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Thread: Went to an op shop and got followed around by staff member

  1. #1
    Junior Member Elizabeth1980's Avatar
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    Went to an op shop and got followed around by staff member

    Yesterday I went to an op shop in my male clothes. I found a couple of cheap wigs, and tried them on in the changing room before buying them. The strange thing is that I was being followed around the store by one of the staff members, which made me feel very uncomfortable. After I had gone out of the change room she immediately went into it, checking that it was in order. I guess it could have looked suspicious taking the wigs into the change room with some male shorts on top of them, maybe she thought I was shoplifting?

    When I had waited a few minutes to be served, the same woman entered the checkout to serve me, instead of the one that was serving other customers. She then made snide comments about what I was buying them for, etc, which I laughed off, saying they were for Halloween etc. She replied 'it's a bit early for Halloween'.

    It felt like she was stalking me the whole time, and I ended up not buying other stuff as I left more quickly than I would have otherwise done so.
    How would others have responded to being followed around the shop like this?
    Last edited by Elizabeth1980; 09-27-2019 at 07:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Member LydiaL's Avatar
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    Sometimes store staff become overzealous watching for shoplifters. They need to back off and just let folks shop. Only move in when there is just cause.

    Happened to me one time in a department store chain while looking at women's clothing. Had that pink fog urge to buy! I was constantly watched so left without any purchase. While I buy online from that firm, I have never gone clothes shopping in that particular store ever again.

    Based on her snide remarks, you should have told her off, IMO.

  3. #3
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Only one time and it was quite annoying.
    Like you I noticed the store person right off because they were really obvious.
    I walked around an aisle and the person following me was walking up behind me acting like they were sorting sizes on the rack.
    I said look you don't need to follow me around like I am some kind of criminal OK? She said oh I wasn't doing that and I said yes you were because it was very obvious.
    I bought one item and have never been back just because of that.
    Head Executive Chief of the Dept of Redundancy Dept.

  4. #4
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    I would have done the same thing you did. Nothing to be gained by challenging her.

    Several years ago (back when I was skinny and had long hair) I had been out of town and stopped to get gas and take a break. There was a Payless shoe store next door, so I went in. I was not completely crossdressed and certainly didn't pass. I was wearing skinny jeans and heels, which happened to be Payless. I walked in right by the register and back to my size, browsed a short while and left. When I left I could see through the front window that the two clerks went to where I had been browsing and started checking the boxes. I left and got back on the freeway, but got worried that they thought I stole something and would call the police, and I certainly didn't want to bet pulled over and perhaps arrested in Texas. I turned around and went back and told the clerks that I noticed that they went over to where I had been and thought that I might have shoplifted the heels I was wearing. They said, "Well, we did find an empty box." I showed them the soles of my shoes that showed they had clearly been worn a lot. They said OK, but I think they still thought I stole something. At least they didn't call the police.

  5. #5
    Yeah Ok like whatever Tracii G's Avatar
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    Wow Rhonda Jean an empty box in Payless how many times have we all seen that?
    Just shows the clerks haven't straightened up and faced their aisles at the end of their shift.
    Head Executive Chief of the Dept of Redundancy Dept.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tracy Irving's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth1980 View Post
    She replied 'it's a bit early for Halloween'.
    She probably doesn't get out much. Goodwill has had their Halloween merchandise out for almost a month already. Most other stores are also in full Halloween mode.

  7. #7
    Silver Member Crissy 107's Avatar
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    I would most likely said nothing but would have maybe given a rude look. I also would not go back there, I feel there are enough stores that like our business so just go elsewhere.
    Last edited by Crissy 107; 09-28-2019 at 05:43 AM.
    Crissy

  8. #8
    Super Moderator char GG's Avatar
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    The woman that owns the wig shop where my husband buys his wigs, is very cautious. She told him that she has people come in to "play" with the wigs, try a bunch on, leave a mess, and not buy anything. So she is wary of people who are "just looking". While we were in the shop, that exact thing happened, a couple of people came in just to try wigs on but didn't want to be helped. (She just rolled her eyes).

    I can understand the OP's feelings about being watched. Apparently people with huge strollers are watched with suspicion also.

    That just seems to be the way things are now (at least where I live). Ask at any store in a mall what their "loss" to shop lifting is, it is alarming!

  9. #9
    stone free mykell's Avatar
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    dont know what an OP shop is but for me i put my money where my mouth is, no sale, none of your business what its for, wouldnt be the first time i left a purchase at the register.....and never for that reason....bad service, incorrect pricing, even left stuff for making fun of the previous customer once, what are you going to say to the people behind me when i leave my stuff here and walked away.....i hear folks here say snide remarks about folks who work retail, i have amassed some time in it as an owner and associate, treat people as you wish to be treated....
    ....Mykell
    i dressed like a girl and i liked it! crossdressing...theirs an app for that those who deny freedom deserve it not for themselves
    NOBODY gets a pass to blow out someone else's candle in order to make theyre's shine brighter

  10. #10
    Bunny Bordello rachel_rachel's Avatar
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    I would’ve called her out for the bigot that she was being, and walked out.
    i am what I am, I do what I do..
    i do not seek approval from others.

  11. #11
    Of course she is. Patience's Avatar
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    For a minute, I thought you were in the USA.

