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Some Guy TT
Aug 30, 2011

whatever marginal advantage the racial justice protestors gained from being masked was greatly outweighed by the fact that the racial justice protests were larger than the covid protests by a scale or two of magnitude

Howdy. I'm a goon who's never worked in retail, and probably never will because I'm now old enough where not having ever worked in retail will probably preclude me from ever getting such a job even if I were desperate enough to try and apply for them. Nevertheless, I'm curious about the lives of people who work on the other end of me whenever I need to buy stuff. I'm also curious how many misconceptions I have about the profession. For all I know my comment about my not being acceptable to work in retail is totally misinformed!

The thread idea originates from the Comic Strip Megathread in BSS, which regularly goes into discussions anytime the old comic strip Retail is posted and goes into a practice that doesn't seem to make much sense from a logical standpoint. For example, this one-



Does this mean a person effectively can't be arrested for shoplifting? How far can a retail employee go when it comes to restraining or otherwise physically interacting with such a customer? Does it differ significantly on a store to store basis? Do you have any funny stories of interacting with a shoplifter? Tell me. I want to know!

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The Bloop
Jul 5, 2004




Ultra Carp

I think I will enjoy this thread.

Background: I don't work in retail anymore, but I did for a LONG time in a lot of companies, including working my way from temporary Christmas help to above Store Manager at RadioShack before they went kaput for reasons which I will likely elaborate later.




Some Guy TT posted:

Does this mean a person effectively can't be arrested for shoplifting? How far can a retail employee go when it comes to restraining or otherwise physically interacting with such a customer? Does it differ significantly on a store to store basis? Do you have any funny stories of interacting with a shoplifter? Tell me. I want to know!

A lot of big box stores have hired thug type security guards who might go after someone. Back in the 90s I worked at a big grocery chain and they had a guy up in an office with binoculars and walking around the store with a cart full of non-perishables "shopping" to keep an eye on things. That was just in a supermarket! Most places now just have infinity cameras and if something big enough is stolen, they will probably call the police.

It is true that it is generally a company's policy not to accuse anyone of shoplifting, and you can't confront them unless you clearly saw them stash something AND never had a moment of unbroken line of sight to them when they could have ditched it. As I mentioned in that other thread, it's still likely in any big enough store, some employee is going to be a hero and tackle you for stealing a ten pack of duracells or whatever, but generally they will just take pictures of you and try and film your license plate or whatever and call the cops. ALso like I mentioned in the other thread, there was a manager at a RadioShack in Maine who chased a customer outside for shoplifting an expensive universal TV remote and got stabbed for his trouble and died. My advice to employees anywhere I've managed was that there is absolutely nothing in this place worth your life, don't gently caress with criminals.

For small stuff you just write it up as shrink and move on with your day.

I have done the "can I ring that [item] up for you?" thing once and it worked.

I also got robbed at gunpoint at a store once and all my various training from different retail management jobs kicked in and I did all of the psychologically appropriate things to not seem threatening to the robber and did not get shot.

RoboRodent
Sep 19, 2012



Until very recently I worked in a grocery store (I am technically between jobs at the moment), until I reached such a level of absolute burn out that I simply walked into the office and quit because it was that or die.

I have a lot of feelings about the way large corporations treat their employees as disposable, while also bemoaning the fact that turnover is so high and don't you know we're a family around here, no we won't increase your wage even though minimum went up, but it comes down to risk of litigation. They can get insurance for robberies and they can swallow a certain amount of theft, but if a teenager gets shot trying to confront a thief, and this is what they've been told to do, the company is opening itself up to a lawsuit or criminal charges. They're not worried about the life of a minimum wage earner. They worried about legal ramifications from sending an untrained, underpaid wage slave to be injured or die over, what, maybe a few hundred dollars. At our store we had loss prevention officers, and they had body armour and security training, but I'm not convinced they get paid enough to take that risk on either. Basically every retail level job that has a company of any size behind it goes over this in training: do not confront a thief, hand over the money in your till if you're held up, you can call in help like this.

Fun fact: the grocery store in town that was first to require masks also did not and does not enforce it at all because early on someone pulled a knife on a guard because they were asked to wear a mask. At Walmart, a similar interaction turned into a fist fight. At my store, I mostly dealt with people taking off their mask to talk to me or going on weird rants about they don't believe in viruses.

Cowslips Warren
Oct 29, 2005

What use had they for tricks and cunning, living in the enemy's warren and paying his price?



Grimey Drawer

Ah, a gift for you: https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3323091&pagenumber=1

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