's not being opened while you're gone. Stores like Walmart here may sticker plastic bags shut when you enter. If you do it when the person enters then you give them the option to just leave if they aren't comfortable.

True story: One place I worked at took customer bags on entry, and were supposed to search employee bags (but rarely did). One staff member found away around that though, she'd take a black garbage bag and fill it with stock, then one day she's bring in a garbage bag full of laundry "to wash on the way home". She'd leave the laundry and take the stuff, some times she'd take the laundry home a different day because no one paid attention to when she brought them in and when she didn't. Pretty good scam eh? 1 bag second hand close for one bag electronics. She started stealing bigger things and was eventually caught, we were finding bags of stuff for months (it was an old store with lots of weird nooks)

Nocturnesthesia

I got kicked out of a place after a library book tripped the sensor once. I even demonstrated that was what it was but they wanted to search the dozen bags I had with me, fuck that. Pretty backwards state of affairs when some crooked-ass corporation hawking their overpriced sweatshop-made crap has tighter security than the fucking Parliament buildings.

(Former) Parking Bitch

I used to shop in a cheap outlet clothing store in the downtown (ghetto) area of my city. It's the type of store that caters to teens/white trash/club-hoppers, and I usually only went there to buy cheap tank tops or booty shorts.

Once I walked in while carrying my tiny backpack/purse, a small lunch bag, and my laptop bag as I had just come from university and needed to kill some time/blow some spare cash while I waited for a friend to meet up with me.

I was the only customer in the store at the time, and it looked like it was just the one employee at the entrance. The store was set up so that the entrance and exit were just one narrow doorway, and you had to pass through the registers in order to get in or out of the store. The employee stopped me and told me I had to leave my bags at the front, which was something I'd never had to do before. I got a little angry at the implication that I was planning on stealing, and simply said "There's no way in hell I'm leaving my computer with a stranger in this mall" and I walked out.

It was extremely obvious that I had valuables with me, and with the way the store was set up would it really have been so difficult to just keep an eye on me and ask to look in my lunch bag when I left?

I can understand the logic behind asking customers to leave their bags at the entrance, but I honestly would never trust a stranger to look after my belongings. Who's to say someone won't just walk up and swipe my bag while the employee's back is turned, or that the employee won't go rooting through and have their own "shopping spree"? I would much rather just be asked to show the inside of my bags as I'm leaving.

this is where I found it

The new, centralized identification system with biometrics also increased overall security by eliminating the potential unauthorized use of access cards .

The Kid

"Unless they are law enforcement, they have absolutely no right to search, even if it is store policy."
THIS!
I have been banned from 3 different stores because I refused to open my bag. Fuck that! I have never stolen anything in my life (well, maybe a few penny candies when I was a kid, haha) and I refuse to be treated like a criminal by some power-hungry security person.
I've never been in a store where they require you to leave your bags at the front. But fuck that too! No way I'm trusting some total stranger with whatever I'm carrying.
I get that this is an anti-theft policy, but c'mon. People have the right to their privacy!

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