    A lot of times, people who follow others in stores are the laziest kind of employee. Why do any real work when a person can get paid the same just standing and following people around?

    Normally, when I notice someone following me, I just stare right at them. Then, I start looking at things exactly where they are and when they start walking away, I start following them. By then, I have normally given up on the shopping.

    In any event, count your blessings. Some of us are subject to this regardless of presentation.
    When all else fails, lower your standards.

  12. #12
    Girly Girl gailprice's Avatar
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    Hi Elizabeth

    I had a similar situation back in June this year. I was asked if the items I had were the right size (they made it quite clear they thought or was implying i was buying for someone else and was amused at this) and I replied "yes they are for me I was wearing a lace dress this weekend at a dinner party. But i am not sure which one would be best". A lady who was behind me in the same que remarked that the items were a good choice.

    By the way, the items was a black and a navy slip for a very deep wine colour lace dress I was not sure which one would be the best colour

    Gail xx

  13. #13
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    I had a long response and I was "timed out." Anyway, I agree with Rachel. You do not have to be rude, but, I think the person should become aware of his or her bias behavior. Now you may become aware of what my African-American son-in-law goes through all the time. He is highly educated, well compensated, dresses conservatively. He calls it "going though life black!" If you just get huffy and walk out of the store you're really doing nothing more than reinforcing their perceptions and bias behavior. If the sales associates does appear to have an unfounded bias I would recommend filing a complaint with the home office.

    Last year I ran into an issue of an on-line order being filled by a local store. That's the business model of that store. The chain searches out the inventory of local stores and has it fill the request. The order was so messed up it was obvious to me the person did not like a male name ordering women's panties. I returned them for correction to a different local store. The store which filled the order was in Tukwila, WA. I wrote a letter to the top corporate officer by name and address and sent a copy to the manager of the Tukwila store. I got a serious response from the corporate officer who refunded part of my money and took up the issue with the stores fulfilling the order and handling the refund/adjust since it took more than forty-five minutes to process a refund. I suspect whoever fulfilled the original order was seriously counseled. In my complaint I did say it was obvious to me whoever filled the order had a bias that needed to be dealt with. Don't take s@#t laying down.
    Last edited by Stephanie47; 09-28-2019 at 07:00 PM. Reason: spelling

  14. #14
    Super Moderator char GG's Avatar
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    Note: Please do not get into a discussion about specific ethnic groups.

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    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    Well, you might have said, I am buying them because I often like to dress as a woman. Perhaps that might have set her on her heels just a bit.

    I certainly don?t blame shopkeepers and SAs for keeping an eye out.

    Easy come, easy go;
    Easy left me long ago...

  16. #16
    Platinum Blonde member Ressie's Avatar
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    From my experience it's not you so much, it's how often they get shoplifted. Had a similar experience at a wig store in my area. After searching but not finding the kind of wig I wanted I walked out to door and was followed outside by an employee. She talked to me briefly, just making sure I didn't walk out with any merchandise. I'm guessing that they lose merchandise to shoplifters at least every now and then. Probably more.
    "You're the only one to see the changes you take yourself through", Stevie Wonder

  17. #17
    Aspiring Member abbiedrake's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you had an unpleasant experience, Elizabeth.
    Personally, I would almost certainly have done or said something. I read with interest what Stephanie wrote about the experience of black people. What a sad and telling indictment of the early 21st century.
    I'd be calling that crap out!
    BS like that grinds my gears.

  18. #18
    Silver Member Bobbi46's Avatar
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    Rudeness like you encountered is way out of order I would have said something and then demanded to speak to the manager the more thiss is done the better we will all be, getting rid of rude SA's like that should be the order of the day.
    I started life a lost man now I am a found woman

  19. #19
    Platinum Member Angie G's Avatar
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    All the stores I have shoped in I never had that happen to me.
    Angie

  20. #20
    Senior Member Allison Chaynes's Avatar
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    After having worked in retail, I would tell everyone not to assume it's because you are CD/TG. You may have exhibited behaviors that set off alarm bells based on loss prevention training, and never even known it. I would still be upset about being followed.
    Life is too short to be boring.

  21. #21
    Aspiring Member Maid_Marion's Avatar
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    From Wikipedia : charity shop, thrift shop or opportunity shop (colloquially referred to as an op shop)

    Never heard this term in the USA.

  22. #22
    Member jacques's Avatar
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    hello Elizabeth,
    sometime I fell that I am being watched closely by shop staff or security and think that is because I giving off a nervous vibe - a bearded man looking at women's clothes must be up to no good!
    luv J

  23. #23
    Aspiring Member Rayleen's Avatar
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    I have been shopping for years for ladies clothing department, and never got followed. I usually go on my business and even used the men's department to try clothes on and went to pay without questions. I guess it could happen some day.
    Wanting something is a fantasy which on a long time period clouds your mind and makes you think you need it.

    Rayleen

  24. #24
    Member Mermaiden's Avatar
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    May just have been one paranoid clerk. Op shops may have to take whoever volunteers to work. Definitely the problem is with them, not you.

  25. #25
    Aspiring Member
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    [I]'ve been watched or followed on several occasions. I have left the store a couple times which makes it look like I got caught in an attempt to shoplift. I have ignored the follower on occasion.
    Actually, I don't mind if someone asks to see what is in the bag as they are trying to curb shoplifting but being followed is unnerving.

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